I spoke in my research and my previous raising awareness posts about my idea of including seeds in the shape of a tag that you could go hang out in the garden, feed birds, squirrels, whatever you might have in your area. This could raise awareness of the different foods each of these species like, or could be more tailored to just suit a range of creatures in the garden, such as birds, as it is still helping out in the ecosystem. Plus seeds can be put in trees for birds, anything at ground level could attract rats which is not wanted.
I did a little research and decided to try some mixtures using lard, suet, seeds and some blackberries left over from the natural dyeing.
I first tried just using lard, I started to mix it in and it started to bond together a little. I added a little more too as the actual seeds would not cut, so I had to make sure there was enough lard for this to work. The end result you can see here is the tag shape, however I do not think it would hold up, especially if I was to poke a hole through it to get the string I needed through there. Also in hot weather I imagine this would just melt and fall apart, which could be a problem if it was inside hot packaging.
I thought I would give suet a go, as I had seen suet blocks in the shops that didnt seem to melt down so easily, they came in these small pellets that I was able to crush and roll with a rolling pin, doing this on top of some mixed seeds and suet too worked to help blend and bind it together.
I thought this was going to work better, but actually it was falling apart quite badly and crumbling, I put it into the fridge but it did not help it too much, however the fat ball I made was quite good. I decided to put this outside with a camera to see what kind of animals would go after it.
I left this out for the night, I had a malfunction with the camera that it decided not to pick up night vision during the darkness hours, but I did manage a few early morning shots of some magpies, little robins and bluetits on it, before it disappeared completely, I suspect a hungry squirrel.
Finally I tried the blackberry one, as this is a food that hedgehogs and dormice enjoy, however it just did not hold, even after a day in the fridge it just did not harden up, and also being wet from the dyeing the berries could mean that it could go bad and mould the seeds quickly.
So overall, this did not really work too well for the function I wanted it for. Maybe instead the idea of including some seeds to be grown, plants that the animals enjoy particularly, would be a more achieveable idea. I also think I could look into little bags of hedgehog foods or even proper little snacks for outdoors if I wanted to follow through with this idea, leave the actual snack-making to companies that have done it for a long time! It was fun though to see what I could do, and none of it will go to waste with all the birds and squirrels in my garden.