You can attract many birds by putting out suet cakes. You can easily make suet cakes at home and vary them to your local bird species.
Look below for several homemade suet recipes!
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
I am an avid bird feeder. In the winter I save my grease drippings, mix them with seed and pour them in a paper milk container. Put it in the fridge to harden and once hardened tear off the paper. I save my net onion bags and hang the home made suet in them for the birds.
apm127 from Long Beach
I always give the birds stale bread slices PLUS I feed them seeds and suet cakes but today (since I ran out of store bought suet cakes) I put them all together! I buttered the slice of bread with chunky peanut butter on each side (one side at a time) then dropped the bread into my bag of bird seed!
Each slice fits into the pre-made suet holders perfectly!
If you love BIRDS vote for me!
By Donna from NE Pennsylvania
By Mythi from Silverdale WA
Birds have very high metabolisms and demand high amounts of energy to maintain their daily activities. Suet is a great way to help them replenish the energy stores lost during nesting, migration, and cold weather. It's also a great way to lure bird species to your backyard that might otherwise ignore your seed feeders.
Yields about 4 cups of suet
Variation #1: Cracked corn suet Increase cracked corn to 1 cup. Replace fruit pieces with 1/4 cup black oil sunflower seeds.
Variation #2: Sunflower suet Decrease cracked corn to 1/4 cup. Replace fruit pieces with 1 cup black oil sunflower seeds.
Variation#3: Peanut suet Decrease cracked corn to 1/4 cup. Replace fruit pieces with 1 cup of unsalted, bird food grade peanut halves.
Birdseed: If you feed birds all year round, then you are probably already buying bird food in bulk from farm or feed stores to save money. You can also mix in seeds from flowers going to seed in your garden. Some good choices are cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, poppies, asters, black-eyed Susan, coneflowers and sedum.
Fruit: If you (or perhaps your neighbors) grow cherry or other fruit trees, collect fruit with insect holes or bird damage, and cut it into halves or quarters. Other good choices for fruits include native berries like chokecherries, juniper, elderberries, mountain ash, and service berries. Store fruit in the freezer until you make the suet. It can be added to recipes while still frozen.
Fat: If you eat meat, one way to acquire fat for suet recipes is to trim the excess from meats before cooking them, or save the drippings. Freeze fat in labeled plastic bags until you are ready to use it. Scraps of fat can also be sourced from local butchers. It's also available in the meat section of some grocery stores. Experts disagree about whether birds digest pork fat as easily as beef fat, but most agree that lard and vegetable shortening are not good substitutes.
Suet cakes can be set out for birds while still frozen. Pop it out of its container and if necessary, cut it into smaller pieces before dropping them into a mesh bag (or wire suet cage). You're your feeders from tree branches at least 5 to 6 feet off the ground. You may also want to try smearing the suet directly on the bark of trees. This will be especially welcome to bird species accustomed to clinging onto bark in search of insects.
By Ellen Brown
This tip is for all you birdwatchers out there! This past summer I decided to start making my own suet. I make up a batch every month and store it in the freezer until I need it. Since it's warm out, I only use a small cylinder shaped wire feeder so the bigger birds can't get on it.
I have had so much fun watching the baby woodpeckers feed on this and they really seem to like it better than the store bought kind. Of course, in the colder months, I will use bigger cages so all can enjoy. I use all generic products, so it's not as expensive to make.
My grown children make jokes about Mom "cooking" for the birds, but that's part of the fun of growing older! We can be a little eccentric if we choose to be! I don't mind though, I'm enjoying myself. I found a recipe online and started with that, then tweeked it as I went along.
By Robbie from IN
Keep an old coffee can and drain your beef or bacon grease into the can. When you have enough, melt it down. Add a little flour, some sunflower seeds and even a little peanut butter, and then refrigerate. When it goes solid, you can put in a suet cage or nail to a tree for the birds. ;)
Source: My husband
By Gooby from Straughn, IN
I just got done making suet for the wild birds. It is cheap enough to buy, but gets even cheaper if you make your own. The following is my recipe.
I pour into molds from suet that I bought in the past. After you have melted the lard and peanut butter and put in our add ins, you freeze the molds. They freeze well for up to 2 months. If you want you can make a small batch and smear on pine cones and dangle them from a tree.
By Linda from Bellevue, NE
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Here are questions related to Making Homemade Suet.
Since peanut butter has increased in price, is there a substitute for it in making suet cakes?
By Pat Z.
Birds love lard and it is sticky, but will melt in hot weather. They do not like other shortenings, as I found out.
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Bird feeder suet recipes and tips from the ThriftyFun community.
Not-So-Sloppy Summer Suet
* From Birds and Blooms newsletter, July 2006
Feel free to post your ideas below.
I save all of the left over bacon grease, and grease from frying foods, put it in a jar in fridge, (dated of course). I also save the square suet container from feeding birds suet in summer. In the winter, I reheat the "saved" grease, add raisins, nuts, peanut butter, cornmeal, oats, cracker crumbs, birdseed, sunflower seeds, etc. Mix it all together and put in the saved suet holders from summer. Presto, homemade suet cakes for the birdies, that fit in the suet holders. The birds love it, and it saves a bunch of money in winter time, when the birds really need our help eating good food to keep up their energy in the cold, cold winter!
|Homemade Suet In An Onion Bag|
I've also used small muffin cups and then placed these in recycled onion bags.
The birds love this. I've never made anything and placed it out for them that they didn't eat.
By Teena from IN
Maggie O in Bloomington, MN (02/13/2008)
If I wasn't home, the bird would have suffered and most likely died. So, please invest in the wire cages, they do last for a very long time. Please pass this information to any of your friends who feed the wild birds. (02/14/2008)
Here is a website that has other recipes for suet:
Most of their recipes add peanut butter and cornmeal and flour. I never added those but it could be a great idea to do that. When I would put the suet out in a margarine bowl attached to the fence, then all the wild animals would come up from the neighborhood, possums and all, they all expected it at a certain time. Remember if you start feeding them in the winter to keep it up because they will be expecting that as a source of nutrition. (02/06/2009)
By Robyn Fed