Can birds eat crisco? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-09-2007, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please excuse my typos my keyboard is messed up.

Anyway..we went to the zoo today for winter projects and one was making a bird feeder.The kids wiped crisco all over pine cones and rolled them in birdseed.
It seemed fun but I can't imagine that birds can eat crisco.
I don't want to put them put if the birds weill get sick.

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Old 12-09-2007, 03:33 AM
 
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peanut butter.... yes... but crisco?

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:33 AM
 
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well suet is basically lard. so I would think it would be okay.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:38 AM
 
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well suet is basically lard. so I would think it would be okay.
:

Which reminds me. I need to get another suet bag.

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Old 12-09-2007, 04:57 AM
 
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Crisco is man made Trans fat. Don't feed it to anything living.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:25 AM
 
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Yeah, lard, however not yummy to me, was something known to the world before laboratories existed.

Skip the crisco. Barf. Birds don't need cancer and heart disease and such.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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well suet is basically lard. so I would think it would be okay.
they can, but in my experience, the peanutbutter seedballs dissapear faster.: (just trying out the new smilie)
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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I would not put it out.

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Old 12-09-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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They were probably doing a peanut free version of the project because of allergy concerns. Or maybe it was just cheaper.

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Old 12-09-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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Birds have a different metabolism and life span. Although they are more sensitive to pesticides, I don't know that that translates to trans fats being the same problem for them as it is for humans. Not that I'd go out of my way to give them some but if my dc made the project, I'd go ahead and hang it up.

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Old 12-09-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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Funny this came up! For our family day at school my son wants to do a segment on birds so we were going to make bird feeders out of cookie cutters. All nutbutters are a no-no since one girl is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and pinenuts. There are 2 veggies/vegans (not sure which) so I didn't want to do lard. I was thinking sunflower seed butter but is is so goopy I don't think that will work... W0uld love some ideas!

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Old 12-09-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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uhm Crisco is a lard type fat - birds don't process fat the way we do and it makes them sick...a zoo should know that of all places.

Peanut butter is definately fine but too much (again fatty content) can make a bird sick.

There are things that I don't feed my parrot which include seed (sunflower, too high a fat content), fats, dairy (can cause crop rot), red meats, and things like avacado, chocolate and onions (as well as black teas or coffee) because they can kill him. It's the thorbomine in those items that can kill, it's a poison to them.

I am shocked a zoo would advocate something like crisco as a "glueing" agent for seed for birds...
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:17 PM
 
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Birds have a different metabolism and life span. Although they are more sensitive to pesticides, I don't know that that translates to trans fats being the same problem for them as it is for humans. Not that I'd go out of my way to give them some but if my dc made the project, I'd go ahead and hang it up.
As it would with humans if too much is fed on a daily basis it can cause a bird to become obese and heart attack prone.

I've seen a parrot die of heart attack (not mine) due to bad diet and too high a fat content and bad choices in feeding.

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Old 12-09-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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It's not something I'd intentionally feed to any living creature- yeah, crisco is a fat, and the birds can probably eat it, but it doesn't sound like a particularly healthy thing for them.

Just how much crisco is on these bird feeders and how much would it mean to your kids to see the birds eating their creations? If there isn't THAT MUCH crisco on it, and your kids really want to use them, then I'd go ahead and offer it to the birds, but replace it with something healthier when it's used up.

Think of it as "McDonald's for birds"- ok for the VERY occasional treat but not something to base your diet on.

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Old 12-09-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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If fat is so bad for birds, why can you buy all sorts of different types of suet cakes? And yeah, a parrot-- who can live to 100-- w/ heart disease makes more sense than a bird in the wild with a life span of , what, 3 years? How do they know it was a heart attack? Did someone do an autopsy?
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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So this year for christmas I was going to make bird seed ornaments for hanging outdoors and I am at a loss as to what to use for a gluing agent. I am going to use mini bagels for the base and then spread some kind of peanut butter or like that kind of sticky stuff to the bagels and then press seed to them and hang with pretty yarn.

I was also tempted to buy the suet balls that you melt down and mix with seed and then press into molds but I like the bagel idea better since its what I have now as well as PB.

Any ideas? what have you made them out of before and did the seed stick well?
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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sorry to highjack this thread but how do you attract wild birds to your feeders? I have 2 feeders that have not been visited at all and I dont see birds in our tree outside much at all. I do have 4 squirells that come to my squirell feeder daily!
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nankay View Post
If fat is so bad for birds, why can you buy all sorts of different types of suet cakes? And yeah, a parrot-- who can live to 100-- w/ heart disease makes more sense than a bird in the wild with a life span of , what, 3 years? How do they know it was a heart attack? Did someone do an autopsy?
They do what's called a necropsy (or their version of autopsy). It was a parrot that had a heart attack that I've witnessed. I've also witnessed a neurological death in a parrot due to teflon poisoning.

The neurological death was harder to witness because it was just ...awful. I've never heard a bird scream like that, and I mean scream like a human would with a bad injury or something. It sounded so human, I had nightmares for weeks about it. The necropsy came back on Albie as teflon poisoning and neurological related death. She was 35 years old.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Maybe try that transfat free shortning, I think it uses palm oil. Like this http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=87 (scroll to the bottom)
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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Can they eat honey?

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Old 12-09-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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Think of it as "McDonald's for birds"- ok for the VERY occasional treat but not something to base your diet on.
And urban birds do eat quite a bit of McDonalds, sadly. Crisco coated birdseed could be a big step up depending on your location.

I'm sure parrots have special dietary needs as a result of their long life and being kept partially confined for the majority of it. I don't see how one can draw too many conclusions about native wildbirds based on parrots.

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Old 12-09-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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And urban birds do eat quite a bit of McDonalds, sadly.
This just makes me ever so, ever so sad. I think we'll go buy a big bag of organic seeds to share this week.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Can they eat honey?
Dd and I have read about a bird called the Honey Guide, which guides people to bee hives so that they can share in the honey....so I'm going to guess yes!

I've also seen molasses suggested as a glue for birdfeeders.

We've used crisco when making bird feeders when allergies to nutbutters are a concern. I can imagine a zoo taking great measures to avoid pb, or anything that looks like it, if they will be exposing a large population of visitors. And crisco would be a whole lot cheaper than honey or molasses :
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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In the book In The Company of Crows and Ravens they did a study that showed that a bird would go for the McDonald's bag in half the amount of time that they would fo gor a plain brown bag.

Personally, I wouldn't feed a bird crisco. It's just hydrogenated vegetable oil and not good for you - not good for animals. I would do peanut butter (no added oil or sugar) or honey.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I so badly wanted to ask why they were using Crisco but I didn't have the nerve to be a "pest"
I'm sorry to say I put them outside b/c my kids were anxious to see the birds eat from them. I think I will redo the project with peanut butter and get rid of those crisco ones.

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Old 12-10-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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Suet feeders are strictly for wild birds in the winter season in cold snowy areas-birds that need that extra bit of fat for warmth and energy in the winter. Since parrots are not hearty outdoor birds they shouldn't be fed what wild, uncaged, undomesticated birds eat. My mother makes her own suet as a bird lover and has quite a number of winter residents who are there only for the food.

See here about suet, there are also some suggestions on how to make your own.

You should also call your local Audubon Society as they will know what is best for your local undomesticated wild birds.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:42 AM
 
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As it would with humans if too much is fed on a daily basis it can cause a bird to become obese and heart attack prone.

I've seen a parrot die of heart attack (not mine) due to bad diet and too high a fat content and bad choices in feeding.

Sheal
Not to derail the thread, but 1) pet parrots tend to live sedentary lives compared to wild birds 2) parrots are VERY long-lived birds. Most wild birds probably live a few years at best, parrots can live 20 or 40 years.

nothing more to say I guess :
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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my budgies love the peanut butter pinecones rolled in seeds. I don't give very often though-- too fattening.

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Old 12-10-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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Can they eat honey?
I have no idea if wild birds can eat honey, I know my parrot can, he likes honey sticks (rolled in his favorite foods).

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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
And urban birds do eat quite a bit of McDonalds, sadly. Crisco coated birdseed could be a big step up depending on your location.

I'm sure parrots have special dietary needs as a result of their long life and being kept partially confined for the majority of it. I don't see how one can draw too many conclusions about native wildbirds based on parrots.
It's still similar, all birds have the same body structure and same digestive tracts (the crop). We already (as a species) destroy enough why not be concious about our animal brethren even if it's not in our own home and out in the wild. Though I do agree that it may be a step up from what they are eating. The main point is that a zoo, who should know about animals both wild and not, should know better than that. That's what irks me, the zoo should know better, should be about conservation and protection of our local wildlife whether that be the smallest bug or the biggest animal.

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Not to derail the thread, but 1) pet parrots tend to live sedentary lives compared to wild birds 2) parrots are VERY long-lived birds. Most wild birds probably live a few years at best, parrots can live 20 or 40 years.
Mine's flighted (my parrot) and spends 10 hours (all day) out of his cage. He is hardly sedentary. The only time he's in his cage is when I'm cooking (hot stove) doing the dishes (drowning hazzard, this bird loves the sink lol) and at night at "bedtime".

That's not sedentary lifestyle because of his capacity to fly, he's never, ever had his wings clipped and I will never take what he was born with *I wonder, does that make me a wingavist? lol).

It's like my buddy who is a major cockatoo activist has said: God so loved the birds and gave them trees, man so loved the birds and gave them cages.

My sentiments run along that line as well. We may not be able to return them to the wild but at least give them all that we possible can and educate others about birds (especially 'toos).
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Here's an interesting link about the crisco dilema.
http://www.bluebirdnut.com/the_fat_question.htm

 
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