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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Recipes » Blog article: For the Birds feed balls

For the Birds feed balls

You can easily attract many varieties of birds by providing fresh food and water for them. In Ireland, we don’t often have to worry about the water bit, but inexpensive bird feeders and treats can be made easily, often with materials you would otherwise throw away.

One thing to remember before you start to feed small birds though; once you start feeding wild birds it is better to continue to do so throughout the year as they learn where they can find food and may become dependent on what you give them.

Birds need high levels of saturated fats such as those found in lard, suet or Pork fat to keep their energy levels up. This is especially true in the winter when the cold weather causes them to use more energy up keeping warm.

We like to use excess fat from our Pork to make up ‘fat balls’ for the birds or, at Christmas, Bird Feeder decorations for the outdoor Christmas Tree.

bird feeder

Shaped Seed Cakes

These are really easy to make and, apart from the melting of the fat, are something that kids can help to make.

Melt your fat, lard or even dissolve a sachet of gelatine in water to form the sticky ‘glue’ that will bind the feeder together. Into the fat add: seeds, popcorn, bits of bread, dried fruit, sliced apples or pears, stale cake or biscuits, porridge oats, grated cheese or even leftover potatoes.

Now form the mix into balls, around a string or press the mixture into biscuit cutters or other similar moulds. Use the back of a teaspoon to press it down and create a solid shape. Don’t forget to add a string before the mixture sets.

Your garden birds will thank you!

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