Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn Kernels, Husk and Silk?

There is one veggie that we all like, especially because it can be consumed in many ways – the corn. Corn is really tasty and even a nice snack treat. It has good nutritional value that comes with many health benefits. But, let’s not focus on our diet for a moment, and let’s see if the guinea pigs can consume corn safely.

Can guinea pigs eat corn? Yes, guinea pigs can eat almost every part of the corn as long as it’s not cooked. This means they can eat corn kernels, husk or silk.  Guinea pigs like corn husk the most and after that corn silk. This means that corn kernels are their least favorite part of the corn. There will be problems with digestion if the guinea pigs consume cooked corn. Feed them raw corn, or corn from the cob, but never boiled, or fried corn, also not corn from the can, and similar.

If your guinea pig never tried corn, now you know that you can safely feed it to them! The cavies will love this veggie, plus, it is very easy to eat since it comes in such an interesting shape and size. The small corn kernels will be a delightful surprise for your furry friend. They taste mild and sweet, they are soft and easy to chew, so imagine the joy of the cavy when you give him corn.

Can guinea pigs eat corn husk and silk.


Can guinea pigs eat corn husk and silk? Yes, guinea pigs really enjoy eating corn husk and silk. When cleaning the corn don’t throw away the husk and silk instead give it to your guinea pig. As they really love its texture and taste. As far as we know there are no serious problems for guinea pigs from eating corn husk and silk. They are very similar to hay and grass that is why they are safe food and can be given almost daily. When feeding them corn husk always choose the ones that are the closest to the cob because the outside ones could have been treated with pesticides.

In this article, we are going to focus on corn kernels as they actually have nutritional value and risks. We confirmed that they can consume corn, so now we will cover all the details for corn as food for the guinea pigs.

Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Corn

Satiety – corn has a lot of calories, and it is rich in carbs, fats, and has a good amount of proteins too. All of these things can give good satiety and ‘fullness’ after consuming it. It means the guinea pig will not feel extremely hungry after eating corn, but remember, if it eats too much of it and too often, this can lead to weight changes. More details on servings and frequency in the sections below.

Antioxidants – there are good antioxidants in corn, such as vitamin A, manganese, and selenium. They remove the free radicals that enter the organism and remove the damage caused by these free radicals. With antioxidants, the organism is less prone to diseases, the immune system is stronger and healthier, and the body doesn’t age so fast!

Healthy blood – two essential minerals for the blood are found in corn. Iron and copper always ensure the organism has a strong immune system, because they make the blood healthy and strong. Iron is found in all cells of the body, but mostly in the red blood cells. It removes fatigue and gives energy, so in a way, it prevents anemia (weakness, illnesses, no appetite…). The copper creates new red blood cells, so these two work together for the optimal health of the blood and the immune system.

Source: Harvesting the Health Benefits from Corn

Nutrition Facts on Corn

Nutrition Facts on Corn

Here is the nutritional information for 100 g (3 oz) of corn:

  • High in calories – 365
  • High in carbs – 74.3g
  • Protein – 9.4g
  • Fiber – 7.3g
  • Sugar – 0.6g
  • Fat – 4.7g
  • Vitamin A – 4%
  • Zero vitamin C
  • Vitamin E – 2%
  • Thiamin – 26%
  • Riboflavin – 12%
  • Niacin – 18%
  • Vitamin B6 – 31%
  • Folate – 5%
  • Pantothenic acid – 4%
  • Calcium – 7mg
  • Iron – 15%
  • Magnesium – 32%
  • Phosphorus – 21%
  • Potassium – 8%
  • Zinc – 15%
  • Copper – 16%
  • Manganese – 24%
  • Selenium – 22%

Risks to Consider When Giving Corn to Guinea Pigs

Urinary problems – corn has calcium and phosphorus. These two minerals can cause serious urinary problems in guinea pigs if they are consumed in excess. These 2 minerals are good for forming strong bone tissues, but you must be especially careful with guinea pigs consuming them. If they pile up as excess in their urinary systems, they can cause bladder and kidney stones, blood in the urine, frequent urinary infections, or painful urination. And, if this is not cured, it can lead to renal failure (kidneys no longer work).

No scurvy prevention – corn has no vitamin C and this is a bad thing for cavies. They need this vitamin the most, to survive and be healthy. It is the one nutrient that guinea pigs always have to ingest because they can’t produce it naturally and can’t store it either. With a lack of vitamin C, cavies are prone to getting a dangerous disease called scurvy (rough coat, no appetite, weight loss, bleeding, discharge, fatigue…)

Digestion problems – corn also has some sugar. Not too much, but it can still affect the digestion. Guinea pigs have fragile stomachs and overall fragile digestive systems, so they cannot digest processed foods very well, or sugars for that matter too. They might get cramps or stool changes when they consume sugar.

Rapid weight gain – corn is very rich in calories, fats, and carbs. If guinea pigs consume too much of foods rich in these nutrients, they could increase in weight drastically.

Stool changes – corn is known to work up the digestive system and the bowels. Too much fiber can cause frequent bowel emptying or even loose stool.

Corn for Guinea Pigs: Serving Size, Frequency and Preparation

Always be careful with the serving size of the corn. An inch or two from the cob is a good measurement, so that means several kernels approximately for one guinea pig. The frequency is something that needs special attention. If you don’t want to make the guinea pig chubby, try giving it corn just 1-2 times per week tops. The preparation is simple, just remember to give them corn in raw form, not cooked. Rinse the corn well before feeding the guinea pig, and separate the kernels.

  • Can Guinea Pigs Eat Popcorn? It Is Still Corn!

No, guinea pigs can’t eat popcorn. Guinea pigs cannot eat cooked food at all, no matter what food it is. They will not digest cooked foods well, and as a result, there might be belly pains or stool changes, or cramps. Also, popcorn is a processed food because it is made with oil, and is cooked.

  • Can Guinea Pigs Try Cornmeal?

Again, no! Cornmeal might be a filling and tasty food, but this is cooked cornflour with added salt, oil, or something else. The guinea pigs cannot eat cooked foods in the first place, so no matter how much your cavy wants to try this delicious cornmeal, do not give it to him! It can make the guinea pig bloated, and it can even cause diarrhea.

  • My Guinea Pig Is a Bit Chubby, Should I Give Him Corn?

You can still give the cavy some corn, especially if it likes it so much. But, if the cavy is overweight, give it corn very sparingly, and very rarely. Once a week is the maximum. Corn can be quite fattening when given often and in large amounts.

Fun Facts on Corn

Fun Facts on Corn

  • Corn is also called maize, and this is also the Spanish word for corn, ‘maiz’.
  • Corn belongs in the grass family and it is a cereal crop.
  • The individual kernel is called a seed, and the cob is a part of the cornflower.
  • Did you know that corn always has an even number of rows per cob?
  • Approximately, the ear of corn (cob) has 800 kernels divided into 16 rows.
  • Corn is produced everywhere in the world, except Antarctica.
  • There are almost 3.500 uses for corn!
  • Corn is used mostly for the production of cereals, peanut butter, soups, potato chips, ice cream, marshmallows, baby food, margarine, cooking oil, mayo, chewing gum, and salad dressing.
  • Sodas like Coke and Pepsi have corn sweeteners.
  • One bushel of corn can be used for sweetening 400 cans of soda!
  • Corn can also be found in other things; soap, fireworks, rust preventing items, paint, glue, laundry detergent, antibiotics, shoe polish, ink, paint, cosmetics, and plastic.
  • In the past, during the time of early settlers in North America, corn was very valuable and it was traded for meat and fur.
  • Today, corn is unlikely to be found in the wild, because it is a domestic plant.
  • Corn was cultivated and domesticated for the first time 10.000 years ago, by the indigenous people of southern Mexico.
  • There are more than 1000 varieties of corn, but mostly we use 6 types.
  • The kernels can be of various colors too! They can be: bluish-gray, green, purple, white, red, and yellow.
  • The average size of a kernel is 2.5 cm.
  • Corn is extremely popular in Mexican cuisine.
  • There are drinks made of corn too. The ‘chicha’ and ‘chicha morada’ are made by corn that is fermented as alcohol or made into a soft drink.
  • Corn syrup is made from corn starch.
  • Ethanol alcohol is also made with corn!

Source: Growing Sweet Corn – University of New Hampshire

Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.

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