Home Made Fat Balls for Birds

January 22, 2019 11 Comments
How to Make Fat Balls for Birds

In the coldest months of the year it’s really important to feed the birds in our gardens. Wild birds benefit from all year round feeding, but it is particularly important in the winter.  When it’s cold, birds need high fat food to give them plenty of energy and to help keep them warm. It’s really easy to make Fat Balls for Birds, and this post gives you step by step instructions on how to do it.

Providing fat balls for birds and other bird food also helps encourage birds into your garden, along with providing suitable nesting places for them.   We are really lucky and get lots of lovely birds in our garden. Last year I had a Robin nest in my greenhouse, and was lucky enough to see Blue Tit babies flying from their nest box.  I want to do all that I can to support our population of garden birds, starting with some winter feeding to get them through the coldest months of the year. Hopefully in return they will be frequent visitors of our garden.

This is also a great Winter activity to do with the kids, and it helps them to get closer to nature. It’s a really simple recipe, and it’s great to see the kids watching their homemade fat balls for visitors. You can even get the kids to make a note of how many different types of bird visit their feeder!

So if you’d like to see how easy they are to make, read on, or Pin it for later!

Pin Homemade Fat Balls for Birds!

You Will Need:

  • 150g rolled oats
  • 250g wild bird seed mix
  • 200g lard
  • Empty yoghurt pots (washed and cleaned)
  • Garden twine or string
  • Small screwdriver
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Scissors

How to Make Fat Balls for Birds

  1. Carefully pierce the bottom of your yoghurt pots with a screwdriver, and thread through a length of garden twine. Leave quite a long length of twine at each end.
  2. Mix all of your dry ingredients in a bowl.  I stuck with rolled oats and wild bird seed mix because it’s what I had available. However, you can also add other ingredients such as sultanas, currants or even grated cheese. Aim for 1 part fat to 2 part dry ingredients and you shouldn’t go wrong.
  3. Melt the lard in a saucepan over a low heat until it is completely liquid.
  4. Pour the melted lard into the dry ingredients and mix well until all the fat is well combined.
  5. Put your mixture into your yoghurt pots and pack down tightly with the back of your wooden spoon. Whilst filling the pots try to keep with string or garden twine central.
  6. Pop the pots in the fridge to set, ideally overnight.
  7. Tie the twine or string at the top to support you fat ball when it’s hanging, and then pop them out of the pots.  Mine came out really nicely, allowing me to reuse my yoghurt pot moulds, but if necessary cut your yoghurt pot to realise your fat cake.
  8. Tie the other end of the string in a loop and hang from a tree or post and wait and watch for your bird to come and enjoy your fat balls.

That’s it! Super easy, a great and rewarding family activity for the Winter months, and provides a tasty treat for our feathered friends.

Have you made any fat balls for birds before? Do you feed the birds in your garden and enjoy watching them as much as us? Let me know what you do to encourage birds and other wildlife into your garden in the comments.

Kerry x


  • Maddiecat January 31, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Used to make them when my girls were small but made them for about 30 years. Bought some last year that had netting over them but after seeing that birds can get feet caught I won t but then again.

  • […] time I am sharing my recipe to make Homemade Fat Balls for Birds. Although the Garden Bird Watch is over, it’s still important to provide food for our feathered […]

  • Helena February 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    This time of year the birds would certainly welcome the extra help in finding food #KidsandKreativity

  • Naomi Oikonomou February 7, 2019 at 2:05 am

    This is so important this time of year! And I love that you’ve used recycled materials!

  • Naomi Oikonomou February 7, 2019 at 2:17 am

    This is so important this time of year! And I love that you’ve used recycled materials! #kidsandkreativity

  • Jan February 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    I haven’t made fat balls for birds before but I have been thinking about doing it. It would be a great activity to do with my kids, they love watching the birds in our garden. #KidsandKreativity

  • Debbie February 10, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I hadn’t thought of using yoghurt pots. We made some bird feeders this week by painting pinecones with peanut butter, then rolling them in bird food. We’ll have to try your idea too as the birds have devoured them already! #KidsandKreativity

  • Gemma February 10, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make these but never knew how, I had visions of stirring melted butter in a saucepan! Now I know #kidsandkreativity

  • Emma February 14, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Lovely post, very clear instructions We have made these in the past, the birds love them.

  • Malin - Sensational Learning with Penguin February 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    As we don’t eat meat we never have lard at home, but making bird feeders like these look like such a great idea! x

    • Kerry February 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      You could try it with vegetable shortening? I haven’t tried that way but i’m sure it would work just as well x

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    About Me

    About Me

    Hi I'm Kerry, Wife to James, Step Mum to one, Mum to two and more fur, feather and winged babies than I can count. I have a passion for crafts, encouraging creativity and inspiring imagination especially in children. So if you are looking for some inspiration, ideas and resources to inject a little creativity into your family life, then you've come to the right place. Read More


    Do You Want to Inject a Little Creativity into Your Family Life? Join the FREE open ended challenge!

    Do You Want Access to The Secret Garden?

    Kids and Kreativity Linky

    TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs

    We are affliates of Hobbycraft!

    Hobbycraft Free Shipping link