Tuesday, 8 January 2008

cooking for birds

It's a bit chilly out there and our feathered friends need our help! We've been feeding the birds here with suet blocks from the garden centre that fit into the flat holders. So after my dad gave me the idea I decided that I would try to make some like he does instead of buying them. I have no idea if this worked out cheaper or if they're more nutritious but it was fun!

I had lots of ideas for different flavours and in the end decided on different combinations of veggie fat, niger seed, sunflower seed, tinned raspberries and oats.

It's not rocket science but this is how I did it...

I saved the plastic packaging that the original blocks came in and lined one with tinfoil and left the others naked as a bit of an experiment to see which would come out better. Then in this particular one I piled in some oats and niger seed and mixed it up a bit. You can really heap it in.

In an old pan I melted about 125g of vegetable fat for each block I was making (I used Trex), then I thought seeing as the birds seemed to like the old berry flavoured blocks I would add some tinned raspberries. Of course the mixture separates a bit in the pan but as long as you don't put too much juice in it all works out ok in the end.

Next I poured the fat mixture into the container and gave it a stir. In the background are two I made earlier (in true blue peter style!!): One with oats & raspberries and the other with oats, sunflower, niger seed and raspberries (yes, went a bit mad with that one!).

Then I left them to cool before putting them in the fridge.

A couple of hours later and I turned them out. I don't think you really need the tinfoil as they came out easily without breaking.

Dah dah!! I waited to see which bird would be first on there and it was a blue tit which didn't seem overly impressed but I'm glad to say that since then the siskins have been devouring the one with the niger seed and the starlings seem to really love both. I still have the 'everything' block waiting in the fridge.

Do you do anything to help the wildlife where you live?

No comments: