Fat balls are a staple of different companies and garden centers since birds adore them so much. Birds love to get the high energy boost that comes with great fat balls, and we love making sure that they can get it.
If you're looking for some fat balls for your garden, we'd recommend looking through the fat balls we stock below. There is a range up for grabs, all of which will suit different birds. Find the best fit for you, and know that the birds in your garden will thank you for it!
Suet balls are the main type of fat ball that's up for grabs. At the most basic level, suet balls are a mixture of pure fat with different seeds, nuts, and dried insects. Together, this makes a wonderful combination for ensuring that a wide range of birds are well fed since they'll be happy to eat both the fat and the mix-ins.
Are fat balls good for birds?
Yes, fat balls are good for birds, provided they're only offered in the winter. This is because birds generally don't have a lot of fat networked throughout their body, so they can take in a lot of calories during the winter and burn through them quickly.
When should you stop putting fat balls out for the birds?
Fat balls are most suitable for birds when they're offered in the winter. This is because a bird that munches at a fat ball feeder will take in more calories than its basic body needs. In winter, this results in wild birds being able to stay warm. In summer, it results in wild birds getting fat and ill.
What is the difference between fat balls and suet balls for birds?
The main difference is that fat balls can contain a lot of added ingredients. An option such as wild bird fat balls typically contains mostly fat but can also contain other ingredients so that they're more cheaply made. This can, over time, be bad for the garden birds themselves.
Suet balls are made from pure fat, with no additional ingredients that could be negative for garden birds. Therefore, if something has the word 'suet' on it, even if it is called 'suet fat balls', the fat content is more pure, leading to birds being less sick.
How do you make fat seed balls for birds?
The best option to make fat seed balls is to use suet that you would get from the supermarket or any similar location. Wild bird species will eat that happily while munching to get at the seeds.
Mix one part of suet to two parts of seeds in a pan, allowing the suet to melt. Then, shape the cooled suet fat balls using an ice cream scoop or a spoon. Place them into the freezer to solidify and keep good when they're shaped. Simply move them from the freezer to the bird feeder when you want to offer them.
Do birds prefer fat balls or suet balls?
Birds will generally not be able to tell the difference between fat balls or suite balls, so any suet fat balls you pick up will generally be judged by their seed and nut content. Birds love seeds, nuts, insects, and berries, so if the fat balls contain those mix-ins, you're good to go.
For the ongoing health of the birds, try to get suet balls. The fat will be purer, leading to fewer contaminants damaging their health. Also, because suet balls are typically more expensive, they contain more nuts and seeds anyway. Therefore, they'll likely be the ones that the birds prefer.
What are the best fat balls for birds?
The best fat balls are, oddly enough, the premium fat balls that you typically see in garden centers. Compared to other suet balls, these options contain pure fat rather than fat that has been affected by additives, and they usually also have some level of extra nutrition in that the seeds are packed more densely.
What suet is best for birds?
Suet specifically for birds is typically manufactured and sold alongside fat balls in most stores. However, if you're considering what suet to use when making your own fat balls, we would recommend lard-based suet: this is typically easy to work with and cheap to purchase.
How do you make a suet ball for birds?
Making a suet ball for birds is easy - combine seeds and suet in a pan over low heat until the suet is melted over the seeds.
When they're combined, allow them to cool, and use your hands or a spoon to shape the suet into balls. Finish the cooling process in the freezer, and put them out directly from there.
Do all birds eat fat balls?
Yes, pretty much. While some predator birds like hawks are unlikely to eat from a fat ball, the vast majority of garden birds will love fat balls. Birds require a level of calorie and protein intake year-round, and in the winter, suet fat balls can fill that niche.
Is it worth making your own fat balls?
Not really, no. Making your own fat balls can feel quite rewarding if you enjoy working with your hands, but the fat can go rancid and spoil easily with a few small mistakes.
For that reason, we'd honestly recommend buying commercially made fat balls or tracking down a pre-filled feeder that the birds are likely to enjoy.
What's in most fat balls for birds?
The majority of the content of a fat ball is seeds and nuts. These high-protein, high-energy options are mixed together with some type of animal fat, which the birds love. While the birds enjoy the fat, they aren't there exclusively for it - they've come for the seeds.