Popcorn is a very tasty snack for most of us. So, what if you feed your chickens popcorn? Can chickens eat popcorn? Keep reading if you are curious to know the answer.
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Can chickens eat popcorn?
Chicken love eating plain popcorn every now and then, and if you feed your chicken popcorn as an occasional snack, it is totally healthy.
Since plain popcorn is cholesterol-free and high in fiber, magnesium, carbohydrates, and protein, it is a good source of nutrition for poultry.
Furthermore, giving your chicken popcorn as a light snack helps them have a change in their diet and encourages them to consume more staple foods.
However, chicken cannot depend on popcorn as their staple diet because it lacks many essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Therefore, your chicken’s diet should not contain more than 10% popcorn and in order to do that, you should only feed your chicken popcorn once or twice a week.
Can baby chickens eat popcorn?
You should not give popcorn to baby chicks, even plain popcorn. It is because baby chickens’ digestive systems are still weak at this point of their development.
So, in order for them to grow rapidly and completely, you must feed them foods that are easy to digest and high in nutritional value like bugs or herbs.
In addition, chicks are also prone to choking when eating popcorn because it is quite large for them. So, it is not a good idea to feed baby chickens with nutrient-poor foods like popcorn.
Read our related article, Can Chickens Eat Cucumbers Skin? Find out why you should feed this garden vegetable to your flock (and how!)
Can chickens eat popcorn kernels?
Kernels or unpopped popcorns are both edible for chickens. However, compared to dried corn, they are quite tough and harder to digest.
Sometimes, chickens’ gizzard does not have enough grit to digest those hard kernels. If you want to feed your chickens with kernels then you should mix them in a scratch. Doing so will help the digestive system of the chicken break down the kernel easier.
Read more: Can Chickens Eat Strawberries
Can chickens eat popcorn with salt?
Popcorn with salt should not be fed as either snack or staple food for chickens.
Salt is an important part of chickens’ diet because it helps them stay hydrated and maintain a healthy thyroid. However, the daily diet has already provided the recommended salt intake for your chickens.
Snacking your chicken with salty popcorn will make the daily intake of salt exceed the recommended amount. This will adversely affect your chickens’ kidneys because they cannot filter out the salt, which results in kidney disease or even death overtime.
Therefore, keep in mind that you can only feed the chicken salt-free snacks.
Read More: Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes From the Garden? Feeding your chickens tomatoes is a great way to diversify your flock’s diet (if you do it right)!
Can chickens eat buttered popcorn?
While salty popcorn can impact chickens’ kidneys, buttered popcorn can badly affect chickens’ stomachs. It is because chickens lack the enzymes needed to digest milk and dairy products.
If your chickens eat too many dairy products, they can suffer from bloating and diarrhea. As a result, they will be lethargic and dehydrated.
Therefore, do not feed buttered popcorn to your chickens.
Read More: Can Chickens Eat Grapes With Seeds? Chickens can eat a range of things, but are grapes one of them? Learn more!
Can chickens eat caramel, cheese, white cheddar popcorn?
Caramel popcorn, cheese popcorn, and white cheddar popcorn contain artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and sugar, and are unhealthy for poultry, just as they are for humans. If you feed your chickens too much sugar, they will get overweight and produce fewer eggs.
You might think that feeding your chickens a little sugar every now and then will not make much of a difference. However, once your chickens find out how tasty the sugary food is, they can become picky and lose their appetite for other foods.
So, you should make sure your chickens stay away from food containing artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Read more: 15+ Ideas of Best Gifts for Chicken Lovers
How to make healthy popcorn for your chickens?
You can easily buy popcorn bags in the store for your chickens. But keep in mind that even though those bags are labeled as plain popcorn, they still contain oils and flavorings. That is not to mention the preservatives added to them.
So, if you want to have healthier popcorns for your chickens, you need to make them yourself.
You can choose to use a skillet to make air-popped popcorn. However, if you use a popcorn-making machine, this process will be easier and you will be able to make more popcorn. In that case, follow the instructions to determine how many dry kernels you need.
Just keep in mind that when making safe air-popped popcorn for your chickens, you should void using oils or butter and that you should let it cool completely before feeding it to them.
Read our related article, Can Chickens Eat Pineapple Scaps? We discuss if pineapples are good treats for your chickens and how to safely feed this fruit to your flock!
In conclusion, chickens can eat popcorn and it is completely safe to feed adult chickens plain popcorn without flavorings, salt, and sugar. However, since popcorn is low in nutrition, you can just use it as a treat for your chickens and offer it to them in moderation.