Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Christmas cooking fat can be fatal for birds
Only pure fats like lard are suitable for birds to consume.

RSPB reminds public which fats are beneficial 

With Christmas fast approaching, the RSPB is reminding people not to put out cooking fat from their roast dinners for garden birds, as it can be damaging to their health and well-being.

As natural food sources and insects are harder to find in the winter months, leaving out leftover Christmas cake or mince pie crumbs is a great way to provide a high-energy food source for birds. But overly salty foods and cooked turkey fat can be dangerous.

RSPB wildlife advisor Katie Nethercoat says: “Many people wrongly believe that leaving cooked turkey fat outside is beneficial for birds, but in fact it can have disastrous effects… Only pure fats such as lard and suet should be used to make homemade fat balls which will give birds the energy and nutrients to survive the cold winter months.”

The consistency of cooled fat mixed with roasted meat juices is prone to smearing, and would interfere greatly with waterproofing and insulation if it were to spread over a bird’s feathers. If the fat is kept in a warm kitchen before being put outside it can turn rancid, which facilitates the growth of food poisoning bacteria such as salmonella. This can be fatal to birds in the same way it is to people.

If nature lovers would like to make a bird friendly Christmas cake, the RSPB suggests mixing bird seed, nuts and raisins together with lard, squashing it in and around a pinecone, then hanging it from a suitable tree with string. Leaving treats like this out will encourage birds such as robins, wrens and redwings to visit your garden during winter.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020

News Story 1
 UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Restriction zone lifted at Suffolk chicken farm

A one-kilometre restriction zone around a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk has been lifted, following the completion of surveillance testing for avian influenza H5N3 with negative results.

Some 27,000 birds on the premises were culled after a veterinary surgeon identified the disease while investigating a fall in egg production. Poultry keepers are urged to take action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following government advice on biosecurity.