Pigeon feathers have been used similarly to goose feathers throughout history. They were considered to be a little less prized, but still very useful.
There is still a market for Pigeon feathers, though it may not appear that this is the case initially. Pigeon feathers carry mites. Mites that EAT the feathers and leave holes in them. Not very attractive. And a rather yucky thought to consider little mites chowing down on your pillow right under your ear.
But a simple treatment can rid the feathers of the mites. This is what saved them historically. At some point or other, the feathers would end up getting frozen - home heating just was not what it is today. Chances are they were stored outside at some time and probably froze then.
Freezing is the solution to those mites. Freeze their little legs off. Pop those feathers into the freezer for 24 hours or more. Take them out and let them warm up for 24 hours, then pop them back in for another run.
The first run kills the mites. The warm spell lets any remaining eggs hatch, and the second freeze kills the remaining critters off.
Miteless feathers. Which now have a usable value, and can even be sold, as long as you specify that they've been treated to kill the mites.
Pigeon feathers are not only good for stuffing pillows, beds, comforters, and other items, they are good for use in crafts as well, and can be dyed or painted.
One more benefit of Pigeons on the farm.
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