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    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 24th, 2011 9:18pm (May 24th 2011) edited
    This is how I make the pine cone feeders, here is is what you will need.

    nice clean wide open pine cones. Preferably large ones.
    String, wool or garden wire

    Filling base
    I block of cheap lard or dripping
    2 tablespoons of unsalted peanut butter

    Mixed wild bird food
    porridge oats
    Bread crumbs
    Chopped sultanas
    Chickens food

    Warm the lard and peanut butter in the microwave for a few seconds so it is soft but not melted.
    Add what ever additions you have to hand and mix together. You can add what you like really these are the sorts of things I put in. I usually check it by squeezing it in my hand to see of it forms a nice ball that will hold together in the cone
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 24th, 2011 9:21pm (May 24th 2011) edited
    Thread the string through the petal bits of the cones at the bottom pull it tight so it holds nice and firmly and knot. Leave longish ends so you can tie them to your feeder or tree.

    Work the mixture into the cone with your hands, it is the easiest way to get it wedged in there. I usually coat the cone also. You can then roll them in a bit more wild bird seed if you wish. Now you are done and can tie them into a tree or on your bird feeding Station.
    I was only able to find some fiddly little cones today so did them and then tied them all together to make a larger ball
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 24th, 2011 9:25pm (May 24th 2011) edited
    DO NOT USE Dessicated coconut or uncooked rice as they swell inside the birds and kills them.

    Here is the bunch of small cones and (a bit of Blue Peter) a large one I made earlier in the week.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 24th, 2011 9:29pm (May 24th 2011) edited
    Luckily I still had my camera round my neck when I was hanging the cones in the plum tree as I clocked one of the nesting box birds on the fence waiting to see what I was up to. It looks tired out poor little thing.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 24th, 2011 9:35pm (May 24th 2011)
    I have found that I can refill them once they are empty, but I don't have any fir trees near where I live so you could just use fresh ones each time if you have a ready supply.......have fun Oh and have a bowl of hot soapy water handy as your hands will get greasy and some one is bound to knock at the door the minute you get your hands in there:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeMay 25th, 2011 7:46am (May 25th 2011)
    Thanks NN sounds really easy with those beaut instructions., must give it a try.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 25th, 2011 8:52pm (May 25th 2011)
    If you want the cones to open up fully pop them into a hot oven for ten minutes or so. Put a bit of foil under them in case the sap comes out. It should temper them to stay open even when it is damp.
    • CommentTimeMay 25th, 2011 10:37pm (May 25th 2011)
    Thanks NN, I think Caitlyn and I can manage to do that provided there are still some pine cones around and the council haven't cleaned them up! I even have all the ingredients (except the chicken food). I bought peanut butter for the rats when they were still alive but they didn't like it despite all of the other rat owners telling me their rats thought it was the best thing since, er, chocolate!
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeMay 26th, 2011 8:04pm (May 26th 2011)
    What a lovely idea NN you are a woman of many talents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMay 26th, 2011 10:36pm (May 26th 2011)
    The high winds we have been having should have brought a few down Kate.
    Thanks Lee, I forget where I saw the idea first but I do remember they only smeared peanut butter on them. I have discovered this is a much better option and much cheaper than buying ready made fat balls.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJun 6th, 2011 11:49pm (Jun 6th 2011) edited
    Just a few pictures I thought you might like. First one is of one of the new bird box babies, Then we have two sparrows stretching in unison
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJun 6th, 2011 11:52pm (Jun 6th 2011) edited
    Look at these two new babies so neat and tidy and looking like bookends !!

    Then this dear little sparrow who thinks he might have been a humming bird in a previous life !!!
      baby bookends.jpg
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 7th, 2011 6:54pm (Jun 7th 2011)
    Bless him, lok at his little wings going 100 mph!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJun 7th, 2011 7:06pm (Jun 7th 2011)
    I know it is amazing I have seen a baby robin doing exactly the same this afternoon. I have so many baby birds in my garden at the moment. I think it is because I had all the magpies dispatched last autumn.
    • CommentTimeJun 7th, 2011 11:59pm (Jun 7th 2011)
    How did you get rid of the magpies, or shouldn't I ask! We have one without a tail and one with a lump on the side of its face.
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeJun 8th, 2011 1:34am (Jun 8th 2011)
    Lovely birdy pics NN, just beautiful.
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2011 10:45pm (Jun 17th 2011)

    Keeper of the hens

    We have a family of magpies living in the garden back home, and one round here too. Love magpies, and love the horrible noise they make!

    Fantastic photos NN, they're brill :)
    • CommentTimeJun 17th, 2011 10:52pm (Jun 17th 2011)
    We have loads of magpies Red, there were 14 in the garden yesterday! They wait for Short-Leg Tom to finish with the dry cat food I put out for him, then they raid the bowl. Its gone in no time at all!