It has been unbearably cold here lately, like much of the east coast! We have spent considerable time reading, knitting, and/or gaming in front of the pellet stove as well as continuing to observe the wildlife that visits our backyard and leave little tracks in the snow. We keep our bird feeder stocked and put squirrel feed on our deck (Bowser the cat loves to smoosh himself against the door, watching!). Making suet treats gives birds, like the ones below I photographed from the deck, much needed calories and energy to thrive in the bitter cold.
- One part fat that is solid at room temperature (we used 8 ounces of bacon grease)
- One part peanut butter
- One part oatmeal
- One part bird and/or squirrel feed (but we used more than 8 ounces to get a proper consistency – closer to two parts – see photo below!)
- Optional: dried fruit, such as raisins or currants, can be added too!
Melt the fat and peanut butter in a pot over medium heat. Whisk together, remove from heat, then stir in the oatmeal, and then the seeds. We added more seeds because the mixture seemed a bit light on the seeds. The photo below is the finished mix, so you can see our see to fat/peanut butter to seeds ratio.
Spoon the mix into silicone molds (or recycled tuna or cat food cans!), placing a small length of jute cord inside to form a loop to hang the treats outside. We happened to have mini bundt molds that leave a perfect hole in the center to put string through! Hang the treats outside and keep in mind that these are for cold weather only – they’ll turn rancid quickly in warmer temperatures. This recipe made just over 11 suet treats formed in silicone muffin-sized pans. It didn’t take long before we saw birds coming to snack!