How Long Does Bird Suet Last? Can Suet Go Bad?

Wondering, How Long Packaged Bird Suet Last? Bird Suet or Suet Cakes are nutritional supplements used in bird feeders for wild birds. In technical terms, Bird Suet is the hard fat around the kidneys and loins of mutton and beef.

Suet is a safe product for feeding birds, and a lot of bird enthusiasts, therefore, stock it at home. But people often question, ‘For how long can I keep Bird Suet’? Come, let’s shed some light on it.

Can Suet go bad? Does the bird suet expire?

Yes, since Suet can’t withstand high temperatures, it can easily go bad. Suet has a really bad melting point and if it goes beyond 45 degrees Celsius, it will become smelly and rancid.

Suet is an excellent source of high-calorie energy for birds; however, spoiled ones can deter their health poorly.

To ensure your suet doesn’t spoil, store it in a shaded, cool area. The birds will eat as little as possible if you only offer them as much as they can eat each day.

How long does packaged bird suet last? 

Suet, if stored inside a refrigerator/ controlled environment, can last for up to 5 days.

However, fresh and frozen Suet in portioned pouches or sealed containers can last for up to 6 months inside the refrigerator.

Some Suet, including Pine Tree Farms Woodpecker Suet, comes with 3-year long shelf life inside the refrigerator. 

The longevity of packaged bird suet depends upon several factors, including,

  • Manufacturing, Processing, and Packaging
  • Or whether the user has stored the Suet rightfully or not.

4 ways: How To Tell If Suet Has Gone Bad? 

Suet can easily go bad, and therefore it is important to store it in a cool and dry place. When kept inside a dry and sealed packet in a temperature-controlled environment, it would go easy for up to 6 months. However, with careless storage, it can go bad within no time. 

Here are some of the symptoms that indicate if the Suet has gone bad:

Unpleasant Smell:

Suet has a light smell similar to peanuts and oats. However, the Suet, which has gone bad, releases a strong odor, probably like something sour, tart, or rotten food.

Unpleasant Suet smell can easily travel across the neighborhood and even attract animals like Bears and Racoons. Therefore, it is better to remove rotten Suet before wild animals start visiting your home.

Change in Texture and Consistency:

Suet is solid and dry, and when kept under a controlled environment, it does not lose its form. However, under severe temperature changes, it can go bad and become mushy, gooey, or liquidy.

The warm temperature begins the fat to melt. At this stage, the Suet has already developed a different kind of bacteria and funguses and is no longer safe for consumption.

Unpleasant Sight:

Suet is formed with oils and fats, and both can develop mold and fungus upon going bad.

If you happen to notice something unusual on the Suet (Whitish, greyish or greenish development), throw it right away. 

What to Do If Suet Has Gone Bad? 

When the Suet has gone bad, simply throw it away. However, because the product will leave an extremely odd and irritating odor, wrap/ pack it well before throwing it.

It is better to hand over the rotten Suet directly to the garbage collectors instead of allowing it to lie in your kitchen or backyard dustbin. 

Does Suet have to be refrigerated?

Refrigerating raw Suet helps increase its shelf life and keeps it from getting worse. Suet is fat that is prone to high temperatures.

Storing it inside the fridge will keep it from melting or catching fungus. However, individuals who already live in regions with cold weather can store Suet anywhere in a cool and dry place.

How to Preserve Suet Properly?

Usually, it is better to keep Suet inside the refrigerator or in a cool and dry place. The key to preservation is protecting Suet from heat, humidity, and a rise in temperature. However, if you already live in a hot region, here are a few tricks you may try.

Buy the ‘No Melt,’ ‘Summer’ Suet. The marketplace has several Suet options that are appropriate for summers since they do not melt. Such Suet lasts longer than the regular ones.

Or, place less Suet every time. When you place a lot of Suet all at once, and the birds aren’t able to eat it all, it will go bad. Therefore, it is better to notice how much the bird is eating and provide only the required amount.

Is it ok to feed Birds Suet in Summer?

Will the harsh Sunrays melt Suet? Birds are extra active during summers. It is when they constantly hunt insects and another source of their dietary meat and therefore don’t need Suet as a necessity.

However, for hungry nestlings, Suet is a great source of energy during summers. Especially, offering Suet to young birds regardless of the season helps them with healthy and quick growth. 

For summers, the marketplace has no melt-Suet mixes, which due to low fat, don’t melt very easily.

Today, manufacturers melt and render Suet repeatedly as it helps in removing its impurities.

Several processed Suet products available in the market today can withstand temperatures up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Suet Serving Suggestions for Summers:

  • Place the Suet feeder in the shade away from direct sunlight or heat.
  • Keep the limited amount of Suet into the feeder so that nothing extra goes bad by the end of the day. It is better to start with less, and you will gradually learn the right amount required for each day.
  • Always place a tray or plate below the Suet feeder. It will not only catch the melting fat but also make cleaning the area much easier.

Do Birds eat Suet in Winters?

With fat and protein-rich food hard to find, Suet is the best supplement you can provide to birds during winter.

As the temperature drops, the high-energy fat of Suet is like a gold mine for birds.

The oils and fats in Suet help birds get the nutrition and calories they need to reserve their energy during winters. 

Winters also allow you to feed even raw Suet to birds without worrying about melting and decaying. 

 How often should I change Suet?

In general, Suet can last up for a few days inside the feeder, especially during the winter season.

However, if the weather is slightly hotter, Suet won’t last for over a day or even lesser inside the feeder.

Once you start observing Suet melting down or birds returning without eating, it is time to change. 

The Dos and Don’ts of Offering Suet to Birds

Not every bird lover receives success while offering Suet to birds. Ever wondered why? To know that, have a quick look below:

  • Birds love Suet; however, not all of them. Species including woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, jays, and starlings are particularly fond of Suet; therefore, it is common to find them around the feeder. However, some birds don’t like Suet, and thus your feeder is left as it is.
  • It takes a few days for birds to locate a feeder; thus, trust the process and do not give up early. Chances are that you might not get success during summers, but easily during falls and winters.
  • Invest in a strong and easy-to-access bird suet feeder. However, look for the one that can stay safe from squirrels and other unwanted attackers. 
  • Do not mix extra flavors and ingredients with the Suet. Also, avoid buying Suet which is extra processed. 
  • Freshen up/ Change the Suet as soon as it gets old. If you notice the Suet melting, remove the old one and place some fresh parts. 
  • Never put the Suet feeder out there in the sun.
  • Clean the Suet feeder occasionally. The old melting Suet can accumulate on the feeder, making it difficult for the birds to eat.

Homemade Suet Cake Recipe for Birds

Here are some quick and easy Homemade Suet Cake Recipes. Have a look: 

Soft Suet Medley

Things you may need:

  • 4 1/2 cups ground fresh Suet
  • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 3/4 cup dried and finely ground bakery goods, preferably whole-wheat or cracked-wheat bread (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried and chopped fruit like berries, raisins, or currants
  • 3/4 cup ground meat (dried)
  • A heavy bottom Saucepan for preparation

The Procedure:

  • Take a saucepan and melt Suet over very low heat. Once it melts, switch off the gas and allow the Suet to cool down.
  • Now in another big bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients.
  • Now, as the Suet has cooled down, mix it with the preparation in the bowl. The process may take a little extra physical effort.
  • Now form small batches from the mixture and pour them into a zip lock bag for easy storage/ usage.
  • Take enough portions and place them into the Suet feeder for birds,

Peanut Butter Suet Recipe

Things you may need:

  • 1 cup fresh ground suet
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1/2 cup white or whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coarse-chopped shelled sunflower seeds
  • A heavy bottom Saucepan for preparation

The Procedure:

  • Take a saucepan and melt Suet over very low heat. Once it melts, switch off the gas.
  • Now add peanut butter and give both the ingredients a good mix.
  • Now add other ingredients one after another and keep them mixing continuously.
  • Once done with them all, pour the mixture into a flat plate or cake pan and cut out small pieces.
  • Use a fresh one for placing into the feeder and store the remaining in small zip lock bags. 

Types of Suet Feeders

There are four main types of Suet feeders, including,

  1. Suet Logs
  2. Mesh Bags
  3. Suet Cages (Most Popular)
  4. Open Tray

5 Best Suet Feeder 2022

  1. More Birds Suet Cage Bird Feeder, Fruit and Suet Feeder
  2. Suet Bird Feeder for Outside [Double Capacity]
  3. Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF1 Tail-prop Suet Bird Feeder 
  4. Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF2 Cedar Suet Upside-Down Bird Feeder
  5. More Birds Squirrel-X Double Suet Feeder, Outdoor Wild Bird Feeder

5 Suet Cake for Birds

  1. St. Albans Bay Suet Plus High Energy Suet Cakes
  2. High Energy Suet Cake 10 Pack
  3. Heath Outdoor Products DD4-12 Heath Bird Suet
  4. Heath Outdoor Products DD-20 Fancy Suet Cake
  5. Suet Cake 12 Pack | Case of 12 Suet Cakes for Wild Birds
High Energy Suet Cake 10 Pack
  • 10 High Energy 10.5 oz. Suet Cakes. Approx. Size: 4.5” x 4.5” x 1”
  • Premium Quality, Melt-Resistant Formula.
  • Easy-Open No Mess Packaging. 100% recyclable.
  • Attracts tree-clinging and perching birds such as Chickadees, Cardinals, Siskins, Nuthatches, Titmice, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Blue Jays and Juncos.
  • Ingredients include Rendered Beef Suet, Cracked Corn, Black Oil Sunflower and Processed Grain By-Products. Made in USA.
St. Albans Bay Suet Plus High Energy Suet Cakes, 20 Pack of 11 oz. Suet Cakes for Wild Birds
  • High Quality 11 oz. Suet Cakes. Approx. Size: 5” x 5” x 1”
  • Premium Quality, Melt-Resistant Formula. Store in a cool dry area to ensure long lasting quality for your wild birds.
  • Easy-Open No Mess Packaging. 100% recyclable.
  • Attracts tree-clinging and perching birds such as Chickadees, Cardinals, Siskins, Nuthatches, Titmice, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Blue Jays and Juncos.
  • Ingredients include Rendered Beef Suet, Cracked Corn, Black Oil Sunflower and Processed Grain By-Products. Made in USA.
Sale
Suet Cake 12 Pack | Case of 12 Suet Cakes for Wild Birds (Woodpecker High Energy)
  • 12 High Quality 10.5 oz. Suet Cakes. Approx. Size: 5” x 5” x 1”
  • Premium Quality, Melt-Resistant Formula.
  • Easy-Open No Mess Packaging. 100% recyclable.
  • Attracts tree-clinging and perching birds such as Chickadees, Cardinals, Siskins, Nuthatches, Titmice, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Blue Jays and Juncos.
  • Ingredients include Rendered Beef Suet, Cracked Corn, Black Oil Sunflower and Processed Grain By-Products. Made in USA.

Wrapping up…

Suet can be a great addition to your backyard for falls and winters. Especially if you receive birds at your place, you can provide them with good quality and fresh food every day. 

However, be cautious about the quality and freshness of Suet. Also, consider keeping the Suet feeder in the shade as it will reduce its chances of melting.

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