Feather hair extensions have become the latest fad to hit the market, but many consumers are left in the dark at the prices they’re really costing. The feathers come from genetically bred roosters that are strictly bred and raised for their plumage. The birds usually do not survive once they have been plucked of their feathers.
The long rooster feathers were originally used by Fly fisherman and used to make lures, but the trend has wiped out fly shops and pissed fishermen off because of the high demand for feathers. A package of rooster saddle feathers that were originally priced at $60 in a fly shop are now selling for $200 to $400.
Whiting Farms Inc., in western Colorado, is one of the world’s largest producers of fly tying feathers. The roosters live for as long as a year while their saddle feathers, the ones on the bird’s backside and the most popular for hair extensions, grow as long as possible. The animal is then euthanized because it serves no other purpose. The Seattle Times reports the Whiting Farm kills more than 1,500 roosters each week and still cannot keep up with the high salon demand.
Ke$ha, is one of the many celebrities to help spawn this feather fashion craze and recently tweeted her concerns of the price this trend is causing. Ke$ha’s tweet read, “im hearing about roosters that have been plucked and hurt or even killed for thier feathers…” Ke$ha wants to inspire people to follow the more eco-friendly route if they choose to continue this trend and offered her personal contact in another tweet. Ke$ha tweeted, “i’d love to give u guys my own personal feather contact. she’s totally animal friendly + recycles bones + feathers to make all my accessories.”
Her personal contact is Fauxtale, a specialty couture company that uses ‘only the highest quality of faux fur and fabrics available.’ No prices are listed, but many companies do make faux feather accessories.
Now, I’m not trying to go PETA on anyone, I’m just trying to make anyone who is interested in this trend aware of what it’s really costing. So, if you decide to stick with this trend, think about the roosters that are solely bred to die to fulfill the needs of a trend that will eventually be thrown away in a few months.