Make Your Own Suet Feeder
Suet is made from the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys of beef. It is higher in calories and helps birds maintain body heat and energy during the cold winter months. Suet feeders attract many varieties of birds, including finches, bluebirds, wrens, sparrows, robins, woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees, and nuthatches. Experiment with different types fillings to see what birds are attracted to your feeder. You can make your own suet feeder with already rendered fat sold on our website and at all 3 of our retail locations.
Hanging Suet Feeders:
Hanging suet feeders can be made of materials found around the house.
Before you can add suet to containers it needs to be softened. Be careful when heating fats! Fats are very flammable and can melt plastic. To soften the suet place in a microwave safe dish (glass is best). Microwave in 30 second intervals. Suet is fat and can scorch.
Sandwich containers are a great way to mold suet. Soften suet, then add birdseed, fruit or dried mealworms. Pour the mixture into a container and add a piece of string to hang outdoors. Refrigerate until hard. Cupcake tins are a fun way to make a bunch of feeders at one time. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. Make a loop with a piece of twine and lay it inside the cupcake liner. Mix soften suet with bird seed or fruit. Pour the mixture into the cupcake liners. Make sure the string hangs out the top. Refrigerate for one hour or until hard. Once the suet is hard you can remove the "cakes" from the pan. The paper liner can be removed but does not need to be. Hang several in a tree for suet "ornaments".
Pine cones, sticks or small logs smothered with suet can be a natural bird feeder. First tie a piece of twine around the top of the pine cone, stick or log. Spread softened suet all over the "log" and then roll in bird seed. Hang outside and enjoy! Other creative mold ideas: Plastic containers, plastic Easter eggs, ice cream cones, taco shells or mesh bags from produce. Use your imagination!
Additional recipes for suet:
Suet can be melted down to add other ingredients that birds love to eat:
1 cup melted beef suet
1 cup chunky peanut butter
3 cups stone ground cornmeal
1/2 cup white or wheat flour
Melt suet and peanut butter until smooth. Add cornmeal and flour making sure to mix well. Allow the mixture to cool slighly and thicken. Once the suet is cooled pure into molds or containers. Suet can be stuffed into the feeder ideas listed above when they start to thicken. Suet can be refrigerated or placed in the freezer until cooled.
Other ingredients that can be added to suet for a tasty treat:
Shelled, unsalted peanuts
Black sunflower seeds
Cooked, unsalted rice
Keep your feathered friends happy all winter long by storing suet in a cool, shady place. This will prevent it from going rancid. Wash containers and disinfect feeders everytime you replace the suet.