Is bacon grease a no, no?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Knilsson, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Knilsson

    Knilsson Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2010
    I had some bacon grease left over in the pan from breakfast and thought the chickens would like the flavor. I added some to a piece of bread and they gobbled it up. Is it ok? I know it isn't nutritious, but as a one-time treat is it ok or will they get sick?
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Well since its already done- if they get sick it might be from that otherwise they are fine.
  3. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    Seems to me to be the same principle as feeding lard or suet. I sometimes add lard to my chicken scrap bucket, especially in the Winter when a little extra fat helps with warmth. The chickens seem to really love it. In general, chickens can eat whatever we can eat (almost). Bacon grease is an excellent cooking fat. So, either save it and use it in the chicken as a natural alternative to store-bought grease or cooking spray, or give some to your chickens.
  4. kurka

    kurka Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    Like with all others animal feed - bacon grease is ok as long as it's not salty.. So salty greace once in a long while, and in small amount - cooould be ok, but as a daily routine - no.
  5. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    I'm one of those crazy organic nuts everyone hates so I must put in my opinion not to give them bacon grease. Chickens go crazy for all food, especially vegetables so they are not like children that go nuts for candy. There is no need to give them anything but healthy good food. OK, I'm off my high horse now. I'm sure the bacon grease is fine for them as long as you do not give them too much and it is not too salty. The salt is the main problem and the fat is probably fine for them.
  6. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    Long as you toss in some bread in there so they can sop it up.Long as the gobble it down quickly,and its not salty,then its ok.
  7. Knilsson

    Knilsson Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2010
    Thank you everyone for your input. When I gave them the bacon grease on bread, my first thought was that it should be similar to the idea of lard or suet you put out for wild birds in the winter...then I started getting nervous about it and therefore posted the question. I'm sure it isn't all that good for them and I probably won't be giving it to them again. But I'm glad you all put my mind at ease about it not being really harmful as a one-time treat. They do love their scraps and have eaten just about everything I have tried with them, vegies, pumpkin, bits of steak and ham. I can't wait for the weather to break so they can get out of the coop and free range on bugs and worms too.
  8. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Chillin' With My Peeps

    I give ours bacon grease soaked bread,. but not a lot,. too much salt in it.
  9. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! I just want to mention that chickens can get saline poisoning from too much salt. Bacon is very salty, as is the grease from it. I had a friend who accidentally killed some of her hens because she fed them potato chips.... So in my humble opinion, and I really don't mean to scare you, I would not feed the bacon grease.
  10. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2010
    West Denver Burbs
    As a Southerner its instinctive to save that bacon grease so I had a bunch of it in the freezer when we got our first pullets in September.

    I started off mixing about a cup of bacon grease in with about a quart of feed to make my "winter warmth" mix. I then used this to supplement their feed on really cold days, putting about a quarter cup of the mix in their feeder - they were delighted to get it.

    I then did some calculations. One cup of bacon grease has about 1800 calories (kcal). I figured out that mixing a quart of the "winter warmth" mix above with about 25 lbs of their feed comes out to about 20 calories per bird per day, assuming they're eating 2 lbs/wk. This translates to an additional caloric boost roughly the human equivalent of about 800 calories daily for a 200 lb person. I was giving them this as their regular feed during the deepest part of the winter. After I ran out of that mix, on some cold days, I'd come out and give them little pieces of pork fat trimmings. The reaction this gets is like throwing out free Snickers bars at a pep rally.

    I'm not sure how an organic regimen has anything to do with whether the basic practice of supplementing feed with fat is bad for them. In my experience, its always best to have a high fat breakfast if you're spending the day outside in the cold. What I'm describing for my birds uses small-farm raised organic pork as the source of the bacon grease and fat trimmings; I use a strictly organic layer feed. If its important to you, that's what you've got in the kitchen, if its not important to you, then feed them conventional grease / trimmings if you want to supplement their feed with a good caloric boost on frigid mornings. About the only thing I'm really concerned about is what this may do the the cholesterol content of the eggs. But frankly I'm glad they're getting out in the run on cold days and not shivering in the coop. Check out the photo below and note the temperature on the thermometer.

    Cutie, Patootie, and Dottie (two Barred Rocks and Wyandotte) hanging out in single-digit temps, Feb. 9, 2011, Denver.


    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by