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Bird Food Recipe: Suet

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Suet is the perfect bird food recipe for the winter months when birds' food sources dwindle. Suet is loved by nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, chickadees, cardinals, and most insect-eating birds.

  • You can use almost any seed or grain, mixed with bacon fat, lard, or peanut butter. A basic suet combines equal parts of bacon fat and assorted birdseed.
  • Put it in a tuna or cat food can to chill (or freeze) until it's hard enough to hold its shape, then release it into a wire suet cage or sturdy mesh bag.
  • For a fancier suet, add peanut butter to the mix. You can also bind cornmeal or oatmeal with straight peanut butter and spread it into holes drilled in a post or log.
  • Birds also like dried fruits, so consider adding raisins, currants, apricots, or citron.

Here is a suet recipe from our archives: 

Suet Cake

  • 2 parts melted fat (bacon fat, suet, or lard)
  • 2 parts yellow cornmeal
  • 1 part peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together and cook for a few minutes. Pour into small containers (tuna fish cans are good), and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Mixture can also be stuffed into 1-inch holes drilled in small logs to hang from trees. The recipe can be made all year long as long as you accumulate fat. Fasten containers securely to trees or feeders.

Enjoy watching your feathered friends warm up by your window!

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How do You keep the squirrels

By kay wolter

How do You keep the squirrels away....

Hang the suet at least 8 feet

By Almanac Staff

Hang the suet at least 8 feet up away from structures and trees. You can also add baffles below the suet. Go to our squirrel page to find more hints.


I use a quart milk container

By Nicolee

I use a quart milk container and just cut it to match the size of the suet container. We make it in bulk. LOL

How can I make suet that

By jessica warner

How can I make suet that doesn't melt in the summer months?

We generally don't do suet in

By Almanac Staff

We generally don't do suet in summer because melted soft suet can coat belly feathers which can be dangerous.
There are commercial no-melt suet cakes; they generally add lots of flour or meal to bind them together and keep them from melting. 

Almost every time I make suet

By Barbara jean

Almost every time I make suet it falls apart. I have only made it once successfully. I used this recipe just yesterday, added bird seed and raisins and yup it fell apart too. I used Vegetable shortening is that the problem? I read in several places that it would be fine.



If you've modified the recipe

By Almanac Staff

If you've modified the recipe a bit, perhaps the proportions of ingredients need adjustment? If it's too crumbly, try adding more sticky stuff, such as peanut butter.

Thank you, I will give it a

By Barbara jean crocker

Thank you, I will give it a try. Is there much of a difference between the Beef lard you would buy and Vegetable shortening beyond taste that is.

Thank you much


Do not use veg shortening! It

By Botany Bill

Do not use veg shortening! It is hydrogenated veg fat, which is not a natural product and is certainly not part of any animal's diet and not what they are looking for.

would suet mixed with

By KathyY

would suet mixed with Planters Nut-trition peanut butter containing semi sweet chocolate, cherries and cranberries be OK to feed the birds. I'm worried about the little specks of chocolate in the peanut butter mixture. Thanks Kathy Y

Never feed birds chocolate.

By Almanac Staff

Never feed birds chocolate. It is poisonous to them.

Easy attractive recipe! We

By glenn marquette

Easy attractive recipe! We live in Vermont and the birds just love it! So enjoyable to see life in anotherwise dreary long cold winter! Thank you

I love your suet recipe. I

By Noel Parker

I love your suet recipe. I live in Southern Arizona desert and I put the suet in containers because it will definitely melt in the heat. The Thrashers, Cactus Wren and all others, including the Doves, Woodpeckers and even the Pyrrhuloxia empty the containers fast! I also put out orange halves stuck on a stick.

Don't need to melt the

By nicfam5

Don't need to melt the lard,just shape into balls and freeze...

I'm thrilled to find the bird

By Lor9

I'm thrilled to find the bird food recipes! Can't wait to try the suet. Keep the recipes coming!

I'm definitely going to try

By Ann Hicks

I'm definitely going to try this with my grandson who is coming for the Christmas holidays.

This is a good suet. I add

By bird brain

This is a good suet. I add rasins, ground orange peels and honey. also if you use the hard plastic sandwich containers, they are perfect molds for the suet feeders. The citric acid from the peelings is a minor preservitve.

Thanks for the tip about the

By redvixen

Thanks for the tip about the hard plastic sandwich container! Fits perfectly in my suet feeder.

I love the bird food recipe.

By Karen Perl

I love the bird food recipe. My only problem is i live in Southern California And it's not practical to use suets. (It's just not cold enough) But if you hang Many Hummingbird feeders you will get an amazing show everyday! Especially in the evening, I get at least 20 or more fighting at once for a quick sip! What a show!!!!

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