Harvesting Coq de Leon feathers

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Hans Weilenmann, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. On the heels of the recent thread on Coq de Leon feathers:

    Here are some images of the Coq de Leon feather plucking I witnessed during a visit to Leon in Spain some years back.

    The harvesting of these feathers traditionally is from live roosters, and can be repeated as and when the feathers have grown back.

    The feathers in question are situated between the 'shoulders' of the rooster, so they are neither cape nor saddle.

    The rooster is introduced to the people watching. Please note there is no sign of any panic. The bird is clear eyed, very alert, but also very calm and patient all through the process. This, more than anything else, impressed and surprised me.

    A start is made. Each pull removes three or four feathers.

    Reaching the end of the plucking operation. The bare patch is perhaps 2"x4".

    The spoils. The traditional commercial presentation is to make clusters of twelve feathers, tied or stapled together.

    Some olive oil is gently rubbed onto and into the skin, heading off irritation and possible risk of infection.

    A close-up of the oiled bare patch. Now the wait is for the feathers to regrow, and the next session.

    Hans W
  2. Hello Hans,
    Thanks for sharing those images! That's a fantastic traditional practice! Wonderful!

    BTW, I really enjoy your tying videos on the youtubes! Thank you!
  3. Thanks for posting that Hans.... that was very interesting.
  4. Thanks, Hans. You beat me to it, I was going to ask you to post those to the other thread. So, Hans, how come there are Coq de Leon Hen feathers? Shouldn't it be feathers from Gallina de Leon?
  5. Thanks Hans.
    We do tend to think of chickens as scatter brained hysterics but with frequent handling they calm considerably.

  6. Where do we find some quality Coq de Leon feathers like that? I would like to have some as some of the patterns I've seen lately call for them. I do want good quality though. Thank you in advance.

  7. Do the other chickens laugh at the ones with a bald spot? They need to join Feather Club for Roosters.
    FinLuver and Mark Mercer like this.
  8. I have always heard the pluck them rather than "harvest them " they are that thought of.
    thanks for confermining something I have been told a couple of times.

    I however have a cape?
    Its from Whiting
  9. Fascinating post Hans, thanks for sharing.

    I wonder for the rooster if it's the same as a wax job?
  10. Kelvin,

    Almost certainly you have a Whiting CdL hen neck. This is one of the 'steals' in present day flytying - it is very versatile. I use it for collars and beards on wet flies, for nymphs and even some small dries. The mottled shoulder feathers which also come with the neck are also superbly usable on a range of patterns.

    Hans W

  11. Hans

    It seems the photos in this pictorial have moved or been deleted from all the websites you posted it on. Would you mind re-connecting the photos with the text on this forum. It serves as a unique reference that needs preserving.

  12. Sorted

    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  13. Thanks


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