Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food.

Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in India, Mali, Nigeria, and Niger), with 97% of millet production in developing countries. The crop is favored due to its productivity and short growing season under dry, high-temperature conditions. Millets are indigenous to many parts of the world.

Millets may have been consumed by humans for about 7,000 years and potentially had "a pivotal role in the rise of multi-crop agriculture and settled farming societies. 


Millet is still an important food crop in Asia and Africa. Here in the US, it is used on seeded bread. Important uses are animal forage and fodder. It is also used extensively in bird feed. Those bird-feed seeds are not suitable for human consumption.


making millet bird-feeders

Millet & sunflower soup


Whenever I cook something and have a lot of fat, I pour it in a glass and keep it refrigerated until it gets cold again. I've been repackaging some hams this past week, and together with what I had saved already, that gave me enough fat to make bird feeders. It's quite easy to make these bird feeders. If you don't have animal fat saved up, a package of cheap lard will do just fine.

If you use human-food-grade dehulled seeds, you can eat this as a soup. Millet soup isn't bad. Millets were after all one of the earliest grains used by humans.

A commercial bird seed mix will be a lot cheaper, but may have byproducts that are not suitable for human consumption.

A piece if string can be added like a wick to hang the feeder in a tree. Do this only in winter when the weather is cold enough to keep the lard frozen. When the sun comes out, the lard can melt quickly and the feeder may come apart.

I placed the feeders on a plate on the garden walls.  The birds lined up to get their turn, but the local feral cat clearly enjoyed the treat too. (Pic7)


This is what you need for 4-5 quarts:

  • 4-6 cups grains (millet, oats, barley, wheat, sunflowers) or a commercial bird feed mix
  • 4-6 cups animal fat (hardens when cold)
  • 8-12 cups water
Pic1: lard & millet bird-feeders