Into The Air

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6 Simple Homemade Bird Suet Recipes

Red-bellied_Woodpecker-27527-2The thing I love most about birders is that they’re always willing to help and share their knowledge. So, when I asked what the best suet recipes were on our Facebook page, you responded with a host of great ideas.

For those who don’t know what it is, suet is a cake of fat and other ingredients (like seeds and fruits) that is fed to backyard birds in a suet feeder. It’s most advantageous to birds in the winter because that’s when they need high amounts of fat and nutrients to guide them through the frigid weather. Many birds that might not be attracted to seed feeders, like woodpeckers, love suet.

Even though you can buy pre-made suet, you can just as easily make some if you have a little time. Here are a few fantastic user-submitted recipes. (You can find more at our Facebook page.) Feel free to add your own in the comments section too!

Recipe 1

1 part cornmeal
1 part crunchy peanut butter
1 part lard
Sun flower chips and raisins

Directions:Heat on stove on low until well mixed; then pour onto parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze. Cut to size for feeder.

Recipe submitted by Erron Pujol

Recipe 2

1 part Crunchy peanut butter
1 part Yellow cornmeal
Melted bacon grease

Mix together. I press this mixture into the plastic suet containers from my store-bought suet. And, I rub it on the tree trunk. The birds love it!

—Recipe submitted by Gerre Foster Slaton

Recipe 3

1 cup lard
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups flour
3 cups cornmeal

Melt the lard and peanut butter, then add the other ingredients. I also throw in seed, nuts, or dried fruit as I have it. I press it into 3 bread pans. When it hardens, I cut each cake in half with a spatula and it pops out of the pans. This gives me six suet cakes that fit perfectly in my cages.

Recipe submitted by Carrie Nygard

Recipe 4

1 cup melted lard or beef suet
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups quick oats
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (optional)

Directions:Melt lard and peanut butter together on a low burner. Take off heat, and add remaining ingredients. Spread on a cookie sheet, and allow to cool in the refrigerator until the mixture is just hard enough to cut into pieces. Store in freezer bags and use as needed. The birds love it!

Recipe submitted by Susan L. Fessler

Recipe 5

1 1/2 cups lard,
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (melt)
3 cups of cornmeal
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Mix thoroughly and put in cupcake papers in cupcake pan. Refrigerate until hard. Take out of cupcake papers and put in plastic bag and store in fridge. My birds eat it all year long and it goes fast.

Recipe submitted by Nancy Stewart Haydock

Recipe 6

My grandmother’s recipe:
1lb of lard and some bacon grease (or any fat of your choice)
2 cups of peanut butter
6 cups of cornmeal,
5 cups of flour

Melt the lard and peanut butter together, then add the cornmeal and flour to the melted peanut butter and lard. Stir the mixture well. Put on a tray feeder, in a suet cage, or in a tin can. If you make the whole recipe and have too much, it freezes very well.

Recipe submitted by Prairie Birder


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  1. Wow, so many recipes, I want to try them all! Thanks for including mine to the mix.

  2. Beverly Boisen

    I love feeding the birds.
    Suet , black oil seeds and a mixture of other seeds purchased from the store.
    I also share my fresh oranges and apples with the birds and the squirrels too.



  4. Debi Roberts

    We will plan to participate in the bird count. We have been feeding the birds
    and providing fresh water for years. We have had a baby barred owl born just yards
    From our front door in a tall red oak. Now we have a Red Shouldered Hawk couple
    nesting in our woods about 75 to yards away. Thanks for all the great info.

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  6. Ruth Smith

    Most all of these recipes call for lard. But is coconut oil a good substitute?

    • Aid 4 Animals

      In looking up coconut oil as a substitute for Lard or animal fat, It has been used, but contains no Protein value.

  7. Michele

    Great info, thanx 4 the recipes going to try Grandmas recipe today !!! I also take all the stale bagels from work rip them up and throw them out for the birds with everyone’s apple cores !!! Looking forward to tomorrow and counting!!!!!

  8. Bobby

    I try one of the 2nd one down it was a hit they where at it in 5 min I put sunflower seeds with it

  9. Can you use cornbread mix?

  10. Beatrix

    I tried # 4 and the suet is out for a week. I saw one chickadee try it and leave it alone. No bird has taken to it so far. Any idea?

  11. Ned Shaw

    I tried using chicken and pork fat but the birds by me only like beef fat or comercial suet….no chicken or pork?

  12. L. Lane

    Do you have to heat it?

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