Skip to Content

Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks? A Quick Answer

Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks? A Quick Answer

Sharing is caring!

Here we will discuss the question, can chickens eat corn husks? Though corn husks are not particularly high in nutritional value, are they safe for chickens to consume?

As a treat, you can toss whole corn cobs, husks, and all, to your backyard chickens without any concern.

Just be aware that corn husks should not be their main source of nutrition, as they still require a balanced and complete diet to be healthy.

Raising chickens can be both rewarding and challenging, especially when it comes to feeding them a diverse diet.

As a chicken owner, you may find yourself wondering if a particular food item is safe for your flock. One such item you might have considered is corn husks, the green leaves that surround corn on the cob.

Key Takeaways

  • Chickens can safely eat corn husks as a treat
  • Corn husks possess minimal nutritional value
  • Ensure chickens have a balanced and complete diet alongside corn husks

Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks

Great news for you and your chickens! It turns out that chickens can indeed eat corn husks. As a chicken owner, it’s always nice to know there are more food options for your feathery friends, and corn husks are a unique addition to their menu.

Corn husks are the green leaves that you find on the outside of a corncob. Although they don’t provide a ton of nutritional benefits, they’re perfectly safe for your chickens to munch on. Keep in mind it’s important not to rely on corn husks as the main source of nutrients for your birds.

They should still consume a well-balanced diet that includes high-quality chicken feed as their primary source of nutrition. As a treat, you can simply toss a few husks into your chicken’s pen and let them have a pecking party.

You’ll see that chickens love to scratch and peck at the corn husks, making this a fun and interactive experience. Plus, if you’re using fresh corn in the kitchen, you’ll be able to reduce waste by repurposing those husks as a tasty snack for your chickens.

Feeding corn husks to chickens is not only a sustainable and eco-friendly choice, but it also helps to keep your chickens entertained and content.

Just remember, moderation is key. Offer corn husks occasionally, and make sure your chickens still have access to their usual, nutritionally rich diet, so they stay happy and healthy!

Nutritional Value of Corn Husks

When it comes to the nutritional value of corn husks for chickens, there isn’t much to write home about. However, that doesn’t mean they’re entirely void of nutrients.

The primary benefit of corn husks is the fiber content they provide. Fiber can help with the digestion process and may contribute to overall health in moderation.

In terms of calories, corn husks don’t offer much energy for chickens. They are mostly made up of water and indigestible cellulose, so they don’t contribute significantly to a chicken’s daily caloric intake.

As for vitamins and minerals, corn husks are relatively low in these nutrients as well. Don’t expect them to be a rich source of essential elements like calcium, phosphorus, or magnesium for your chickens.

When it comes to protein, corn husks are not a reliable source either. Chickens need protein to build and maintain muscle, so make sure they’re getting enough from their regular feed or other protein-rich treats.

Given the limited nutritional value of corn husks, you may be wondering whether they’re worth feeding to your chickens at all. The answer is yes, in moderation.

Corn husks can be a fun and engaging snack for your chickens, and the fiber content can offer some benefits. Just be mindful not to rely on corn husks as a primary source of nutrition for your chickens and balance their diet with other nutrient-dense sources.

Preparing Corn Husks for Chickens

When it comes to feeding your chickens corn husks, there are several ways you can prepare them to make it easier for your flock to consume. In this section, we’ll discuss the differences between cooked and raw corn husks, as well as some other preparation methods.

Cooked Vs Raw Corn Husks

Chickens can safely eat both cooked and raw corn husks. However, cooking corn husks can make them softer and easier for the chickens to digest.

While chickens typically enjoy pecking at raw corn husks, they might be more likely to consume the entire husk if it’s cooked. It’s up to you to experiment and see which method your chickens prefer.

Boiling Corn Husks

Boiling the corn husks is a simple way to cook them and make them more appealing to your chickens. To do this, simply place the husks in a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.

Let the corn husks boil for about 10-15 minutes, then remove them from the water and let them cool before giving them to your chickens.

This method softens the husks and releases some of the flavors, which can be more enticing for your flock.

Chopping and Pureeing Corn Husks

If you want to make the corn husks even easier for your chickens to consume, you can chop them up into smaller pieces or even puree them.

Chopping the husks into smaller pieces can make it easier for the chickens to peck at and digest them. To puree the corn husks, simply blend them with a little water until a smooth paste is formed.

Whether you choose to serve your chickens raw or cooked corn husks, be sure to remove any stringy or tough parts that might be difficult for them to digest. By taking the time to prepare the corn husks properly, you’re providing your flock with a tasty and nutritious treat that they’ll enjoy.

Corn Husks in Chicken Diet

Feeding Frequency

Corn husks can be a fun and casual addition to your chickens’ diet. While they don’t offer much nutritional value, they can still be a satisfying treat for your flock.

It’s important to remember that corn husks are best given to your chickens on an occasional basis as an interesting snack rather than a primary food source. Since these husks are fibrous and lack essential nutrients, they should not be relied upon for a well-rounded diet.

Quantity Per Serving

When deciding on how much corn husks to feed your chickens, a good rule of thumb is to provide a moderate serving size. You can give them a few husks at a time, allowing your chickens the opportunity to nibble on them and explore their texture.

A handful of corn husks every once in a while should suffice to keep your chickens engaged and entertained without compromising their nutritional needs.

Remember, while corn husks are safe and enjoyable for your chickens to consume, they should not be the primary component of their diet.

It’s essential to provide your flock with a diverse and balanced diet, including quality poultry feed and other nutrient-rich foods and supplements to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Risks and Precautions

While it’s generally safe for chickens to eat corn husks, there are some risks and precautions to consider. Here’s what you need to know in order to keep your flock healthy and happy.

First, corn husks don’t provide much nutritional value for your chickens. While they can be a fun and satisfying snack, remember to offer these tasty treats in moderation.

Your chickens still need a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of other foods, so don’t overly rely on corn husks. Be aware that the risk of digestive issues can arise if chickens consume large amounts of corn husks.

The fibrous nature of the husks might be difficult for some birds to digest, especially in excessive quantities. To minimize this risk, make sure to offer husks as a supplementary treat rather than a main meal.

It’s also a good idea to inspect the corn husks for signs of mold or spoilage before feeding them to your chickens. Mold can be harmful to your flock, so it’s essential to ensure the husks are fresh and free from any moldy spots.

In addition, consider the source of the corn husks. If you’re growing your own corn, you can be more confident in the safety and quality of the husks.

However, if you’re sourcing them from an unknown supplier, it’s important to confirm that the corn hasn’t been treated with potentially harmful pesticides or chemicals, as these could pose risks to your chickens.

By keeping these risks and precautions in mind, you can confidently provide corn husks to your chickens as a safe, casual, and enjoyable treat. Just remember to offer them in moderation and to always prioritize a balanced diet for your flock.

Other Safe Foods for Chickens


Feeding your chickens a variety of vegetables is a great way to supplement their diet. For instance, you can offer them cabbage which is high in vitamins and minerals, and it’s a fun treat to watch them peck.

Broccoli also provides valuable nutrients for your feathered friends. Just remember to chop these veggies into small, manageable pieces for your chickens to enjoy.


Chickens love fruits! As a reward or occasional treat, you can offer a variety of fruits to your backyard flock. It not only adds diversity to their diet but also provides them with essential vitamins and minerals.

Just be sure to remove any seeds or pits, as some can be toxic to chickens. Feel free to experiment with different fruits to see which ones your chickens enjoy the most!


Grains are an important staple in a chicken’s diet, providing a good source of energy and nutrients. Foods like wheat and barley can be fed to chickens, either whole or crushed.

These grains support their overall health and contribute to strong egg production. Remember to balance the grains with other food sources like vegetables and fruits for a well-rounded diet.

Unsafe Foods for Chickens

While chickens can enjoy a variety of foods, including corn husks, it’s essential to be aware of some potentially unsafe foods that you should avoid feeding them. Here are a few examples:

Tea, Chocolate, and Coffee: These products contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which are harmful to chickens in large quantities. Consuming these substances can lead to health issues like heart problems or even death.

Raw Beans: Feeding your chickens raw beans is a big no-no, as they contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin. This toxin can cause severe gastrointestinal problems and even death. Always ensure beans given to your chickens are cooked properly to eliminate any potential risks.

Solanine and Nightshade Family: It’s best to avoid feeding chickens plants from the nightshade family, such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants.

These plants contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison, that can be toxic to chickens when consumed in large amounts. Stick to safer alternatives, like corn husks, instead.

Avocado Pits and Persin: While chickens might enjoy the fleshy parts of avocados, you should avoid giving them avocado pits.

The pits contain persin, a natural fungicidal toxin found in avocado plants, which can be harmful to chickens. Be sure to properly remove and dispose of pits before sharing avocados with your feathered friends.

In summary, always keep an eye on what your chickens are eating to ensure they avoid consuming any harmful substances. Provide safe and nutritious options like corn husks, fruits, and vegetables as part of their regular diet.

As a chicken owner, you may wonder if corn husks and other corn products make suitable additions to your flock’s diet. Well, you’re in luck! In this section, we will explore various corn products and how they can be incorporated into your chickens’ meals.

When it comes to corn husks, yes, chickens can eat them. While they don’t provide much nutritional value, chickens find corn husks enjoyable as a snack or treat. Make sure to chop the husks into smaller pieces to prevent any choking hazards.

Moreover, corn silk is another part of the corn that can be fed to your chickens. Like the husks, corn silk also makes a fun, low-nutrition snack for them.

Whole corn can be a great addition to your chickens’ diet as well, especially during colder months. Corn provides them with energy and warmth. However, bear in mind that it should not be their primary food source, as it does not offer complete nutrition.

Just like humans, chickens love a variety of treats. So, here’s a quick list of corn products that could be included in their snack time lineup:

  • Corn Husks: Make sure to chop into smaller pieces.
  • Corn Silk: Use as a light, fibrous snack.
  • Whole Corn: Provide sparingly during colder months for extra energy.

When it comes to corn oil, there isn’t much information on whether it’s beneficial for chickens. However, considering its high-fat content, you might want to tread lightly if you choose to incorporate it into your diet.

As with any treat, corn products should be given in moderation alongside a balanced and nutrient-rich feed to ensure your chickens’ overall health and happiness.


You might be wondering if your farm’s chickens can safely enjoy corn husks as a snack. Good news – corn husks are indeed safe for chickens to consume! Although they don’t contain much nutritional value for your flock, they can be a fun and casual way to keep them entertained and satisfied in an organic way.

If you happen to have some corn husks around, feel free to give them a try with your chickens. Your flock will enjoy pecking at them, which can help with their strong teeth, and it’s a great way to reduce boredom in your birds. Just remember, corn husks aren’t a substitute for their regular feed.

While it is true that corn husks aren’t toxic to chickens, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on them while they’re eating.

This is just a precaution, as there’s always the possibility of a rare corn husk that might be considered inedible. Nonetheless, corn husks generally make for a fun, casual, and harmless snack.

In conclusion, corn husks can be a great addition to your chickens’ snack selection. Not only are they safe and non-toxic, but they can also help alleviate boredom and provide some entertainment for your flock. So go ahead, and share some of those organic leftovers with your birds – they’ll surely appreciate it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for chickens to consume corn husks?

Yes, it is safe for chickens to eat corn husks. They are not high in nutritional value but can provide a fun, low-calorie snack for your backyard flock. Just make sure to offer them in moderation alongside their regular diet.

What part of corn can chickens eat?

Chickens can eat the whole corn, including the kernels, husks, and even the corn silk. While the husks and silk aren’t as nutritious as the kernels, they are safe for your chickens to consume. Offering a variety of corn parts ensures that your chickens are getting a well-rounded diet.

Are there any risks associated with feeding chickens corn husks?

There are minimal risks associated with feeding chickens corn husks as long as you provide them sparingly. Corn husks do not carry much nutritional value but can be a source of fiber if fed in small amounts. As with any treat, moderation is key.

What other animals can eat corn husks?

Many farm animals, such as cows, pigs, and goats, can eat corn husks. These animals have different digestive systems that make it easier for them to break down and extract nutrients from fibrous plant materials like corn husks.

Can chickens have corn cobs and chops?

Chickens can safely eat corn cobs and chops. Although they may not be able to consume the hard cob directly, they will enjoy pecking at any remaining corn kernels on it. Chops, made from cracked corn, can also be a tasty treat for your chickens.

Do chickens need cracked corn, or can they eat whole corn?

Chickens can eat both cracked corn and whole corn. Cracked corn is easier for them to digest, but whole corn can also be a fun and nutritious snack. Just make sure to offer either type of corn in moderation, as too much can lead to an unbalanced diet.

Sharing is caring!