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What Feathers Come From An Ostrich?
Posted by Hannah on 1/17/2013 to In The News
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Learn more about ostrich feathers!

Ostriches are amazing creatures. They are considered birds, but are flightless, immense in size and run at speeds of up to 40 mph. Ranking as the largest bird on the planet, males can grow up to 9 feet tall and up to 400 pounds. Although, these flightless birds originated from Africa, they are adaptable to most climates. These amazing birds have four different types of feathers the male’s feathers vary in size and color from the female’s, however all of the feathers are considered desirable and are used from centerpieces to costume decorations. 

Male feathers, as most commonly found in nature, are the more stunning. These rooster or cock (male) feathers are mainly black with white feathered tips. They also have attractive tail feather displays. 

Other than being slightly smaller in size, the hen (female) can reach up to 350 pounds, has mostly grey and brown feathers. Females commonly blend with their surroundings as a natural camouflage. Both male and females have an average life expectancy of fifty to seventy-five years. 

There are four types of ostrich feathers that are sought after for crafting, decoration, costumes, and various other uses. Many ostriches are specifically raised for their beautiful flowing feathers. Among the different types of ostrich feathers are plume, drab, spad and nandu. Although, you could visit an ostrich farm to purchase their feathers you may also purchase feathers wholesale. 

Ostrich Plumes are among the most desired feathers from an ostrich. These feather sprays are collected from the wings. Plume feathers fall gently downward, creating feather-like waterfall cascades. Being slightly longer as well as thicker than feathers from the ostrich shoulder, plumes can reach up to 30 inches long. Plumes are often dyed colors for use in various items. Designers use these feathers mainly in creating feather dresses and as an accent to a hat. 

Photo Credit : Pinterest

Drab feathers can vary greatly in size. They are often less than 10 inches, but can grow as large as 22 inches long. Drab feathers are from the ostrich's shoulder. The strands of ostrich feathers are thin and short. Varying from other feather variations these are often stiff. Drab feathers are often dyed different colors and are commonly used for crafts and decorations. Even costumes sport colored ostrich drabs. 

A spad is a type of feather coming from the ostrich’s tail. These tail feathers are usually a min-length between a drab and plume, ranging from 18-28 inches. Drab feathers are considered the least attractive feathers collected from an ostrich. They usually require the most manipulation prior to their use to add to their attractiveness. 

The nandu is a variant of the spad feather. It is often used as a craft feather in decorating costume masks after being reshaped and dyed. 

There are various types of ostrich feathers to choose from. The different feathers have mainly decorative uses, although, they can even be used in feather dusters for household cleaning purposes. Recently these feathers have become desirable for use in feather hair extensions.

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