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Back to How To....    |   How to Build a Suet Holder to Feed Your Backyard Birds



In the winter, birds need a lot more energy just to stay warm.  Many gardeners feed them suet cakes to help out.  However, if you do not have a good holder for a suet cake, it can get stolen by a raccoon, opossum, or other creature.  Here is an easy to construct suet holder that should protect your suet from marauders and leave it available to the birds.

You will need 14” of a 1/2 or 5/8 “ X 6” board.  I used a 5/8” by 6” cedar board because it does not rot.  You will also need 72” of 3/8 “ dowel.

First, cut the 1 X 6” board into two 7” long boards.  These will be the top and bottom of your suet holder.  Then cut 7 pieces of dowel that are 7 1/2” long.  Cut one piece of dowel that is 9 1/2” inch long.

Now take the top and bottom and find the middle of the 6” side of the board.  Go in one inch and make a cross.  Along each long side of the board, go down one inch and make marks at 2 inches, 3.5 inches, and 5 inches.  These are the places you will drill holes for the dowels to sit in.

Now you will drill the holes for the dowels to sit in.  You do not want to go all thru way through the board with these holes, with one exception.  All but the far left hole in the middle of the 6” side of the board will be drilled half way through the board, 1/4 inch down.  The final hole is drilled all the way through on the roof only.  On the floor it is only drilled 1/4 inch deep.  The best way to do this is use masking tape to mark 1/4 inch on your drill bit and drill only to that point.


This is what your boards should now look like.

Now glue the dowels into the bottom of the holder.  Do not glue the dowel that is 9 1/2 inches long.  It goes in the hole that goes all the way through the roof and the corresponding hole on the bottom.  It will pull out so you can fit the suet cake in.  Your floor should look like this.

When the glue has dried, put the roof on, matching the holes for the dowels.  This is where you see if you measured correctly on both boards.

After the glue dries, you simply remove the long dowel, insert the suet cake in it, then replace the long dowel to hold the suet cake in the holder.  You can put a hanger on the top of the holder so it can hang from a convenient place where you can see it.




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Gardening-tip:



Use Edgings

Nothing finishes off a flower bed like low, long flowering edging plants.

Alyssum, lobelia, and dianthus are great for just this purpose.

For good continual flowering, also fertilize every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer like a 15-15-15.


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