does anyone know how to make a seed bell/ball?

The sparrows/finches/small birds eat the loose feed from a feeder way too fast. The seed bells/balls that you can buy at the grocery store are kind of pricey. We have been looking for a 'recipe' on the internet but don't want to do suet as a base in Phoenix for the spring/summer. I'm thinking there must be some type of base material that we could melt & then would harden, kind of like rice krispy treats. Does anyone have a method that has worked for them? This would be great. I'll even make one for you.

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  • I remember as a kid making feeders like this out of pine cones coated in peanut butter then either rolled or coated with the seeds...


    It's been too long, so I can't remember how it turned out or what time of the year it was, but it was out here in Mesa.

  • Hi Jeanette,


    The thing you need to find is something which will be hard enough not to melt when the temperatures are 80+ degrees or the sun is shining on them.  Suet is used mostly because it won't melt that fast in normal temperatures and it provides additional protein.  I don't have a recipe but I have found some references to using peanut butter and corn meal to make the basic 'dough' and the seeds are incorporated in it or on it.  Hope that helps.

    • Both sound like good ideas to try. Thanks!
  • From a friend who forms hers around a ribbon/string loop so they can be hung from her trees afterwards...


    1/3 cup unflavored gelatin, 1 & 1/2 cup water, 8 cups birdseed, large pot, baking rack.


    Mix gelatin & water in pot. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until gelatin is melted and mixture is clear. Remove from heat. Add birdseed and stir until all seed is covered with gelatin mixture. Form mixture into balls. Refridgerate 2-4 hours until gelatin sets and balls are firm. Dry on a baking rack 3 days or until balls are completely dry.



  • I've heard of using peanut butter.  Our hot summer months are brutal on suet and gooy balls.  I use straight peanuts (minus the salt) in a peanut feeder and put out orange, watermellon rind and whatever other fruit I have on my fruit tray.  Good luck on your ball!
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