Monday, June 26, 2017

Cardboard Treat Balls

We saw a home-made toy demonstration at the Pig-a-Palooza in May.  I liked the toilet paper tubes filled with treats.  They look like a smaller version of the egg-cersizer.  I gave them a try last week.

Making them was easy.  First, you need a piece of toilet paper tube, cut to about thee inches long.  Then you cut four evenly-spaced slots on one end.  The other end also gets four slots, but staggered from the first four (so they don't line up across the tube).  Fold in the one end, tucking the flaps under/over each other.  Flip it over, fill it with something good to eat, then fold the flaps on the other end.

It rolls kind of like a ball.  Unlike the egg-cersizer, the treat doesn't just fall out (unless you made your flaps really short).  It takes some work to pry open the ends to get at the treat.

Turns out, this is the hardest puzzle/toy I've given my guinea pigs.  Boadicea and Wedgwood figured out how to use the egg-cersizer and the Teach N Treat fairly easily.  Granted, they each had another pig show them how it was done.  But these cardboard balls were far more difficult.  Boadi and Wedg played with them a while.  They each got out one treat, but could not empty all of them.  After a while they got bored; I later found a couple of balls with the carrot and cucumber intact.

Boadi and Wedg "solved" the puzzle in two ways:  by enlarging the opening by chewing the flaps, or by grabbing a flap to shake the ball.  I'm sure there's more ways these could be opened.  They're a lot of work for not much reward. 

I like the cardboard balls because they don't take up much room in the cage, unlike their other toys.  I'll keep throwing one or two in every so often, to see if Boadi and Wedg get better at opening them up.  I'll try different treats also, in case something is more motivating that others.


  1. What a nifty idea - I love home-made fun :) And I do think it makes a big difference when an animal sees another do something first. It certainly works that way with naughty goats, anyway!

  2. fun idea. They will figure it out in a burst of insight.

  3. Thanks for the video. It's fun to see which animal gets the idea and the others observe. I had a brilliant parakeet, Harriet, who taught the flock how to fly safely around my condo, not hitting mirrors, windows etc, real hazard for them. Unfortunately she also taught them to perch on my handmade paper artworks and edit the edges.


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