Will Birds Eat Bacon Grease? What the Experts Say

As a bird lover and bacon fan you may be wondering if birds can safely consume bacon grease. It’s a reasonable question since bird feeders are often filled with suet, a form of animal fat that provides needed calories. So will backyard birds happily eat rendered bacon fat too?

According to avian experts, bacon drippings are not recommended for bird feeders or suet Here’s what ornithologists and wildlife rehabilitators advise about offering bacon grease to feathered visitors

Potential Health Risks

The main concern with bacon grease is the high sodium content and chemical preservatives used to cure commercial bacon. Avian veterinarian Dr. Scott Ford explains, “Bacon grease is incredibly high in salt compared to unprocessed pork fat The concentrated sodium can cause kidney problems in birds”

Many bacons also contain nitrates and nitrites to preserve freshness and add color. While considered safe for humans in small doses, these compounds may be carcinogenic and toxic for birds over time.

So although birds may enjoy the taste of bacon fat at first, the high sodium and potential other additives make it an unhealthy choice that poses risks to their health and survival.

Better Suet Alternatives Exist

While bacon drippings should be avoided, birds can safely consume other animal-derived fats. Ornithologist Kenn Kaufman confirms, “Lard and tallow are healthy alternatives to bacon grease. Pure beef suet is best for nutritionally balanced bird suet.”

Other healthy fats like non-salted peanut butter, palm oil, and coconut oil can be combined with birdseed, oats, dried fruit and nut pieces to create suet cakes that provide energy without additives.

Offering any of these natural suet options is safer than bacon drippings for backyard birds. Kaufman notes commercial suet cakes are convenient and avoid these concerns.

Some Bird Species Are More Sensitive

All birds are vulnerable to high sodium levels, but waterfowl appear especially sensitive. Wildlife rehabilitator Laura Simon says, “We never give any poultry or waterfowl foods with added salt.”

Ducks, geese, and swans lack salt glands to excrete excess sodium through their nostrils like marine birds. So bacon grease poses an acute poisoning risk for these species.

Backyard ducks, doves, quail and chickens should never be offered bacon fat, even in small amounts. Stick to certified birdseed and grains free of preservatives.

Look for Signs of Distress

If grease with a high sodium content was accidentally consumed, be alert for symptoms of salt toxicity in birds, including:

  • Lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite
  • Extreme thirst followed by decreased drinking
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Head tremors, seizures

Birds displaying any of these signs require quick veterinary treatment to recover. Provide fresh water while keeping the bird warm and contained until able to get to an avian vet facility.

The Verdict: Avoid Bacon Grease for Birds

While the smoky smell of bacon fat may seem tempting as a suet substitute, ornithology experts agree it should be kept far away from bird feeders. The seasoned grease poses substantial health hazards to all species of birds.

Lard, tallow, and nut- or seed-based suet cakes make healthier and safer alternatives for our feathered friends. When it comes to birdfeed, it’s best to say no to bacon!



How to feed bacon grease to birds?

So I poured the bacon fat into a bowl, and when it had cooled I added some bird seed. F mixed it all around, then we poured it into some small bowls that I had lined with cling wrap (for easy removal). I put them into the fridge to solidify, poking both ends of a pipe cleaner into the fat once it had started to harden.

Do birds eat uncooked bacon fat?

Many raw vegetables are indigestible to birds, but peas and sweetcorn are fine, and so is leftover mashed potato! Raw meat is also indigestible, but unsalted bacon, rinds and fat are an excellent source of protein for insect-eaters. You can also offer beef fat and marrow bones.

Can you make bird suet from bacon fat?

All Beef and Pork FAT is not suet! True suet is the fat around the loin of a cow. It is very dry and hard, thus it crumbles when you handle it. Bacon grease, drippings from beef cooking, fats off steaks or from under the skin, or what is left-over from cooking is not suet – not even close.

Can birds eat meat grease?

Birds will eat the fat of cattle, hogs and other animals. However, the fatty food most commonly fed backyard birds is beef fat also known as suet. The very best suet is found around the kidneys and loins of cattle. When rendered, this fat won’t become rancid or melt in warm weather as quickly as other fats.

Can birds eat bacon grease?

Kenn and Kimberly: We know it seems as if bacon grease should be OK, since it’s animal fat just like beef suet. But the preservatives in bacon contain carcinogenic compounds that are harmful to birds. When it comes to bread, it’s sort of like junk food for birds—it offers very little nutritional value for them.

Can you use bacon grease in bird suet?

Another potential risk of using bacon grease in bird suet is the high salt content. Commercial bacon often contains unhealthy amounts of salt and preservatives, which can be dangerous for birds if ingested in large amounts. This can lead to dehydration and other health problems.

Can birds eat bacon drippings?

While lard is a safe alternative to rendered suet, avoid using bacon drippings. The chemical preservatives in commercial bacon become more concentrated once cooked. While this doesn’t pose a health threat to humans, it can be harmful to birds. Bread and table scraps should be avoided, too. What can birds eat from the kitchen?

Is Bacon bad for birds?

But the chemical preservatives in commercial bacon contain carcinogenic compounds that are harmful to birds. These preservatives become more concentrated once cooked. While this doesn’t pose a health threat to humans, it can be harmful to birds. ” To make suet, get high-quality beef fat straight from the butcher, before it gets processed.

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