Fat balls

Fat Balls – Feed the Birds

by Claire Guest

Winter has arrived and as the cold weather bites, water, food and safe nesting space for our native and migratory birds can be scarce. Common winter birds such as robins and sparrows are regularly seen in our gardens at this time of year, and the frosty weather is particularly tough on them. One option for us is to make our own fat balls to help feed the birds this winter.

It is important that during these chilly months we do all that we can to support our local birdlife. To make the most of feeding the birds this year, plant bushes and shrubs that bear berries, these will ensure a regular and natural food supply for the birds during the chilly months.

Make sure you regularly check and clean bird feeders and be sure to install a squirrel proof bird feeder. Try and mix things up too, a range different foods and feeders attract different kinds of birds. Our tree is festooned with homemade fat balls, coconut and apple slices and nut baskets.

These fat balls are a great cheap and easy way to feed the birds. Makes around 4 balls.

Fat Ball Recipe

Ingredients:

2 packets lard
2 cups dry ingredients (a mix of seeds, chopped unsalted nuts, oats, raisins and dried breadcrumbs)

Method:

Bring your lard to room temperature and place in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients and using your hands’ mix well together.
Once mixed well, take a handful of the nutty mixture, and shape it by hand into round balls, about the size of a small orange. Once you have shaped all of the mixture, add the balls to a squirrel-proof bird feeder and hang it in a secure spot in the garden. Store any extra fat balls somewhere cool and dry in an airtight container.

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