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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Keeping ducks
..For Eggs
...For Meat
...Housing them
...Multiplying
...Breeds
>..Feathers

Fully feathered ducks will yield up to one-fifth of a pound of feathers per bird.

If you have a few pounds of feathers to sell, put them in a polythene bag with a few holes punched in, tie a pretty label round the neck of the bag and take them to a local craft shop. Patchwork cushion-makers are often good customers for fine feathers.

This is assuming that the feathers are clean; if it has been raining for days, you will have to keep the ducks in the dry for a couple of days before you kill them, otherwise the feathers will be muddy and damp. Not only will the feathers be messy, it is also much more difficult to pluck a wet bird. If you have large amounts of feathers it may well be worth advertising for direct sales. As well as craft-users requiring feathers for pillow and duvet fillings, there is a growing interest in making feather flowers. The feathers are often dyed for this and the white feathers from an Aylesbury are ideal.

Traditionally, the curl at the end of the drake's tail was used as a superfine paint-brush.