Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Birds love fat-rich energy balls. These fat balls attract birds and provide them with all the calories they need to survive winter nights and days. They can be bought in shops, but they are easy to make at home. Mix together scraps from the kitchen, such as cheese, cake crumbs, and porridge oats, and place in the refrigerator overnight. Once the fat balls are done, place them in the bird box and watch them with your bird box camera!
Which Birds Benefit From Fat Balls For Birds?
Fat balls are very popular with blue tits, great and long-tailed tips, house sparrows and blackbirds.
Alternative Ingredients For Fat Balls
Rehydrated raisins, currants, and sultanas can be added, as well as small pieces of apple, pear, or grated cheddar cheese. You can also add crushed peanuts or mealworms.
Foods To Avoid
Avoid turkey fat because it doesn’t set as well as suet or lard and can coat birds’ feathers and prevent them from flying. It can also spread diseases. If you have a dog that is allergic to raisins or sultanas, it is best to avoid them. Hedgehogs can be poisoned by mealworms so make sure you only give them food in winter when they are hibernating.
Materials Needed To Make Fat Balls For Birds
- Lard or suet
- String or twine
- Old yogurt pots
- Unsalted peanuts
- Cake crumbs
- Grated cheese
Steps in Making Fat Balls For Birds
- Mix the ingredients – One part fat to two portions dry mixture is the best ratio. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the fat – Melt some suet or lard in a saucepan and then add the dry mixture. Mix well until all the fat is absorbed into the dry mixture and the mixture sticks together.
- Make the fat balls – poke a hole in a yogurt pot, thread through twine or string, and then fill the pot with your warm fat mix.
- Remove the yogurt pots – Place the fat balls in the refrigerator overnight. Then, cut through the pot and remove it. To secure the ball, tie a large knot at the end of the twine.
- Hang the fat balls – Place it in a tree or shrub and wait for birds to visit and feast.
Storing Fat Balls
You can keep a stash of fat cakes in the freezer. Take only one or two out each winter. They should not be left out in the summer heat as the fat could melt and contaminate birds’ feathers.