Make a gelatin birdseed feeder with only a few ingredients! Hang them in a tree and take notes on the types of birds who come along to snack on them! A fun science activity and craft all in one. This post was originally shared in 2017 and now includes a step by step video!
Watch our step by step video!
I never understood how entertaining birds could be until I visited my in laws in Alaska when we were first married. They had platform feeders right outside their living room window and I’d find myself staring out that window like it was a television set—especially when the squirrels joined the party! A few years ago we had a little momma bird make a nest in our front door wreath. We loved checking on the eggs. Now we have chickens in the backyard and are even more entertained!
GELATIN BIRD FEEDERS
(scroll to the end for printable instructions)
Wild birds and chickens don’t mix so we hang these gelatin birdseed feeders in the front yard for the wild birds, and make separate ones for the chickens and hang those in their enclosed chicken run. The chickens love them and it keeps them busy, pecking away at the seeds and bits of corn. They are a treat, not something they get on a regular basis.
Gelatin birdseed feeders are made with unflavored gelatin, water and whatever birdseed mixes and grains you’d like to use. The types of birdseed you use will depend on the type of birds you’d like to attract. If you have cardinals in your area, like we do in our new home, make sure to use one with black-oil sunflower seeds. I used a wild birdseed mix for the ones in the photos. The video shows chicken scratch which is a blend of seeds, grain filler, and cracked corn.
BIRDSEED FEEDER INGREDIENTS AND SUPPLIES
- bird seed mixes or chicken scratch/grain
- unflavored gelatin
- boiling water
- cookie cutters
- straws cut into 2” segments
- parchment paper
- baking sheet
These cute feeders take just minutes to prepare and set up in the refrigerator. Once hard, simply pull them out of the molds and hang in a tree like ornaments. A nice treat when food is sparse in the winter. You can also hang oranges (halved or sliced) for birds.
Step 1: We’ll start by boiling 1/2 a cup of water. Add the two gelatin packets to boiling water, and whisk until dissolved.
Step 2: Stir in 1 1/2 cups of birdseed or chicken scratch.
Step 3: Cover a baking pan with parchment paper and place cookie cutters on top. Spoon birdseed mixture into cookie cutters. Add a straw and press down. This will create an opening when the birdseed has dried for the string. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Step 4: Carefully pop each bird seed shape out of the cookie cutters and let dry on the counter for another hour or two (can also dry out overnight). This helps the seeds dry out and makes it easier for our chickens (and other birds) to peck at.
Step 5: Attach a string through the hole, and attach to a tree. Watch and wait for a few hours, you’ll see birds come to nibble!
I’ve seen these made using peanut butter, karo syrup or unflavored gelatin. We chose unflavored gelatin because ants are always an issue in this area.
Gelatin Birdseed Feeders Printable Directions
Gelatin Birdseed Feeders
- baking sheet
- 2 unflavored gelatin packets
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 1/2 cups birdseed or chicken scratch
- cookie cutters
- straw cut into 2" segments
- Add the two gelatin packets to ½ c. boiling water, and whisk until dissolved.
- Stir in the birdseed.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookie cutters on top. Spoon birdseed mixture into cookie cutters.
- Add a straw and press down. This will create an opening when the birdseed has dried for the string.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Carefully pop each bird seed shape out of the cookie cutters and let dry on the counter for a few more hours (or overnight).
- Attach a string through the hole, and attach to a tree. Watch and wait for a few hours, you’ll see birds come to nibble!
More DIY Bird Feeder Ideas
You might also like this recipe for making your own suet cakes to use in a suet feeder. Use this free printable bird book for birding with kids! Will you see jays, chickadees, blackbirds or orioles? Maybe wrens, quail, sparrows, bluebirds or doves? We have woodpeckers, hummingbirds (click here to make your own nectar), owls, and cardinals in our area!