Saturday, December 21, 2013

How to Make Suet for Your Backyard Birds....

One of the best presents you can give your birds is a batch of homemade suet.  It’s easy to make and your birds will love it.  We make enough suet to last about three weeks and as I write these notes four great kiskadees, three green jays, two golden fronted woodpeckers and two titmice are flying back and forth between our suet stations.  We place the suet about seven feet high in two mesquite trees and the only thing to watch out for are ants that find suet as scrumptious as the birds.  Sprinkle a small amount of insecticide at the base of the trees to keep them free of marauding ants.

The process we use was concocted using several recipes available online and in a number of books.  Our recipe is tweaked to meet our needs. It calls for the following ingredients:
1 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
2-3 Cups of Mixed Bird Seed (we use three cups)
3 Cups Yellow Corn Meal
2 Cups Bleached or Unbleached Flour
1 Cup Lard or Shortening

Place the lard and the peanut butter in a large pot.  Put the pot on the stove at medium heat.  Remove the pot from the heat when the lard and peanut butter are melted.

Now add the corn meal, flour and bird seed into the pot and stir until well blended.  Place the mixture into a container sized appropriately to fit your suet cage.  Be sure and spray the containers with non-stick cooking spray before you fill them with the suet mixture!

We use plastic containers saved from guacamole purchased at the grocery store or from store bought suet.  In other words, be on the lookout for suitable containers.

Now place your completed suet containers in the freezer or refrigerator to set.  This will take about an hour in the freezer.

Fit the frozen suet into a suet cage and then sit back and enjoy watching your birds gobble it up.

Okay, fellow birders.  Can you identify the birds pictured above?