Suet Cakes for Birds
With the increased popularity in feeding birds, specialty shops have popped up to meet the demand. These stores are basically delicatessens for birds. You can't imagine all the different foods.
For instance, there is one blend called Birdola. It's something like a form of granola. And there are several different types of suet cakes. These are basically bird foods mixed with beef fat and other things such as almonds. One variety is actually packed with insects and another is made with papaya and orange.
Now the reason for all the mixtures is that each one offers food appealing to different kinds of birds. But I have an easy to make general recipe you can try at home and it starts with a trip to the grocery store.
To make the suet cakes follow this simple recipe:
1 pound beef fat
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup corn meal
1 cup birdseed
The key ingredient or "glue" that binds these suet cakes together is the meat fat trimmed and discarded by the butcher. Most butchers will be happy to give this to you and some will even grind it up, which makes it easier to use. Other ingredients you'll need to pick up - corn meal, oats and some peanut butter. I like to use the extra crunchy kind and you'll also need a small bag of birdseed of your choice.
To prepare this recipe melt one pound of beef fat over a low heat until it is in liquid form. Remove the saucepan from the stove then mix in one cup of peanut butter, one cup of rolled oats, one cup of corn meal and a cup of your favorite birdseed. Then pour the mixture into a form, any disposable container will do, and let it cool and solidify.
Once cooled fit the suet cake in a wire cage or net bag and hang it in a tree branch you can see from a window. In a few days, you should be able to see some fine feathered friends enjoying this home cooked meal.