Prepare homemade suet cakes by mixing 2 parts melted fat with 2 parts cornmeal and 1 part peanut butter. Press the cakes into clean tuna cans, and place them in the refrigerator or freezer to harden. Release the hardened cakes, and serve them to birds in a mesh bag.
These cakes use practically any fat from the kitchen, including bacon grease and lard. Basic suet for feeding birds includes fat and seed. Oatmeal makes a good replacement for cornmeal in these cakes. Suet provides a high-fat food for birds to ensure they have sufficient calories when the temperatures drop. When there is snow on the ground, inspect the feeders, and replace them regularly, as birds are under more stress due to the weather.
For many birds, dried fruit is an enjoyable treat that is easy to incorporate into the suet cake. Mix raisins, citron, apricots or currants into the mix before placing the mix into the cans.
Insect-loving birds, including woodpeckers, cardinals, wrens and chickadees, benefit from suet cakes. When running short of fat to include in suet, mix the other ingredients with peanut butter. Spread the mixture into holes in small logs, and suspend the feeders from trees. There is no need to chill the feeders, as the peanut butter remains in the holes naturally.