Now, we can select the best feathers for crafts and for our favorite fly fisherman and we can keep down for stuffing..
Well, the big huge tail feathers make pretties in many ways in the house, so do save them, now what..
So this can be done in a few ways.. you can take all your smaller feathers and dig them into your worm compost bins and let them do their thing.. they will do a good job on them..
You can throw them into your maggot buckets and let them eat all the bits on them and they will eat some of it, what is left which will be feather and hay bits can them be dumped into the longer term compost piles, something you are doing with any wood chips and so forth.. Its not going to be ready in a year, its a two or three year compost pile
You can mix them into the mix for a garden compost pit under ground, they will compost out, this is just a different way to use the worms and the smell that goes with them.
But lets get to one of my favorite ways to do this.. and can I be clear.. this is a stinky deal.. they smell while they decompose.. bla.. plug your nose when you are stirring it and expect to gag, or at least I do..
throw in some really active shovels of compost into a bucket or a big old drum, put your smaller, and medium feathers (no skin or bits ideally) and add water.. fill it 3/4th full, put a plastic or wooden lid cut to fit over it but floating on top.. with a handle even if its just a nail put in to grab and put a weight over it so that it will just slightly hold it down, I use a rock and let that sucker, rot.. stir it weekly for the first three to six weeks to make sure your feathers and the sink at the bottom gets well mixed, I use a big old tree stick to do this..
It needs six to eight weeks at a min, but longer is fine.. I use it end of july or early aug as a liquid fertilizer.. I mix it 20 to 1, so a single bucket makes a lot of tea.
I make a lot more Nettle and comfrey tea then I do any other kind but they all have their own uses and feather have their place, be it in the compost or be it in the fermented, rotted side..