How to Make Suet Bird Feed

Written by elizabethsusans | 13/05/2017
How to Make Suet Bird Feed
Fat balls are welcome food for wild birds. (Bird feeder image by lefebvre_jonathan from

Making a suet feeder is an enjoyable activity for adults and children alike. Suet is simply the hard fat from beef or mutton (often kidneys), which is then rendered to make it pure. You can buy ready-made suet in block form or make your own by rendering (heating and straining) fat trimmings to remove any tissue bits until you are left with pure fat. Homemade suet feeders are often enjoyed by birds even more than the store-bought varieties. Mix the suet with some wild bird seed and other food attractive to birds, and use store-bought fat ball cages or reuse yoghurt tubs tied up with string or old onion bags.

How to Make Suet Bird Feed
Set to a moderate heat and liquefy the suet (cooking image by feferoni from

Weigh 99.2gr of suet or lard and melt in a saucepan over moderate heat until liquefied.

How to Make Suet Bird Feed
Use good quality bird seed to create a balanced meal. (bird seeds loose image by Allyson Ricketts from

Weigh out 99.2gr of wild bird seed. Mix your bird seed and any other ingredients in with the melted fat in the saucepan. The mixture should be quite sticky so it will bind together properly to make the balls or cakes.

Leave to cool and set slightly.

If using yoghurt containers, pierce a hole in the bottom of each container, thread a 6-inch piece of garden twine through and knot the end inside the container firmly to prevent it from falling through.

Remove the suet mix from the pan with a spoon and roll into balls with your hands, or if using yoghurt containers mould into the bottom and squash it down firmly.

How to Make Suet Bird Feed
A wild bird enjoying hanging birdfood. (bird food image by tomcat2170 from

Allow the fat balls to set completely.

If using onion bags or fat ball holders, hang the fat balls and container on any suitable branch of a tree, bird feeder or hook on a wall with nearby vegetation for cover for the birds.


Be careful of feeding suet balls in summer as the fat can turn rancid and be bad for birds.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful of feeding suet balls in summer as the fat can turn rancid and be bad for birds.

Things you need

  • 99.2gr suet or lard
  • 99.2gr wild bird seed
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • Store-bought suet ball holder or cleaned yoghurt containers and garden twine or old onion bags
  • Optional extra ingredients:
  • Dried oats
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Cheese
  • Cake or biscuit crumbs
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Thistle

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