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I really enjoy feeding the birds but have no money for suet cakes. Instead, I take 2 pieces of wheat bread, spread with peanut butter on both sides and a little in the middle to hold the bread together, and put it in the suet holder. The birds love it, and it is fairly cheap. They see us coming with the bread and wait for us to put it in the suet holder. It's gone in just a few minutes! They especially love it now that they are raising babies.
This is a guide about making homemade suet. 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.
Put it out in birdfeeder and see what kind of birds eat it all.
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I would like to know how to make squirrel feeder cakes.
By Phil Scali from Somers, NY
Try the Google search engine.
A simple recipe for these cakes is:
You'll need a package of lard or suet, a pack of squirrel food or bird food mix (depending upon the animal you're making the cake for), a pan for melting the lard, a container that can be used to pour fat into to set (make sure this item will fit in the feeder), and a wooden spoon.
Process: In saucepan, melt the suet or lard, on a medium to low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly but not solidify. Pour in a large quantity of the food, stirring to insure that everything is coated with the fat. Pour into your mold to make the cakes and allow to cool and solidify. Once solid, it's ready to put out for your squirrels or birds. * I actually put some wax paper down in the mold before adding the suet mixture, so that I can easily remove the cake from the mold when I'm ready to, but that's just a personal preference.
I would like a recipe for homemade bird and squirrel food. Thanks.
By donna johnson from IL
Treats for the Birds:
(As for Squirrels they will eat larger seeds and nuts of any type.)
This is a general mixture referred to as suet.
crunchy peanut butter 1+1/2 C.
vegetable shortening (or lard) 1+1/2 C.
honey 1/2 C. (or sugar 1/2 C. + 1/2 water)
birdseed 1 C.
quick-cooking oats (not instant) - 2 C.
plus 1 C. of ONE of the following:
= cream of wheat (not instant)
As much of any of the following items to equal 1 Cup:
black sunflower seeds
berries (any type, dried)
1) If your dry cranberries, raisins or other yummies seem a bit large, chop them, coarsely.
2) In a large microwave safe bowl place all your moist ingredients
3) Warm in the microwave till the vegetable shortening or lard is just soft enough so you can stir it with a wooden spoon.
4) Stir in the dry ingredients.
5) Add the cup of yummies! If you dont like getting your hands sticky, stop here and just use your spoon to spread the suet directly on branches
6) Or place a small bowl of flour nearby. (about 1 cups worth) and using your hands squish and squeeze the whole mess adding a bit of flour occasionally if it seems too sticky; yet it will be slippery. Once it will keep its shape a little, roll it into balls about the size of golf balls, place them in the freezer to firm up.
7) To present your treats to your feathered friends press the balls in forks of trees and bushes. Or on spikes of chain link fences. Any place they will stay put.
You can also just put out all the yummies in a bird feeder without anything else. The squirrels will snatch these long before the birds do though!
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I have a squirrel and bird feeder, you can't put in loose bird and squirrel food, it has to be in cake form. The cakes cost $4.00 and they don't last very long. Is there a way to make a homemade cake with a bag of loose bird or squirrel food?
Hardiness Zone: 6b
Erica from TN
I make my own cakes all the time. I cook down suet. I chunk it up in a pan and cook it down slowly. It will turn to a liquid, but will have a few lumps. The birds don't care. After it cools, I add peanut butter and cornmeal. I don't measure, but you will have a mushy mixture. I then put this into pans, bowls, even muffin tins. Then put it where it can cool and harden. You can also add some bird seed to them. I put 4 muffin tin size pieces in one square feeder. It is a little messy, but it sure is a lot cheaper than buying them in the store. You can vary them by putting other things in them, such as berries, nuts, etc. Have fun. (05/24/2006)
You can buy these suet cakes in the dollar store if you don't want to make your own. They are a dollar apiece. (05/25/2006)
By Carol in PA