Useful Thing

By Thomas Hellmann

I guess all of us who cannot clean out their lofts on a daily basis know of the feather piles during the molt in the corners of our loft. When the birds fly, these feathers fly around in the loft, they get into the fountains and so on. You surely know what I am talking about. Recently I paid a visit to a friend of mine and noticed wooden boxes in the corners of his lofts which were not absolutely closed but had a gap on the front, so that there was some space between the loft floor and the front wall of this wooden box. At first, I thought these boxes were made to keep the pigeons away from a possible mouse bait under them but after my friend told me that he had no problems with mice in his loft, I asked him about these wooden boxes. "Quite simple", he told me, "they are full of feathers" and to prove it he lifted one of those boxes and it was indeed full with feathers. Well, the reason for this is quite simple: this box uses an effect of physics caused by our birds flying around in the loft. Through the gap on the front side of this box, feathers get inside the box, because of a draft effect caused by flying pigeons. Once the feathers are inside the box, they cannot be brought to movement again by drafts caused by the air streams of flying birds because the feathers are kept inside this wooden box. One thing is sure: before the next molt starts, my lofts are also equipped with this "feather trap".

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