DIY Vegan Suet Bird Feeder

Years ago, back when I was first vegan, I went to buy some suet feeders as we had a cold snap coming. As I grabbed them off the shelf at the bird store, I suddenly realized that they were made from animal productssuet is made from rendered animal fat. Birds do eat insects and worms and have been known to eat bits of frozen animal carcasses, but I really couldn’t bring myself to buy a feeder made from fat rendered from farmed animals. I asked the shop if they had any that did not contain animal suet, but they had never considered it and didn’t stock any. In fact, I still have never seen any in wild bird supply shops!

So I decided to see if I could make a vegan version. And lo and behold, I found recipes online! It is really simple and is a great project for kids!

I recently found another Make Your Own Suet recipe from the Audubon Society that came from the Misfit Baker (this site apparently doesn’t exist anymore, so I cannot link to it). I like this version as it includes some additional grains in it so there isn’t big areas of pure vegetable fat between the larger seeds.

What You Need

Vegan Suet Feeder Supplies

 

  • Reloadable Suet Feeder
  • A Mold, I use empty plastic tofu trays and ice cube trays (I love these stainless steel trays)
  • Vegetable Shortening or Coconut Oil
  • Nut Butter of choice, I used peanut
  • Wild Bird Seed
  • Quick Oats
  • Cornmeal, I used coarse meal
Exact amounts of ingredients are in the Audubon Society’s blog post.

 

Steps

Mix the bird seed, oats, and cornmeal into a large bowl.

Melt together the shortening or oil with the nut butter. Pour the melted liquid into the dry ingredients and stir well.

Pouring melted oil and nut butter into seeds and grains

Spoon the mixture into your molds and smooth the top.

 

Smoothing down the top

 

The tofu trays make suet cakes in the perfect size, but if you don’t have them, you can just pack the feeder with cubes.

Using an ice cube tray to mold suet block cubes

 

The birds and squirrels love these. As long as it’s cold outside, less than 50 degrees, the vegetable suet stays solid.

 

Chickadees enjoying vegan suet

He thinks we can’t see him….

The squirrels are so entertaining to watch on the suet feeder!

I make a bunch at once and keep them in the freezer to have all winter. The squirrels make fast work of the suet, so if you have squirrels, be prepared to replace often or use a squirrel-proof feeder. We don’t mind feeding the squirrels as well as the birds.

Besides being vegan, this can be a zero waste project as well. My local hardware store, Grange Supply, sells wild bird seed in bulk, which is awesome! Or you can sometimes find wild bird seed in paper sacks at feed stores. Coconut oil comes in glass jars, but I’ve not found vegetable shortening come that way, only in plastic. And I love having something I can do to reuse those pesky plastic tofu containers!

Have you tried making vegan suet feeders? What was your experience?

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