Peanuts have always been one of the favorite foods of many backyard birds. Many of us might have even filled the feeders only with peanuts to attract the birds. But, in this article, let us see if we can add peanuts to the suet feeder to attract the birds.
How is peanut as food for birds?
Peanut is a nutritious food for various backyard birds, as it contains a high amount of fats, fiber, and protein. Fats in it help them to store energy throughout the day for performing various activities like flying, protecting the nest, preening, nurturing hatchlings, etc. In addition, feeding peanuts in the winter is very beneficial as the fat content in it helps them to store their body heat to protect themselves from cold weather. Also, if you have a limited budget for feeding the birds, then this is the best option for you.
Peanuts are available in various forms and are fed to birds as per their preference. Whole shell nuts are big; therefore, they are fed to larger birds like the grackles, crows, jays, and woodpeckers. Smaller birds like the titmice and chickadees have smaller beaks and therefore are given peanuts that are already broken in the heart shape or in the form of chips. These smaller pieces are easy for them to eat without any struggle, as they can be easily hold them in their tiny beaks.
You must consistently feed natural peanuts to the birds that are not smoked or mixed with any seasonings, salt, or candy-coated. These types of peanuts are not suitable for the bird’s health and can cause severe illness if they consume it. Also, you should not feed them baked or sugar mixed, or sugar-coated items as even this can cause them digestive issues.
Can you put peanuts in the suet feeder?
You can add peanuts in the suet feeder as they are good source of fats, nutrients, inexpensive, always available and energy giving food. You should not put those peanuts into suet feeder which are low quality, have black spots or not stored properly.
But, before adding it make sure that those are in good condition. Though peanuts are good for birds, they might also prove harmful in some scenarios. So, let’s have a look at both cases.
Below are reasons for adding peanuts in the suet feeder.
1. Good source of fats
Peanuts contain fats which are very helpful for birds to get the energy for performing various activities throughout the day. It also helps them to keep their body warm during the winter season.
2. Crunchy food item
Peanuts are crunchy and loved by most of the birds. Hence you can add them in the suet whenever you want to attract the birds into your yard.
3. Good source of food all year except summer
Feeding peanuts mixed with suet to the birds in the summer and spring is not a good idea. In summer, due to the hot temperature, the suet may melt and sometimes also get spoiled, which can spoil the taste of other ingredients as well.
4. Inexpensive suet mixture
Peanuts are one of the cheapest nuts that go well with the suet. To make tasty, crunchy food for the birds, you can mix it with the suet and attract many birds at the same time. This is a budget-friendly option for bird watchers who have a limited budget for feeding birds.
5. Available in various forms
Here is another reason why peanuts are the best food for birds. It is available in various forms, so you can add the bird’s preferred form of peanuts in the suet and attract your favorite bird in the yard.
6. Peanuts for birds
There are different peanuts available in the market that are only fed to birds & animals. These are not the ones that we eat, and therefore you must always purchase it from the reputed bird food supplier. Good quality peanuts when mixed in the suet can be tasty for the birds to eat.
Scenarios when you should not add peanuts in the suet feeder
Below are the scenarios in which you should not add peanuts into the suet feeder. They can harm the birds as well as the surroundings.
1. Improper storage in a warm place
If you have found some peanuts in your house that was not correctly stored for a long time, then you shouldn’t add them to the suet or feed them to the birds, as there are chances that they might have spoiled due to the hot temperature or have formed mold in it.
2. Low quality food
Many birds and animal food suppliers are present in the market, and each one will boast how their peanuts are of good quality. But, if you are planning to purchase peanuts from a supplier who is giving discounts, then it is advised not to buy it blindly to save some money because the low-quality food will often lead to mold quickly and can cause severe illness to the birds.
3. Presence of Aflatoxin
Peanuts are from the legumes family as they grow underground. The soil where these peanuts grow often contains a fungal toxin named Aflatoxin. It is mostly grown on the peanut shell. Therefore, if you observe some black spots on peanuts or notice a change in shell color then don’t feed them to the birds. This fungus can damage the respiratory and digestive organs of the birds.
What other food items can you add in the suet feeder?
You can add various ingredients to the suet cake for birds. You can add ingredients like:
- Unsalted Nuts
- Dried Fruits
- Dried Bugs
These are some of the ingredients that are primarily added in the suet cakes. But you can add many other food items liked by the birds you want to target.
Simple Suet Recipes Using Peanuts
Making suet at home is one of the best ways of providing organic food to the birds as we don’t add any kinds of preservatives while making it. So, to help you out, here are 2 simple recipes which you can try at home. I am sure your tiny guests will definitely love it.
1. Peanut Butter Suet
Here is the procedure for making peanut butter suet:
- First, take a pan and melt the peanut butter & lard together. You can also replace lard with the suet.
- Stir these ingredients well until it turns to liquid.
- Now, take a bowl and pour the liquid mixture in it. Also, add in it other food items like birdseed, flour, oats, cornmeal, etc.
- Keep the mixture aside for some time till it cools down.
- Once it is cooled, press the mixture into the mold and refrigerate it.
2. Peanut Cornmeal Suet
This is another simple recipe for making the suet cake. Follow the steps:
- First, grind the unsalted or unflavoured peanuts in the food processor till it has a nut butter texture.
- Then, add raisins to it and again grind the mixture.
- Now add cornmeal to the mixture and place it in the mold.
- Refrigerate the mixture so that it takes the shape of the mold.
Peanuts are the nutritional source of food for everyone, be it humans, birds or animals. But while feeding the birds, always ensure that you feed them unflavored and unsalted peanuts. Also, peanuts can be added to the suet to provide crunchiness and energy. You must always make sure you purchase it from a reputed supplier and then store it properly.
If you know any other reasons for adding peanuts in suet or why peanuts are not suitable for the birds, then do share your views with the other readers in the comment section below.