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Recipe: Zick Dough

1 cup cheap peanut butter
1 cup lard

Melt these two in the microwave or over very low heat on the stovetop. Remove from heat and stir in:

2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
2 cups quick oats
1 cup flour

Allow to cool and harden, then crumble into chunks and store at room temperature in jars. Serve crumbled in a shallow dish. Attracts bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers, jays, wrens, thrashers, orioles, cardinals, and towhees. To get bluebirds to accept it, start by feeding mealworms (figure 8 per bird per feeding), then gradually cut down the number of mealworms while mixing in crumbled dough. In their haste to gobble down the dwindling mealworms, they will get some dough and within a few days should be hooked on it. This is an excellent supplement for nesting birds, especially in cold, rainy weather, as they will feed it to their young.

Although Zick Dough is an excellent cold-weather food, it is too rich to feed year-round, and birds that eat it in spring and summer can develop gout. I limit it to cold weather feeding.

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