Fly-fishing shops across America are fending off an unlikely horde: a swarm of women and hairstylists who head straight for long, skinny rooster feathers (known as “hackles”) that fishermen use as lures. Desperate to emulate clip-in feather extensions made popular by Ke$ha and Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler, these so-called “feather ladies” are creating mass hackle shortages nationwide.

Steven Tyler


Because it takes several years to breed and raise the roosters for their feathers, outdoorsmen and tackle-shop owners are flying into a tizzy. Either way, the fowls typically don’t survive the plucking.

Fowl news: The roosters typically don’t survive the feather-plucking.

At Whiting Farms in Colorado, one of the world’s largest producers of fly-tying feathers, it takes a year for their roosters to grow out their plumes. Then, the bird is euthanized. Although the farm is harvesting about 1,500 roosters per week for their quills, it’s still far from meeting demand. With poultry dying not for food but for sport and vanity, it’s about time somebody squawked about this fowl play.

[Via The Seattle Times]