Have you ever stopped to think how these colder months could be for the birds around us? Making fat cakes for the birds this half term is a great way to keep the children entertained. You could even get a great night sleep knowing you’ve done a good deed too.
Picture of a Robin by MARK GILLOW/GETTY IMAGES
According to British bird foods “Hemp seed is a oil rich seed that can be fed straight or with other seeds, it has very good weight gaining properties for the birds and is an ideal supplement in the breeding season.”
Things you will need for the fat cakes
- Lard or suet
- Bird seed and nut mix
- Hemp Hearts
- Dried oats
- Cupcake cases or old yoghurt pots will do
- Baking tray
- Pair of scissors
- Kebab sticks
Fat cakes are best used in the winter months or early spring, as they will melt in warmer weather.
Digesting seeds, nuts and grain will boost the bird metabolism, and the fat helps them put on a bit of weight, both are helpful in creating enough body heat to keep them warm through the long nights.
Please note according to the National Trust you should not use any soft fats like margarine or leftover fats from baking trays as these can stick to the birds feathers and stop them from being able to fly.
How to make the fat cakes
Melt the lard on the hob over a low heat, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then combined the two when ready.
Poke a hole in the bottom of the cake case.
Cut the string slightly longer than the kebab stick, then cut the kebab sticks in two and remove the pointy end for health and safety purposes.
Tie the string to the middle of the wooden sticks and thread the string though the cake case with the sticks on top.
Place the cases in the tray, then fill to the top with the mixture.
Place the baking tray in the fridge over night so the fat cakes can set.
In the morning peel away the paper cake cases then tie a knot in the end of the string so you can hang them out for the bird to feed on.
We have chosen a spot outside our office window, so we can watch our feathered friends enjoy a good meal.