29 March 2011

Feed the birds: homemade suet

When we first moved in, we were fortunate enough to have bird-loving neighbors who left us a lot of bird seed when they moved out of the neighborhood (sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn). However, we buy a lot of suet.  The birds go crazy for it and although not horribly expensive (1-2$ per block), it comes in plastic containers, which I'm trying to cut back on.

We stopped feeding the birds during the winter because Banjo got sprayed with a skunk. It was horrible! We think the bird seed attracted the skunks to our yard. We haven't seen them in awhile now, so we figure we can start feeding the birds again. The suet doesn't tend to go all over the yard like the loose seed. So, if the skunks come back we can at least continue with the suet.

I found a recipe for homemade suet on the cheap and it's super simple, with a lot less packaging overall. Just lard or shortening, peanut butter, and flour. You can buy a suet feeder for super cheap and sometimes find them at thrift stores.

Duncraft often has sales and special offers on all types of seed and feeders! 

Basic Bird Suet Recipe
• 1 cup vegetable shortening or lard
• 1 cup chunky peanut butter
• 2 cups regular unbleached or bleached flour
• 3 cups yellow cornmeal

1. Melt shortening/lard and peanut butter in large pot on stovetop using medium heat; remove from heat when melted.
2. Measure all the flour and cornmeal right into the pot.
3. Stir, stir, stir until everything is thoroughly blended.
4. Place mixture into your desired containers or as my friend Barbara has done, just pat up a handful and sort of make a hamburger patty type shape. *Note: I spray my containers with Pam as it does help the cakes come out cleaner from the containers.
5. Set your containers or patties into the refrigerator to set and then use as needed.

Duncraft Wild Bird Superstore

Currently Listening to:
Mike Doughty - I Hear the Bells

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