Suet is a great food to offer birds in the winter for several reasons.
What is Suet?
Suet is rendered beef or sheep fat that has the last shreds of bone, meat, and tendon removed as the fat is melted and strained. It is easy for birds to digest, and is often mixed with different types of birdseed, grain, dried insects, honey, nut hearts, bits of fruit, or peanut butter for extra flavoring and nutrition to attract different species of birds.
Why Feed Suet!
The problem is that other wildlife enjoy suet as well. Squirrels and Raccoons, in particular, love suet. One way to deter them from encroaching on the birds’ turf is to add some red pepper to the mix. Birds don’t mind the heat, but this heat discourages other wildlife.
Another reason to offer suet in the winter is that it attracts a large variety of birds. Birds require extra fat and calories to survive the cold weather, and other forms of food such as seeds and nuts are not readily available at that time.
Suet comes not only in cakes, but also in balls, nuggets, crumbles, and softer dough or butter spreads as well as whimsical shapes such as wreaths, hearts, and flowers.
It is important to keep suet fresh. It should never be offered to birds if it has begun to mold or go rancid. Freezing suet can help keep it fresh, and putting smaller chunks into feeders will help the birds eat all the available suet before it spoils. Suet can remain frozen for six months and still be perfectly suitable to feed birds, so be patient when offering the treat and let the birds discover it when they are comfortable visiting the feeders.
Suet is an amazing food that can attract a wide range of bird species to the yard, especially in the winter. Be sure to choose appetizing suet blended with a little heat to keep the squirrels away.
Stop by Braxton’s bird section to view our variety of feeders, seed, and suet. We also offer Sizzle N‘ Heat, a wild bird seed with hot pepper added to deter other animals.