Suet is especially attractive to insect-eaters such as woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches and is a good winter energy source. Commercial no-melt suet preparations can be used throughout the year. Typical suet is the hard, white fat from around the beef kidney area, often available from butcher counters. Other fat sources including deer fat and rib cages also can be used. Suet is sometimes supplemented with a protein source such as canned dog food, dehydrated eggs, or peanut butter.
One option is to make your own suet cakes for the birds. Here is one recipe:
- 3 cups melted suet
- 3 cups cornmeal (preferably yellow)
- 1 cup peanut butter (preferably chunk style)
Melt the suet in a pan and add the cornmeal and peanut butter. Bird seeds, raisins, rolled oats, unsalted nutmeats, dehydrated egg, apple bits, brown sugar, honey or syrup also can be added. Add or subtract ingredients depending on what is handy, but avoid ingredients that have rich seasoning. Pour suet into cupcake papers in a muffin tin to harden.