A novel chicken feather protein-g-poly (potassium acrylate)/polyvinyl alcohol (CFP-g-PKA/PVA) semi-IPNs superabsorbent resin (SAR) based on feather protein, acrylic acid (AA), and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was synthesized by graft copolymerization and semi-interpenetrating technology. The results from FTIR, SEM, and TGA analysis showed that both CFP and PVA reacted with PKA during the polymerization process. The effects of AA, PVA, initiator and crosslinker content on water absorbency of semi-IPNs SAR were studied. The swelling behavior in various pHs and saline solutions were also investigated. The water absorbency of SAR reached the maximum at pH = 6. The effect of the five cations on swelling had the following order: Al3+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ > Na+. The highest water absorbency in distilled water and 0.9 wt % NaCl solutions were 714.22 and 70.08 g g−1, respectively. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39748.