We made bird suet. For the past year, I’ve been saving citrus shells in the freezer. Juice a lemon – pull out the segments, add the shells to the bag. Use orange in a recipe – same thing. If you want the zest, make stripes down the shell. Or random spots.
The suet recipe we make is vegan. I know a lot of birds eat meat, but I happen to have a lot of coconut oil on hand. And it’s solid under 76 degrees, so it won’t melt if we get a random warm-ish day.
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cheap peanut butter (the kind with sugar – I avoid anything that’s got crazy ingredients like HFCS or stabilizers)
1 T hot pepper flakes
1/2 cup corn meal
1 cup rolled oats, run through a food processor to powder
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups bird seed
Put a pot on low heat, add the coconut oil, peanut butter, and hot pepper flakes (I used hot pepper powder, so it isn’t really visible).
Stir both the oil and peanut butter have melted. Remove from heat and stir in other ingredients.
Voila, suet. Scoop into citrus shells (you’ll need something to hold the shells upright until the suet cools and sets) or pour into a glass food storage container. Once it sets, you can cut to fit your suet feeder. Remaining bits can be melted and re-poured.