Home Made Fat Balls for Birds

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

11 Comments

  1. Maddiecat
    January 31, 2019 / 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.

  2. February 6, 2019 / 8:09 pm

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

  3. February 7, 2019 / 2:05 am

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

  4. February 7, 2019 / 2:17 am

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

  5. February 9, 2019 / 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

  6. February 10, 2019 / 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

  7. February 10, 2019 / 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

  8. February 14, 2019 / 5:12 pm

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

    • Kerry
      Author
      February 14, 2019 / 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

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