Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Advice for Animals Confused by Enrichment

Question: Hello I am a sheep, one of many in a small flock. They other day a strange orange object was thrown over the fence. Right now I am just playing with it, pushing it around with me head, I don't know what it is but it sure smells interesting. I am wondering is this thing safe?

Signed, Blackie Sheep

Dear Blackie Sheep

The orange object is a pumpkin and they are very good for you, and your friends, to eat. Pumpkins are loaded with nutrition and are very good for you to eat. They are excellent for your digestive system and even help get rid of some worms (although a proper wormer is still needed to get rid of all worms). Pumpkins are great to help your eyes stay healthy, and the seeds have oils that will help you stay young looking.

A lot of people give pumpkins to their animals in the fall. Even the zoos will give their zoo animals pumpkins, not only are these for the zoo animals to eat, but they provide enrichment in their lives; something new and different!. As you have already discovered they are fun to play with, but you can safely eat them too, they are tasty, full of nutrition, and add variety to your diet.

Question: I am a horse. Recently my owner threw a tire over the fence into my pasture. A tire, really? I am a horse, I don't drive, I don't even have a car, for Pete's sake what is going on here?

Signed, Tired Horse

Dear Tired Horse

Your owner is providing enrichment, the tire is for you to play with, not to put on a car and drive. Sometimes horses get bored and bored horses often develop stable vices such as chewing the fence, or cribbing. The tire is something to play with, you can pick it up in, and try to toss it around. It is pretty hard to find good toys for horses, although some stores sell balls for horses, it can be cheaper for a person to find a tire and see if you enjoy that first before they buy you a more expensive horse toy.

Toys, such as tires and rubber balls, are really good for horses that live alone and don't have a lot to do in the day.

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