Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Feeding winter friends

I made a big batch of suet bird balls last night and had a couple of requests for my 'recipe'.

For this batch I used some ground up fat left over from one of Mr. Pixie's sausage making adventures. I added bird seed, oats and cornmeal. My fat was quite firm as it had been in the fridge, so I heated a small portion to make the ingredients easier to combine. Then I smashed and mashed until it was nicely mixed. After I form them into balls, I pop them in to the freezer to firm up.

You can use different types of fat to make feeder balls including lard and vegetable shortening. You can even add peanut butter! The fat can hold quite a bit of dried seed/grain material. 1 part fat to 3 or 4 parts dried material will work well. You can add seed, nuts, cornmeal, fruits and grains.

When ready, tie well with string and hang on a spindly branch so that the cheeky squirrels can't get at them.

Quick notes: Rice is fine for birds and will not harm them... they will not explode. Peanut butter will not make their beaks stick together. Fat is a very good thing to feed winter birds as it is a good source of energy and helps to keep our feathered friends warm.