Homemade Suet Recipes and Suet Feeding Tips for Birds

We've got the best suet recipes and tips for feeding suet to backyard birds. Save money and attract more birds with homemade bird suet!

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Suet attracts woodpeckers and many other insect-eating birds. Nuthatches, juncos, chickadees and jays will also stop at backyard feeders for a high-fat treat.

True suet, especially the kind made with animal fat, provides a good source of energy for many feeder birds. Try these homemade bird suet recipes in your backyard and see which suet recipe attracts the most birds.

Peanut Butter Suet Recipe

  • One cup peanut butter.
  • One cup lard;
  • Two cups quick cooking oats;
  • Two cups bird seed mix;
  • One cup yellow cornmeal;
  • One cup flour.

Melt peanut butter and lard over low heat. In a large bowl, mix quick oats, birdseed mix, yellow cornmeal and flour. Stir melted ingredients into the dry mix. Once cool, press into molds and refrigerate.

Pseudo Suet Recipe

Linda Popejoy of Concord, North Carolina, writes: “I work at a Wild Birds Unlimited store, and I’m always encouraging my customers to make their own recipes filled with fat (rather than sugars and grains) to best benefit the birds. Here’s my simple method for making suet-type food.”

  • Two cups shelled, unsalted peanuts;
  • 1/2-cup raisins;
  • Two to three tablespoons cornmeal.

Run peanuts through a food processor until they’re the consistency of peanut butter. Then add the raisins and process for another minute. Add the cornmeal and process again. Press this mixture into a mold of your choice. This recipe will have the greatest nutritional value for your feathered friends.

pine siskin and bluebird on peanut butter log feeder
Pine siskin and eastern bluebird on a log feeder with homemade suet

Spreadable Suet Recipe

“I like to spread my suet on tree limbs so more birds can get to it at one time,” writes Naomi Manalo of Middleton, Delaware. “Here’s a recipe I’ve put together for homemade bird suet. The birds can’t get enough of it, even the juncos.”

  • One cup cornmeal;
  • One cup sugar;
  • 1/2-cup flour;
  • 3/4-cup water;
  • One cup peanut butter;
  • One cup lard;
  • One cup raisins.

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Then add the water and mix. Put peanut butter and lard in a small bowl and microwave for two minutes. Add to the cornmeal mixture along with the raisins. Refrigerate for about two hours.

Suet Treat Recipe

“Attract woodpeckers, as well as chickadees and nuthatches, with this homemade suet recipe,” writes Rebecca Beiler of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “The best part is this suet mix won’t melt when it’s warm outside.”

  • One cup lard;
  • One cup peanut butter;
  • 2-1/2-cups oats;
  • 2-1/2-cups cornmeal;
  • Raisins, nuts or birdseed (optional).

Melt lard and peanut butter. Stir in oats and cornmeal. Add optional ingredients. Pour the mixture into a pan and chill in refrigerator overnight. Cut into squares and wrap in plastic for easy storage.

Recipe for Homemade Bird Suet Cakes

“Make this suet cake treat and hang it from trees or bird feeders in mesh bags,” writes Mary Hochstetler of Milford, Indiana.

  • One cup lard;
  • Two cups whole wheat flour;
  • One cup crunchy peanut butter;
  • One cup honey;
  • Two eggs;
  • One cup oats.

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased nine-inch square pan. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The Best Suet Feeding Tips

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Readers and contributors share clever solutions to keep pests and critters away and serve more birds.

“Add twigs to a cage-style feeder to enhance the access for birds. A fledgling red-headed woodpecker (above) seemed to appreciate the extra perch.” — Judy Roberts.

“After the local deer kept stealing our suet, I finally found a solution. I use a simple pulley system that places the feeders out of their reach and saves me having to get up on a ladder.” — Lori Bowers.

“Freeze your suet to keep it fresh for longer. My woodpeckers even seem to like it better that way.”  — Mark Kittrell.

“Slather a layer of peanut butter on your suet. It won’t last long!” — Lori Lorraine.

“Raccoons figured out how to open my metal suet feeders, so I lock them with a carabiner clip. It works like a charm.” — Sue Gronholz.

“I use spreadable suet, which is sometimes called bark butter. I smear it on trees and it attracts tons of birds. I like that it gives visitors a natural perch instead of a hanging wire cage suet feeder.” — Lynette Buckner.