Before discussing what a metal suet feeder is, let us check what is suet and what is suet feeder.
Suet is raw beef or mutton fat, often in the form of a cake or pudding. Suet stays solid at room temperatures. This becomes a healthy food for birds when we add other bird feeds such as seeds and protein rich sources. The birds would peck into the suet the way they do on wood, flowers, and other food items.
Suet Feeder is a feeder having provision to keep suet inside a cage. It provides space for birds to perch and peck at the suet through the openings of the cage.
A metal suet feeder is a suet feeder with a cage built with metal iron for placing the suet. Also, it is often seen with an extra metal roof at top to be weather resistant.
It is not enough to have a solid metal suet feeder, but the quality of suet is of high importance. Suet consists of animal fat and hence can turn rancid on high temperatures. To get it hard and as a solid mix with all nutrients, use hard rendered suet cakes. These will help stay solid at different temperatures.
Which birds would use metal suet feeders?
Suet is not a food of specific nutrients. It can have any nutrients mixed into the fat which is its main component. Hence, suet is always made as per the bird’s needs. The bird for which you are keeping the suet would guide you on what type of suet to make.
Winter birds prefer the Suet form, as suet keeps them warm. The same birds are the ones that get attracted to metal suet feeders.
As per National Audubon, these are some of the most important birds that come to metal suet feeders. Woodpeckers, chickadee, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina Wren, and northern flicker. The birds known to like pecking are woodpeckers. Hence, the birds for whom suet is favorite are woodpeckers.
Precautions while using metal suet feeder
The precautions are the same as using any metal feeder for birds.
Some may think birds would stick to metal in winter and snow but that is not true. There are dry scales in bird feet which avoids any moisture freeze when they are in touch with metal. Hence, metal is safe.
In summers, metal may get hot beyond the usual extent. Feeders made of natural substances might not have this problem. This may affect suet in summers. You should take care of this by keeping them in shade and also providing a suitable water source to the birds.
Types of metal suet feeders
There are several metal suet feeders ranging from simple ones to complex ones. It depends on your need which one to choose. Let’s see each of them.
Simple wire suet feeder
A simple wire cage suet feeder is in the form of a basket hung onto a tree or pole is enough for many people. This can hold one single suet. It can also hold other food items like bread and fruit. It usually comes with a hook and hanger. A bird will usually perch from sideways and peck at the suet.
Metal Roof Suet Feeder
This suet feeder also comes up with a hanger and hook. Like any suet feeder, the suet cake cage is present. Also, a metal roof is present to make it weather-proof. It protects the suet as well as bird from rain and extreme weathers. Usually these come in two varieties – single suet cake and double suet cake. Below is a nice metal roof suet feeder.
Metal Suet Feeder with Wooden Bottom
These metal suet feeders come with a wooden bottom as an addition compared to usual suet feeders. The birds can either perch on this wooden bottom, or peck at it or this can be support for the suet feeder. The wooden part can act as a point of attraction for the birds in addition to giving comfort to them.
Upside Down Metal Suet Feeder
This is a suet feeder with metal roof at top, with a hanger and hook to hang it to some pole or tree. But the opening to the suet cake is at the bottom in the form of a grilled cage. So, birds will be perching upside down and pecking at the suet.
This also helps prevent squirrels, rats and other predators up to some extent.
Other items you need in a suet metal feeder
No need to say, suet is the item that goes into the suet metal feeder. You can keep oats, corn meal, and wheat flour handy to mix into the suet. You should mix Peanut butter to keep the suet from melting. Also, you can mix fruits, seeds, nuts into the suet.
When installing a suet metal feeder, you would be using different accessories. The accessories include bird feeder stand, hanger, pole. Based on on the type of the bird feeder you are planning to hang, you would choose the accessories.
The most standard way of hanging a suet metal feeder is by a rope or a hanger to a tree. The feeder can hang and birds can perch on the tree as well as on the feeder itself. In case of upside down feeders, they perch upside down at the bottom of the feeder and peck into the suet.
Hope, you now know what is a suet feeder. Particularly, metal suet feeders are a great choice for many birds. Those are all the benefits and precautions while using it.