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.
NEW ZICK DOUGH: 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
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.
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 nibbles some dough in the cold rain.