how to make bird suet from beef fat

In the winter months, farm life slows down a bit. The fields are covered in snow and the year’s harvest is resting in grain bins waiting to be sold. Colder months provide farmers the opportunity to tend to aspects of farming that get overlooked in the warmer months. This usually means focusing on business operations and servicing equipment. But it can also include projects that make farm life more beautiful and interesting — like a suet birdfeeder.

Homemade suet is an economic and ecological treat that’s sure to add a little life to your farm. It’s also a great way to entertain and educate your kids for a few hours one morning or afternoon. During the winter, birds need more calories to maintain their energy levels and to retain body heat. Since many of their natural food sources decline during this season, suet is a much-needed lifeline for them.

Make two holes in the carton with a sharp knife that are large enough to accommodate your wooden dowel. Then, push the dowel through the suet and out the other side. Repeat this with the other dowel piece, raising it a few inches.

then use your spatula to smooth the top over so that the string protrudes like this from the top.

When ready, remove from refrigerator and carefully peel off carton, taking extra care not to pull out the wooden perches.

Chop the beef suet (if purchased from a butcher shop) and place it into a medium-sized saucepan. Melt the chunks of fat over low heat until mostly liquid. There will still be some substantial fat and debris particles. After that, slowly transfer the pot’s contents into a container by straining them through cheesecloth. Discard the cheesecloth and its contents.

Next, cut a long enough piece of kitchen string, then knot the end. When you’re done, this will serve as your “hook” to hang from a branch or feeder hanger; it should measure about 12 inches.

How to Make Suet: The Basics

1.) Sharpknife or meat grinder

4.) Finemesh strainer or cheesecloth

1.) Animalfat or vegetable fat like Crisco

2.) Flour,oatmeal, yellow cornmeal, millet, etc

3.) Organiccrunchy peanut butter

6.) Unflavored seeds and nuts (optional)

Nothing to It, But to Suet

The hard, white fatty tissue called suet is present on cattle’s kidneys and loins. Suet is made from animal fat that has been formed into hard balls, cakes, or other shapes. One example of suet is the fat that stays in the pan after cooking a package of bacon. If you live on a cattle farm, you can make use of the trimmings of leftover beef fat.

There are a few other options available if you don’t have access to your own fat trimmings. This includes buying fat from the grocery store or requesting free or inexpensive trimmings from your neighborhood butcher. The pan drippings from cooking steak, bacon, or pork are a fantastic source of suet. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can buy vegetables instead of meat.

The simplest form of suet is just melted and shaped beef fat. But in order to attract birds, most people add a few extra ingredients. Suet is beneficial to many different species of birds, but not all species do. The most well-known insects to eat suet are woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, nuthatches, starlings, titmice, jays, and other insect-eating birds. A suet feeder may also occasionally attract cardinals, creepers, warblers, or kinglets.


Can you make suet with beef fat?

Suet is solid at room temperature, and so long as outside temperatures remain below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, all you have to do is put out raw beef fat.

Can I put raw beef fat out for birds?

Birds will eat the fat of cattle, hogs and other animals. However, the fatty food most commonly fed backyard birds is beef fat also known as suet. The very best suet is found around the kidneys and loins of cattle. When rendered, this fat won’t become rancid or melt in warm weather as quickly as other fats.

Can I use hamburger grease to make bird suet?

A bird feeder made with hamburger or meat grease might attract unwanted animals such as rodents or raccoons. If you are interested in making this type of feeder, get real suet (the hard fat of cattle and sheep) from the butcher and cook it down.

Is it cheaper to make your own suet?

If you are a “quantity” birdfeeder, making your own is far more affordable than purchasing commercial products. That being said, it is messy and does require care around the stove and work area since you will be melting tallow (beef fat) or pork fat. Suet is animal fat that has been rendered and then allowed to cool.