Suet Bird Food Great Energy For Keeping Birds Warm And Active

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What’s The Scoop On Suet Bird Food?

A suet bird feeder with two small birds perched and eating from it. Suet Bird Food Provides High Energy For Wild Birds

Suet bird food is probably the most high energy wild bird food which can be offered to our feathered friends.

It supplies not only a full belly but fuel to carry their little bodies through a bitter, cold winter night.

Many food items can be added to make this almost perfect winter food even more nutritious, such as insects, fruit, nuts, cornmeal, oatmeal, and more.

What Is Suet & How Do You Make It?

You may be asking these questions if you have no previous experience with using suet for birds.

Suet is made using the fat that is found around the kidneys and loin of cattle or sheep.

Used straight from the animal the bird suet is flaky and well accepted by wild birds. But all bits of meat must be removed from the fresh suet or it will spoil.

There is one drawback to using it “as is” after the fresh meat is removed. It will go rancid quickly in warmer temperatures.

A red-bellied woodpecker eating from a suet feeder. Red-bellied Woodpecker Munching Suet

Beef fat is considered by some, to be a superior suet source along with lamb or mutton. Pork fat or lard, bacon drippings, and pork roast drippings are less desirable as good substitutes or additions to beef suet bird food. But pork can be used.

Wild birds don’t have the same sedentary lifestyle as we do, so unsaturated fats are not harmful to their rapid metabolism.

4 Tips On How to Keep Suet Fresh & Last Longer?

1.  Rendered Suet

Rendering beef fat makes it hard when it cools. It is then able to withstand warmer temperatures without becoming “sloppy”.

Rendered suet is the process by which beef fat is melted, strained and cooled.

This process helps the suet from turning rancid by killing microbes which cause bacterial growth.

This is also called tallow and used for other purposes too, such as candle making, leather lubricants, soap, etc.

The cracklings and bits that are strained out of the fat can be spread on a table or platform feeder for the birds to eat.

In the early 1900s, and earlier, the term “Bird stone” was used for hard beef suet that had been put through the rendering process.

Suet Feeders ~ My Top Picks

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red-breasted nuthatch at suet feederRed-breasted Nuthatch at Suet Feeder

2. Heat It 2X

Heating the fat twice, will further harden the suet and help solve the problem of it going soft and rancid in the summer heat.

3. Shade Plays A Useful Aid

It will also be very helpful to hang suet bird food in as much shade as possible, especially during the hottest part of the day.

4. Use Summer Suet

A wild bird store or birdseed supplier will offer summer suet for sale, which is another good option.

More on Summer Bird Feeding.

Heating Fat

It is important to point out that suet being a fat, if heated to high temperatures, could become flammable. Never use a lid on a pot when heating fat. When the lid is removed the hot fat being suddenly exposed to the oxygen will burst into flame.

One more word of caution, never try to douse a fat fire with water, as it will then cause the fat to explode. I’m sorry to be so cautionary, but if someone is not aware of this possibility, it could be very dangerous.

A friend of mine when I was growing up, was trying to help her Mom by cooking dinner before her Mom came home from work. She found out the hard way how hot fat, pot lids, and water work together to become a dangerous combination!

She heated the fat with the lid on. When she removed the lid the fat burst into flames. Then she quickly grabbed a glass of water and threw it on the flames. This caused an explosion. Fortunately, it all turned out OK. My friend only suffered minor burns!

Bon Appetite!

Learn More About Suet

  • Christmas Seed Feeders Christmas decorations for your yard that are sure to attract a following. All festive treats can be easily converted to accompany any celebration or holiday.
  • More Holiday Seed Feeders Interesting assortment of Holiday treats such as swags, wreaths, pine cone treats, and festive suet balls. They will be appreciated as much by you as the wild birds who will eat them.
  • What is “Unsuet-Suet”? Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Chickadees, and many more birds will love this mystery delicacy. The biggest problem you will have is keeping it out there in your yard and available as it will be eaten very fast.
  • About Suet Bird Feeders So many different ways to serve up suet bird food to wild birds. Keep it extremely simple or make it as challenging as you like or buy one. ? But for sure do it, you won’t be sorry.
  • Take the Suet Feeder Quiz Do you need “fattening up” with your knowledge about suet and the feeders that holds it? Discover your suet “smarts” while you enjoy this little quiz about a favorite wild bird food.

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