Blogtober Day 10: How to help garden birds with 2 ingredient DIY fat shape



Disclaimer:  I haven't been paid to promote any products or sites, just sharing how to help garden birds survive the chillier weather. 

Hi Honeys, 

I had the best time yesterday in the kitchen. I know I've been wittering on about it all week but it really has gotten cold. I'm automatically reaching for a cardigan in the mornings, the central heating is on and Hubby made me laugh by saying he can tell it's getting cold because I have my slippers on 💖 

He's right of course, dear ones. I really am trying to change and to wear them all the time (I'm diabetic and this does of course mean that self care, including care of our feet, becomes important) but for as long as I can remember I haven't been able to bear anything on my feet!  

If I've been outside (although I'm starting to forget what outside ever felt like) the very first thing I do when I get home is to kick my shoes off 😊  I was born to run along a beach with sand between my wee toes honeys 😄 

Stop waffling Rosie! Yes. Quite right.  What was I saying?  Oh yes! Yesterday.  I had such fun in the kitchen making some fat shapes for our beautiful little garden guests yesterday.  It was the most fun I've had in ages and look what happened... 

As winter starts to arrive, and temperatures begin to drop, it becomes so much harder for garden birds to find food.  A fabulous way to help them get through the colder months is, of course, to put out feeders but in order to survive winter's cold nights garden birds will need extra nourishment too. 

Luckily, there is a really easy way to make sure they can find the nourishment they need honeys, and that brings us back to why I found myself in the kitchen yesterday 😊 

We've always bought fat balls/shapes to hang in our garden.  Even during spring, when perhaps food isn't so difficult to find, there will be lots of feathery babies around 😍 

DIY fat shapes are so incredibly easy (and fun!) to make and they only have two ingredients...

The best thing is that they don't cost all that much to make (and did I say fun?) and the perfect activity for tiny humans to help with too.  As you can see honeys, all that's needed is a bag of wild bird food and some lard or beef suet.  

The 1 kilo (or 2.2 lbs) bag of wild bird food I used only cost £1 and the two blocks of lard were 50p each.  So, an investment of around £2 means an afternoon of fun in the kitchen, a healthy food supply for garden guests and the happiness of watching them visit too 💗    

How to make DIY fat shapes...

1. First we gently heat the lard in a pan on a low heat.  I can't stress this enough, never, ever walk away and leave a pan of lard/oil on a heat source!  It has to be watched constantly and never warm it on a high heat either honeys.  If you have children at home, please use the hobs at the back of the stove, furthest away from where they could reach, to keep them safe.  

Please keep children away from the stove and away from the lard while it's heating.

2. When the lard has melted, then immediately turn off the heat.  Allow the lard to cool a little for a few minutes to make it safer to work with, then very carefully, add the bird seed to the lard and stir through. 

3. The ratio of bird seed to lard should be around 1 part lard to 2 parts bird seed.  When the lard and seed are combined, just spoon the mixture into moulds and allow to set.  I put ours into the bottom of the fridge. 

4. To mould our fat shapes I headed to the cupboard where we store our bake ware.  Over the past couple of years we've been swapping over to silicone bake ware and I knew they'd make the perfect moulds for the fat shapes. As you can see honeys, they worked great...        

I used (as you can see) waffle moulds (in red) a muffin tray (in blue) and one of our much loved doughnut moulds which we use to bake our healthy doughnuts.  

I think they turned out great, what do you think honeys?

I used around two thirds of the bird seed and both blocks of lard which were 250g each (or around 8 oz, that would be 2 cups for our cousins across the pond - hi honeys.)  This filled one large doughnut mould, one muffin mould and almost two of the waffle moulds (filled one mould completely and then filled 4 sections of the other waffle mould.) 

I've put all six of the muffin shapes into a container to hang in the garden, along with one of the waffle shapes too.  I also added two lolly sticks from my craft box as perches.  The other shapes have been put into an airtight container and placed in the bottom of the fridge. 

All of the shapes will actually fit into the holder but I think I'll hang the doughnut shapes in our tiny apple tree (where the feeders are) using bright, pretty ribbons so that our tiny feathery friends see them 💖 


The RSPB has an excellent page (which you can find here) on what to feed your tiny guests. 

Another great page from the RSPB (which you can find here) on growing sunflowers in your garden and why they make a great food source. 

There is a great page from the Wildlife Trusts on how to attract birds to your garden all year long (which you can find here.) 

It won't be too long till it's time for the Big Garden Bird Watch again, run by the RSPB. It runs every January and encourages everyone to take note of which birds visit their garden and to then keep a diary. This information is used to determine which birds are doing well and which are decreasing in number.  (You can read more about it here.)   

Over to you honeys, do you love to watch the birds as much as I do?  They so desperately need help and with our wildlife increasingly in danger due to loss of habitats, maybe sharing a little care (and food) is the least we can do 💕 

I hope you're having the best weekend dear ones, till next time, stay warm and safe, hugs always xx

#Gardening #Blogtober2020 #HowTo
Gardening Blogtober2020 HowTo

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