At this time of year, when the ground is frosty and hard and the winter sun is weak, food options for wild birds can be limited. But you can give them a little help by putting extra food out to keep them going through the colder months. Fat balls (or suet balls) are a nutritious, high-energy treat which will have birds flocking to your garden all winter.
Check out our range of fat balls, or why not have a go at making them yourself from things you probably already have at home? With this simple fat ball (bird cake) recipe, it couldn’t be easier.
Making bird feed balls is great fun for the kids to get involved with, and they’ll love watching wild birds eat their food! Just follow our simple step-by-step guide and you can’t go wrong.
What you’ll need
String or twine
Dry ingredients—wild bird seed, uncooked porridge oats (it’s important that they aren’t cooked), currants and sultanas, bread and cake crumbs, grated cheese and peanuts are all ideal.
IMPORTANT: This activity is not suitable for children with nut or peanut allergies.
How it’s done
Step 1: Decide which dry ingredients you want to use and mix them together.
Step 2: Cut your lard into small chunks then, in a bowl, combine with your dry ingredients until the mixture sticks together. Add more dry ingredients/lard as necessary. Fat balls tend to work best with one part fat to two parts dry mixture.
Step 3: Roll your mixture into chunky balls. Tie a big knot in your string or twine, then thread into the mixture, ensuring the knot is fully surrounded by the mixture.
Step 4: Place the balls in the fridge to set for a few hours (overnight if possible) until they’re hard.
Step 5: Hang your fat balls outside by tying the string or twine on a tree. You can also make balls without string to fill your fat ball feeder!
Step 6: Wait for your feathered friends to come flocking!