Adding Fat To You Small Animal Feed?

David Trammel's picture

Saw a post on this practice of adding dried oats to the excess fat left over from cooking and then adding the fat soaked oats to your small animal feed (in this case to chickens).

Comments in the post had concerns about excess salt and how it might impact the liver of your chickens long term, but as one person mentioned her chickens all had a "in-the-pot retirement plan" she wasn't that worried.

Looking at the subject via Google, I see that making "fat balls" for wild birds is a practice. That is what suet is after all, seeds mixed with a fatty thickener.

(A Wikihow article on making suet balls:

I could see the usefulness of doing this in the Winter, as the need for fat to stay warm is increased.

I don't know enough about raising chickens or other small animals to know if this is a good thing or bad.

I have fed my chickens the excess fat that accumulates in the kitchen since I acquired them. I don't mix it with oats, I just put out a dish of the hardened fat and they go for it. I think the wild birds are in there too, but the chickens get the bulk of it. Fat helps them stay warm.

I don't cook with much fat or fatty meats, but when I do cook with fatty meats (like bacon!) I drain the fat off into my collection of dedicated coffee cups, store in the refrigerator and reuse it for more cooking!

I've rendered down chicken fat, beef fat, pork fat, ham fat, and hamburger fat. They all work for sautéing something new. So much more economical than buying vegetable oil from the supermarket. After all, I already paid for that fat.

If I had chickens, I'd throw even less fat away than I do now.