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Paper Punch Forager


Food-Based Enrichment


Best for smaller animals, especially great for birds.

Problem Solving

Food Extraction



Why We Like It

This enrichment is unique in that it requires animals to puncture through material to access food, which emulates natural feeding behaviors for many species--especially birds. It's a great way to encourage birds to use their beaks in a different way. This destructable enrichment requires a lot of problem-solving and can last quite a while depending on the thickness of the paper you use.

  • Wooden box with a lid, like this one

  • Thin plywood

  • 4 bolts (choose a length that is longer than the thickness of the box lid and plywood combined)

  • 4 Wingnuts to fit on bolts

  • Hole saw (1"-2" based on how large you want the puncture holes to be)

  • Drill

  • Paper

  • Screwdriver

How to Make It
  1. Cut your plywood to be the same size as the box lid.

  2. If the lid is attached to the box with hardware, use a screwdriver to remove the hardware, and the box lid, for this next step.

  3. Attach the plywood to the box lid. Put the plywood on top of the box lid so the edges line up, and drill a hole towards each corner of the "wood sandwich". These are the holes for the bolts that will hold the lid to the piece of plywood. Thread a bolt through each hole and secure it with a wingnut.

  4. Use a hole saw to cut the puncture holes through the lid and the piece of plywood. These holes will be where the animal punches through the paper to access the food, so choose a hole size that's appropriate for your animal.

  5. Re-attach the lid to the box with the hardware.

  6. Your paper punch box is complete! You'll need to add paper. To do so, remove the plywood from the top of the box lid by unscrewing the wingnuts from each of the bolts and pulling the bolts out of their holes. Put a piece of paper on top of the box lid, put the plywood on top of the paper, and replace the bolts and wingnuts.

  7. Fill the box with food and give your your animal!

WildThink did not create and does not own any of the enrichment items shown on WildThink's enrichment database. Enrichment items are the property of their respective "sources", which can be found below the title of each enrichment item. WildThink is not responsible for any animal injuries or deaths that may occur whilst using enrichment found on WildThink's enrichment database. It is the responsibility of animal caretakers, managers, curators, and attending veterinarians to ensure that each enrichment item and the materials used to make the enrichment item are safe and suitable for an animal prior to use. WildThink is not liable for enrichment malfunctions.

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