is it ok to feed birds ordinary suet rather the prepared bird suet you can buy

I have noticed that it is much cheaper to buy the tesco branded suet rather than buy the prepared suet in the pet shops.  Is this ok to give the birds ?  I feed them dried fruit, oats but always buy the prepared suet.  I seem to be getting through so much of the stuff it is costing me a fortune.




  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Probably better. The prepared stuff will be a way of charging you more


  • Caz WCaz W Posts: 1,353

    Lavender Lady - I've been feeding mine on suet and lard for many years and they seem to love it.  I melt it and mix it with oats, seeds, dried fruit, etc. and make my own fat balls either to put in the feeder or hang up somewhere.  I have even just put it out as it is and it all gets eaten very quickly.   Much cheaper!

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,155

    My suet or lard is just bought from the supermarket, birds seem to prefer home made fat balls to the bought ready made one's, which I find, are only half eaten, then disintegrate and scatter on the ground.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,606

    If you've got a friendly butcher why not ask for a lump of fresh suet?  It's what we always used to buy 'back in the old days' and I presume cattle still come equipped with it?  It used to be my job to grate it on a cheese grater for Ma to make suet dumplings with.  I'm sure it'll be even more economical.  

    You could just tie some string around t and hang it from a branch somewhere - that's what Ma did when we'd grated as much as possible off the membrane - she'd tie it to a branch of the buddliea outside her kitchen window so she could watch the birds while washing up. image

    Or of course you can melt it down in a pan and make fat balls.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • I have been using suet and lard for years, as fat balls and as it is. I buy the cheapest  that I can find(Lidl and Aldi is cheapest at the moment) The most expensive is Tesco and Sainsburys(49p last week) Might have gone up since the snowfall!

    My problem is stopping the water freezing in the bird bath, floating balls, hot water in bowls etc. have not worked. I even tried the additive sold by PRIMROSE on Amazon (pricey at £5.00p plus £5.00p P&P !!)

    Luckily, the pond is still O K with the pump still working ( will have to be turned off if it gets any colder) together with an old rug on top of the pond over night.No wonder the young neighbours (with a concrete garden) think that I am a saddo! image

  • I have used the supermarket suet before. I always mixed mine with seeds, fruit and oats as well as meal worms. The problem I had was that it seemed to melt when it was hung up. Have I been doing something wrong? image

    On another similar wireworm meal worm under a different name???

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Mealworms aren't wireworms but it would be a good use for all the unwanted pests wouldn't it? Catch them, dry them and store for winter bird food

  • nutcutlet wrote (see)

    Mealworms aren't wireworms but it would be a good use for all the unwanted pests wouldn't it? Catch them, dry them and store for winter bird food

    MWAhahahahahahahahahahaha image Nutcutlet, Thats made my day lol. Their days are numbered and my feathered freinds will be happy. Thanks hun image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Just off to sort out a drying system.

  • If you can't be bothered to catch can make food for the birds from all sorts of stuff you probably already have in kitchen cupboards.   Stale bread, crackers, biscuits etc can all be whizzed in a blender for few seconds and mixed with left-over fat from, say, a roast - or you can mix in some vegetable oil.  It won't stick together (but it would if you use suet or beef dripping/lamb fat) and will probably provide as many calories.   You can add all sorts of other things too, if you have them:  unsalted peanuts (whizz them a bit first) cooked rice, grated cheese rind, porridge oats and so on work well too, and you can even use peanut butter if there's any left in the jar!  I put the resulting mix on a bird-table type thing, and also made a hanging "table" from an old/unused plastic tray.  I made three holes in the rim of the tray and hung it from an apple tree branch using one of those chain-type thingys which you get with hanging baskets.  Have also used wire coathangers in the past  to make a hanging-hook type thing. 

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