When it is difficult for birds to find insects, suet is great wild bird nutrition. This article is intended to help those who are new to the hobby of feeding birds, or maybe you've always purchased wild bird seeds and you want to start making homemade, healthy bird food.
Suet Cake Recipes
Suet will attract a variety of birds. Suet can be made without a recipe; simply, take a binding agent (solid fat) and add extra ingredients. Choose items that you have around the house, like fruit and nuts. Although not necessary, birds seem to love peanut butter in the suet. If you are new to making wild bird food, prepare the basic recipe.
Basic Suet Recipe
- 3 cups rendered suet (lard, bacon drippings are good substitutes)
- 1 cup of peanut butter (any brand or type)
- 2 cups of peanut hearts or peanuts (any kind)
Extra Suet Ingredients for Wild Bird Nutrition
- Heat the fat on the stove. If you get suet (beef fat) from a butcher, heat it for an hour and a half until all the liquid leaches out and strain. Otherwise, heat the bacon drippings or lard.
- Remove from the stove and add peanut butter.
- Stir and add any other ingredients of your choosing. I always add some commercial bird seeds and peanuts. Look around the kitchen and add any of the ingredients listed below.
- Press the mixture into muffin tins, old commercial suet containers, loaf pans or square containers
- Refrigerate or freeze, until required
Add any of the following ingredients to your suet. Use up leftover ingredients in the house or experiment with different foods to see what items are popular with different species of birds.
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- bird seed
- crushed egg shells (for calcium and grit for digestion)
- nuts (any kind)
- day-old bread
- day old baking
- crushed biscuits
- coconut (great to use up surplus supplies)
- old cereal
- sesame or pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- cookie and cracker scraps and crumbs
- dried fruit or slightly spoiled fruit
There are many commercially prepared suet cakes and bells available. However, making suet cakes and loaves can save money and use up leftover ingredients in your house. There is also great pride in making preservative-free wild bird food. I am always amazed at how fast a fresh batch of my suet attracts the birds.
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