Vintage Teacup Bird Feeder with Bird Suet
The never-ending winter might be hard on us, but it is even harder on our feathered friends. Let’s spoil them with some home-made Bird Suet poured in an old flower covered teacup that screams “don’t worry it’s almost spring”! This is a super easy and fun craft to do with your child and teaches them the wonderful lessons of giving a helping hand to the other creatures we share this planet with.
What is Bird Suet:
Suet replenishes depleted stores of energy and nutrients, to help birds survive the long, cold months. Bird suet is made from fat – often rendered animal fat. This doesn’t exactly conjure up a picture of healthy dining. But, fat plays a very important role in both human and avian diets. Along with protein and carbohydrates, fat is one of the three dietary sources of calories – or energy. Fats are concentrated forms of energy and, per unit weight, provide more than twice the caloric energy as protein or carbohydrates of equivalent weight. This is very important for birds because their metabolisms are extremely accelerated. Fat energy helps them sustain activity levels longer between meals. So, bring out the suet!
– Old teacup (or a few if you want to hang a couple of them on your patio or in a tree in your yard)
– Rustic Rope
– Twig or any other small stick (even a chopstick works well)
– Feed Ingredients: Bacon fat droppings (or fat drippings from a roast or simply ask your butcher for some fat cuts) / seeds / nuts / raisins / oatmeal. You can also buy ready-made bird seed (for wild birds) and use that instead of the non-fat ingredients.
How to Make the Feed / Suet:
Put the skillet on medium heat and put the fat into the pan and close the lid. While the fat is melting, keep an eye on it because fat can catch fire. When it splatters too much, turn the temperature down. As the fat melts, tip the pan so that the liquid gathers on one side. Then drain the fat into your tea cup making sure the bits of meat, gristle or bone are left behind in the pan.
You want to let the fat cool down a bit because if you add the other ingredients immediately they will 1) get cooked which you don’t want and 2) it will all sink to the bottom leaving the top of your feed without goodies. So wait a while for the fat to start cooling down.
While the fat is still warm, add some goodies from your kitchen. You could add oatmeal, raisins soaked in a bit of water, unsalted chopped peanuts or shelled sunflower seeds. You could also buy some store prepared bird feed (make sure to buy feed for wild birds) and just use that or use it as part of your mix.
Finishing Your Feeder
Tie some rustic rope around the handle of your teacup. Length pending on where you are planning to hang your feeder.
When the suet is getting pretty close to being hard, insert a twig on an angle and have it stick out for about 2 inches. This will be the place for the birds to sit when enjoying your delish suet.
Wait for the suet to fully set and find a great spot in your front or backyard. THE BIRDS SAY THANK YOU!