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How to Make Suet For Birds

6:00 AM
Feed your birds cheap this winter by learning how to make suet for birds.  This is an easy and fun project, and the kids can help.  This makes a cute project for scout troops or kids groups with some adult supervision.

I'm pretty sure that we have the fattest birds around.  The blue jays and cardinals here are so fat, I'm not sure how they can fly.

The farm is more of a animal sanctuary than a farm.  Birds and other critters come here because they know they will be well fed and safe.  I feed my birds suet in the winter to give them some extra fat and protein.



This was so easy to make, and my 5-year-old even helped!  We made bird seed ornaments in Girl Scouts, but I wanted to make suet cakes and plugs for at home.

We have a lot of blue jays and cardinals.  Both are frequent feeders at the suet hanging bird feeder.

How to Make Suet for Birds


Learning how to make suet for birds is an easy DIY craft to make at home.  If you already feed your birds, then you probably already have everything that you need at home in your pantry.

What is Suet?


Most people think of bird food when they hear suet.  Suet is actually the name of the hard fat found on cows and sheep.  It's found around the kidneys and in the loins.

It's not the same as lard because lard is fat from anywhere on a pig.  However, most grocery stores don't carry true suet, so today we use lard or Crisco vegetable shortening.

Can You Make Suet?


For the purpose of learning how to make suet for birds, we are going to call suet the bird seed and fat concoction that hangs from trees to feed wild birds.

Yes, you can absolutely make suet at home. It's easy and inexpensive and makes a fun craft with the kids.



What is Suet Made Out Of?


Suet for birds is made from a type of fat -- Crisco vegetable shortening or lard -- bird seed, nuts, and dried fruits.

How Do You Melt Suet?


I melt mine on the stove.

Does Suet Go Bad?


Yes, fats can go rancid.  How soon this happens depends on the type of fat that you use.  Lard lasts about four to six months on the shelf and up to a year in the fridge.

Crisco vegetable shortening lasts about a year after it's opened.

High heat outside can also cause the fat to go rancid.

Should I Feed Suet In The Summer?


You can, but it's not necessary.  It's high in fat, which the birds need more in the winter.  Hot summer days can make the fat melt, causing a mess.

I stick to just bird seed in the summer.

Lard or Vegetable Shortening for Suet?


I used lard in my recipe, but you can use shortening.  Lard is better for the birds, but if you can't find it or are vegetarian, substitute with Crisco shortening.



What Can I Use to Make Suet?


This is a great time to clean out your pantry.  We always seem to end up with small bags of dried fruits and nuts, so I put them in the suet.

You can add any of the following to your homemade suet:


  • Raisins
  • Dried apples
  • Dried fruit
  • Old Fashioned oatmeal
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peanuts 
  • Cranberries

Just make sure that any fruit or nut that you add has no added sugar, salt, or flavoring.


Homemade Suet Ingredients



Directions


Step #1


In medium saucepan, melt lard over low or medium low heat.  When almost melted, add peanut butter and stir well.


Step #2


Add flour and cornmeal.  Add the oats, seeds, dried fruits.  Stir well.



Step #3


Pour in to 8x8 pan lined with waxed paper. Place in fridge or freezer.


Step #4


When hardened, cut in to small chunks or a square to fit your suet feeder.  I was making plugs for my log feeder, so I cut them in to chunks.   Store in freezer or fridge.




Freeze for about an hour until set up.  Then cut in to chunks and place in a bag or container to freeze until ready to use.

It does get messy when you cut it.  I took the bits that fell off and squished them together to make a few more plugs.


For more DIYs to feed your birds, check out these DIY birdseed ornaments from Country Hill Cottage or this adorable edible bird house from Soap Deli.

bird feed, suet, birds
Yield: 1 suet cake
Author: Cari @ Koti Beth
Estimated cost: $10

How to Make Suet for Birds

prep time: 15 Mperform time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 15 M
How to make suet cakes or suet plugs for birds.

materials:

tools:

steps:

  1. In medium saucepan, melt lard over low or medium low heat. When almost melted, add peanut butter and stir well.
  2. Add flour and cornmeal. Add the oats, seeds, dried fruits. Stir well.
  3. Pour in to 8x8 pan lined with waxed paper. Place in fridge or freezer.
  4. When hardened, cut in to small chunks or a square to fit your suet feeder. I was making plugs for my log feeder, so I cut them in to chunks. Store in freezer or fridge.
Created using Craft Card Maker


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How to make suet cakes for birds. This easy recipe is great for kids to make. This is the best home made suet cake or suet plug recipe for a bird feeder in your backyard. Homemade recipes like this one are easy to make. If you need ideas to make your own suet, this has several things that you can add.  Includes what is suet and DIY step by step instructions. #suet #birds #birdfeeder




Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, and several chickens. She loves Gilmore Girls, glitter, coffee, and her kids. But not in that order.