Almost every part of a chicken can be used, from boneless chicken parts to specially shaped nuggets.
Now, previously ignored chicken feathers may have a new use in today's world. Agricultural Research Service chemist Walter Schmidt developed a technique to turn chicken feathers into paper and strong, less dense composites for products such as car dashboards and boat exteriors.
The Environmental Quality Laboratory scientist also found feather fiber can replace some of the wood pulp used to make paper products such as air filters and decorative paper. Because chicken feather composite paper is made of 51 percent feather fiber and 49 percent wood pulp, only half as many trees are needed.
Because of its super fine size and shape, filtration may be the first commercial venue for processed chicken feathers. Most filters are made from wood pulp, but feather fiber has an advantage — it is finer than wood pulp. Wood pulp filters have a width of 10-20 microns, while feather fiber filters' thickness is 5 microns. Thus filters made with feather fiber will have smaller holes, resulting in more spores, dust and dander being removed from the air and trapped in the filter.