Does suet go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does suet go bad?”, how long does packaged bird suet last, what are the types of suets and suet feeders, and what are the common problems of suet feeding.

Does suet go bad?

Yes, suet goes bad because it cannot withstand high temperatures. Position the suet feeders somewhere cool and shady so that the suet is protected from the sunlight or heat. 

Do not feed suet more than the birds can finish in 1-2 days. Because the leftovers can become contaminated and spoil the fresh suet.

If the temperature reaches above 45 degrees even in the shaded area, purchase “No melt” or “Summer” suet that does not melt under temperature stress.

If nothing works, you can place a tray below the suet feeder to catch the drips of the melted suet. Look for bird feeders that come with built-in trays online.

How long does packaged bird suet last? 

The shelf-life of the suet varies with the suet type and the storage conditions. Packaged suet, stored in the freezer, lasts at least 6 months to about 1 year. This applies only if the suet is placed in an air-tight container, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic sheet.

What are the types of suets? 

Suets come in different shapes, sizes and blends. Cakes, balls, and plugs are the most common while crumbles, shreds, and shavings are also preferred. Suet shapes such as wreaths, hearts, and bells are considered unique.

The composition, manufacturing, and purity of the suet affect its density, firmness, and texture. External factors like the climate, weather and the environment also have a part to play in the quality of suets.

If the suet market does not cater to your needs, you can make customized suets with the blends favored by both the birds and the environment.

What are suet feeders?

The feeding preferences of the birds can be entertained by using different types of suet feeders. Some of the best and common types of suet feeders are discussed below.

Suet cages 

These sturdy suet feeders are well-renowned and made up of coated wire that gives them strength. These easy-to-clean suet feeders do well on their own but you can attach them to hopper feeders to hold the seeds.

Suet cages are liked mostly by woodpeckers as tail props or other clinging birds. The suet cages come with covers that provide protection. 

Suet logs 

Suet logs are made from simple logs but with holes in them. The suet logs are perfect for feeding suet plugs that are dumped in the log holes to which the bird can attach easily.

If you can measure the diameter of the set plugs, you can make suet logs at home using a spade drill. Log feeders have natural wood or bark that keeps the set dry and also facilitates the birds in clinging to it.

Mesh bags 

Mesh bags as suet feeders are a great way to recycle those onion bags. You can fill the bag with Balls, chunks, or cakes of suet without needing any specific feeder. 

Mesh bags as suet feeders are best suited for small clinging birds such as nuthatches, tits, and chickadees. It is not suitable for larger woodpeckers or suet-loving birds.

Open trays 

Fill a tray or a similar dish with small suet chunks, suet cake, pellets, or crumbles for the tray feeders. If you divide the suet into smaller pieces, it attracts the smaller birds as well. Open tray suet feeders are a great way to introduce suet to birds.

What are the most common problems with feeding suets?

Suets are a great way to fulfill the nutritional requirements of birds but they need to be fed properly. Here are some common problems you can encounter while feeding suets to birds.

Melting 

Suet is rendered fat that tends to melt when exposed to high temperatures. Therefore, you must always offer the suet to birds in a shady area or only during the cooler months. 

If you want to feed the suets throughout the year, get your hands on the no-melt suet blends that can tolerate high temperatures. Proper placing and offering of the regular suet can prevent it from melting. 

Bully birds 

Other than your backyard birds, suet is liked by other birds such as  European starlings and red-winged blackbirds. These bully birds can finish the suet before the backyard birds get a chance at it.

To keep the bullies away, use upside-down suet feeders or the ones that come with exterior cages that only allow the smaller birds to enter and access the suet.

Rodents and other pests 

Suet is a favorite food of the bird feeder pests such as mice, rats, raccoons, squirrels, etc. Even the bears like suet. To deter the pests, only offer as much food at once that the birds can finish in 1-2 days. 

The goal is to minimize the leftovers to which the pests are attracted. Moreover, you can remove the suet feeders from the backyard at night and install them back again in the morning. This will prevent the pests from feeding at night.

Spoiling 

Suet is fat and it can go rancid or bad when exposed to high heat or direct sunlight. One way to prevent it is to always offer the suet in a cool area. Keep the rest of the suet, tightly packed, in the fridge or a freezer. Lastly, refrain from overfeeding your birds as the leftovers can trigger spoilage.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Does suet go bad?”, how long does packaged bird suet last, what are the types of suets and suet feeders, and what are the common problems of suet feeding.

References 

https://www.thespruce.com/offering-suet-to-backyard-birds-386544#:~:text=Suet%20can%20spoil%20in%20high,in%20a%20day%20or%20two

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