How to Make Easy Bird Seed Fat Balls

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

Although winter is seen as the most critical time for feeding birds, they do benefit from being fed all year round. In an ideal world your local environment would contain lots of natural bird food in the form of insects and seed heads, but birds can experience episodes of food shortage at any time of year, and often appreciate any supplementary food that is put out for them.

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

Due to having a highly predatory cat, we don’t have a bird table. It would be unfair of us to lure birds to an area he could access. He doesn’t, however, climb trees so when the kids asked to feed the birds  this is what we came up with.

 

How to Make Easy Bird Seed Fat Balls

 

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

We started by making fat balls. You can make these from lard or suet and a mix of seeds that are suitable for wild birds.

 

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

We simply mixed our seed into softened lard, adding a little at a time until our balls held together solidly when pressed tightly, and then popped them in the fridge to firm up. The kids loved mixing up the balls; it’s great, tactile, messy play!

 

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

If you make a large batch of bird seed fat balls you can freeze extras until they are needed.

In very warm weather, the fats can become rancid, so please bear that in mind during the summer.

 

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

For our feeder we used our Rustic Willow Ball. It’s perfect for the birds to hold on to, is totally bio-degradable, and can be hung up high in a tree well away from our prowling cat and other predators.

 

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

Another great way to feed garden birds if you don’t have a conventional feeder, and want to feed the birds in the trees, is to fill the bark holes in tree trunks with softened suet or lard containing insects, meal worms and peanut granules. This method is appreciated by birds such as tree-creepers and woodpeckers.

If you want to bring the birds in closer to your house, why not try a window bird feeder. We made ours from an old cake pan and the birds love it!

 

Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

We love our rustic home made bird feeder, and think it looks fab hung high up in our tree. We’d love to know if you feed the birds in your garden, and would be especially interested in hearing how you go about doing so if you have a cat.


Our home-made Willow bird feeder and Bird Seed Fat Cakes are a great way to feed the birds up in the trees or in your garden.

 

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32 comments

Pamela April 4, 2019 - 5:11 pm

What could I use…????plastic bowl??…in the summer to just use seed to feed?

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Sarah - Craft Invaders April 4, 2019 - 5:28 pm

You could certainly use a bowl inside Pamela, as long as you leave some holes in the weave big enough for the birds to access it. If you try it send us a pic – I’d love to see how it works out 🙂

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Nancy Zier November 2, 2017 - 10:49 am

My husband made the perfect feeder out of a 4×4 post. The top has a huge metal/glass 4compartment feeder. On each side of the post he mounted metal flower hooks/rods. On each hook we have different feeders. A Texas shaped sunflower feeder, a suet feeder, and 2 open feeders for fruit, nuts, and peanut butter balls for the Cardinals and Woodpeckers! He put a huge metal baffle on the post just below the feeders. No squirrels and no cats can get past that baffle!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders January 15, 2018 - 10:43 pm

Wow that sounds fab Nancy – off to show my hubby your comment and pester him!

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Daphne May 22, 2017 - 9:59 pm

Have you ever made no melt suet?

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 8, 2017 - 9:00 am

No I haven’t Daphne, off to google it now 🙂

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Gina Caro @ Gypsy Soul December 13, 2016 - 12:14 pm

Hi Sarah, This is great! My daughter would love to make these. We made some thrifty bird feeders a few years ago out of leftover milk cartons but I much prefer this as there’s no plastic involved.
Definitely going to try this soon.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders December 14, 2016 - 2:51 pm

Thanks Gina, using just natural materials is great as you can just put them up and forget about them without having to worry about polluting the environment – Hope you all have a lovely Christmas x

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Stephanie Robinson December 2, 2016 - 10:58 pm

The fat ball making looks gorgeously messy! #goinggreen

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Sarah - Craft Invaders December 7, 2016 - 2:26 pm

Lol yes it turned into proper messy play – the kids loved it!

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luce December 2, 2016 - 3:10 pm

This is an activity we will be adding to our list 🙂 thanks for sharing! #GoingGreenLinky

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Sarah - Craft Invaders December 7, 2016 - 2:26 pm

Thanks for popping by Luce 🙂

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Rosie (@greenrosielife) December 2, 2016 - 1:44 pm

I have always struggled to feed the birds here for 2 reasons – we have a large dog who was tall enough to get food off the bird table we tried (and finally pushed the table over) and we have 4 cats who definitely do climb trees. Last year I tied some fat balls in the back hedge and the birds ignored them until a storm knocked them to the ground and then the swooped down and devoured the lot! We do accidentally feed them though, as they pinch our hen/duck food. Water is important too, especially in freezing or very hot weather and I often see birds at our animal water bowls.

Thank you so much for adding this bird feeding post to the first #GoingGreenLinky and I hope you’ll join up again in January.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders December 7, 2016 - 2:25 pm

Thanks for having us on your #GoingGreenLinky Rosie. You are right water is so important too, and can be far more difficult for birds to access than we might realise 🙂

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Cheryl | TimeToCraft December 1, 2016 - 11:25 pm

I love your willow feeder. Great idea. We make suet balls too, but are lucky to only have one old cat in the neighbourhood. We’ve been putting out our homegrown sunflower heads which the birds are loving.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders December 2, 2016 - 8:33 am

Lucky birds, you must have been particularly popular with the birds over this cold snap 🙂

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Becky Brown December 1, 2016 - 5:07 pm

This is a great idea. We feed the birds, though not intentionally! We have chickens and the birds sit in the trees above their run and swoop down to steal their food when they’re not looking! It’s such a simple thing for kids to do as well. #goinggreen

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Sarah - Craft Invaders December 2, 2016 - 8:31 am

Thanks Becky, it is a great activity for kids – they loved making the fat balls 🙂

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Kat September 26, 2016 - 8:12 am

Oh wow what an amazing idea! I never knew making these would be so simple.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders September 30, 2016 - 9:57 am

They really are simple Kat, and making them is really fun messy play for kids too – mine loved it!

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Angela / Only Crumbs Remain June 28, 2016 - 3:25 pm

What a great post Sarah. We too love feeding the birds and really enjoy watching them come to the feeders to take their favourite nibble (fascinating how different birds prefer different foods). We too have a cat, though he is a house cat (many many reasons) he has semi long fur and when we groom him we save his fur and pop it out into a peanut feeder in early spring for the birds to take when they’re nest building. It’s seriously cute watching the little blue tits fly off with a huge pile of cat fur to keep their babies warm 🙂

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 30, 2016 - 1:35 pm

Thanks Angela, I love the image of all your bird nests lined with cat fur. I think we’ll definitely put out nesting material in one of these balls next spring 🙂

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TiredHappyMummy June 9, 2016 - 6:12 am

This is such a good idea, I’m adding it to our to do list!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:35 pm

Let me know if you try it 🙂

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Celeste June 8, 2016 - 4:42 pm

This is such a nice thing to do with children. It teaches them so much about the world around them.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:26 pm

I think its really important to have an understanding of the natural world, Celeste. They were fun to make 🙂

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Mary June 8, 2016 - 7:40 am

I love the willow ball! Our cat doesn’t really climb trees either but I’ll have to put it out on a small limb just to make sure 🙂

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:21 pm

We do love our cat, but hes a menace to the local wildlife – especially at this time of year 🙁

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Linda at Mixed Kreations June 7, 2016 - 11:48 pm

What a great idea! I love the willow balls. Great way to feed the birds. You could even use them to put string, straw, and stuff for nest building.

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:18 pm

Love the idea of putting nesting materials in them, Linda. – will definitely remember that for next spring 🙂

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Katrin June 7, 2016 - 7:16 pm

This is not only so so pretty but such a great craft and activity for the kids! I will pin this for the summer 😉 I remember when I was a kid, that we only ever used to put out bird seeds during the winter when there was frost, but I guess that has changed throughout the years! The birds in my yard actually benefit from our bunnies food as well 😉 but I’d love to make one of these!

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Sarah - Craft Invaders June 9, 2016 - 6:15 pm

Let me know if you make one Katrin – I’d love to see it 🙂

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