Suet for the birds...by I.M.Squirrel

lanternboy(Z8 WA)December 5, 2007

I have a good suet recipe that has worked well for me and is pretty easy to make.

I use the paper cans that my frozen orange juice comes in and save the bacon grease in it. When it's full, I melt the bacon grease down in a pan and get another empty O.J. can and fill it up with my bird seed mix, (which is about 75% sunflower seeds) mix it in with the grease and then fill the O.J. can once more with corn meal and mix 'em all together and heat on low for about 5 minutes. I put the mix in a large glass baking pan I got from Salvation Army and let it cool. I then make a feeder out of an old log, about 4" to 6" in dia. and about 1 foot long. Then drill 3/4" holes about 1/2" deep. I also will drill a small hole below the big hole and fit it with a small stick to make a perch. I use a knife to remove the suet and stick it in the holes.

With my bird feeds, suet feeders, hummingbird feeders, and my water bowls, I got to have the happiest birds in the neighborhood. Except for when Mr Hawk decides to flow threw. Things are pretty quite then.

Happy birding

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pondwelr(z5 WI)

That sounds pretty easy. What is the cornmeal for, a binder? I get coons and possums that climb 9 ft up the stairs to my upper deck to get at suet tho. That bacon smell will attract them for sure. I keep boxes of rendered lard from the grocery store on hand to fill out some of my wire suet feeder cages, because the little boxes of bird suet I buy at Fleet Farm dont begin to fill even the smallest cage. I never thought of using a log or anything like that. What an innovative idea. Thanks for the tips. Pondy

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 3:09PM
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maifleur01

Since I am giving my husband a set of nested bisquit cutters the idea popped in my mind that if you were handy. I am not. You could cut rounds of the suet just smaller than the holes. Good use of materials and a good reminder to look and shop at Salvation Army and other thrift shops. Now that people that became mature in the fifties are clearing out their houses and down sizing you will find more plastic and aluminum items then will come the sixies etc. It is very interesting to see what was treasured and held onto for each era in this type of shop.

The corn meal with its cracks and edges allow the suet to soak into the corn meal and helps hold the stuff together.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2007 at 8:27PM
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jmc7104

Also add some melted crunchy peanutbutter, raw oatmeal flour, chopped raisens dried shredded coconut, dried crushed egg shell and you will have ever species of birds that come to feedres eating there. Had couple Robins spend winter here in N.W. Illinois last year and suet was was their main sorce of food here. jim

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 11:30PM
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mimidi(z8)

Jim how fine do you chop the raisens. I am about to make my first batch of suet.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 4:57PM
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jmc7104

Not real peticular about size. Just toss a handfull in nut chopper or coffee grinder. I have seen the larger birds find a whole raisen and eat it. The biggest reason for chopping is to make sure they get spread out. jim

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 8:04AM
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mimidi(z8)

Thanks. I made some suet last Saturday and put it out Sunday. So far the birds around me have not even bothered to try it. They feed at all the feeders around the suet but ignore the good stuff.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 2:33PM
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quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)

This is a wonderful thread and I cant wait to try it! We had a large dead limb fall out of a tree last week and it would be perfect for a suet log! How can I use it, stand it up whole as a garden ornament and bird feeder? How do you use your short suete log? Hang it or what, how? I suppose anything will work no matter how we do it. Mimidi, is it working yet?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 3:13PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi all, I built a Suet log and started making suet mixtures in December 06, and it's been going strong since! The Suet Log attracts such a wide variety of birds, I cannot believe how successfully it works. I have Eastern Bluebirds that visit daily, since peanut butter suet is a favorite of theirs. They are beautiful to watch.

The Suet log is made with Red pine (Pinus resinosa) log, bark, and perches. It has a natural rustic look. But you can use any wood! Bark and perches help the birds feed at the log. They can cling to the bark or perch and eat the suet.

Many people hang their log from a tree branch or hanger, but my log is pole-mounted about six feet up with a squirrel/raccoon baffle. I drilled a hole about 3-4 inches deep straight up the bottom of the log, so that it slides over the pole. It is a very secure installation. Highly recommended!

I drilled holes for the suet and glued perches underneath some of the holes, and branches around the top of the log, kind of like an "umbrella" effect. The birds absolutely love to hang out on the perches and branches. Sometimes I will have 4 or 5 species eating or hanging out. Even the finches, who do not eat the suet at all, like to hang out on the branches.

The only drawback is that over time, the perches and branches DO break or come loose, and some maintenance is necessary. But the basic log itself, has remained solid and intact through 4 seasons in all weather, and the birds really don't care if a perch is broken!

The Suet mixture I make with rendered suet ("Simply Suet" from Wild Birds Unlimited), crunchy peanut butter, corn meal, ww flour, ground up oats, and crushed peanuts/other nuts as basic ingredients, approx 1/2 fat, 1/2 dried ingredients. I've also added currants (these are small raisins that don't need to be chopped), leftover dried cat food, ground up dried & baked eggshells, etc. They love it all!

Here are photos of the feeding station, and the finished suet mixture. Also some pretty visitors that come to the log!

My feeding station - includes the Suet log, 2 small Black oil sunflower feeders, and couple water features:

This is what the suet mixture looks like when finished:

The small flock of Bluebirds, who are regular visitors:

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:58AM
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river_brat

I,m excited about making some suet, I do have a question I'm hoping some one knows the answer to or an opinion,
I see some use bacon grease, isn't it to salty? In winter I worry about it. Thanks for any help

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 10:57AM
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