Evan Beaver <>, bird <>
brian fleming <>
Wed, 11 Jul 2007 11:52:42 +1000
Evan Beaver wrote:
The best down comes from eider ducks. In Iceland they are 'farmed' - the
landowner builds small enclosures from rock slabs in which thewild
eider-ducks nest. The duck makes a nest by plucking a great deal of down
to surround the eggs. The land owner collects some of this at the start
of nest-building, putting down a layer of straw so the eggs are still
insulated. As soon as the ducklings hatch and follow their mother to
water, the remaining down is collected.
Goose and domestic duck down is collected when geese are killed for the
table, but in the 18th-19th century geese were often plucked for down
during their lives, like sheep-shearing. Most domestic goose and duck
down comes from China and other parts of Asia and i dont know about
Locally made sleeping-bags in the 1950s, and maybe later, had a distinct
slight musky odour because some of their down came from the young
mutton-birds killed for the "sea squab" industry.
Does anyone know about the process involved in recovering down for
person insulation? It's an incredible material, and I'd like to know
where it comes from.
You can tell if an old quilt contains real eider down because the tiny
feathers have very fine brown bars. The sitting eider duck is very well
I have seen a stuffed baby Wandering Albatross. That has a wonderful
coat of down - looks like a sheep with a beak!
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