As soon as it gets colder outside you can find them in any supermarket: Fat balls for feeding birds, mainly for tit birds. But you do not always have to rely on industrially manufactured birdseed. If you follow certain rules, it is quite easy to make birdseed yourself. It ‘s not only fun, it even tastes better for the little ones.
What is important for feeding?
Start early with feeding – birds have to learn where the feeding grounds are and where birdseed is supplied. Otherwise they will not find the food fast enough when the need is on peak – for example in periods of frost or snow cover. Just make sure never to feed salted or spoiled food or bread. For birds, both could lead to digestive problems or even death.
What is the optimal feeding ground?
If you go for the common and beloved bird house, regular cleaning and dry storage of feed is essential. Soaked or dirt-contaminated food can contain dangerous germs.
Fat balls should never lack at any feeding ground. If filled with nuts or fat rich food, they are representing the ideal food for titmice. Look for a good spot with a firm branch for your lining bell, sparrows and peckers can then also use this offer.
Feeding tubes or silos ensure the highest possible hygiene. The food is protected from wetness and other contaminants as only small amounts can slide down. And even non climbers can get to the perch at the edge of the feeding tub.
How can I make fat balls myself?
Most popular is the so called fat-rich food. This covers best the high energy requirements of birds in winter. For the preparation of a feed bell you need:
-1 medium-sized pot with a hole in the ground
-1 piece cord
-100 gram vegetable fat
-100-150 gram Seed mix (sunflower seeds, cereal flakes, cereal chips, unsalted nuts…)
Put the vegetable fat in a saucepan and let it melt. Make sure that it does not boil. Add your individual seed mix to the melted fat. Allow the mixture to cool down. In the meantime, you can pull the cord through the hole in the bottom of the pot and tie it securely. Fill the lukewarm mixture into the pot and allow it to set. Afterwards, attach the pot to a branch so that the birds can start picking the food.