Popcorn is a great snack and we all enjoy from time to time. But, can chickens eat popcorn?
Chickens love to eat corn, right? Well, how about a touch of popcorn, is that going to go down well for them? Let’s take a little look.
Can Chickens Eat Popcorn?
Absolutely! Chickens can eat popcorn. In fact, give some chickens some popcorn, and they are going to go crazy for it. For the most part, chickens are going to be eating a touch of corn anyway.
While the corn that makes popcorn is slightly different to the corn they are eating, it all (ultimately) comes from the same type of plant. This means that the popcorn is going to have some of the nutrients that your chickens should be eating packed into it.
Of course, this isn’t us saying that you should allow your chickens to overindulge on popcorn. You shouldn’t.
Despite everything, it is still going to be a little bit of a treat for them, and you need to treat it like that. This means that you shouldn’t be giving them popcorn all that often. In fact, the vast majority of backyard chicken owners are not going to be giving their chickens regular doses of popcorn.
They certainly won’t go out of their way to do it. If you have some popcorn leftover, then great. If you don’t…then the chickens shouldn’t be eating popcorn.
This is probably the best way to control how much the chickens are actually going to be eating.
So Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Popcorn?
Yes and No. It is vital that you do not give your chickens any popcorn which has been salted. In fact, there shouldn’t be any flavorings on it at all.
All of the popcorn that you give them needs to be straight popcorn. If you give them popcorn with flavorings, it is likely that they will still like it, but the amount of sodium that they are going to be getting into their diet from the popcorn is NOT going to be a good thing at all.
In fact, it is something which is probably going to be causing long term health issues with your chickens.
In addition to this, you will want to ensure that any popcorn that you give to your chickens is actually popped. Do not give them unpopped kernels of corn.
If you do that, then there is a pretty strong chance that they will be in a bit of pain when they are trying to swallow it. They could even choke on the kernels.
They are just way too hard for them, and that is saying something for a chicken who will pretty much feast on anything!
Thankfully, it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove unpopped corn kernels from the mix, so this is fine.
As we said, chickens can have popcorn, but you shouldn’t be giving your chickens popcorn all that regularly.
Once a week should be about your limit because, while popcorn has nutrition in it, it doesn’t have that much in the way of what chickens need beyond magnesium.
It is best to give it to them as a treat, and then throw in some healthy fruits and vegetables for a bit more of an oomph. Of course, this also means that they should be chowing down on their normal food too!
See also: Can chickens have cilantro?