Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks?

Yes, chickens can eat corn husks. They are a good source of fiber and a safe treat for chickens to peck at. However, chickens should consume them in moderation to prevent any digestive issues that may arise from consuming too much fibrous material.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat corn husks.
  • Corn husks offer a good source of fiber but should be fed in moderation.
  • The main benefits include providing variety in the diet and enhancing natural foraging behavior.
  • Feed corn husks sparingly to avoid potential digestive problems.

Overview of Corn Husks

Corn husks are the outer layers that enclose the ear of the corn. While not rich in nutrients, they do provide dietary fiber. In their natural environment, chickens often forage for a variety of plants and fibrous materials, making corn husks a suitable addition to their varied diet.

Benefits and Risks of Corn Husks for Chickens

Corn husks can be a beneficial treat for chickens, as they stimulate foraging behavior and provide dietary variation. However, there are risks of digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. Their fibrous nature means they must be offered in moderation to avoid impaction in the digestive tract.

Feeding Guidelines

To properly feed corn husks to chickens, introduce them sparingly into the diet. Provide small pieces to avoid choking hazards and ensure they make up only a small percentage of the daily intake. Chickens should have access to grit to help them digest the fibrous material effectively.


If you’re concerned about the fibrous nature of corn husks, there are numerous safe and nutritious alternatives. Leafy greens, such as spinach or lettuce, and other vegetables like chopped carrots or cucumbers can provide similar fibrous content with added nutritional benefits.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists and veterinarians often suggest incorporating a variety of foods into chickens’ diets, including vegetables and fibrous matter like corn husks. The consensus is that diversity is key to a healthy chicken diet, complementing their main feed with safe scraps and treats.

Frequently Asked Questions

The topic of feeding corn husks to chickens raises some common questions from chicken owners eager to provide a balanced diet. Below are answers to these queries based on poultry nutrition expertise and best practices in backyard chicken care.

How often can chickens eat corn husks?

Corn husks should be offered as an occasional treat, no more than a few times a week, ensuring they do not constitute a significant part of the chickens’ diet.

Do I need to cut the corn husks into smaller pieces for my chickens?

Yes, it’s recommended to tear or cut the corn husks into smaller pieces to prevent choking and to make it easier for the chickens to eat.

Are there any chickens that shouldn’t eat corn husks?

While most chickens can handle corn husks, those with known digestive issues or young chicks may find the fibrous material difficult to digest. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian for chickens with specific health concerns.

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