It is not difficult to create fat balls yourself, and if you get a little creative you can make them in many shapes. Fun to do with children, for example.

There are several recipes for making fat balls. You can make fat balls with coconut fat or coconut oil, with butter, with gelatin, with peanut butter, or with beef tallow. Read the article for tips and recipes.

Suet cakes for birds

In winter it can get very cold and that takes up a lot of energy for small birds. A good time to feed them. Feeding birds is no problem at all, they eat until they are no longer hungry and they do not forget how to find food themselves. So, you can make and hang fat balls with confidence. This provides an extra source of energy for the birds in this cold period.

The big advantage of making your own fat balls is that there is no harmful plastic net around it that birds can ingest. Different recipes are of course possible. Below you can read what the best fat ball for birds is and how to make it.

Fat balls for birds are also called suet cake.

The fat ball is mainly eaten by small songbirds such as the robin, the house sparrow, the great tit, and the starling. Sometimes you also see larger birds, such as corvids, feeding on the suet cake.

Besides being nutritious for birds, hanging up fat balls also has another function; it’s just fun to watch. You get more visits from birds and it is super relaxing to see such a small house sparrow feast on your self-made fat ball.

Making fat balls with children

Making suet cake with children is creative and educational. All recipes below are suitable for making with your son or daughter. Children enjoy crafting and besides this, you make them a little more involved with nature. You will see that they keep an eye on their fat bulb to see if birds are enjoying it.

bird seed for fat balls

Make fat balls with coconut fat or coconut oil

Coconut fat and coconut oil are the same product. Coconut fat becomes oil at a temperature above 25 degrees. If you are familiar with coconut oil, you probably noticed that the same jar is a lot more liquid in the summer than in the winter.

For the fat balls with coconut fat, you need birdseed, cookie cutters, a ribbon, coconut fat of course, and a straw.

  1. Put two tablespoons of coconut fat in a pan and put it on the fire until it is completely melted.
  2. Add 1 cup of seeds and stir thoroughly.
  3. Divide your mixture into a few cookie cutters.
  4. Push a straw into your mold to make a hole for the ribbon to pass through later to hang your fat mold.
  5. Put the filled cookie cutters in the fridge for about an hour.
  6. Push the fat ball out of the cookie cutters, thread the ribbon through and they are ready to hang.

DIY fat balls with butter

Make fat balls with butter, unsalted butter to be specific, an old kitchen roll, and some birdseed.

  1. Roll the old kitchen roll through the unsalted butter until it has a good layer of butter.
  2. Sprinkle the birdseed over the kitchen roll.
  3. Attach a ribbon and hang it in your garden! It couldn’t be simpler.

cookie cutters

Make suet cakes with gelatin

Fat balls with gelatin are a so-called healthy choice, these fat balls contain less fat and are therefore less suitable for the extremely cold weather where fat is important for birds to keep their temperature in order. In a milder period, it is fine to offer birds these gelatin balls.

What do you need? You will need a packet of gelatin, water, 1 cup of flour, birdseed, a piece of string or ribbon, aluminum foil, and a straw.

For the shape in which you want to make the fat ball, just look at what you have at home, a rubber baking mold, for example, cookie cutters, paper cupcake cases (remove the paper when you are ready!), Plastic cup, teacup, ice cube tray, you name it.

  1. Place your molds where you want to put your mix in on aluminum foil. Baking paper is also possible. This way they won’t stick to the surface when you’re done.
  2. Let the gelatin leaves soak in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes and then squeeze the gelatin properly.
  3. Dissolve the gelatin in a cup of hot water and then pour it into a bowl.
  4. Mix the bird food with your gelatin and stir well.
  5. Mix in 1 cup of flour.
  6. Scoop your mixture into the mold. Press it well with the spoon so that the mold is completely filled.
  7. Push a straw through your mold and make a hole that you can thread your ribbon through later. You can also do this with a skewer.
  8. Let the molds dry for one and a half to two hours and then remove them from the mold. After that, your gelatin balls can dry for another day to solidify.
  9. Thread a ribbon or rope through your fat ball and hang it in your garden.

DIY fat balls with peanut butter

The suet fat ball with peanut butter is actually the same variant as the fat ball with butter.

  1. Roll the old kitchen roll through the peanut butter until it has a good coating.
  2. Sprinkle the birdseed over the kitchen roll.
  3. Attach a ribbon and hang it in your garden! It couldn’t be simpler.

Make fat balls with beef tallow

Tallow fat balls are very nutritious for birds.

  1. Melt beeft tallow in a pan.
  2. Add birdseed to the tallow. Stir well and let it cool down a bit.
  3. Pour the mixture into a mold of your choice, for example, a can, a tea glass, half a coconut, or a rubber baking mold.
  4. Before it is completely clotted, put a thread in the mixture that sticks out.
  5. Make a loop in your wire and hang your fat ball in the garden as soon as it is solid!

hang fat balls in winter

Hanging suet cake

It is best to hang your fat ball in the winter. Due to the cold weather, birds lose a lot of energy, which can be perfectly replenished by the fat from a suet cake. One bird likes it when the fat bulb is hanging high, and another prefers fat balls hanging from a bush. So make several fat balls and hang them at different heights in your garden.

As I mentioned above, another reason for hanging fat balls is to observe birds. So hang it in a place that you can see well from your warm home.

Fat bulb holder

Doesn’t it work out as planned with your molds and old kitchen rolls? You can also buy a fat ball holder and put your fat ball (pieces) in it.

By the way, you can also place a few pieces on a table or in a birdhouse or feeding board, this way birds that aren’t capable of hanging on a fat ball can also eat it.