Goat or Farm Animal Enrichment

Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

Hi there ya'll,

While in my zoo days, we provided the animals with all sort of enrichment items. Bamboo filled with crickets/bug for the birds. Large clumps of grass, palm fronds for primate nest building. The carnivores loved mints, basil and aromatic herbs. Just a joy to see them play.

We even made toys/feeders for the farm animals. The goal was to not just give an animal food, but to encourage the animal to forage.

Just curious...does anyone make toys or fun feeders for their animals?

We made a swing for a chickens...they ignored it. haha. The chickens loved the frozen fruit.

We have built climbing structures for the goats. I'm considering a boomer ball type thing. Just to give them something to do. Goats are so curious. Our gals are sweet and we love our herd dearly. Having activities during the day is great for all kids. =)

What do you do for your critters?

Thanks for reading.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    I put a hanging string in pens for chicks. Red is perfect. They like to peck at the "worm" and I have seen one actually swing from it more than once. That was funny!

    I gave our seramas a xylophone. I did this for ducklings too. It is hung to prevent poop on it.

    Guineas like mirrors, so that is doable. We did this once & for some reason our large mirror broke. :( We will give them a bird seed bell soon. There is gelatin instead of suet as its "glue" so that should be a safe thing.

    I have wondered about balls to fill with treats for some chickens. I just think all the stuff might just fall out. I tried one homemade version with a small bottle, but it didnt work. Some people hang cabbage & other things for chickens. Any feed you put in, you need to take it out before it molds and also consider what "unwanteds" it might attract. I have heard that most chickens won't swing.

  • Hassena
    Hassena Posts: 345 ✭✭✭

    That's awesome @LaurieLovesLearning

    We've hung produce too. A xylophone!?! Ohh my gosh that's too adorable. :)

    Yesterday we trimmed sunflowers, stalks and all for the goats. We put some sunflowers underneath cardboard boxes. The kids were jumping on them. Maybe they will crush the heads enough for the chickens to eat.

    I figure the animals got all day to scheme...all day to plan what they will break or poop on next. A few activities will help them play.

    Thanks so much...I'm keeping my eyes open for a xylophone 😍

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    @Hassena just get a kiddie one. Those are expensive enough it seems. They are colored too, and red attracts birds to peck, although I don't think that the red is the only thing they have pecked.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought a kiddie xylophone for my parrot, but she never got into it. I cleaned it up and donated it.

    My latest toys for the parrot are odd sized cardboard boxes for shredding and empty plastic bottles for throwing and chasing. She has three different books that play bird calls for her.

    As an animal lover, it pleases me that farm animals are getting the finer things in life.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin
    edited July 2020

    I have catnip growing everywhere and my cat will only nibble at a fresh leaf occasionally. I have heard that they won't bother plants that have been seeded but if it is a transplant, they will be all over it. I have dug up and transplanted several into containers to give away and my cat still didn't touch them. However, the recipients of my transplants have lost them all to their cat. She LOOOVVVES them. She rub herself all over the plant and hugs it and plays with it and licks it and chews it to the point that all of them are now just sticks. It is soooo funny to watch her. I have a much larger plant that needs to be dug out of where it is so I will be taking that over to her.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey I bought a mature catnip plant from a nursery and put in on the floor in my house. My cats nibbled and rubbed on it from time to time. Then one day I came home to a plant massacre -- the poor plant looked like it had been tortured. I put it out of cat reach but the plant never recovered.

    I later planted catnip seeds that have been growing slowing out of cat reach. From time to time I will pinch off some growth and present it to my cats for them to roll on and eat.

    I also try to keep wheatgrass available for the cats. I have to be careful which houseplants and herbs are kept at an accessible level.