Birds & Blooms

Make Your Own Suet

Add equal parts nutritious treats and creativity to mix up a combo your backyard birds will love.

- BY RACHEL MAIDL

LARD

All good suet mixes need a solid base. Lard (pig fat) is a convenient replacemen­t for traditiona­l suet (the waxy fat around sheep and cow kidneys and loins). Most supermarke­t lard is already rendered and strained to remove any stray pieces of meat.

RAISINS

Many birds eat fruit in the winter if it’s readily available. Add raisins, cranberrie­s, apples or chunks of dried fruit to your mix.

BIRDSEED

You might have birdseed, another common ingredient in suet, already on hand. Black oil sunflower, thistle and white millet seed are naturally high in fat or oils and give birds the energy to thrive in winter.

PEANUTS

Super nutritious peanuts give birds a much-needed protein boost, plus they’re high in fat. Be sure to use only unsalted, out of the shell peanuts in your blend.

QUICK OATS

Ingredient­s like quick oats, cornmeal and flour help with the consistenc­y of suet cakes. They make the mixture more crumbly and easier for the birds to eat.

PEANUT BUTTER

Natural peanut butters are easy to melt, loaded with protein and fat, and can be used in combinatio­n with lard or beef fat as a base for your recipe. Try using crunchy peanut butter to add a nutty kick.

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