How To Pluck Ostrich Plumes

Ostrich feathers were a definite fashion statement back in the early 1900s and plucking them was big business. The article below, published in 1903, describes how the ostrich feathers collected.

Plucking Ostrich Plumes

During the plucking of his feathers the ostrich feels no pain. The process is simple. Over the head of the ostrich is placed a long bag with a breathing hole in one end. One man holds the bird while another cuts with shears the long feathers, only those of the wings and tail being taken. The short feathers, being ripe, are pulled out without pain, as they would soon drop in the course of nature. The stumps of those that are cut remain in until three weeks later. Sometimes the bird picks the stumps out itself. The feathers on the back and abdomen drop off. The feathers of the male birds are the more valuable.

Source: The Minneapolis journal. (Minneapolis, Minn.), 11 July 1903.