HORSES LOVE TOYS AND FOOD…
Combine them together and WHOA! You are now the owner of the year. There are hundreds of toys and treats for horses on the market. They range from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars. If you are an enrichment nut like me, Otto Environmental has so many amazing toy and treat options! Then when you snap back to reality and realize these toys aren’t in your budget, finish reading this post.
Great News! You can make your own custom puzzle feeder for only the cost of milk! This DIY is quick, simple, and perfect for the horse who is spending too much time in his stall. Fill it with grain or hay stretcher and your horse can knock and roll it around for hours!
NOTE – time frame of use is estimate. Should last for hours unless you have a genius horse who just pins it against the wall and thrashes all of the grain out…
Milk Carton Puzzle Feeder
- Milk carton (label removed)
- Bailing Twine
- Thick Nail
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Sand paper
Step 1: Old dairy smell can actually peel paint off the wall (trust me…)! Scrub down your milk carton. Get deep into the corners of the cartoon with a mild soap and bottle brush. Don’t forget to scrub the cap.
Step 2: Poke holes along the base of the carton with the hammer and nail. I drew a black line to show you where I poked most of my holes. I also staggered a few higher up on the carton for funsies. If the holes are too small, make them larger by boring them with the needle nose pliers. You want them big enough to fit a piece of grain. The larger the holes, the easier it will be for your horse to get the grain.
Step 3: Sand down any rough edges left by the holes.
Step 4: Fill the carton with a handful or two of grain. Screw the cap on and make sure it’s tight!
Step 5: To hang the feeder I first used fishing wire. I hated it and switched it out for bailing twine. The twine is free, will break under pressure, and is easy to find on the ground if it snaps.
I hung the feeder from Leo’s feed bucket screw eye. After five seconds of “WHOA mom, what is that!?” Leo was at the carton banging it around. The fishing wire snapped immediately (another reason why I suggest twine!). Leo thought this was fine though because he liked rolling the feeder on the ground much better!
NOTE: I don’t think he ate much grain once it fell because the pellets mixed in with his bedding (he still loved it though!). If you want your horse to get the most bang for their buck hang the feeder and sweep away the bedding directly underneath.
Before I left I took it out of the stall just in case (I am a completely paranoid mom!) It looks like Leo had a lot of fun, the feeder not so much!
Even for my over active Thoroughbred, the milk carton puzzle feeder lived! I throw it in his stall every so often when I am cleaning tack or getting other chores done. He bangs it around his stall and will keep playing until I finally take it out. The best part is when this one dies, it will be super easy for me to make another one.
Leo and I want to see your homemade enrichment ideas! Comment below, share on Instagram, or post to the Oh No There’s Flowers Facebook page. As always please share this post on Facebook, Pintrest and with family and friends.