Oct 16, 2008


I have just posted this on the Orkney forum but thought i would put it up here as well...

Here is a simple recipe for fat feeders that can be made at home. The advantage of these is the size compared to stuff you can buy. In the winter months a 2 or 3 ltr feeder will save you the hassle of refilling a fat ball feeder every couple of days. Add to this that they are more nutritious and a bit cheaper you and your birds should be well ahead.

Step one.

Gather all the gubbins that your going to need first.

Beef dripping


Wild bird seed

Big pan

Wooden spoon

2 Cups


Hanging sticks

Beef dripping. Proper beef dripping from your local butcher is the best choice. It is good and hard when set and makes for a durable feeder. I think it’s the only choice for this size of project.

Peanuts. These are used in equal weights with the amount of dripping and seed you use. But I might chuck in an extra cup of peanuts.

The bird seed. Try to avoid the really cheap seed mixes. If the seed you look at has lots of big seed like barley and wheat give it a swerve. Seed like this is not much use for attracting anything other than Pigeons and Collared Doves and Corvids. Look for a nice fine grain mix. This will prove the most attractive to the small birds we need to help in the cold weather.

Two cups. One to scoop the seed and nuts and one to scoop the warm dripping……using one cup makes loads of mess!!

Hanging sticks. The ones in the photo I made for the job but it is easy to make one from a small bit of branch from the garden. As long as you leave a few sticky out bits on it so the feeder weight is supported as the birds devour the block.

Moulds. These are made from Various stuff as you can see, a cooking oil bottle ,a drinks bottle and a couple of milk cartons.

Cover for your work surface. As you will be pouring warm dripping and seeds it will make a mess. Beware!

Step two

Put your peanuts in the blender and give them a whiz up. If you aint got a blender then bash them up in a bowl a cup at a time till they quite small. Put them aside with the bird seed ready to go.

Now comes the fat melting. I shouldn’t need to say this but I will. TAKE EXTREME CARE WHILST MELTING AND POURING THE FAT.

It is very easy to get burned. Please keep the kids away from this stage until you are ready to pour.

Cut the dripping in to lumps and melt slowly over a low heat. Keep stirring and as the last bits melt you should be about ready. Check the heat of the fat carefully remember you are not making chips!! The moulds are all capable of holding warm fat but hot fat will quickly melt them. If in any doubt then let the pan rest.

OK With everything ready pour one cup of dripping in the mould then one cup of seeds and one of nuts, stick in the hanging stick and puddle it up and down to make sure every thing is evenly mixed. Repeat this until the mould is full.

Try to get your seed n nut mix well saturated and add more mix if it has a clear layer of dripping on top. I try to get as much mix in to the fat as I can. Give the mix a quick twist with the hanging stick or a poke and prod with the back of a wooden spoon.

Work quickly with each mould as the warm dripping will get stiff quickly after it reaches a certain temperature.

Make as many as you can with the mix you have

Step three

Leave overnight to properly set then carefully cut away the moulds and discard. Hang one up an put the others in a cool place or the freezer until they are needed.

There you go nice easy to make and highly nutritious the only down side is who is going to do the washing up!!

It will soon be time for the RSPBs feed the birds day{sat oct 25th} where you will find all sorts of interesting feeding tips and information. This is a national event so where ever you are look to your local press for details and come along. We might even help you join up!!

Enjoy your birds.

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