As a common source of energy, which birds value more in the winter, it is imperative that we provide this essential wild bird food to the birds in our backyards.
The ingredients in suet are generally similar to what birds consume in the wild, which is why they enjoy it so much. While most of the suet cake or fat ball consists of beef fat, which the birds eat. Seeds, peanuts, fruits, and other items make up the bulk of a bird’s diet. This provides the necessary energy boost for birds throughout the colder months.
Even if certain species of birds prefer other types of bird food, suet may be placed out all year long and will still attract a variety of different species.
In the summer, suet won’t stay more than a week outside, but in the winter, it will keep for a couple of weeks, which is convenient because it’s necessary to feed birds suet during the winter.
Wild birds spend much of the day foraging, thus eating suet helps them replenish the fat they burn.
Earthworms, a staple of their natural diet, may be harder to come by in the winter since the ground may be frozen or covered in snow, making them less abundant than they were in the summer.
Since birds lack taste senses, the fact that suet is easily available in our yards makes it a popular feeding choice among backyard avians.
Although suet cakes and fat balls are safe for birds to eat, there is still a risk of suffocation if the suet is of low quality and the birds unintentionally ingest it.
Also, keep in mind that homemade suet is softer and more likely to melt in the sun. Also, homemade suet has a shorter shelf life than store-bought suet.
Until you can perfect a wild bird suet recipe at home, it’s best to stock up on store-bought quality suet cakes for birds.
Suet easily ingested
Feeding common backyard birds suet is a good idea because it is readily digestible and may be eaten by a wide variety of bird species.
Wild birds come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes; some can easily crack open a nut or seed to get at the meat within, while others can only eat softer foods like suet.
Suet is preferred by birds because it is easily accessible, unlike the bird seed and peanuts that can only be hung in so many places on a bird feeder.
Because suet cakes and fat balls are so simple to digest, we need not worry about restricting the bird population in our yards.
Because of this, it should come as no surprise that the wild birds in your yard will consume the suet you’ve put out for them. However, suet will last far longer than peanuts or bird food.
Even if suet isn’t the easiest thing for our birds to digest, they’ll benefit much from even a small amount because it provides them with a sustained energy source.
Fatty source of energy
Because beef fat (which can make up as much as 90 percent of any suet we put out) is the primary component of any suet we put out in our yards, it can be converted into a usable energy source.
Consuming tiny amounts of pure beef fat has been shown to have health benefits. In addition, birds eat suet to increase their energy levels, which in turn extends the time they can spend foraging.
Despite the fact that birds may consume large quantities of fat from suet, I doubt that this is the beef fat they are actually seeking out.
Birds don’t actually eat the fatty suet; rather, they devour the other components of the suet cakes or fat balls.
In addition to providing energy, the beef fat suet bound with seeds, dried mealworms, fruits, or peanuts provides the birds with vitamins and protein as part of their diet.
Put out suet pellets or keep a supply of suet handy so that you can serve the food to birds in the wild as well as at your feeders.
Feed birds suet in winter
Birds eat suet because it provides a concentrated amount of energy that can’t be found in other foods, and it can be easily dispensed in your backyard in the form of a suet cake or fat ball.
Even though wild birds will appreciate a steady supply of suet all year round, it is essential that this food source have top billing in the winter.
In the winter, when temperatures drop and the weather gets harsh, it might be more challenging to find edible wild plants and animals. Thus, birds will use more energy to guarantee a sufficient intake of energy food in the form of protein-rich insects.
Make sure the suet is still edible by wild birds by feeding it to them in the dead of winter, when the temperature is at its lowest and snow is covering your state.
There isn’t much of a chance of suet freezing solid even in sub-zero temperatures, so keeping it in the fridge can help it last longer than in the sun.
As there is less available wild bird food in the winter, birds need to eat more suet to make up for the energy they use during foraging.
Birds have favorite suet flavors
Suet cakes and fat balls hung in a cage attract birds not just because they are high in fat, but because of the suet itself.
Beef fat is melted in a skillet and then allowed to cool before being combined with other essential wild bird food ingredients to form suet cakes, fat balls, suet pellets, or suet nuggets, depending on the shape of the finished product.
You can expect oats or wheat to be used to retain the suet shape in addition to the normal seed mixes, peanuts, fruits, or dried mealworms put to the suet to produce the mold.
All of these components are completely safe for free-flying birds, and they all contribute significantly to their nutritional well-being.
All of the birds in the yard will enjoy the suet cakes you purchase, even though they include a variety of different foods.
If you put fruit in a suet cake, only birds who eat fruit will consume the cake, and they will eat the fruit first.
Feeder type open to many
This could be because suet is more readily available to the wild birds that we feed in our backyards, which may explain why birds like to eat it so frequently.
While many common songbirds cannot successfully feed at a bird feeder, it is nevertheless possible to observe them attempting to do so at a suet feeder, which is more open and hence more likely to attract them.
In contrast to enclosed seed or peanut feeders, which may only be used by more seasoned birds, suet cake bird feeders allow even more species, such as the common American Robin and the Bluebird, to benefit from the food.
Suet cake and fat ball bird feeders, while not open to all birds, can attract both common and uncommon species.
If the birds in your area need a pick-me-up, try putting out a suet cake bird feeder instead of a transparent tube bird feeder filled with seeds.
Even if you don’t use a suet-specific bird feeder, you can still help the birds out by keeping some suet (even cheap suet pellets will do) out in the open where it can be reached by any bird that wants to eat it, whether they can access it via a feeder or not.
Most birds can easily digest suet in cake, fat ball, or pellet form, which is why these forms are popular with bird feeders.
Not all birds can easily crack the shell of a peanut or seed; those that can’t need to be fed the nut or seed without the hard shell.
It’s very similar to suet in its many guises; like suet, it starts off feeling quite firm but eventually softens to the touch. That’s why handmade suet is so much softer than store-bought suet.
Birds eat suet for its nutritional value, so this isn’t the primary reason they do so.
Beef fat is the primary component of every variety of suet, along with a few other essentials and some fillers to help the suet hold its shape.
Seeds, peanuts, dried mealworms (occasionally genuine earthworms are used), and fruits make up the bulk of suet, which attracts birds.
No matter what kind of bird pecks into the suet, it will get its fill of whatever nutrients it needs for its diet, plus a nice helping of beef fat.
Of course, much fat is bad for you, but birds need it for energy.