Wild Bird Suet Cakes

We very much enjoy feeding our wild bird population, but just like anything else available commercially, bird food is expensive.

To make your own suet cakes, melt one cup of rendered beef suet over low heat, add 1 cup cornmeal, 1 and 1/2 cups wild bird seed mix, raisins if you wish, and dried egg shells if you have any! You can also add bits of any dried fruit, dry oatmeal, et cetera. Mix well. Pack into a loaf pan. Chill for about an hour or until you need it. You can also freeze these loaves for use later this winter.

Hang outside under a tree in a mesh bag that you have saved from buying lemons or limes.

Gift Idea: Pour mixture into muffin tins and give these as Christmas gifts to fellow bird watchers.

Sidenote: I render beef suet, available from my local butcher shop very affordably, in my crockpot. It’s healthier for you than you might imagine, and it’s great for frying.

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  1. Being a Wisconsin native, I know cold and snow. It’s heartbreaking to think of the birds out there struggling. Feeding the chickadees suet balls was a routine I grew up with. We would just ask the butcher at the grocery store for the solid fat that was trimmed from the beef, and he would happily give it to us!

    We would simply use our bare hands and form balls (the heat from our hands would melt it enough to cooperate.) Then, we would press bird seed into the suet just by rolling the ball around in the seed and firmly pressing the seeds in with our hands. Then we would thread a piece of heavy string through (using a heavy duty sewing needle), loop it through a big button onto the bottom, and pull the string back up to the top and tie it off. Then tie it to a tree outside a window and wait for the birds to come.

    You can also cover a pine cone with suet for extra sturdiness (and an extra treat for the birds inside.) Sprinkle the pine cone full of bird seed, then pat suet on until the pine cone is covered. Pull a string tightly around the pine cone and hang it up.

    Be sure to hang in a shaded area and these suet balls can last for quite a while. They are super cheap to make and it is very entertaining to watch the happy birds!

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