Our garden birds get peanuts, mixed seed and fat balls prepared for birds and sometimes those square slabs of fat mixed with fruit or mealworms. Very occasionally they get leftover cake or muffins which are usually fruit based so not salty but they don't get bread. We don't eat much of it ourselves and any that is left gets blitzed for crumbs for freezing and cooking later.
I've seen peanut butter for birds on sale but never bought it as I reckon there's enough choice on offer in my garden including seed heads and insects and so on.
Mine get the odd crust of bread if there's some left but the maggies and jays whip it away quickly and I think they can cope. There's no salt involved. I don't like salty bread and I make my own. In a breadmaker, the idle way.
And jolly good it is too
Thank you Dove.
Should it be lard or beef suet in homemade fatballs? I am not sure about the difference as I use neither in cooking.
I think that beef suet is best because it sets harder, but lard (pork fat) is also acceptable.
Not a good idea to use poultry fat or oils.
I don't think it matters if you use pure vegetable oils such as peanut, sunflower, rapeseed etc - after all, birds eat sunflower seeds & peanuts!
Oils don't set hard unless it's very cold. But maybe that doesn't matter. they don't have to be suspended in a container with holes.
I don't know lard from suet either, they don't sound like food for any of the birds on my feeders.
I can tell olive oil from pnut oil though
Oils are no good for making fatballs 'cos they don't set Vegetable oils are not what birds need - they need saturated fat to provide the high level of energy to keep them warm.
The RSPB website says "
Fat from cooking is bad for birds. The problem with cooked fat from roasting tins and dishes is that the meat juices have blended with the fat and when allowed to set, this consistency makes it prone to smearing, not good for birds' feathers. It is a breeding ground for bacteria, so potentially bad for birds' health. Salt levels depend on what meat is used and if any salt is added during cooking.
Lard and beef suet on their own are fine as they re-solidify after warming and as they are pure fat, it is not as suitable for bacteria to breed on.
These are unsuitable for birds. Unlike humans, birds need high levels of saturated fat, such as raw suet and lard. They need the high energy content to keep warm in the worst of the winter weather, since their body reserves are quickly used up, particularly on cold winter nights. The soft fats can easily be smeared onto the feathers, destroying the waterproofing and insulating qualities."
Where do they get the saturated fat from naturally Dove?
Apart from the raptors and carrion eaters