Gardening is slowing down a bit this time of the year, but its also time to get my bird feeders ready to go for the winter.
I love feeding the birds in my back yard. Its been a passion of mine for so long. Just watching them grab a few nibbles with their mate and seeing all the different birds in our area. I wish we had more, but I don’t live next to the forest and there aren’t many trees in my area. I planted one in the back yard and that has drawn a few to my feeders. Birds really don’t care to hang around palm trees.
Birds love to eat from suet feeders. High fat treats are great when it really gets cold outside. True suet is made with animal fat and provides a good source of energy. The woodpeckers love my suet feeders, so I make sure I keep it filled. But I have one problem here in Central Florida. It does get hot and when it gets above 80 degrees here suet will get gooey. Yuk! Not good for my yard or the birds.
So I was on another mission of trying to find a solution. I visit Tractor Supply often to get my dogs food there and they always have a great selection of bird houses, feeders and seed mixtures. I then found a product I didn’t know about called No Melt Suet. I have also found these at Walmart and other stores. I had to try it and it works great!!! It stays hard and doesn’t make a mess.
I put out the suet in a suet feeder November 1st and I will keep it full until about May. So many birds migrate to and from Florida and if I leave it up in the summer time here, it will turn black from mold.
I have made my own suet in the past and its super easy. Suet is really just fat from beef that has been trimmed off. I go to my butcher and ask if he has any suet. Its usually just thrown out and the butcher has always been pleased to give me some. I have also found out that using real beef suet is what the birds like most. Lard was rarely touched. What suet I don’t use, I will put in the freezer.
Here is the recipe I use to make my own.
- 1 cup real beef suet
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 2 cups “quick cook” oatmeal
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
Melt the suet and peanut butter together in a large pot. Stir in the remaining ingredients, a little at a time. The mix should be the consistency of cookie dough. If it’s too runny, add more flour. Spoon it into suet trays (I keep trays from store bought suet). Press down in the trays firmly to make a nice solid block. I have had friends scope out balls with a cookie scoop or put them in small paper cups too. Freeze your blocks until time to use.
I have also added chopped up nuts, sunflower seeds and dried fruit to the mixture. The birds with thank you for those extra treats.
If you are looking for other recipes, here is a great source.
Get your hands dirty,
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