Using sour cream as a suet substitute for birdseed?

nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)December 3, 2009

I work in a dairy plant, and see a lot of perfectly good product thrown away in the course of daily testing. My boss already lets me take home pounds of yogurt and cottage cheese daily to feed to my flock of chickens (they love dairy), but I haven't found a use for sour cream yet. Since it's so high in fat content, I thought that perhaps it could be used like suet for bird feeding. Now that the temperatures around here are finally dropping below freezing, I was wondering if it would be possible to mix a lot of birdseed with a container of sour cream and solidify it in the shape of a log to hang outside for the winter.


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I am not sure if the bacteria that made it into sour cream would be harmful to the birds. Some brands also have preservatives.

It sounds like a good idea, but I have not heard of it before.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 10:00PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Birds don't need dairy products.

I wish I could take it from you!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 8:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Dairy products can cause serious digestive problems for birds. Never feed any kind of dairy to birds.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 1:43PM
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I am not 100% certain but I believe that commercial chicken feed has whey as an ingrediant. In some countries geese and ducks used to be fattened on soured milk. I would wonder if the OP had noticed any problems with his chickens. Some bird feeding books still suggest feeding scraps of cheese to birds in the winter to provide fat. You have brought up an interesting suject which I will have to check on more fully.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 9:22PM
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nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

Everything I have read suggests there is no harm in feeding birds cultured dairy products. Raw milk, though, could be bad.

So far, no takers at the sour cream/birdseed log, but we are in the middle of a blizzard! I'll watch it for the next week to see what happens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Feeding Chickens Dairy (Forum Discussion)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:06PM
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A suggestion for future try to condense the dairy product by putting it in a strainer before mixing. Similar to making yougurt cheese.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 6:36PM
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