You may have seen suet blocks on social media, in magazines, at pet shops or while browsing high street stores, but what are they and should you feed the birds in your garden?
We have outlined the 8 most common questions about suet blocks, that we get asked from our customers. We’ll get straight to the point, so you don’t have to waste any valuable time.
Suet is saturated fat that’s used in lots of traditional British recipes, just like puddings, pastry, and sweet mincemeat. Suet blocks, which can also be called suet cakes, are built of this saturated fat, and processed into a convenient block shape to fit into feeders.
Suet is perfect for birds thanks to its easily digestible, and high-energy properties. These blocks tend to be square and deep enough to stand up unaided. Suet blocks usually are available in a range of different varieties and flavours, so the colour of a suet block may change depending on what the ingredients are. The main ingredients in a suet block tends to be Beef Suet, followed by flour. This may be wheat flour, peanut flour, or a different type. Some blocks will contain cereals and other seeds which may make the blocks more attractive to wild birds, but it depends on your garden birds as it’s not always the case.
Yes. Suet blocks are a very nutritious food for birds, and an easy way to give wild birds a bit of an energy boost in the colder months. They are a convenient food to feed all year round and attract a wide variety of wild birds.
Some suet blocks include extra ingredients which help boost the nutritious value of suet blocks even further.
My Pets Supply find insect and mealworm mixes are particularly popular suet blocks with wild birds in our gardens. This is likely because it contains garden birds favourite foods – insects and mealworms. These are especially popular when the weather turns cold as they give birds an extra energy boost whilst they build up their fat stores.
Other retailers may have a different popular suet block due to location, discounts, offers or availability. Sadly, we cannot ask the birds which suet block they prefer, unless your name is ‘Dolittle’ in which case please let us know in the comments.
No. Using suet blocks only in the winter is a common misconception. Whilst birds certainly need them much more in the colder months, they can be fed all year around and your garden birds will appreciate it. You could try mixing up the flavours and use Berry or Peanut suet blocks once then weather gets warmer, and insect/mealworm blocks in the winter months.
Using a suet block feeder. Suet blocks can be fed in a number of ways, the most popular being dedicated suet block feeders. These are simple square shaped feeders usually made from plastic or metal and shaped into a grid which allows birds to feed, but keeps the block inside. You may get different options such as colour or size of grid. Some suet block feeders may also feature a tray below the feeding cage which is very handy as it helps catch any bits dropped by birds and keeps your feeding area nice and tidy.
But you do not necessarily need a dedicated feeder for suet blocks. They can be put straight onto a bird table or feeding surface and birds will happily peck at the block there. You can also hang it by threading some garden string through a corner and then hanging from a tree, bird table or dedicated bird feeder. Birds will be able to hang from the suet block and eat.
Yes. Like any natural product left outside to the elements, it will go rancid after some time especially in warmer temperatures. This will make it less attractive to look at, and may be unhealthy for birds. To help stop suet blocks from going bad, place in a shaded cool area, and try not to have too much suet out at one time so birds will eat everything that is available.
If in doubt, remove any bad looking suet as it may harbour dangerous bacteria that could harm birds.
The majority of suet blocks are square, with a little depth. These tend to be around 10cm x 10cm, but can vary by a centimetre or so. Because suet blocks are usually of a standard size and shape, you can be confident they will fit in your feeder.
Yes, suet blocks come in a selection of different flavours. These include favourites such as mealworm suet blocks, berry, and insect suet blocks. Sometimes you can even get this as a mixture which your garden visitors will love. You can also get other flavours such as berry, and Peanut. These are sometimes combined with other ingredients such as bugs to make a tasty treat for birds.