Can Chickens Eat Deer Corn?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Deer Corn?

Yes, chickens can eat deer corn. However, it should be provided in moderation because it is a hard, whole grain that can be tough for them to digest. Moreover, deer corn lacks the nutritional variety that chickens require and is often treated with preservatives that can be harmful to poultry.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat deer corn.
  • It should be given sparingly due to its hard texture and potential for preservatives which may not be chicken-safe.
  • There are no key benefits, and risks include potential digestion issues and exposure to preservatives.
  • Recommended feeding guidelines include offering deer corn as a treat rather than a staple in their diet.

Overview of Deer Corn

Deer corn is primarily composed of dried kernels of field corn. It’s typically more affordable than other feeds and is often used to attract deer for hunting or wildlife viewing. It is a high-energy food with significant carbohydrate content but lacks essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals necessary for a balanced chicken diet.

Benefits and Risks of Deer Corn for Chickens

While deer corn can provide a quick energy source, it should not be the cornerstone of a chicken’s diet. The risks outweigh the benefits, as deer corn can cause digestive issues due to its hardness. Moreover, deer corn may contain preservatives that are not intended for poultry consumption and could pose health risks to chickens.

Feeding Guidelines

If you choose to feed chickens deer corn, do so sparingly. It should never replace a complete poultry feed. Offer deer corn as a treat, not exceeding 10% of their overall diet. Always ensure they have access to grit to help them digest whole grains.


Instead of deer corn, consider providing chickens with grains like oats, wheat, or barley, which are softer and more nutritionally balanced. Commercially available chicken feeds are formulated to meet all of their dietary needs and are a safer, healthier choice.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists advocate for a varied and balanced diet suited to the chickens’ specific life stage. They recommend providing a diet that includes all necessary nutrients, advising against a significant inclusion of deer corn in a chicken’s diet. References to studies or professional guidelines from authoritative sources like the Poultry Science Association could further cement this advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading about whether chickens can eat deer corn, you might still have some questions. Here are some common inquiries with their answers.

Is deer corn safe for all types of chickens?

Deer corn can be tough on any chicken’s digestive system, regardless of breed. It should be fed in limited amounts, with appropriate grit to aid in digestion.

Can chicks be fed deer corn as part of their diet?

It is not recommended to feed chicks deer corn, as their digestive systems are not fully developed and they require nutrient-dense, easily digestible feed designed for their growth stage.

How often can I safely include deer corn in my chickens’ diet?

Deer corn should be provided sparingly, ideally as an occasional treat and not as a regular part of their diet. It’s best to follow the guideline of treats making up no more than 10% of a chicken’s daily food intake.

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