can birds eat cooked pork fat

Making the Fat Balls

It’s easy to prepare them: just combine one part fat with two parts dry food mix. Melt the fat in a pan, then pour it over the dry mixture in a tray or bowl. Mix them together to ensure that the fat is distributed evenly. Pour the mixture into the container you want to shape the block into before it hardens; one of the most common molds is an empty yogurt cup. Just remember to insert a loop of string into the container beforehand so you have something to hang it from when it’s full. Alternatively, simply form the mixture into balls around string. It’s ready to hang up to feed your feathered guests once it has completely cooled down and the fat has solidified.

Chicken and Bird Feeder Lard Cakes

  • 1 – 1. 5 lb pork fat. (You can also use coconut oil, suet, tallow, or lamb fat.) Anything that hardens up at room temperature once rendered. ) All of the rest of the measurements are approximations.
  • 3/4 cup/160 mL unsalted pumpkin seeds. You can used roasted or not, just NO SALT! .
  • 1/2 cup millet seed. I bought this at my parent’s farm store as wild bird feed.
  • Dried mealworms, about 1/4 cup or 60 mL, can be purchased at any farm supply store. Or on Amazon).
  • Approximately 1/4 cup (60 mL) of Hentastic Chicken Treats or additional chicken treats This particular one was pellets of fat, mealworm, and oregano.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.

Render your fat in the same manner as I mentioned in a previous recipe for leaf lard. (I kept very little aside for other uses, such as drizzling over mashed potatoes, as one respondent to the leaf lard recipe recommended.) ).

Transfer approximately one cup (240 mL) of the rendered pork fat into an appropriate bowl, let it cool slightly, and then mix in the remaining ingredients. Those ingredients don’t need to be “cooked,” but a little warmness is acceptable. At this point, you can see the liquid turning whiter (less liquid).

Alternatively, purchase ONE pre-made suet feed block and one or two of those “cages” to hold the feed blocks if you intend to hang your eventually-solidified feed so that your poultry (or wild birds) can eat it. I hung mine outside my dining window for what turned out to be squirrels, but it was supposed to be for the wild birds to feast upon and for me to watch as they enjoyed. Hang one up for your wild birds and use the commercial block. At least red squirrels are less common and therefore more welcome; discouraging squirrels will be covered in another post later.

Now, the goal of this exercise is to fit your poultry snack into the wire hanging cage by locating the plastic “mold” that previously contained the commercial suet food. Since I doubt they make these things free of bisphenol A, you’ll want to make sure the fat you are adding to it is even more cool in this situation. Very white but still mush-able.

Mix the ingredients gently while the fat solidifies (the pumpkin seeds tend to sink, while the mealworms float). The fat will eventually turn opaque, improving the effectiveness of your mixing. Once more, you can use almost any dry ingredient that you have on hand that is appropriate to feed hens.

When reasonably mixed, place in the fridge for ten minutes…

Take the cake out of the refrigerator and, if desired, gently press additional seeds of any kind onto the top of it. I did this because I thought my birds needed more protein than the cake already contained. Return to fridge until needed. If not, simply store it in the refrigerator if everything appears to be well combined.

When feeding, assume approximately a teaspoon per bird. One small bowl will do if you have a small flock of chickens (I have 12), but if you have a larger flock, consider setting up three or four feeding stations so the Hog Chicken doesn’t get all the food. Or hang that thing as it was described a few paragraphs up in the making.

(10 chickens: 10 teaspoons, 50 mL, or 0.2 cups.)

Although they are wholesome treats, a small amount will suffice; DO NOT feed this on a daily basis. Once a week is fine. Store in fridge; this will last a month or two.

You can place bird feeders for wild birds, and they will come from yard to yard to feed themselves. If you live in bear country, like I do, wait until after the bears have hibernated before setting up feeders. Although the back fat I’m using will be a little too liquidy or soft to hang up in the summer heat, I have the chicken setup in their enclosed run. (In this scenario, I want to put out little bowls for them to eat from when the weather gets warmer.) ).

To utilize the commercial form, take out a bowl where the lard and everything has solidified. Then, gently preheat the bowl by heating a pan of water to a gentle simmer, being careful not to let the water overflow the bowl when you place it in the water. Take off the cooktop, let everything soften just a bit, and then put it back in the plastic container the prepackaged food was originally in.

Freeze. Using a table knife, the frozen treat should come out of the plastic form with ease. You can reuse the form for the next round of treats.

can birds eat cooked pork fat

I did some research, lamb fat will melt at a higher temperature than pork lard. I’ve just rendered lamb fat from a local farm, and since winter is nearly here, I am going to freeze and reserve most of this for early spring when (presumably) temperatures will be warmer outdoors in the chicken run. While future feedings of my wild birds (ahem, squirrels) will be using my homemade material), most will be reserved for my poultry.

And meanwhile, take a gander (ahem) over to Fiesta Friday, where this week’s co-hosts are: Alex @ Turks Who Eat and Zeba @ Food For The Soul. Loads of fun and all, but alas probably most with food for the humans in your life.

Or, explore a variety of homesteading ideas over at the Homestead Blog Hop.

can birds eat cooked pork fat


Is cooked pork fat OK for birds?

Fats used for Cooking– After roasting a nice slab of pork belly, it can be tempting to use the rendered down pork fat for bird food, but this is not advisable, as the juices that get added to it during roasting can clog up their feathers, and also make it far too salty.

Is cooked fat OK for birds?

Please don’t put out any fat left in the roasting tin after cooking the Christmas turkey or Boxing Day beef – cooled solidified fat, combined with meat juices, can easily smear onto a bird’s feathers and interfere with their waterproofing and insulation.

Can birds eat pork fat in the winter?

The fact is fats can get on birds’ feathers and harm their ability to stay dry and warm. This lack of weatherproofing and impairment in insulation is deadly in the winter, but also the summer.

Can you use pork fat for bird suet?

Ingredients: Pork Lard or Beef/Lamb Tallow. Mixed Bird Seed. [Optional] Peanut Butter – we suggest all natural, no added sugar or palm oil.