This recipe is popular with jays, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers, sparrows, towhees, cardinals, bluebirds, mockingbirds, thrashers, warblers, and starlings. It helps birds through severe weather. High in fat and protein, this concoction is the ideal offering for birds like Carolina wrens and bluebirds who are insect-eaters that sometimes don’t survive ice storms and deep snow. Warblers and orioles that might linger around feeders take to it readily.
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Directions (small batch)
Melt in the microwave and stir together:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup lard
In a large mixing bowl, combine:
2 cups chick starter (unmedicated, available at any feed store)
2 cups quick oats
1 cup yellow cornmeal and
1 cup flour
Add melted lard/peanut butter mixture to the combined dry ingredients and mix well.
Ingredients (large batch)
5 cups (1 40 oz jar) peanut butter
5 cups (1/3 of the 64-oz bucket) of lard
10 cups chick starter
10 cups quick oats
5 cups yellow cornmeal
5 cups flour
Suet can be put out in several types of feeders. Personally I have had good luck attracting birds with an idea from Davis Mountains State Park where they had drilled ½ inch holes closely together and almost through an untreated piece of 2x4 about 18 inches long and hung where it can be taken down easily to be refilled with the peanut butter mixture. The Ft Davis recipe omits the chick starter & oats.
Please feed responsibly! Avoid feeding lard-based foods to birds during the warm spring and summer months, when they can find ample and natural sources of nourishment themselves. Birds that gorge on suet and other lard-based recipes run the risk of developing gout. Suet is best served during the winter months, and especially during harsh weather conditions.
The great surprise of feeding suet dough is the variety of birds it brings to your feeders. It’s attractive to unusual birds like eastern bluebird, dark-eyed junco, white-throated sparrow, song sparrow, blue jay, downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, and rufous-sided towhee. They know a good thing when they taste it. (Article taken in part from Bird Watcher’s Digest author Julie Zickefoose).