The following recipes for suet are my favourites and the first ones I used for years, in both summer and winter. It lasts very well during the heat in summer and doesn’t get all sloppy. (I always keep suet feeders in the shade in summer.)
The wild birds just love it. But be fairly warned, if you start to use it, be prepared to mix it often!
Dog food (canned or dry)
Processed meat (no additives or spice)
Chopped dried fruit
Bakery products (bread, buns, doughnuts, cookies, crackers)
Seeds (hemp, poppy)
Ground bone (bone meal or cuttlebone)
Sunflower seeds shelled
Other shelled seeds
Dried crushed egg shells
Sand/gravel - birds need this for digestion
The last two ingredients are to provide wild birds with their need for calcium from the egg shells and grit for digestion from the sand.
Both these ingredients are difficult for wild birds to find during the winter in snowy regions. (More about Winter Feeding for Bird Watching.)
They will both be well accepted by the birds if served separately on their own too.)
Recipes for suet should be made with a variety of wild bird food to increase its nutritional value.
Cut oranges or grapefruits in half, then scoop out the pulp to make little fruit baskets. Attach string or yarn to hang when filled with suet.
Same as above with melon or pumpkin shells. Leaving a little pulp will be well received.
hard taco shells
ice cream cones
baked tart or pie shells
Re-purposed household containers:
plastic food containers
cartons (like milk comes in) - pack mixture to top, cool in refrigerator, then slide or cut out of carton, slice
old pottery or ceramic bowls and cups no longer used
Wild birds will love mealworms added to your homemade suet.
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