Skip to Content

Can Chickens Eat Corn, Is It Safe?

Corn is a common staple of the food world due to the fact that it is relatively easy to grow and can flourish in many different environments. So what about when it comes to providing a balanced diet for your chickens? Is corn a good source of nutrition?

Chickens can eat corn. It makes a great addition to their diet. Because chickens are omnivores, they can eat a good number of items. What is most important is feeding your chickens corn in moderation. While they can eat corn, that cannot make up their entire diet.

Close up of corn

Chickens can eat fresh corn, cooked or raw corn on the cob, cracked corn, frozen corn, canned corn, and corn that was in your leftovers.

Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Corn? Should Your Chicken Have it?

Woman looking worried and looking to the side

Like with all foods that you give your chickens, you need to be sure that you are preparing them correctly. Corn has the benefit of being able to be consumed by chickens in many different forms. Chickens can safely eat yellow and white corn. Chickens can eat corn that is raw, cooked, milled, or ground.

To safely give your chicken corn, be sure to feed them corn in moderation, along with other foods. A benefit of giving your chickens yellow corn can help enrich the yolk of your chickens’ eggs. One of the handiest parts about feeding your chickens corn is that it is safe for them to virtually eat all parts of the corn.

Your chicken should have corn as a source of carbohydrates to generate energy. Corn is also an affordable option when expanding your chickens’ diet. Corn can make for a tasty treat, then you can still give your chickens corn without worrying about all the empty calories that your chickens are consuming.

The way that the chicken’s digestive system works, you don’t have to worry about your chickens having issues digesting it. 

Other than corn, here’s a large list of food your chicken can eat.

What to Look Out For When Feeding Your Chicken Corn

Close up of female face looking to the top right

There are certain things that you should look out for when feeding your chickens corn. You need to make sure that the quality of the corn is acceptable for consumption. You also need to watch how much corn you are feeding your chickens.

When feeding your chickens corn, you should look out to make sure that the corn is not spoiled. If the corn is beginning to mold. You should never give your chickens any food that has mold on it. It can make your chickens seriously ill.  

If you are feeding your chickens cooked corn that is in leftovers, make sure that what you are feeding them was not overly salty. Chickens should not have a diet that has a high salt content. This is also the case if you are feeding your chickens canned corn. Read the label to make sure that you are not selecting a brand that is high in sodium.

When feeding your chickens corn, you need to watch out to see how much they are consuming. As corn is a carbohydrate, you risk making your chicken gain excessive weight if they have too much corn. If your flock becomes obese, they will suffer from many health issues that can be serious. 

What Age Can Chickens Eat Corn?

Baby chickens on the grass

Chicks need to be on a special diet to help them grow. Just like raising all animals, the first bit of their life depends on a diet that is nutrient-rich to help them grow. You want to start your chicks out slowly when introducing them to corn.

So what is the age where chickens can begin eating corn? Chicks need to be on a specialized diet for the first 8 weeks of their life. After 8 weeks, they are put onto a regular diet. At around three weeks you can start mixing corn in with their grower’s feed. 

Be sure to limit the amount, as it provides no real nutritional value and still possesses a lot of carbohydrates. You want to introduce your chickens to a diverse and nutritious diet early in their life. Here’s an article what chickens can eat by age.

Can Chickens Eat Corn on the Cob?

Corn on a wooden table

When it comes to how you feed your chickens corn, your chickens will likely have a great deal of fun. Chickens are active eaters, they love to peck at their food.

So can you feed chickens corn on the cob? The answer is yes, you can feed your chickens corn on the cob. They can eat either raw or cooked. Your chickens will have fun picking the cobs dry.

Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks?

Single corn with husk opened

Now that we’ve covered the corn itself, what about the husk? One of the attractive things about using food scraps to feed your chickens is that they become sort of like your own living compost. 

So can chickens eat corn husks? Yes, they can! The corn husk is safe to eat and is a great snack to leave out for your chickens during the day. They are very filling for chickens. The only downside to corn husks is that they have an even lower nutritional value than the corn itself.

Is It Okay For Chickens to Eat Corn Kernels?

Corn kernels spilling out of bowl

When you are looking for a treat or snack food for your chickens, you can use corn kernels. Corn kernels are very small. They make for a good treat to give to your chickens every once in a while, but is it good for them?

It is okay for chickens to eat corn kernels. They will eat them both dried or cooked. Mixing dry kernels into the scratch that you are feeding your chickens can make for a tasty treat. 

While uncooked kernels are hard, chickens do not have teeth, and eating dried kernels does not hurt the chicken in any way. Where corn kernels make for a good treat is the fact that they are low in protein. They also lack nutrients, so feeding your chickens corn kernels is more for their enjoyment.

Is It Okay For Chickens To Eat Whole Corn?

Several whole corn

Chickens are very resourceful and engaging eaters. If you’ve ever stopped to watch your chickens eating, then you know that they like to pick, peck, and scratch at their food. Corn is no different, chickens can get a good deal of enjoyment from breaking down corn. 

So is it okay for chickens to eat whole corn? Yes, all parts of the corn are safe for chickens. If you feed them the whole corn, you may see your flock working together to break down the corn and get to the kernels. 

So Can Chickens Eat Corn?

Corn is a great food to use as a treat or to mix in with your chickens’ regular food. Always keep in mind when it comes to corn, moderation is important. Corn can make your chickens obese with empty calories if you are not careful.