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Friday, January 18, 2013

Making Suet

There are many different ways to make suet, and while it may actually be cheaper to buy suet at the store then to make your own, this can be a fun activity to do with your family.  If you prepare, or search correctly you may be able to get a local butcher to donate some beef suet or leftover fat to your cause.  You can also save up drippings from a bacon pan to add into the fat mixture.  The ingredients that you will need are:

Fat (bacon grease, beef suet, lard--are all acceptable fat choices)
Peanut butter
Dried fruit**
Corn meal
Bird seed**

Use about six cups of rendered (melted) fat and add roughly one cup of each dry ingredient.  The ** ingredients are optional--you can pick just one of the ingredients to add or add all of them, just keep in mind the ratio.  One you have added the dry ingredients to the melted fat, pour it into a pan of some description; I think aluminum pans work well for this project, but keep in mind the size of your suet feeder for the thickness.  Once you have poured the suet into the pan either set it outside (covered) so the birds don't help themselves yet or put it in a freezer for a few hours or until hardened.  Once the mixture has been hardened, you can cut it into smaller pieces that fit into your respective suet feeders.  Make sure that you keep the rest of the suet in a cold place (like your freezer) until you are ready to use it because it may melt on you!

Happy suet making!! If you make it, I assure you the birds LOVE the homemade suet, so its a neat thing to hang during the Nest Watch if you participate--more to come on the Nest Watch in the next few weeks!

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