Friday, November 8, 2013

How To Make Suet Step By Step with pictures

Suet is the perfect thing for wintering birds. Birds in the winter need lots of fat and protein to stay warm. Suet attracts all types of birds, especially woodpeckers. Sometimes you'll get Pileated Woodpeckers, which is a real treat. Nuthatches and chickadees also love suet, and many, many other birds, Blue Jays, grackles, sparrows, juncos, ect...
Sometimes it seems like store bought suet just doesn't work. The birds peck at it a bit, but not much more than that. But if you add your own ingredients, they will love it. It's the perfect thing for your feathered friends.

1. Get some store bought suet. This is what you'll use as a start.

2. Put the suet into a pot and turn stove on between low and medium.

3. When the stove is warming up you'll have to get some ingredients ready. Get a yogurt bucket full of bird seed. Find lard and peanut butter and get it ready. I usually put dried meal worms and millet in too. Birds like nuts too, make sure they are unsalted.

Suet, peanut butter and lard

4. Put the lard and peanut butter in the pot and put a timer on for a few minutes. Try and chop up the suet blocks with your spoons, it will make them melt faster.

Stirring all the ingredients.

5.When the timer goes stir the mix and add the rest of the ingredients. A couple spoonfuls of peanut butter and lard, dump the bird seed into it and put whatever else you want to put in.

Now the mixture is like liquid. 

6. Wait until it turns to a very thin mixture. Turn the stove off and take the suet batch off the stove.

I tried some different containers, this one's a suet pie

7. Find some containers to put it in.

8. Find room in the freezer to put them in. When they're frozen put it in the suet cage  and watch the birds come.

I was being creative and making suet cupcakes
The suet doesn't melt, we use it in summer sometimes.
I never go according to any strict recipe I always do it different, trying out new things. My measurements are never exact.
If you don't have a suet cage, that's fine. Freeze it into a block and put it out on the deck rail or something, the birds will like it just as much.
If the birds don't like the batch, melt it all down again and add some more stuff.

This is going to be a suet block when it's frozen

I sprinkled the top the seeds
Downy Woodpecker on suet

Black-capped Chickadee taking a chunk from the suet cupcakes.

Red-breasted Nuthatch and Yellow-rumped Warbler

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker

 Share or comment if you liked the recipe.

 Other great bird blogs:
Prairie Birder
Ontario Birds and Herps
Bird Boy