Make your own Fat Balls

You will need:

  • Lard
  • Bird seed
  • A mixing bowl
  • String
  • Old, clean yogurt pots


Prepare your ingredients. In terms of the seed, I like to blend together dried cranberry, pumpkin seeds, muesli and mealworm, but you can also buy bird seed from many garden centres and pet shops if you don’t want to mix your own. Don’t use desiccated coconut or cooked oats, as these can be harmful to birds.

You will need two parts seed to one part lard.



Mix your bird seed and lard together in a large bowl.  You can use spoons, but I prefer to use my hands!

Push the seeds into the lard to blend them together, and the fat will bind the loose seed. You’re aiming for an even spread of feed through the lard to make a fat ball that will be stable enough.


Now this part is entirely up to you. You can either make spherical balls or shapes on their own, that you’ll then hang from string, or you can push the mix into yoghurt pots.

To make the balls you want to use your hands to create a sphere, and then split it in half. Tie a knot in some string to make a loop, embed it and then press the ball back together.

For the yoghurt containers, poke a hole in the bottom of the pot and tie a string inside so it’ll hang upside down. Then fill the pot with the mix. You can also attach the string onto the lip of the pot, if you’d rather it hang sideways.


Put your fat balls in the fridge for a few hours until they harden up, and then they’ll be ready to hang.

Choose a tree or shrub with easy access for birds and don’t put too many out at a time, as uneaten food will attract pests. You can also pop them in a bird feeder, if you have one. Never wrap your fat balls in plastic netting as the birds can easily get their feet trapped in the netting.

Tips & Tricks from the lovely David Domeny -