Posted by: All things nice.. | December 19, 2009

“Cooked Turkey Fat- Dangerous to Birds”

I just came across a post on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds who are responsible for the protection of wild bird populations in Britain which are warning that cooked turkey fat is extremely dangerous to birds. They state that

“Many people put the leftover contents of Christmas dinner roasting tins outside, wrongly believing that it is as beneficial to birds as other fats like lard and suet. They pour the fat onto bird tables or mix it with seed thinking it will give birds energy and nutrients. But the wildlife charity is warning that it could actually kill them. Cooked turkey fat is completely unsuitable for birds for several reasons. It remains soft even when cooled, meaning it could smear onto birds’ feathers and ruin their water-proofing and insulating qualities. Birds need clean, dry feathers to survive the cold and a layer of grease would make this virtually impossible. The softness of turkey fat once cooked also means it is impractical to make popular ‘bird cake’ where you mix fawith bird seeds, as it will not harden enough to hold its shape. The fat in roasting tins cannot be separated from other leftover elements such as meat juices. This concoction can go rancid very quickly, especially if left in a warm kitchen for a while before being put outside, and form an ideal breeding ground for salmonella and other food poisoning bacteria. Birds are prone to bacterial infections at this time of year as their defenses are low and their energy levels depleted with the cold. Also, many people add other ingredients to a joint of meat before roasting including rubbing it liberally with salt in order to crisp the skin. High levels of salt are toxic to garden birds”

For more information visit the RSPB Latest News Section




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