Posted 21st Jan 2023
Have been feeding garden birds for years, but have found in the last couple of years that fat balls are no longer being eaten as quickly and indeed late last year one actually had green shoots on. I do wonder if its a result of them being harder now than they used to be?

Having done a little reading it seems that most fat balls are like this due to the quantity of fillers vs seeds. Suet balls seem to be better in this regard, is this correct?

Does anyone have recommendations as to which suet balls to buy? Too much choice on Amazon, etc and a range of prices, so need to thin it down a little.

Currently have two plastic tube type seed feeders out and have thought of replacing one or both with similar, but with a tray fitted in the base to catch any loose seeds, The pidgeons don't mind the loose seeds, but they and the pidgeons seem to making a mess below the feeders.

So looking for recommended feeders too, hopefully without needing to raid the piggy bank.

Next no-mess type seed mixes, recommendations please,

Thanks for reading this far.
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  1. Avatar
    We live in rural Cornwall and spend a bloody fortune on food for the birds.

    Sunflower Hearts, black sunflower, niger and peanut butter (flutter butter). The fat balls for the scrats (starlings) that are like a plague of locusts.

    The woodpecker, finches and tits eat the peanut butter. Finches and siskens eat the niger and sunflower hearts. Great tits eat the black sunflower.

    Unless I missed it, it depends on what part of the country you live in and if you are rural or urban. (edited)
    East MIdlands, market town, but open fields within 5 minutes walk or so.

    Generally I regularly see blackbirds, sparrows, robins, bluetits, crows, magpies, ring necked doves and woodpigeons in the garden, I do see long tailed tits flit across, but very rare they go near the feeders and even then its only fleeting.

    Fat balls are usually in a feeder. Have taken to breaking them up a little to see if that helps.
  2. Avatar
    Mine go through half a dozen fat balls a week. Maybe yours are fussy. I make lard cakes for mine which go in minutes. Melt a bar of lard and add suet, seeds, oatmeal, raisins and anything else hanging around
  3. Avatar
    The "pecking order" in our garden (London suburb) is, squirrels, crows, magpies, wood pigeons. Had the occasional fox eating the bird seed as well. Squirrels and crows pick out the sunflower seeds while half a dozen wood pigeons are on next door's extension looking down on the proceedings.

    A robin jumped in quickly this morning before the others had arrived.
    Plus the rats.
  4. Avatar
    I've been using the Wilko fatballs - the one that come in a plastic tub, a bit more premium then their cheaper version.…639

    They also do the ultimate - not tried these:…120
  5. Avatar
    I buy a 12.5kg bag £5.99 but now £6.49 from HOMEBARGINS . It lasts few months and I put 1 scoop in a small food container on the gap between metal fence and wall. all birds come and they even wait for it. In summer I put 2 scoops as they eat more as it’s longer day (edited)
  6. Avatar
    Birds love fat balls!
  7. Avatar
    Finches friend cleaner feeder
  8. Avatar
    Put a couple of fat balls for the birds I'm my garden, they'll be gone in an hour (edited)
  9. Avatar
    make your own?
  10. Avatar
    Our birds also stopped eating the cheap fatballs. We now give them Wilko's Ultimate ones and they love them.
    We also give them Lincolnshire Wild Bird Foods wheat free garden seed mix from a Peckish feeder with the clear tray at the bottom. The tray still doesn't stop seed falling on the ground but I think it helps a lot. The seed is expensive, but there seems to be less waste.
    If you've got outdoor space you could try growing giant sunflowers from seeds.
  11. Avatar
    Purchased six suet balls locally, still on the first one and its not been touched. Broke it up a little yesterday to see if that makes any difference.

    Also got some sunflower hearts and kibbled peanuts, need to get some new feeders with trays and swap with the existing ones.
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