This vegan recipe provides the fat that birds need in the cold
While feeding birds is not necessary year-round in our temperate climate, (there are some exceptions), birds definitely begin to have trouble finding suitable, nutritious food when the weather turns cold and snowy. Now is an important time to provide high fat, accessible food for our feathered friends. Birds seem to start coming to my backyard for a meal once the temperature drops below zero and especially when there’s snow on the ground.
You can find advice on many websites about what to feed and when – check out this store in Vancouver. However, if like me, you’re trying to avoid feeding suet (animal fat), I have a great recipe for a high-fat, vegan ‘suet’ that the birds in my backyard love. Of course, you’ll still need the wire suet cake holder, available at any pet supply or bird supply store.
- 1 1/2 cup Shortening
- 3/4 cup Peanut Butter
- 3 1/2 cup Wild Bird Seed
- 1 cup Quick Oats
- 1/2 cup Corn Meal/Polenta
Stir together your bird seed, oats, and corn meal. Set aside.
Melt the shortening and peanut butter together and stir until completely combined (you want the mixture to be a smooth liquid). Pour into the seed mixture and stir together until the seed mixture is thoroughly coated and no dry spots remain.
Spoon the mixture into moulds of your choice, spreading and smoothing to edges, and freeze until set (about an hour)… Alternatively, allow to cool in the refrigerator until the mixture can be easily moulded by hand. Form balls (or whatever shape you think the birds would like), use a skewer to make a hole to hang from string, and freeze until set.
Store in the freezer until ready to use.
I put the suet into two ziplock bags and while it’s still somewhat soft, scrunch it into two wire suet holders. Once it’s frozen, all you have to do is pull the block out of the holder, remove the bag and place it back into the cage. Hang where birds can easily access all sides and somewhere they are safe from predators. Added bonus? Cat TV, all day (do keep those cats on the inside of the window!)