Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For the Birds

Home Made Suet

2 cups (1 block) lard
1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 cup Oatmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup of cornmeal or wheat germ

Melt the lard a little in a big glass bowl (30 seconds in the microwave) and mix all of the ingredients together. It gets a bit messy. Line a rectangular pan with a sheet of wax paper and press the mixture in. Pop it in the freezer for an hour or so, then cut into blocks. The smaller ones work best (4" x 2"), because the birds eat it quickly. It won't have a chance to collect mildew if you put this out in the summer when it is hot and humid. I normally use them in the wintertime when I feel the birds really need some extra sustenance. Store the blocks in a Ziploc bag in the freezer and refill your suet feeder as needed.

Very important added notes:

I want to thank Jane from Jane and Chris' The Maple Syrup Mob for letting me know that it is very important to get the kind of peanut butter that does not contain sugar or salt. She also said she wouldn't add flour either. Also that feeding birds high fat foods in the summer is not a good dietary option. She is a retired wildlife rehabilitator, so she knows her stuff. Thanks Jane.

Don, from Promote Thanet, also let me know that he mixes bran, birdseed and raisins in his recipe. You can read his post right here. He has a link to celebrities recipes too. Thanks Don!

Maybe if you have a recipe for your birds you could let us know what it is? I would put them in a later post.

Here is a link to some recipes from The Old Farmer's Almanac Website. Click here.


  1. This makes more sense then when we tried to make some, but then we didn't really have a recipe. We can buy them fairly cheap, so I may not go to the bother of making my own.

  2. A great idea Denise. Now we don't have a garden I don't feed the birds the way I used to. But winter is looming and there is a garden at the rear of our apartments and fencing so I'll probably give it a go. A x

  3. Hi Denise, would you please remind everyone that the peanut butter should NOT contain salt or sugar, and I wouldn't put flour in there either. Feeding a high fat food in the summer is not a good dietary option. I am a retired wildlife rehabilitator...old habits die hard!
    Jane x

  4. I've never been successful at making bird cake and applaud your efforts :-)

  5. I usualy make a few in the winter months I mix bran and bird seed into it plus raisins. I get Heather to press some into some logs and spread the stuff around for different birds. I just tried calling her while she is at the super market but her phone rang in the kitchen so I guess the birds will have to wait for my concoction. XXXX Don

  6. How interesting, I've never tried to make any myself. That might be a fun project to try when the weather gets too ugly to go out...not to mention the birds might like it more then.

  7. Thanks for this - the bears are finally in hibernation so I can put some suet out.

  8. Thanks for adding the footnote, Denise! It's not only we humans who have to watch our salt and sugar intake!
    Jane x

  9. I have been buying the suet blocks and was able to get them for 99 cents recently which was good, but would love to be able to make mine.

    However the recipes mentioned make it a more costly option, so I need to rethink this idea.......

    Gill in Canada

  10. That's nice that you made your own suet, Denise. Many folks do--but I am one who is very happy to buy mine at Lowe's or Walmart for $1 a cake... My birds love it--so why would I want to change?????? Good Luck...


  11. So very nice to hear that you care so much for the small birds! I too have a receipt of how to make the birds' "meat ball" (hehe)..
    Now I'll try and adjust my receipt with some of the ingredients you mention here.. And I'll get quite a meat boll, I think.... :)

    Me too I gave salted butter to the birds ONCE, until somone remarked me not to do, fortunately!! They shall NOT have salt! Now I get to know that they should neither nor have sugar.. and not flour either - thanks for posting this, I'm glad! :)

    I'll try to put some raisins in the bolls..

    I used to mix sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds and hazelnuts in the unsalted butter last year I made some. (Thanks to a Norwegian blogger.)

    And now I'll thank you, too! :)

  12. ----and I had to admit, the unsalted butter I used was lard.. :)

  13. We are not allowed to have bird feeders at our condo complex. however, I am a bit of a rebel and I feed the birds anyways...LOL

    Great shot Denise.

  14. Thanks for the tips on making suet, along with other bloggers additions. I should try this. Our birds are looking hungry.