Feeding Chickens: Can They Eat Corn Husks and Silks?


When it comes to feeding chickens, it’s important to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet. Chickens are omnivorous creatures and can consume a variety of food items, including grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, insects, and even certain kitchen scraps. However, not all food is suitable for chickens, and it’s crucial to understand what they can and cannot eat.

Can Chickens Eat Corn Husks?

Yes, chickens can eat corn husks, but only in moderation. Corn husks are the protective outer covering of the corn ear and are rich in fiber. However, they lack significant nutritional value and are not very digestible for chickens. Therefore, feeding corn husks should be done sparingly, as too much may lead to digestive issues or even impact their overall nutritional intake.

Can Chickens Eat Corn Silks?

Corn silks, on the other hand, are the fine, thread-like structures found on the ear of the corn. They are typically removed before eating the corn, as they can be slightly tough and fibrous. While chickens can eat corn silks, it is not recommended to feed them in large quantities. Corn silks provide minimal nutritional value, and chickens usually prefer other food sources that offer more substantial benefits.

Feeding Considerations

While chickens can consume corn husks and silks, it’s essential to prioritize a balanced diet that includes a diverse range of food items. Corn husks and silks should only be offered as occasional treats and not as a significant part of their daily meals. Provide a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and commercially formulated chicken feed to meet their nutritional requirements.

Risks and Precautions

When introducing any new food item, it’s crucial to monitor the chickens’ reaction and digestion. If you notice any signs of digestive problems such as diarrhea or abnormal behavior after consuming corn husks or silks, it’s best to discontinue feeding them immediately. Remember to remove any pesticides or chemical residue from the corn husks or silks before offering them to your chickens.


Corn husks and silks can be included in a chicken’s diet as occasional treats, but they should not replace the necessary nutrients provided by a balanced diet. As responsible chicken keepers, it is our duty to ensure the well-being and health of our feathered friends. By offering a varied and nutritious diet, we can keep our chickens happy, healthy, and thriving.

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