Making Suet

This is a simple recipe that your Songbirds will love,
especially in the winter when food may be scarce:
(And - don't forget to keep Water available in freezing weather !)

Clockwise: These equal amounts of Ground Peanuts, Beef Tallow Flakes, Raisins (or other dried fruit), Bird Seed Mix, and Sunflower Seeds will attract most Songbirds to your back yard.
Different Birds have different preferences. So you may want to make several "flavors" and hang them at various locations. You may even skip the messy Tallow and use Peanut Butter instead.

Insect-eating Birds such as Wood Peckers and Robins, may prefer the Beef Tallow by itself. Mocking Birds may prefer Dried Fruits such as Apples(Schnitz), Plums(Prunes), and Grapes(Raisins). 

Cardinals, Chickadees, and Titmice  may pick out the Sunflower Seeds, while many species of Sparrows and other ground-diners will be delighted  with whatever falls from the feeders.

Titmice are noted for emptying a feeder of Sunflower Seeds, by scratching everything else to the ground, as they stash them in a favorite crevice under Tree Bark and return for another.

Ask your Butcher to grind a pound of Beef Tallow. 
Put it in a deep pot that will completely cover the burner, so there is no chance of the Hot Fat getting on the burner and causing a FIRE ! 
. . . Turn the burner on LOW and stay with it.

When the Tallow has liquefied, you have three choices:
- Add the other ingredients, or
- Remove the solids to be fried crisp and added back to the mix.
- Or drain the liquid off to be used alone.

Turn the Burner off and allow the liquefied Tallow to cool somewhat; then remove it safely to your working area. Mix about four times as much Fruit and Seeds as you have Tallow. Blend them into the Tallow completely. 

Then pour or spoon the warm mixture into forms like a Christmas Tree, Snowman or Cat to give to your friends. Or just pour enough into tapered plastic Freezer Boxes so when cooled, the squares will pop out and fit into your favorite Suet Feeders. Or use old Suet containers over and over again. Refrigerated Suet Cakes should not turn rancid for at least a month.
Or dip Pine Cones in the warm Mix, big end down, to fill all the nooks and crannies with tasty morsels. Or fill holes drilled in a sawed off tree limb and hang it for your Feathered Friends.
Clean your pot out with a slice of Whole-Grain Bread and add it to the mix. A slice laid in the freezer boxes before the Mixture is added may appeal to certain Birds. 

Or just spread Chunky Peanut Butter or Fruit Jam on a sliced and toasted English Muffin. You may not want to share this with your Birds.

The Birds in your particular area should determine the ingredients of your Suet. Watch what is eaten first and add more of that to your next batch. Whatever is eaten last and least should be minimized in future Mixtures. 


A Special Bluebird Winter Mix:
using frozen Blueberries and live Meal Worms (which will be preserved when they are submerged in the hot Tallow).
~ 1/2 cup live Meal Worms
~ 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries (thawed completely and drained).
~ 1/4 cup hot Beef Tallow
~ 1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

Submerge the live Meal Worms in Hot Tallow, then add the Blueberries and Creamy Peanut Butter and mix thoroughly. 

Spoon it into a Form to cool. If your particular Tallow does not set up solid, then put it directly into a Milk Jug Suet Feeder and hang it in an area frequented by Bluebirds. 

Unless your Bluebirds are already accustomed to eating at a feeder, other Insect-eaters may empty this Feeder before the Bluebirds find it. But don't give up - keep filling it.

Potential Suet Ingredients:
~ Bakery items - dried
~ Bird Seed
~ Cereals - crushed 
~ Corn Chips - crushed
~ Corn - cracked
~ Corn Meal
~ Dates - cut-up
~ Dog or Cat Food, Dry - ground
~ *Egg Shells - crushed 
~ Fruit as found in "Trail Mix"
~ Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins
~ Oranges- When you peel an Orange with a knife,
leave 1/8" of Fruit on the peel, and add 1/2" squares to your Suet. Orioles are especially fond of Orange treats.
~ Peanuts or other nuts - ground
~ Prunes - cut-up 
~ Raisins

* You should save your Egg Shells all year. Bake them in an oven or Microwave. They will become very brittle. Put them in a plastic bag. Crush them with the bottom of a Cup or Drinking Glass until they are the size of the Blue Asterix. Mix them with Bird Seed or Suet. They build Bones and Bird Eggshells.

Don't worry about giving Birds something they don't like. 
If they don't like it, they wont eat it. You can hardly go wrong.

Except for Processed Meats that may contain unpronounceable additives, which may be harmful to you and your Songbirds, and may also attract undesirable Animals.


The best Beef Tallow is from the Kidney and Loin area. But if your Butcher gets his Beef in "Quarters", then this choice Tallow may have been discarded before he gets his refrigerated shipment. 

If you let Tallow cool overnight and then reheat it; 
when it cools the second time it will become  harder.

The lower quality strips of limber Fat next to muscle tissue may be less solid when processed, and may also become rancid quicker. 

Page 2:  Making Suet Feeders

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