ForageFeeder: a low-cost open source feeder for randomly distributing food

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Maggie Zhang, Andrew Kyle Schulz , Josh Meyerchick, David Hu, Nima Jadali


Automated feeders have long fed mice, livestock, and poultry, but are incapable of feeding zoo animals such as gorillas. Gorilla food, consisting of cut vegetables and fruits, is too large to be dispensed by automated feeders. Instead gorillas are manually at a set time and location, which decreases the exercise and enrichment that accompanies their natural foraging. We designed and built ForageFeeder, an automated gorilla feeder that spreads food at random intervals throughout the day. ForageFeeder is an open source and easy to manufacture and modify device, making the feeder more accessible for zoos. The design presented here reduces manual labor for zoo staff and may be a useful tool for studies of animal ethology.



Animal Experimentation and Research, Life Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences


Conservation Technology, enrichment, Forage Feeding


Published: 2022-12-30 22:15


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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Data and Code Availability Statement:
All data is publicly available via links in the document to a repository.