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Homemade Fat/Seed Balls for your Garden Birds


By crissue


Hi everyone….Hope you’re all well, and keeping warm
A Friend sent me this recipe at the weekend, so I thought I would share it with you all….

Nice idea here for your garden to feed the birds
Wild Bird Fat Ball Recipe

Here is the recipe for the fat balls

You will need:

  • Suet or lard (prefer suet because it cools to a more solid consistency and makes it easier to hang)
  • A selection of some of the following:
    o Birdseed
    o Finely chopped nuts
    o raisins
    o sultanas
    o bread
    o grated hard cheese
    o sunflower seeds
    o nyger seeds
    o uncooked porridge oats (very important they are uncooked)
    o dried fruit (Pre soaked)
    o uncooked, un-smoked bacon rind cut into very small pieces.

The acceptable proportions seem to be: 1/3 fat to 2/3 dry mix ingredients.


Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
Melt the suet or lard in a pan
allow to cool slightly, and then pour into the dry mixture. Stir well until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed
place in a container of your choice to set.

Suggested containers:

  • Ice cube trays for small ones
  • Yoghurt pot – make a hole in the base of an old yoghurt pot, thread string through the hole and knot, leaving enough to be able to tie to a tree out of the top. Fill the pot with the mixture, making sure the string runs up the centre. Put in the fridge to set, and when it’s fully hardened, cut the yoghurt pot away from the fat ball and tie to a tree or feeder.
  • Old ice cream tub – leave to set in the bottom of the tub, when solid turn out and either leave as a block on a bird table, or cut into smaller chunks.
  • Balls (we preferred these) – leave the mixture until it’s cool enough to handle, form into balls with your hands We actually found this was far easier if the mixture was placed in a small poly sandwich bag first then moulded like making a small snowball, squeezing hard to make it as dense as possible. We then pushed a length of insulated electrical wire through the ball so we could make a hanging loop at the top and bending the bottom over to hold the ball (see picture below).

Place in the fridge to finish hardening.

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Great thanks Sue :))))))))

6 Feb, 2012


thank you Crissue: Cold here and you passed that snow over and after I had told you to keep it there too. What are you like. xx B

6 Feb, 2012


Sounds great - thanks Sue. I've been feeling sorry for the poor little things while we're tucked up in the warm, so have given them loads of sunflower seeds for now. We have 5" of snow!

6 Feb, 2012


Great recipe Cris. thank you, I will add some mealy worms as well, think anything goes ! and the birds wont mind.

6 Feb, 2012


Great idea! :) I sometimes think the birds around here are better fed than me! lolol

6 Feb, 2012


Thank,s Chrissue, I make something similar adapted from,G.o.Y ers previous recipe's but I don't melt my lard, and use any stale biscuit's ,cereal,cake and then I crush the peanut's and roll the fat cake's in them :-))

6 Feb, 2012


Thanks Sue, think our feathered friends will appreciate a bit more in the conditions we have at the mo.

6 Feb, 2012


I put some dry porridge oats out yesterday and no bird is touching them. Pity, as my hubby and I both bought oats and I didn't like them (actually they didn't like me!) So I have 2 large bags of oats..........thought they would be great for the birds.....wonder if foxes like porridge?

6 Feb, 2012


I make a similar mix to this I carefully melt the lard in the microwave , I fill odd pots plus some of those half coconut shells they love it ........

6 Feb, 2012


What a fantastic response everyone, my friend will be pleased that you liked his recipe..He did say that it could be adapted, and the oats won't go amiss...Oh well good to know all our little feathered friends are well catered for...

Sorry B didn't mean for anyone to get the white stuff, we had two lots, and only just beginning very slowly to melt a little...The Weather forecasters here say we have one more week of this weather, then, Rain, that'll do for me...

Keep wrapped up and warm...xx

6 Feb, 2012


This is very similar to my recipe, the starlings love them, it worthwhile making these as they are much better than the ones you buy, I use lard, as it is easier to work with.

7 Feb, 2012


bin doing my ................. since the frost too ............... use up left over ceareals ................. patatoes , socked bread and rice as well . ;0))))) they love it lol .......... just watching them now !!

7 Feb, 2012


Put some spices in there and a dash of brandy and you nearly have a Christmas pud ! Lol )))

7 Feb, 2012


omg drunken birds lol .................

7 Feb, 2012


:))) Driad.. We could do with the brandy lol... It looks like most people have a little recipe or three to help our little Wild ones through these cold snaps...

8 Feb, 2012


a blackbird was sat in the tub this morn lol , think it was trying to defrost it lol , broght it in and stuck it in microwave then put it back out , herd them all chirp < thats better> heheh

8 Feb, 2012


Nice one Cris....:)))

10 Feb, 2012


Hi, thought you may also like my recipe....

Block of lard....cost about 35p
add anything you fancy....breadcrumbs, weetabix crushed, fruit, cheese and left over scraps.

Then just use your hands to squish the lot together. I then form into 3 decent sized fat balls, pop them on a tray and into the freezer to harden up, then pop into the fat ball feeder....they`re a winner and much cheaper than shop bought fat balls!!

10 Feb, 2012


Hi Andrea, another 'Winner' as you so rightly said, and I'm sure they appreciate your efforts, by leaving nothing. lol

11 Feb, 2012


They certainly I`m sure you notice, the birds much prefer these home made offerings to the bought ones....even had a woodpecker having a feed yesterday.

11 Feb, 2012


thats soooooooooo true ................. yes i put weetabix in mine tooo lol x

11 Feb, 2012


They seem to like a varied mixture....:))))

12 Feb, 2012


thanks for this! i'd been getting confused by all the "dos" and "don'ts" in recipes i'd found online. will make this my default!

27 May, 2014

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