Feeding Birds during the Winter

I’ve been using the homemade “old standby” lard-peanut butter-cornmeal-oatmeal mix for my suet feeders.  Naturalist, and NPR reporter,  Julie Zickefoose has changed my mind.  She wrote a thoughtful and informative post on the dangers of the “old standby” food.  You can read that post here.  Julie and others believe that the very rich diet of lard and peanut butter is causing health issues in the birds.  Add  chick feed (without additive antibiotics) to the mixture supplies better nutrition for our beautiful bird friends.

I’ll be getting a bag of chick feed on the next trip into town and trying her recipe.  If you feed the birds in the winter, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read this and consider making the improved recipe.

Blog post:  Zick Dough Improved

Here’s the recipe for a small batch:


Melt in the microwave and stir together:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup lard

In a large mixing bowl, combine
2 cups chick starter – get the kind without antibiotics
2 cups quick oats
1 cup yellow cornmeal and
1 cup flour

Add melted lard/peanut butter mixture to the combined dry ingredients and mix well.

Julie also gives a “big batch” recipe in her blog post.

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