Do Wild Garden Birds Like Lard & Is It Good For Them?

Shaun Bird | Updated: May 4, 2020

Lard is a controversial food for humans due to its high saturated fat levels, but is it the same for birds, can birds eat lard? The quick answer is yes, birds can eat lard.

In fact, it is often a large part of bird feeding products in stores in the form of fat balls.  Read on to find out how you can best feed lard to your garden birds.

raw lard with knife

 

Why you should feed birds lard

Lards can be healthy for garden birds to eat. Birds are very active and use up a lot of energy moving around and so need lots of calories. Lard is very high in fat and calories which makes it a great way to make sure your garden birds are well fed.

Birds have very different metabolisms than humans due to their high activity levels and need saturated fat in their diet much more than humans do.

In fact, lard and suet (made from beef fat) are the only types of fat you should feed birds as they are unrefined and free from many chemicals.

Of course, many birds will not just eat a big ball of fat, so you can dress it up with seeds to make it more appealing and help your birds along.

We have a great recipe later in the article your bird will love.

When birds should not eat lard

Be careful when feeding your birds lard that is it free from animal waste products that can harm them.

Although birds might eat anything you put out for them, they cannot digest cooked animal products and this can cause them a lot of distress and harm.

This also includes dairy products as birds are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot digest it. Mixing any of these things with lard as bird food is harmful and should not be done.

Meat products like juices can be especially dangerous to birds as they encouraged diseases to spread and can damage a bird’s wings, making it hard to fly and survive for a number of reasons.

These fats can stop feathers being waterproof, which is especially bad in the cold winter. Make sure you dispose of kitchen waste properly to keep your birds healthy and happy.

Lard can be healthy for birds in winter when food is hard to find but is not necessary for the summer when food is easier to find.

Keep an eye on your garden birds to see if any are getting too heavy!

Being overweight is very bad for a bird’s health just as it is for humans.

Can birds eat all fats?

Although lard and suet are good for birds, not all fats are. You should not feed birds with vegetable fats like margarine.

These polyunsaturated fats are harder for the birds to use as energy.

Stick to lard and suet to give your birds the best fatty calorie boost they need.

Making bird feed with lard

If you want to feed your birds with lard the best way is to make a fat ball to put outside for them.

To do this, melt lard or suet in a saucepan and add bird feed to it, one part fat to two parts bird feed. Let it cool and shape it into a ball. That’s it!

Fat balls are a great way to keep your bird friends well-fed, especially in the cold winter where food is scarce.

Birds and Lard

In summary, most garden birds can eat lard as part of a healthy diet.

Adding lard based food to their regular bird feed can be a great way to sustain the birds in your garden over the winter when they need additional calories.

Be sure not to feed your birds animal food waste or dairy as they cannot digest them properly, no matter how eager they are to eat it up.

Lard can be a great source of food for your garden birds, so buy or make some fat balls today and you will have some very happy birds.