A suet cage is a simple, open-air cage bird feeder designed to keep suet cakes or fat balls out of the reach of predators while still allowing all birds, including the smallest and weakest, to enjoy them.
You can easily attract birds to your yard by learning how to utilize a suet bird feeder. All suet is standardized to fit in all suet feeders, so the lid or cage door can pop up without locking mechanism when you want to add suet cakes or fat balls. A flat surface is preferable for stabilizing the feeder, but you can hang it from a branch if you choose.
Learn to utilize your cage-like suet bird feeder in a matter of minutes, and you’ll be practically an expert in no time.
In fact, a suet cake feeder has a hinged side that opens to accept a suet cake, and a fat ball bird feeder has a hinged lid that can be lifted to reveal a slot that can accommodate up to five suet fat balls.
Suet bird feeders are great for wild birds since they attract a wider variety of birds than those suspended from a pole or a tree branch.
Suet is made to survive harsh outdoor circumstances, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad even if you keep it in an open feeder.
A suet bird feeder can be hung from the pole, but it is best to suspend it from a limb that can be seen from the ground.
Birds will only find your suet feeders if they are not tucked away under a bush or behind a building.
If you don’t utilize your suet feeder for the purpose it was designed, the suet will fall out of the open cage and the birds will use it to perch on while they poke their bills into the suet cakes or fat balls.
Read my piece on the appearance of suet feeders to get a feel for what you can expect when using feeders of this type.
Stabilized vs. Hanging suet options
Although all suet feeders are designed to be hung, the instructions for using them will vary depending on the type you choose.
You don’t have to hang your suet bird feeder the way it was meant to be used; rather, you can improve its use by merely stabilizing it, as birds may have trouble reaching it if you hang it.
Any suet cake or fat ball bird feeder can be hung from a sturdy tree branch or mounted on a pole for easy access.
Simply turning the square suet cake bird feeder on its side and placing it on a high perch in your yard would allow the birds that now use it to keep doing so, while also attracting less versatile birds like American Robins and Bluebirds.
A convenient tree branch is ideal, but a suet feeder can be hung from virtually any type of metal bracket.
If you don’t want the birds to have to try to land on a swinging suet feeder, you could hang the suet bird feeder as directed; however, instead of hanging the suet cage or fat ball feeder vertically, you might slant or wedge it to allow birds to perch on top to feed.
Suit feeders are best used when they are stable, but even when hung, birds can benefit from them so long as they do not move around.
Re-fill Suet feeders with unlocked doors
Putting suet in a suet feeder is as simple as always, but the specifics depend on the type of suet feeder you have.
Suet bird feeders come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: a top that slides up or opens on hinges.
Bird feeders made with suet can be opened in a variety of ways so that suet can be replaced at any time.
- Suet cake feeders often have a hinged door that must be pulled open to access the food and then closed using a clip.
- If you have a suet fat ball feeder of the long variety, you can easily access the suet by pulling the lid up on the hook.
- The suet pellet wire feeder is a peanut-shaped wire mesh bird feeder used to store suet pellets, which are replenished by lifting the lid and pressing it back down until it clicks.
- A suet feeder with a slanted canopy that can be removed and replaced to allow only upside-down feeding wild birds access.
- A squirrel proof suet feeder is a suet bird feeder that is enclosed in a cage to prevent rodents such as squirrels from gaining access to the suet.
When purchasing a suet bird feeder, you can rest assured that the manufacturers have made it as simple as possible for you to fill it with the nutritious treat that birds love throughout the colder months.
Standardized Suet type fit
Birds can be fed from a suet cake feeder, which is built to contain beef suet blocks in the shape of sandwiches, or from a suet fat ball feeder.
Backyard birds love suet, and suet feeders of both the fat ball and cake variety are convenient ways to provide this popular bird food.
What this means is that the optimal size for a suet cake for birds is a square 5 inches on a side and an inch thick, thus it can be used in virtually any suet cake bird feeder.
A fat ball that is an inch and a half in diameter will fit snugly into a fat ball feeder that is made of tube like wire.
Suit cakes and fat balls, whether of high or low quality, are all manufactured to the same dimensions, so there’s no need to stress about their fitting.
You can still fit suet fat balls into the feeder if they’re a little too big, and if they’re too little, you’ll have a fat ball bird feeder with a bigger capacity than you needed.
Fat balls or suet cakes can be easily placed into a suet bird feeder, so learning how to operate one won’t take long. With the market’s adoption of standardization in suet cakes and fat balls, you’ll never have to worry about compatibility again.
Suet feeders used in different ways
The type of suet feeder you have will naturally dictate how you will go about using it.
While suet cakes and fat ball feeders are the most frequent types of suet bird feeders, any feeder designed to retain suet can be considered a suet bird feeder.
Permit me to describe the various suet bird feeders available for your backyard:
- Birds of all sizes and shapes can enjoy this suet cake feeder, which can be hung from a chain but also be set on its side.
- Suet fat ball feeder – circular cage bird feeder typically found suspended among seed or nut feeders; must be secured if placed on a flat area.
- Wire mesh suet pellets, often known as suet nuggets, are a bird feeder alternative that can hang with the best of them.
- Feeder that hangs upside down is ideal for birds that prefer to eat in this manner, such as chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches, while keeping other birds out.
- Any suet bird feeder can be disguised as a squirrel-proof feeder by enclosing it in a cage; the feeder will continue to serve its intended purpose, but squirrels will be unable to access the suet within
Even though there’s no assurance that attracting a large flock of birds to your suet bird feeder, having multiple feeders out at once can’t hurt.
Suet bird feeders are a great way to attract a variety of feathered visitors to your yard, but the success of your endeavor may depend on the type of feeder you use to accommodate birds that are unable to use traditional feeders, as well as those that prefer to feed in an inverted position.
Stain or grease prevention measures
Knowledge is power, and knowing that suet bird feeders can cause staining or leave a film of grease behind will help you avoid a messy situation in your yard.
I’ll grant that the mess that suet feeders make isn’t terrible, but if you don’t clean and maintain your feeder, white spots will form and germs will multiply out of hand, leading you to have to toss the feeder.
If you want to keep your suet bird feeder in good condition and prevent it from breaking down quickly, you should clean it often.
To your relief, suet bird feeders are not designed to be taken apart for cleaning like other types of bird feeders, so the only option is to immerse the feeder in hot, soapy water and scrub it with a brush.
Grease can be reduced using a strong bleach or white vinegar solution you make at home, but regular cleaning will make the job much simpler.
The health of your birds is a consideration when using a suet bird feeder, as salmonella can spread from a dirty feeder.
To summarize it all
All suet feeders are ridiculously simple to operate; in fact, suet feeders are the easiest to maintain.
Pulling up the cover of a suet feeder allows you to insert fat balls, and opening the hinged door of a suet cake bird feeder allows you to insert suet blocks in a sandwich configuration.
There are a variety of methods in which suet bird feeders can be hung, but the hoop at the end of the chain will typically go over a branch or a bracket.
There are no complicated mechanisms or features to learn about when it comes to suet bird feeders; that’s all there is to it.
Fat ball and suet cake manufacturers have standardized their products to a size that is compatible with 99.9 percent of suet bird feeders.
In order to attract birds, simply hang your suet feeder, or use numerous feeders in various locations about the yard.
Suet has a tendency to cause white spots or leave behind a film of grease, so it’s important to remember to clean and maintain your bird feeder at least twice a month.