All this demand leaves a shortage of feathers because there are only a handful of feather producers in the country. It takes a much longer time (& more money) to raise / breed a bird for feathers than it does for meat. The fear is, of course, that this new & sudden demand will not only limit supply but drive prices up as well. Even industry insiders can't get the feathers they need right now.
This story is gaining attention in the media. ABC News recently covered it in a short piece. Of course others closer to the fly fishing business have been covering it as well, such as The Billings Gazette. As this story gains attention, so will the fashion fad, & in turn so will the demand for feathers.
One person who has been warning us all from the beginning of this trend is master fly tier Joe Gablick. Joe is a professional fly tier with decades of experience. He (with his wife Amy) run The Contented Angler fly shop. According to Joe, if you're after some feathers & see what you want but aren't sure about buying them - buy them. If you have the feathers you need, don't waste a hackle!!!
So, basically as I understand it, because some celebrity on one of those 'American Idol' shows (or some other show I've never heard of) decided to put chicken feathers in their hair & prance around for all to see, you might not be able to tie up any of the dry flies you need. Great. Well, like all fads & celebrities, this will hopefully pass quickly & we can go back to buying feathers like we used to. Still, I fear this trend may get worse before it gets better.