Raising chickens has become a popular hobby in recent years. This trend has even extended to cities and suburbs. It’s not uncommon to know at least one house that raises chickens in your neighborhood.
If you’re considering sticking with chicken, you need to know what your chickens can eat. Along with chicken feed, chickens enjoy a variety of other foods as treats. One of them is popcorn. So yes! Chickens can eat popcorn safely.
Chicken and Popcorn
Chickens will happily eat a wide variety of foods, and popcorn is a barn favorite. Not only is it delicious for your chickens, it’s healthy too. Popcorn is low in calories, so if given to your chickens in moderation, it will not cause unwanted weight gain.
Popcorn Health Benefits
Popcorn also has many benefits for the health of your chickens. It contains high levels of fiber and magnesium. While chicken doesn’t need a lot of fiber in its diet, a moderate amount of fiber can aid digestion. Magnesium is even more important in chicken diets. Magnesium promotes healthy bone strength and is essential for carbohydrate metabolism.
Popcorn also contains vitamins A, E, and K. Chickens need all three of these vitamins in their diet for healthy bodily functions. Deficiency of vitamins A and E can cause muscle weakness and lethargy. Low levels of vitamin K lead to poor blood clotting ability. Poor blood clotting can leave fragile chickens prone to internal bleeding from even a small bump or bruise.
How to Prepare Popcorn for Your Chicken
Chickens should not be fed all kinds of popcorn. You should only give them plain, popped popcorn that you have prepared yourself. This means that popcorn should be free of salt, oil, sugar, cheese, and other added flavours.
Also, popcorn should always be popped, don’t just offer raw kernels. Chickens can have trouble digesting unpeeled popcorn.
It is recommended that you feed your popcorn chicken no more than once or twice per week as they will also need to eat regular meals and pellets for maximum nutrition.
Dried Corn vs. Popcorn
Many people confuse dry corn with popcorn. Although they look the same, they are actually two different products. Popcorn is made from a specific type of corn, while dry corn is a form of yellow corn that is dried and added to chicken feed. The nutritional value of dry corn is also different from that of popcorn.
Other Foods for Chicken
Like most pets, chickens benefit from a varied diet that meets all of their nutritional needs. Chickens need to have a nutritional pellet and some kind of claw every day. The nutritional pellets are enhanced with calcium and protein. The scratch is usually a mixture of corn, barley, and other grains.
Then there are treats. Chickens love snacks! Here are some great choices for other treats to give your backyard flock:
Fruits – Berries, bananas, melons and most other fruits are good for chickens. Make sure you cut it into small pieces to make it easier for the chicken to eat.
Vegetables — Chickens can also eat mostly vegetables. They also love the skin and scraps you normally throw away.
Grains — Cooked rice, raw or cooked oats, and plain cereal are great chicken foods.
Beans — Chickens can eat beans, but only if they are cooked and unsalted.
Cooked meat, fish, or eggs — Chickens will eat just about anything, so a little cooked meat or another source of protein is a good, occasional meal.
What Never Feeds Your Chickens?
While they are omnivores and will eat anything they can get their hands on, there are some foods you should never give your chickens. This list includes avocado, chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts or raw rice, and salty processed foods such as pretzels and potato chips. Potatoes that are still green or have sprouted should also not be given to your chickens. They contain solanine, a toxin that attacks the nervous system.
- See Also: Can Budgies Eat Popcorn? What you need to know!
Can Chickens Eat Popcorn?
In conclusion, yes, you can feed your chickens plain popcorn. Not only will they enjoy it, but plain popcorn provides the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy flock!
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