Material science

Material science

Material science

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Material science
Federngewinnung

Which animals are live-harvested and why?

 
As far as we know, ducks are not live-harvested, but only those geese, which are kept for the purpose of laying eggs and breeding. Throughout every year, these animals undergo several moulting seasons, the hormonally induced process of shedding their old plumage. Harvesting the feathers and down from the live animal at the moment of moulting is a technique which has in former times been also applied for the purpose of landscape conservation.
 
As far as we know, ducks are not live-harvested, but only those geese, which are kept for the purpose of laying eggs and breeding. Throughout every year, these animals undergo several moulting seasons, the hormonally induced process of shedding their old plumage. Harvesting the feathers and down from the live animal at the moment of moulting is a technique which has in former times been also applied for the purpose of landscape conservation. In order to avoid that a flock of, say, 100 mother geese shed their old feathers and down and that these fly around the landscape and entangle themselves in bushes, trees, buildings etc., the farmers were requested to contribute to the landscape conservation by collecting the loosely attached material. The animals are an important resource for the farmers. To treat this resource properly means to secure their income in the future. Cruelty to animals does not mean a secure income in the long run.
 
Federn

The duck feather

Like the goose feather the duck feather is also strongly curved from the lateral view.

Compared to the goose feather it is often more delicate and smaller. Duck feathers taper towards their tips or form a radiate shape.
 
Like the goose feather the duck feather is also strongly curved from the lateral view.

Compared to the goose feather it is often more delicate and smaller. Duck feathers taper towards their tips or form a radiate shape.
 
Federn

The goose feather

A completely-developed goose feather has a round and blunt shape. The feather is strongly curved and its shape appears to be rather compact. At the lower end, the vane which is the whole of feather barbs intimately connected among them by means of barbules, looks as if it has been cropped.

In comparison to duck feathers, goose feathers are often bigger and stronger which comes from the size and the physique of the birds the material derived from.

A completely-developed goose feather has a round and blunt shape. The feather is strongly curved and its shape appears to be rather compact. At the lower end, the vane which is the whole of feather barbs intimately connected among them by means of barbules, looks as if it has been cropped.

In comparison to duck feathers, goose feathers are often bigger and stronger which comes from the size and the physique of the birds the material derived from.

A goose feather with 2.36. inches (6 cm) in length weighs about 0.0241 g. A goose feather with 3.94 inches (10 cm) in length weighs about 0.0436 g.
 

 

Daunen Füllung

Are there synthetic down available in the market?

The term “synthetic down“ is an improper, misleading invention and must not be used in advertisements for bedding products.
 
According to a decision by the Provincial High Court of Appeal in Stuttgart, Germany, it is illegitimate to use the term “synthetic down“ in advertisements for bedding products. The Federal Court did not accept the appeal of the defendant.
The term “synthetic down“ is an improper, misleading invention and must not be used in advertisements for bedding products.
 
According to a decision by the Provincial High Court of Appeal in Stuttgart, Germany, it is illegitimate to use the term “synthetic down“ in advertisements for bedding products. The Federal Court did not accept the appeal of the defendant. (OLG Stuttgart (Provincial High Court of Appeal in Stuttgart) 2 U 86/99 - BGH, decision dated 21st September 2000, 1 ZR 287/99)
 
The court stated that the use of the specification “synthetic down“ is a consumer deception. Since the term “down“ has always been used to label a top-quality natural product, you could get the impression that “synthetic down” are natural down which have been treated with additives. In fact, in the case of the matter of dispute, the material contained 100 % of high-bulk polyester hollow fibres and did not offer any of the essential characteristics of natural down deriving from waterfowl.
 
As we have been informed by the associations of manufacturers of down-and feather-filled bedding products, synthetic-filled products have not acquired the properties of down, so far. Therefore, in future the consumer can take it that only those products may be labelled as down that really deserve it, that is to say incomparable top-quality natural products.
 
For this reason the term “down“ combined with the term “synthetic“ is deceptive, since it suggests to the consumer that synthetic material is similar to down which is a product of nature.
Also in the future, the consumer can expect that only pure down which earn the reputation, that is to say the top-quality unique product of nature, may be labelled as down.
 
Further information at DOWNAPEDIA:
Füllung

Are synthetic filling fibres available which are similar to down?

A filling “similar to down” consisting of micro fibres based on Dacron polyester has been made available under the brand name “Suprelle Micro“.

A filling “similar to down” consisting of micro fibres based on Dacron polyester has been made available under the brand name “Suprelle Micro“.

 
The above-mentioned description shows that down is a filling material for bedding products which leads the way and is a measure for other materials.
Obviously, down fillings offer such an excellent sleeping comfort so that it is time and again tried to model the characteristic properties of down. The term “similar” implies that the product “is close” to the natural product down. The term “similar to wood” does not signify that it is real wood. And a reproduction of wood is no real wood either.
 
The manufacturer still must prove that his products really have properties which are comparable to down. Following the information obtained from the association of manufacturers of down-and-feather-filled bedding products, nobody has been able to prove it so far.

 


Further information at DOWNAPEDIA:
Federngewinnung

Would a boycott of down products have an effect on the supply?

 
Under the present circumstances, the effect on the quantities supplied would probably be neglectable. However, by challenging the origin of the material, the final consumer can achieve that he obtains more precise information on how the down and feathers were collected. 
 
 
Under the present circumstances, the effect on the quantities supplied would probably be neglectable. However, by challenging the origin of the material, the final consumer can achieve that he obtains more precise information on how the down and feathers were collected. 
 
Federn Füllung

Do chicken feathers also suit as filling material for duvets?

Down and feathers offer excellent insulating properties due to their capacity to “fluff up”. This property is also referred to as “fill power“ that is to say the capacity to unfold the largest possible volume again and again at the same time imbedding millions of insulating air pockets.
 
Goose and duck feathers have a curved elastic shaft, the so-called quill.
Down and feathers offer excellent insulating properties due to their capacity to “fluff up”. This property is also referred to as “fill power“ that is to say the capacity to unfold the largest possible volume again and again at the same time imbedding millions of insulating air pockets.
 
Goose and duck feathers have a curved elastic shaft, the so-called quill.
 

Chicken feathers, however, have a flat shape. The main part of the quill is flat, i.e. the firm shaft in the middle. They are not resilient enough to “fluff up“ again, for instance after having been compressed by the human body. Therefore, they are less suitable as filling material for pillows and duvets than the plumage of waterfowl.

In order to receive a good heat-insulating effect with chicken feathers, a relatively great amount of filling material is necessary – so the duvet is quite heavy and often regarded as a burden by the sleeper.

 

Further information at :

Federngewinnung

Is live-plucking forbidden?

 
Improper live-plucking is forbidden. The harvesting of feathers and down according to the rules from the live animal at the moment of moulting is not forbidden. The process has to conform to quite specific regulations, however. These regulations are laid down in a standard concerning the harvesting of feathers and down from the live animal and the keeping of geese for the purpose of plucking.
 
 
Improper live-plucking is forbidden. The harvesting of feathers and down according to the rules from the live animal at the moment of moulting is not forbidden. The process has to conform to quite specific regulations, however. These regulations are laid down in a standard concerning the harvesting of feathers and down from the live animal and the keeping of geese for the purpose of plucking.
 
Federngewinnung

Is there a difference between ”harvesting feathers and down from the live animal at the moment of moulting” and ”live-plucking”?

There is no difference on the level of technical terminology. The harvesting of feathers and down from the live animal at the moment of moulting, which should more accurately be called “gathering” or “collecting” feathers and down, is usually carried out according to certain rules at the moment of the change of feathers, the moulting season, when a new generation of feathers has matured and the old feathers will therefore be shed.
 
The moulting in birds is the system provided by nature to shed an old feather coat.
There is no difference on the level of technical terminology. The harvesting of feathers and down from the live animal at the moment of moulting, which should more accurately be called “gathering” or “collecting” feathers and down, is usually carried out according to certain rules at the moment of the change of feathers, the moulting season, when a new generation of feathers has matured and the old feathers will therefore be shed.
 
The moulting in birds is the system provided by nature to shed an old feather coat. The quill point is sticking very loosely in the feather follicle, because the nutrient supply of the feather has been interrupted due to hormonal reasons. This makes it possible to harvest the feathers from the live animal without inflicting any harm or hurting the goose or its skin. The technical literature on this topic has emphasized time and again that in general the sensitivity of poultry skin is much lower than the sensitivity of the skin of mammals.
 
Federngewinnung

Can the final consumer prevent geese from possible suffering by purchasing quilts filled with other filling material than down and feathers?

Everyone can buy the quilt as one pleases. However, if you decide not to purchase a down quilt, it will not have an effect on the down supply. Unavoidably, down is a by-product of the meat production. If poultrymeat continues to be most popular with the consumers, the down supply will remain unchanged. The remaining down would be thrown away and the demand and the prices of the resources for the production of other filling materials would probably increase.
 
Everyone can buy the quilt as one pleases. However, if you decide not to purchase a down quilt, it will not have an effect on the down supply. Unavoidably, down is a by-product of the meat production. If poultrymeat continues to be most popular with the consumers, the down supply will remain unchanged. The remaining down would be thrown away and the demand and the prices of the resources for the production of other filling materials would probably increase.