How to Make a Homemade Suet for Birds in 8 Easy Steps

A Carolina Chickadee perching on an American Holly in Louisiana.
Bonnie Taylor Barry/

Written by Erin Whitten

Published: September 25, 2023

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Creating a homey retreat for our feathered friends is not only a treat for them but also a visually rewarding experience for us. If you’re a bird lover, then making homemade suet is a must-try. It’s a fun and simple process that allows you to feed the birds with a nutritious snack, ensuring they stay well-fed especially during the harsh winter months. This wholesome mixture will attract a variety of birds to your backyard, giving you the chance to witness the beautiful diversity of avian life up close.


  • 1 Cup shortening (such as Crisco)
  • 1 Cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 Cups oatmeal
  • 1 Cup cornmeal
  • 2 Cups birdseed

Step 1: Melt the Main Ingredients

Place the shortening and crunchy peanut butter into a heavy saucepan. Melt them together over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid any sticking or burning. Be careful not to bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 2: Remove from Heat

Once the ingredients have melted and combined into a smooth mixture, remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it cool for a few moments.

Step 3: Add Oatmeal

Gradually stir in the oatmeal, ensuring to mix it thoroughly with the melted ingredients. This step helps form a consistent texture.

Step 4: Mix in Birdseed and Cornmeal

Fold in the birdseed and cornmeal, and continue to mix until you’ve combined all components well. The mixture should attain a firm, yet pliable consistency.

Step 5: Shape the Suet

Carefully pack the mixture tightly into your chosen containers and press down to form the suet ‘bricks.’ Make sure to eliminate any trapped air pockets within.

 Step 6: Wrap in Foil

Once shaped, wrap the containers securely in aluminum foil to maintain the form of the suet bricks and to avoid any freezer burns.

Step 7: Freeze Overnight

Place the wrapped containers into the freezer and allow them to solidify overnight to ensure they become thoroughly set and firm.

Step 8: Feed the Birds!

Carefully remove the solid suet bricks from the containers. Now, it’s time to place them in your bird feeder and watch as the birds flock to enjoy this delectable treat!

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About the Author

Erin Whitten is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering dogs, food, and travel. She earned her BA in Communications and Digital Media from Arizona State University in 2019. A resident of Massachusetts, Erin enjoys hanging out with her shelter cat Azula and taking photos of other animals.

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