Peanut butter suet dough for birds in cold weather


Ingredients. And in mere minutes…


Homemade suet dough for the birdies. A special treat when the temperature drops.

The recipe is from Julie Zickefoose, natural history writer and artist, via her bird-centric blog.


Melt in the microwave and stir together:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup lard

In a large mixing bowl, combine
2 cups chick starter
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.

I made half a batch this morning. Smells pretty good and the dog thinks so too. He thought I was making dog cookies.

titmouse dough

Here is a titmouse pecking away at a lump of it.

It’s better to crumble it a bit more, which I usually do. Easier for small birds and also then bluejays won’t carry off a big nugget of it to stash and horde in their secret bluejay dragon lairs.

I put some in the bluebird bell feeder too, and on the tray feeder. Popular with titmice, chickadees, bluebirds, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows and cardinals.

I store it in the refrigerator.

All ingredients are available from the grocery store except (unmedicated) chick starter. But it’s important to search it out at a feed store (or order it on Amazon like I did – F.M. Brown’s Encore Natural Chick Starter) to include high quality protein, nutrients and calcium. According to Zickefoose:

Chick starter is an extruded pellet that crumbles easily. It’s formulated to encourage growth and strong bones in young domestic chicks, kind of like puppy chow for birds. It’s got a lot more nutritional oomph than yellow cornmeal, oats, peanut butter or lard.

Tonight: snow and sleet on the way.

Update next morning…

downy woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker nibbles some dough in the cold rain.

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