If you have ever wanted to attract a variety of birds to your backyard, making homemade bird suet is an excellent solution. Bird suet is easy to make, and the ingredients are inexpensive and can be found at any grocery store. Bird suet provides birds with a nutritious snack filled with fats and proteins that they need for energy and to stay healthy. Making bird suet is also fun for adults and children alike, as it requires minimal effort and preparation.
What Is Suet?
Suet is a bird feeder that provides wild birds with an important energy source and nutrition during colder months. Suet is typically composed of beef fat or mutton tallow, which makes it high in calories and contains various seeds and nuts. This combination helps to attract a wide variety of wild birds, such as woodpeckers, chickadees, jays, nuthatches, and wrens.
Suet comes in different forms, such as cakes or blocks easily placed into feeders. It also has various flavourings to appeal to specific species, including spicy varieties for hummingbirds and fruity mixes for bluebirds. As a bonus, suet cakes may also contain mealworms, an additional protein source for insect-eating birds like the titmouse or purple finch.
Homemade Bird Suet Recipes
DIY bird suet is an easy and inexpensive way to sustain your feathered friends year-round. Suet is a type of fat that birds enjoy eating, especially during the cold winter when food sources are scarce. Making your birds suet at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, as you’ll be satisfied to watch your favourite birds flock to your backyard in search of this delicious treat.
DIY Bird Suet Recipes
“Toss-It-In” Bird Suet
- Lard = 2 cups
- Peanut butter= 2 cups
- Oatmeal = 2 cups
- Mixed birdseed= 2 cups
- Flour= 1 cup
- Put all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix it well.
- Fill a container with the suet mixture.
- Plain suet = 1 pound
- Yellow cornmeal = 1 cup
- Rolled oats = 1 cup
- Crunchy peanut butter = 1 cup
- Mixed wild birdseed = 1 cup
- Hulled sunflower seed = 1 cup
- Melt suet on low heat.
- After it gets cool, pack it into feeders or moulds.
- For freezing or hardening the mixture, please place it in the refrigerator.
- Chunky peanut butter = 1 cup
- Cornmeal = 2 cups
- Quick-cook oats = 2 cups
- Lard or suet = 1 cup
- White flour = 1 cup
- Melt lard/suet and peanut butter together and stir.
- Mix well the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the mixture into a container. If you are using a square container, it is best.
- Allow it to cool, cut it into squares and store it in the freezer.
Birds Love this Suet
- Fresh suet = 1/2 pound
- Black oil sunflower seed = 1/3 cup
- Mixed wild birdseed = 2/3 Cup
- Chopped peanuts = 1/8 cup
- Raisins = 1/4 cup
- Follow the instructions for rendering suet here.
- While the lard is cooling, mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Place the suet into the mixture and blend it well.
- Pack into molds or feeders, or any other container.
- Refrigerate to harden the lard.
Peanut Butter Sandwich
- Fresh suet = 1 cup
- Peanut butter = 1 cup
- Yellow cornmeal = 3 cups
- Whole wheat flour = 1/2 cup
- Follow the instructions for rendering suet here.
- On low heat, melt suet. After melting the suet, add peanut butter. Stir continuously until well-blended.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour suet into the mixture of all ingredients and blend well.
- Pour it into feeders and molds.
- Refrigerate it.
- Fresh ground suet = 2 pounds
- Chunky peanut butter = 1/2 cup
- Shelled sunflower seeds = 1/2 cup
- Melt suet in a saucepan on low heat.
- Add peanut butter and mix it until melted and well blended.
- Mix the sunflower seeds thoroughly.
- Pack into feeders, household items, or molds.
- Freeze the mixture.
Why are Birds not Eating My Suet?
If birds aren’t eating your offered suet, there could be a few reasons.
Firstly, the type of suet might not match the preferences of the local birds in your area – some species prefer fruit-flavoured suets, while others may like those with nuts or insects. Additionally, the type of feeder used to offer the suet may be an issue; some species may have difficulty accessing specific feeders, so make sure yours is accessible for all bird types.
Which Birds Eat Suet?
Some common birds that feed on suet include nuthatches, woodpeckers, titmice, and chickadees. These birds are found throughout North America and often frequent backyard bird feeders during the winter when other food sources may be scarce.
Nuthatches especially like to eat suet since it gives them the energy to peck into tree bark looking for insects. Woodpeckers also love eating grease, which provides them with a great source of fats and proteins for their long summer breeding season.
When Should Suet Be Put Outdoors?
The best time to put suet out is in the late fall and winter when natural food sources are scarce. The fat content of the suet will provide extra calories for birds during these cold days and nights and help keep them warm during the harsh winter chill. It’s important to note that if you live where temperatures regularly dip below freezing, you should always wait until temperatures reach approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit before putting suet out, as it can freeze otherwise.