Last Updated on November 27, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
Chickens are omnivorous and spend most of their time pecking at anything they naturally find. Since they feed on anything they come across, it’s hard to identify the type of foods your chickens enjoy. This does not mean that they should be fed on anything and everything.
Since many chicken feeds comprise dried corn in their mixture, you may be wondering if your chicken can feed on popcorn. The corn your chicken feeds on every day is slightly different from the corn that makes popcorn.
Apart from feeding your chicken with chicken feeds, they also enjoy little treats like popcorn. So yes, chickens can eat popcorn safely, and they not only enjoy it, but it’s also healthy.
Chickens and Popcorns
Just like us, chickens will enjoy snacking once in a while. If you are unaware, chickens enjoy popcorns, and they go crazy about them as it’s one of their favorite treats.
This does not mean that you should overfeed your chicken with popcorn. Remember that they are a treat, and they should not replace their regular healthy diet. Popcorn should be given in moderation and should not be given daily.
Is Popcorn Healthy for Your Chicken?
Popcorn is not only tasty for your chicken, but it is also very healthy. Since popcorn is very low in calories, it cannot cause any unwanted weight gain to your chicken when given in moderation.
Some of the healthy benefits of popcorns to your chicken include:
- Popcorn has high fiber and magnesium
The high fiber level in popcorns is good for your chicken as it helps indigestion. Magnesium helps strengthen the bones of your chicken and is also very crucial in carbohydrate metabolism.
- Popcorn is rich in vitamin A, E, and K
All these vitamins are vital for your chicken for its body to function healthily. For example, if your chicken lacks vitamin A and E, it can experience muscle weakness. On the other hand, low vitamin K levels can cause poor blood clotting, making fragile chickens susceptible to hemorrhaging even from minor bumps and bruises.
Popcorns are also rich in fat, water, proteins, carbohydrates, zinc, phosphorous, sodium, folate, iron, and potassium. By feeding your chicken with popcorns, it will enjoy the benefits of all these nutrients, which play a different role in the better health of your chicken.
How to Prepare Healthy Popcorn for Your Chicken?
Since popcorn is one of the favorite snacks for your chicken, not all kinds of popcorn are healthy for your chicken. There are many different kinds of popcorn, and we have to emphasize that only plain popcorn is healthy for your chicken.
The popcorns should not be flavored or salted and should not have any seasoning. Flavored popcorn may have other added ingredients that are not healthy for your chicken.
Why Chickens should not be Fed with Salted Popcorns?
While salt is important to chicken by promoting a healthy immune system, helping in muscle development, and important for laying hens, salt should not be added to any food you feed your chicken.
Chicken always gets enough salt from the feeds and foods you feed them. You should also avoid giving them salted foods. Feeding chicken with too much salt can cause kidney diseases, leading to death in the long term. Always ensure all the treats you give your chicken are salt-free.
Why Chicken Popcorns Should not Have Any Flavors and Sweeteners?
Just as sugar is not suitable for humans, it is not healthy for your chickens. Most flavors also contain high levels of sweeteners, and feeding your chicken with a lot of sugar will lead to obesity, resulting in a drop in egg production.
Also, giving your chicken sweet popcorn may result in pickiness. Once they realize that some popcorns can be sweet and others are not, they might not eat those which are not sweet.
Why You Should Not Feed Chickens with Buttered Popcorns?
Butter is made from dairy products, and you should not feed your chicken with buttered popcorns as it can cause gas in your chickens. Chickens are not able to process the milk that butter is made with.
This is because they lack the enzymes required to be able to digest milk and other dairy products. Having too many dairy products will result in bloating and diarrhea. This leads to dehydration and lethargy, which is why buttered popcorns are not healthy for your chicken.
Can Chickens Eat Popcorn Kernels?
No. Chickens should not be fed with unpopped popcorn kernels. This is because they might experience digestion problems when they eat raw kernels. Ensure that the popcorn you feed your chicken is all popped and puffed up so that they can have an easier time digesting it.
Chicken gizzard does not have enough grit to break down the popcorn kernels. The kernels may choke the gizzards, especially for the younger chickens.
In addition, when the chicken cannot break the kernels down, it will have a very hard time passing out the undigested kernels. So, avoid feeding your chicken with popcorn kernels.
Can Baby Chicken Eat Popcorns?
It is not advisable to feed your baby chickens with popcorn even when it’s plain. Their digestive system is still in its development stage, and it may be weak to digest the popcorns.
Also, baby chickens are prone to choking while eating popcorn because it’s quite large for them. Therefore, baby chickens should only be fed with easy food to digest, and popcorns are not one of them.
Chickens do love popcorns, and it is not only one of their favorite treats but also has other nutritional values. Remember that you should not give your chickens salted, buttered, flavored, or sweetened popcorns as it can lead to unhealthy conditions.
Also, popcorn should not be given regularly as it does not have all the nutrients your chicken needs to stay healthy. Instead, give popcorns as a treat occasionally and avoid the unpopped kernels.