Winter Enrichment for Field Animals
Enrichment is a great way to spend some quality time with your pets!
Winter can be hard for our animals who are used to living outdoors. Although they’re often adapted to deal with the weather, sometimes they have to stay in, have restricted turn out and less variety of foods to eat. And this becomes boring quickly!
Offering a variety of different enrichment sources can help relieve boredom and help our pets feel positive emotions.
Get the most out of the enrichment activity, by using these tips:
- Use suitable food types for the individual.
- Rewarding and challenging – there should be an element of challenge to the enrichment, but it needs to be achievable to avoid frustration.
- Make sure the enrichment is suitable for the species.
- Make sure it is safe for the intended species.
- Use variety and change enrichment regularly – offering the same thing everyday will become routine.
- Get creative reusing items around the house and garden!
Here's a few ideas...
- Fruit/vegetable kebabs are easy and fun to make, and your pet will love them! You simply need a piece of bailing twine and some fruit or veg. Simply tie the fruit and veg with the string creating a ‘kebab’ and hang in the stable for your horse to enjoy.
- Treat nets or balls are a great addition to the stable. If you have a very small net (with small holes) you can fill it with fruit and vegetables, and depending on the time of year, you could also chop them some yummy plants they can enjoy! Treat balls are a favourite of many here at Oak Tree.
- Apple bobbing! All you need to do is put some apples in their water trough or in a bucket of water and your horse/pony will try and pick the apples out to eat them! It can be a fun way to keep your equine entertained while also encouraging your horse to drink more water. You should supervise them while doing this just in case they try to paw the water bucket or trough.