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Make fat food for birds yourself: how to make bird dumplings with fat with simple steps

If you want to help your feathered friends survive the winter season, you can make fat food for birds yourself. There are a wide variety of fat balls, titmouse dumplings and pellets that you can buy to feed your backyard birds. However, a more affordable and pet-friendly option is to make your own bird dumplings. In addition, this can be an enjoyable activity for both adults and children. Below you will find what fat is suitable for bird feeders, as well as some simple preparation methods and ingredients you will need to make homemade tit dumplings.

What to consider when you make fat food for birds yourself?

use ingredients that are safe for wild birds and make your own bird dumplings

Wild birds love high-energy dumplings that provide them with all the calories they need to get through cold winter days and nights. As mentioned earlier, these are available in stores, but you can also prepare them at home without much effort. Simply mix kitchen scraps such as cheese, crumbs or dry oatmeal with melted lard or suet to reuse and refrigerate overnight.

make your own fat food for birds from suitable ingredients and prepare it in nets for hanging up

In addition, you can use lard, tallow or beef fat as core ingredients. However, also note that butter, margarine, coconut oil, peanut butter, etc. are NOT suitable for birds. They do not provide them with the proper saturated fats, nor do they freeze as solid as the animal fats mentioned. This also means that fat and oil can get on the birds’ feathers, affecting their heat insulating abilities and can even be fatal. So don’t risk it and avoid using cooking fat after preparing turkey or chicken for the same reason.

What other ingredients are suitable for bird dumplings?

mix seeds and other ingredients like peanuts or mealworms with lard and make your own fat food for birds

What you add next is up to you and there is no hard and fast rule as to exactly what needs to go into the fat food. You can add raisins and raisins, oatmeal, mixed seeds, peanuts, grated cheese, bread crumbs, etc. in whatever quantities you like. Some of these are ingredients you may already have in your cupboard. In terms of peanuts, you can chop or grind them in a food processor before adding. In other words, you should combine two parts dry ingredients to one part fat. However, don’t use anything with salt in it either, as this can make garden birds sick. Likewise, don’t use anything with mold in it.

at room temperature, form lard with a mixture of nuts and mealworms as bird dumplings


So add dried fruits like raisins, currants and raisins, small pieces of apple or pear, or grated cheese. Ground nuts and even mealworms are also good for this. Otherwise, you need something to throw them in. It’s worth checking your wastebasket afterward! Old plastic take-out containers work very well, as do yogurt pots and similar plastic containers, or even old coconut shells. If you don’t already have a bird feeder or bird feeder of your own, perhaps you could drill a hole in the bottom of the container and use a string to hang it up once you’re done. Here are some more instructions to follow when doing this:

  • You should avoid raisins and raisins if you have a pet, as they are toxic to some animals. Since some dogs and cats react badly to raisins, you should not expose them in places where these animals could reach them.
  • Also remember that mealworms are harmful to hedgehogs. So add them only if you make fat food for birds themselves in the winter, when hedgehogs hibernate.
  • Making bird food is also not recommended for children with nut allergies.
  • Note that some of the ingredients you buy for birds is not suitable for human consumption.

According to what methods of preparation you can make fat food for birds themselves?

make a small ball of fat food for birds and prepare it with sunflower seeds

First of all, you need either a large bowl (method 1 below) or a pot and a spoon (method 2). So there are two ways to do this. If the whole family helps, you should choose method 1. However, if you want something more efficient and less “involved” as a DIY project, then the second preparation method is more suitable for you. Here are the materials and ingredients you can use:

  • Hard fat, like lard or tallow, at room temperature.
  • 1 handful of birdseed
  • 1 handful of unsalted peanuts
  • Grated cheese or raisins
  • Dry leftovers such as oatmeal or bread
  • Old, clean recyclable yogurt cups or coconut shells as a plastic-free alternative
  • String
  • Small stick, about 7-12 inches long
  • This makes one to four fat bird dumplings, depending on size.

Using Method 1, make your own fat bird food with children.

diy project with children homemade fat food for birds as a family project


  • First take out the lard, chop it into a few pieces and start squeezing it between your hands over the bowl.
  • It starts out solid, but then warms up quickly and is easy to work with and mash.
  • Once it has warmed up a bit, you can add the dry ingredients.
  • Take a handful and keep adding them to the birdseed dumpling until everything is well blended.
  • Then add more birdseed and continue adding dry ingredients, but stop before it gets crumbly.
  • Make sure it all holds together. When you think the dumpling is done, press it into your plastic container.
  • Put the homemade birdseed in the refrigerator overnight to keep it fresh.

Efficient cooking method 2 on the stove top.

melt two blocks of animal fat on the stove top as a core ingredient for bird dumplings

  • First, place your lard in a pot and heat it on the stove.
  • Once it’s melted, add the dry ingredients and stir. This way you make sure everything is well covered with the melted fat.
  • When you’re done, pour the mixture into a container, being careful not to let it get too hot.
  • Again, let the mixture set in the refrigerator overnight.
  • You can then form the birdseed into balls at room temperature.

melt lard in a pot and use ingredients like oatmeal and raisins for bird food

So it can be easy, inexpensive, and really rewarding to watch your backyard birds eat something you made yourself. Be patient, though, as it can take a few days for wildlife to try something new. Once they get used to it, though, they will keep coming back. Also, remember that this type of food is great for backyard birds during the cold winter months, but don’t put them out when the temperature warms up in the spring and summer. Here are some more tips you can follow to get everything right.

Follow more tips and make your own fat food for birds

feed garden birds in winter with tit dumplings and homemade bird food

Always avoid feeding waterfowl like ducks and swans with such bird feeders. To feed garden birds safely, follow the tips below:

  • Hang the fat ball on a tree or shrub and wait for the birds to come and eat.
  • Buy approved bird feed from reputable sources.
  • Provide food for only a few days and feed it in moderation to avoid spoiling the ingredients.
  • Keep birdhouses or bird feeders separate so birds are not in too close contact.
  • Clean and disinfect feeding areas regularly.
  • Wash your and your children’s hands thoroughly after handling bird feeders and droppings.