Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Beef fat balls have only one practical application, and that is as a source of food for the many species of birds that frequent suburban yards.

For use only with wild birds, these fat balls come with specific instructions. You may get a bird’s eye view of your backyard by removing the fat balls from their tub and placing them in a cluster or dispersing them over the space. Keep things neat and tidy by placing suet in fat ball feeders, but be aware that the suet may leave a stain if it spills.

Fat Balls Stabilized In Feeder-2

Don’t overcomplicate things when all you’re doing is putting something in your yard that was previously a dry fat ball removed from a sealed tub.

While most people use a basic fat ball feeder, doing without one can actually help birds that have trouble perching at an unnatural angle to get their food.

For the same reason, you shouldn’t fill a fat ball feeder all the way up right away; instead, you should gradually increase the amount you put in until you reach the desired consumption rate.

Seasonality may play a role, although even a few months apart can reveal a significant decline in fat ball consumption.

Your backyard birds will thank you for using fat ball bird feeders, which are convenient because they are simple to fill with suet and can be hung from a bird feeder pole, branch, or bracket just about anyplace in the yard.

Despite the suet’s propensity for staining, fat balls can be placed on a flat surface to prevent them from rolling around the yard.

If you want to feed wild birds fat balls, one option is to use a feeder like this one and hang it from a tree.

Fat balls wrapped in beef fat can be made from a variety of substances, including seed mixtures, almonds, dried mealworms, and fruits like berries. However, fat balls with a combination of all or some of the elements important to a wild bird’s diet are the best alternative.

A fat ball feeder, which is designed to be hung from a tree limb, is the best way to provide fat balls to the birds in your yard, though a regular bird feeder pole would do in a pinch.

Rats and squirrels, albeit less of a problem, enjoy eating fat balls, so if you want to feed birds from a feeder, you’ll need to take preventative measures against these rodents.

You can put one or six fat balls in a feeder, or you can save time and money by feeding birds directly from the ground.

Suet balls for exclusive wild bird use

Since the materials in suet balls are comparable to what wild birds eat, they are typically made specifically for this purpose.

Need suet for birds that consume largely fruit, such as American Robins? That’s not an issue at all because you can always rely on the tried-and-true solution of a fruit-filled fat ball within a beef fat ball.

Keep fat balls meant for animals well out of reach of pet birds or pets in general while teaching them how to use fat balls for birds. Backyard birds abound.

Fat balls are initially hard, so it may seem that suet balls won’t be eaten as much as they remain hard as a rock, but after being exposed to the elements for some time, the outer surface will soften up, allowing both birds with hard beaks, like Blue Jays, and those with soft bills, like Finches, to feed.

Fat balls have a shelf life that shortens the longer they sit in the tub or packaging they were sold in, so using them up quickly is essential.

In order to find the fat balls, look in the same spot in your yard where you’ve seen the most birds congregating.

Store-bought fat balls are a good option for feeding birds during a heatwave since they can withstand the sun for an extended period of time, but homemade fat balls would quickly degrade.

However, you should keep in mind that fat balls can melt in the sun, so it’s best to hang them in a shady area if at all possible.

Fat balls stabilized in feeder

Fat Balls Stabilized In Feeder

Although no special knowledge or gear is needed to feed birds suet balls in the yard, a fat ball bird feeder is recommended due to the messiness that can result from feeding birds a handful of suet balls.

Depending on the type of specialized cage feeder, different methods for using fat balls in a bird feeder may be appropriate.

Birds can be fed from a fat ball feeder, which has large holes so it can hang from a branch, or from a pole bracket, which is what the vast majority of people use because it is more widely available.

The fat balls need to be placed near other wild bird food in your yard if you want the birds to find them.

A fat ball feeder, typically holding four to five fat balls, should be hung close to a seed or peanut feeder, since that is where the majority of your backyard birds will congregate to eat.

If you don’t have the room or the money for a bird feeder, you can always utilize suet fat balls by hanging them from a thread in some nearby bushes. Alternatively, you might put some fat balls in a dish and put it on a level surface for the birds to eat from.

The most practical fat ball bird feeders are the lengthy cage designs [like the one seen above] that can hold four to five balls, though you can always go all out with a wreath-shaped fat ball feeder or, for that matter, with just one or two fat balls added to a disposable ball feeder.

Balls can hang without fat ball feeder

A tub of fat balls for your typical backyard birds should not cause as much commotion as you might expect.

To attract birds to your yard, just remove four or five fat balls at a time from the tub and place them in a cluster. So, now you just have to sit back and watch the birds consume them.

To entice birds to your suet offerings, you can use fat balls in whatever way that suits you best, from the meticulous to the rudimentary.

Simply throwing fat balls into the yard and expecting birds will find and eat them is about as minimal an application of fat balls as possible.

Fat suet balls are popular with wild birds, so I won’t bother you with worries about waste. These balls will be devoured by birds, either slowly or fast, depending on how active your yard is.

I will say that fat balls can make a mess inside their feeder, and the benefit of not using a feeder is that you won’t have to clean up the film of oil or what will likely be a white stain developing inside the suet fat ball feeder.

Unfortunately, larger birds who raid your bird feeders may steal any exposed fat balls or discolor the once-pretty wooden deck railing or garden furniture.

Seed-filled fat balls a favorite

Fat Balls Stabilized In Feeder3

I promise you if you chose to feed an abundance of wild birds in your yard in suet fat balls labeled as seed, fruit or insect-filled, you can still persuade all birds to eat them.

Birds prefer to eating fat balls because the fatty component can replenish lost body fat of a bird, whilst the protein can offer them that extra boost of energy wild birds require on a daily basis.

Similarly, fat balls are normally favored in winters because birds eat it more then as they fight off the cold – all while you can feed birds suet in the summer if you like – and in most circumstances, all year round providing you keep the area clean and hygienic.

With all that being said, most birds who frequent your yard like Jays, Finches, Chickadees, and of course Woodpeckers, are seed-eating birds. And hence will be viewed to eat more fat balls if is made up of seed mixtures.

Knowing where to and what is the best way to hang suet feeders if you proceed this way is necessary to know with what bird species eat suet in feeders or are unable too – or else some will go without.

Let me mention most wild birds who eat at feeders can do with ease, whereby as a Woodpecker would consume suet in a feeder – to maintain that feeder will benefit them and many others.

Unfortunately, American Robins who can eat suet haven’t completely acclimated to feeders, hence fat balls must be placed out in the open where Robins, plus less able birds can graze.


If you’re curious about how to utilize fat balls for birds, the good news is that other than setting them out in your yard, you won’t have to do anything more.

Use caution at first, as you’ll need to learn the habits of the birds in your area before you can determine how many fat balls to put out before you end up wasting food or starving the birds.

Fat balls, often known as suet balls, are year-round food supplements manufactured specifically for wild birds.

Because other typical bird feeder food isn’t as essential, it’s crucial to know that birds eat fatty suet balls to re-store lost body fat or for energy.

In terms of bird feeders, fat balls can be used in any fat ball bird feeder, but a basic ball feeder with a capacity of four to six balls would do just fine.

When storing balls in its feeder, you can protect them from being stolen by certain birds who may try to eat the balls whole, and fat ball feeders can help stability what is otherwise a spherical object that is prone to rolling.

Because suet can leave a mark on surfaces, use caution if you choose not to use a fat ball bird feeder.

You shouldn’t worry too much about what’s in the fat balls you buy from the shop, although selecting seed-filled fat balls can aid more birds. You can also get fat balls that contain a variety of ingredients, including mealworms, almonds, and fruit.

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