When it comes to treating the birds to a winter’s treat, nothing is more appealing to more birds, eaten with more satisfaction than fat balls. As the name suggests, the food has amongst other elements a high fat content (typically lard or suet) mixed with a variety of other ingredients including breadcrumb, nut, seed etc. Typically the shape certainly of the manufactured product is usually a rounded shape or sphere (various sizes) and sometimes sold in small netting (which should be removed as smaller birds can become caught and suffer serious injury or worse).
Here’s a great recipe to create your own fat ball winter’s treat and so easy to prepare. Do try and experiment with other mixes and shapes/containers.
Simply soften a block of lard (in oven/microwave) and add your favourite seed (crushed sunflower) or crushed nut (plain peanut). Fill the container (small plastic pot or yogurt container or paper cup) and using a kebab stick or knitting needle to help pass a string carefully through the centre of the mix. Tie a knot at the base and allow the mix to set (place in a fridge for a few hours).
Gently remove mix from container and hang from tree branch and get ready to be entertained by the birds flocking to feast on the fat ball.
Other possible mixes to try with lard include breadcrumb, sultanas and oatmeal; crushed weetabix and sunflower seed.