Can chickens eat corn, sweet corn and maize?

A small flock of my chickens eating sweetcorn

As far as my chickens are concerned, there is no such thing as a corn overdose.

Below: Here is some of my chickens having a frozen sweetcorn treat in summer.

 Chickens can and will eat almost as much corn as you feed them but you should limit the amount they eat because it is high in carbohydrates and low in protein which makes it a poor chicken feed.

Is corn good for chickens?

The yellow colour in corn can help colour the yolks of the eggs and corn is easily digestible.

Corn is a good thing but in moderation, as a treat, and as an addition to the diet at certain times of the year. Corn is good in the fall and winter as it is easily digested and high in calories and can help keep the hens warm in cold weather.

Giving corn too often or in too great a quantity can cause fatty build-up in the chickens and they become overweight which may effect their laying. Cracked corn added to the feed regiment in the winter months can help keep them well fed because they are not as active during the cold and the days are shorter.

Cracked corn: This is a split or cracked maize bulk product added to chickens scratch. It can make up to 10% of the diet.

Super sweet corn types: Super sweet corn varieties have considerable amounts of sugar as well which is not good for chickens.

Tinned sweetcorn: One of the ingredients of tinned sweetcorn is salt which can be problematic for chickens. When feeding tinned sweetcorn to chickens, limit to a teaspoon per chicken twice a week.

Frozen sweetcorn: I use Frozen corn as a summer treat to help cool the hens down. Limit to a dozen kernels per chicken and then they can have a little every day.

Creamed corn: Creamed corn can be fed to chickens but it has added salt and is high in carbohydrate and low in protein. Creamed corn is higher in fibre which can cause digestive problems in chickens.

Maize: Fresh maize is seldom grown and not normally available but if you grow it yourself you can feed it to chickens.

Is corn on the cob OK to give chickens?

I have a backyard garden and grow corn for myself and the chickens get all the cobs that haven't filled properly or have been got by the bugs.

Below: Chickens eating a corn on the cob. 

You can feed corn on the cob to chickens and the best way is to hang it whole to entertain them as well as supplement their feed.

Chickens can eat corn husks?


Corn husks are too fibrous to be a good food for chickens and have very little in the way of nutritional value.

I would never feed corn husks to poultry as it may cause crop problems.

How often to feed corn?


Feed corn to chickens once or twice a week and limit the quantity to a few teaspoons per chicken.

When it comes to feeding whole corn on the cob, hang them up raw and whole for the chickens to peck at. Mine love sweet corn cooked or raw and they always get the ones that aren't good enough for my table.

Feed frozen corn kernels in the height of summer to help keep the hens cool.

Feeding corn to baby chicks:


Younger chicks don't always know what they should be eating. Chicks older than 4 weeks can have treats but younger babies need to fed chick crumb.