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Does anyone know how long you can keep grease balls for? I have just found a plastic box full from last year that I hadn't used. Are they any good to feed the birds?

By the way, I take the netting off and put them into a hanging container, in case anyone is worried about birds getting their feet caught.


I'd put them out and see if the birds are interested in them - if not get them in and replace with fresh. Some birds are fussier than others 

Last edited: 03 December 2016 13:34:32



Singing Gardener

I got carried away with a bulk order last year and ordered far more than I usually do which meant I was still using them more than a year later. The birds seemed absolutely fine with them!


Thank you. I've put them out, seen 1 blue tit so far, but last year it took a few days of suspicion first!


Doghouse Riley

Strange this has come up. I changed our fat balls  in the hanger on the pergola today as they were looking a bit dry, they'd been there for at least six months. My wife bought a box of them early this year but they were all sealed in packs of three so haven't deteriorated in storage. The birds were still occasionally visiting the hanger. I chucked the old ones in the azaleas for the dunnocks and possibly the odd hedgehog or two.

Last edited: 03 December 2016 16:05:01

Singing Gardener

I changed suppliers because the people I first used stopped supplying to individual customers. The original ones were only eaten reluctantly by the birds when everything else had run out but the new ones are always the first thing to go so I think there are big differences between different suppliers.

A couple of years ago we had three batches of these fat balls that had mould on them - so returned them to the shop - goodness knows how old they were.

I have decided not to buy them any more because the rain causes the fat balls to disintegrate when they are hanging in their special fat ball feeder.  We used to hang them on the branch of a willow tree, but they disintegrated even quicker there.i.e. we had to completely refill every couple of weeks or whenever it rained heavily.  Has anyone else noticed this?

Doghouse Riley

My wife got ours from one of the shopping channels either Ideal World or maybe QVC. They didn't disintegrate, or go black, just sort of dried out and went a bit hard. Really I didn't think they looked too bad.

Last edited: 03 December 2016 23:15:29


Refill every couple of weeks GD? Once my birds get used to them they are gone in 2-3 days in winter, 8 of them.

Doghouse Riley

Just as an update, my wife bought a bird food and nesting pack from QVC including the balls and seed. The balls are excellent and the seed had no "rubbish" in it. There appears to be no waste. Something for everyone. This was early in the year.

It wasn't cheap, but I don't mind, because of her disability, she spends quite a bit of time watching the birds from her chair near the French windows, while she's on with her card and costume jewellery making hobbies.

Last edited: 04 December 2016 10:50:46

Busy - our birds don't seem so keen on them here - although when they were hanging from the willow tree there seemed to be more action, but we moved the fat ball feeder so we could watch them from the window, but there wasn't so much to watch after all. At the moment we have blackbirds tucking into the fallen cooking apples on the lawn, but the fat balls didn't seem to attract too much attention here. Pigeons eating bird seed off the table - now that is our busiest station, but that's another story.

Odd, isn't it?  Some birds seem to love them, others not.  We buy the big tubs of 50 from 'Pets At Home' which are £5 per tub.  We're on tub number 3, this winter, and everyone loves them!  

The hedge and tree sparrows, great, blue and coal tits, dunnocks, robins, blackbirds, 2 greater spotted woodpeckers and a magpie.....we put out seed and peanut feeders too, and half-coconut shells but it's the fatballs that are forever needing to be replaced.

May be the quality that varies from brand to brand?

Thanks  Papi Jo!

Ladybird, I used to buy the fat blocks too, but they seemed to work out much more expensive....although they were probably the equivalent of about 4 fatballs in volume. We have a huge resident bird population in the garden, plus visitors, so I'm glad to have found something they all like!



our fat balls come from Home Bargains. I think £3.99 a bucket. Cheapest I've found and the birds seem perfectly happy with them.

I think that's where we buy coconut halves from, hosta....8 for about 2.99....the magpie loves those!

They threw them at the window, Ladybird.   Ungrateful little s@@s

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