This week I am appealing for bird feeding recipes that include peanut butter.
As part of an art installation, I needed a couple of dozen glass jars. Now get this; jars are more expensive when they are empty than when they are full of peanut butter! Ever frugal, I bought lots of peanut butter, confident that it would not go to waste. The birds will love it, I thought to myself, but I was wrong!
I have tried smearing it on the old oak tree, spreading it on bread and scattering it across the lawn, even mixing in meal worms to tempt the birds to try it, but they continue to turn up their beaks. I am beginning to wonder why birds will not yum up peanut butter (it’s even the crunchy stuff) when the raw ingredient is the mainstay of any feeder table. Are they concerned about their cholesterol? Are they conscious of their salt intake? Is it an image thing?
My most successful idea so far was to drill holes in a log and insert whole nuts, using the peanut butter as a weak ‘glue’ to keep them in place. Whilst the birds seem to find this feeding method agreeable, it does not use up the peanut butter as quickly as I had hoped.
I like peanut butter, but my uniform is already a little snug after I laid down my winter fat and I still have 8 pounds of the stuff to get through before the bathing suit season comes round again. I shall leave you with that mental picture and an appeal for any peanut butter based recipes that will save 6 inches on my waist and provide vital calories to cold birds instead.
Here’s the suet recipe I use: https://prairiebirder.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/feed-the-birds-my-grandmothers-homemade-suet-cake-recipe/
Is there salt in the peanut butter? That may be why they don’t like it. There are quite a few recipes online mixing lard/suet/seed/etc. and the main thing appears to be making sure there is no salt in the peanut butter.
Good Luck and I hope you find a recipe that works before bathing suit season! 🙂
The most popular recipe for the birds that I’ve found is also the easiest. Equal parts beef or pork suet (free from a butcher), cheap peanut butter, and yellow corn meal (not self rising). Melt the suet, add peanut butter and cornmeal. Stir thoroughly. Spread in a large shallow pan and freeze. Cut into suet cage sized pieces and pack the into baggies and keep in the freezer till ready to use. I’ve never had a problem with salt bothering the birds. Once you’ve served this to the birds, they will not go back to commercial suet cakes–you’ve spoiled them.
Add corn meal, PB is too sticky in its “native” state. Blending with suet keeps it in a hardened state. I’ve added hulled sunflower seeds, plumped raisins (soak in hot water), what ever odds and ends of nuts or dried fruit I have around.
Here’s the basic ratios; Suet Cake
2 parts melted fat (bacon fat, suet, or lard)
2 parts yellow cornmeal
1 part peanut butter
I’ve never used flour and it has no food value.
Here is Julie Zickfoose’s recipe for Zickdough, which includes pb. But, she warns that it is too rich too be used in spring. (I can’t connect to Julie’s site, so here is a site that reprints it):