Indoor pets or wild birds dining at your outdoor feeder enjoy homemade birdseed treats. A simple treat for birds is made by bringing suet or lard to room temperature and mixing in birdseed, nuts, fruits or cereals. The mixture can be spread onto a pinecone and hung from a tree outside or in your pet's cage. Lots of other treats can be made.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Peanut butter
- Pipe cleaners
- Egg whites
- Miniature pots
Make a suet block by melting 450 g (one pound) of lard with 95 g (three-fourths cup) peanut butter. Combine 65 g (one-half cup) flour, 65 g (one-half cup) cornmeal and 130 g (one cup) of sugar. Mix the dry ingredients into the lard and peanut butter mixture. Add 160 g (one and one-half cups) of mixed seed and spread in a 22-by-12 cm (nine-by-five inch) bread pan lined with cling film. Let cool and cut into four portions.
Twist several pipe cleaners together end to end. Slide Cheerios onto the pipe cleaners and dab peanut butter onto each Cheerio. Dip the Cheerios into birdseed. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaners together and hang over a tree branch or on your indoor bird's perch.
Combine one cup of birdseed, a teaspoon of honey and one egg white. Add enough small chunks of nuts and fruit to make a thick mixture. Spread the mixture on a baking tray lined with waxed paper and let sit for two hours. Break the mixture up into small chunks.
Scoop out the contents of a jar of plain or crunchy peanut butter onto a piece of waxed paper. Spray your fingers with cooking spray and roll one tablespoon of peanut butter into a small ball. Spread birdseed on another piece of waxed paper and roll the peanut butter ball in the seed. Continue until all the peanut butter is used up. Store on waxed paper in the refrigerator, or wrap in freezer paper and freeze for up to a year.
Coat a cuttlebone with honey and sprinkle it with birdseed. Place in the freezer until the seeds are firmly set in the honey, then bring to room temperature. Use in your bird's cage.
Spread peanut butter on all sides of a bagel. Roll the bagel in birdseed and chopped dried fruit pieces. Drizzle with honey and put in a 120 degree C (250 degree F) oven for five minutes. Hang outside or cut into pieces for an indoor pet.
Create birdseed bells by mixing two egg whites, beaten, per cup of birdseed. Line miniature terra cotta pots with aluminium foil. Pack the birdseed mixture into the pots and thread a wire through the mixture and out the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. Set on a baking tray and put in the oven at 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) until the egg whites have cooked. Cool, then remove the seed mixture. Use the wire to hang the bell.
Tips and warnings
- Educate yourself about what fruits, nuts and cereals are suitable for birds.
- If you live in the Southwest, beware of hanging birdseed treats close to your house; fallen seeds attract rodents, which attract snakes, some of which are venomous.
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