Fat is a great, high-calorie food for all kinds of birds, especially in winter, when other nutrient-dense food sources such as insects and berries are in short supply. Most garden supply and pet stores offer commercial suet cakes and fat balls for sale. However, it's less expensive to make them yourself.Continue Reading
The best ratio for this creation is a mixture of 2 parts dry mix to 1 part fat. Choose any dry mix that suits you; black oil sunflower seed is a favorite of many birds, but cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, white or red millet, chopped nuts and dried fruit, especially berries, also work well. Put all of your dry ingredients in a bow and mix well.
Melt a suitable amount of lard or suet for the 2-1 ratio mixture in a small pan. Avoid using turkey fat because it does not set well and may coat the birds' feathers, making it difficult for them to fly.
Pour the dry ingredients into the pan, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture sticks together.
Use an old yogurt container to hold the fat balls while they cool. Punch a hole in the bottom of the container, and pull a 12-inch or longer piece of string or twine through the hole. Carefully pour the warm suet and seed mixture into the yogurt container. Place it in the refrigerator overnight to cool.
When the fat balls are solid, cut the yogurt container away and tie a large knot in the string to hold it in place. Hang the fat balls from a tree at a height of about 7 or 8 feet.
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