Can Chickens Eat Corn Only?

Chickens love eating corn, and although they can survive on eating corn only, I don’t recommend feeding them only corn because chickens are omnivorous. Corn is not the healthiest option for chickens since it lacks proper nutritional requirements for chickens, which in the long run will cause health problems and will stop laying eggs.

Chickens can eat a wide variety of foods apart from corn. You can feed your chickens with whatever type of food you want, provided the food is healthy and safe for your chickens.

How Much Corn to Feed Your Chickens?

Corn can be a fabulous treat for chickens, but too much off isn’t healthy for chickens. It helps regulate the amount of corn you provide to your birds to ensure you aren’t giving them too much corn.

The best amount of corn to feed your chickens should be a handful of corn per chicken in the flock. Give your birds corn at least two hours at night before your chickens go to rest. Giving your birds a handful of corn in winter is a fantastic idea since it gives them an energy boost to withstand the cold winter nights.

Why is Corn a Poor Chicken Feed?

Like people, chickens achieve optimal health when they consume multiple types of food. Your chickens won’t have proper health if you feed them strictly with corn. Corn doesn’t have beneficial nutrients like proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and fatty acids.

Chickens require all these nutrients to maintain good health.  Corn provides chickens with plenty of calories. Excess calories can make your inactive birds put on weight quickly.

Corn can also affect the quality of your chickens’ eggs and meat. Egg-laying hens need lots of omega-three fatty acids to produce high-quality meat and eggs. Feeding your chickens strictly with corn can cause an imbalance of essential omega-fats in their bodies, ultimately affecting the quality of their eggs and meat over time.

Corn-fed chickens are at high risk of dying from the pesticides in corn plants. The buildup of pesticides in your chickens’ bodies can lead to health problems such as inflammatory diseases. Such diseases can make your chickens’ health deteriorate in the long run.

Can Chickens Survive Only on Corn?

Chicken can survive on corn only if they lack other types of foods. However, chickens’ health will deteriorate since corn doesn’t have the proper combination of nutrients that chickens require to maintain good health.

Do Corn Fed Chickens Lay Eggs?

No, corn-fed hens don’t lay eggs, unlike hens that consume food that offer a properly balanced diet. Corn mainly consists of carbohydrates and no other essential mineral that hens require to maintain their egg production.

For instance, egg production requires plenty of protein and calcium. Corn doesn’t contain any of these two essential minerals. Egg-laying hens may stop laying eggs if you feed them strictly with corn. Furthermore, the eggs that these hens lay are poor, and the eggs also lack the proper nutrition we get from eating high-quality eggs.

Can You Overfeed Chickens With Corn?

No, it would be best if you didn’t overfeed your chickens with corn. They will stop eating corn after they consume enough corn since corn will fill their stomachs quickly. It isn’t wise to overfeed your chickens with corn because they won’t eat all the corn. The excess corn in your coop will attract vermin over time.

Good Chicken Feed Besides Corn

Corn isn’t the best choice for all chickens, particularly egg-laying hens. Furthermore, corn is a poor chicken feed with little nutritional value. There are tons of healthy foods that are suitable for chickens other than corn. Below are some excellent food options you can introduce to your chickens besides giving them corn.

– Scratch feed

Scratch feed is among the best and most nutritious feeds for chickens. Scratch feed contains a variety of seeds and grains, which are beneficial for poultry. For instance, Scratch Feed has plenty of wheat, whole corn, sunflower seeds, and barley. The protein content in the scratch feed is suitable for egg-laying hens since it helps boost their egg-laying capabilities.

– Mealworms

Mealworms are also suitable for chickens, for good reasons. First, mealworms give your birds plenty of protein which makes hens lay bigger and high-quality eggs. Furthermore, protein helps chickens develop bigger and lean muscles, making protein suitable for meat chicken breeds.

The protein in mealworms will help your chickens grow feathers fast, particularly in the molting process. Mealworms are also rich in unsaturated fats, which helps improve your chickens’ immune system.

– Oatmeal

Oatmeal, whether raw or cooked, is a suitable option for chickens. No wonder oatmeal is one of the ingredients in chicken feed. Studies show that oatmeal can improve your chickens’ overall health by making them combat some of the diseases that affect chickens. Oatmeal also has plenty of micronutrients and protein, which helps keep chicken healthy.

– Bread

While it may sound funny to give your birds bread, bread is far more nutritious than corn. Whole grain bread will provide your birds with more energy and nutrients. Bread can be an excellent snack for free-ranging birds since it has plenty of energy to offer these chickens as they roam outdoors.

– Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are suitable for chickens since they have many vitamins, including vitamin C, Vitamin D, and B1. Fruits and vegetables also contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help your birds withstand a variety of illnesses.

Furthermore, vegetables and fruits contain loads of fiber, which can keep your birds full for several hours, hindering them from overeating when they are less active. Fruits such as apples, kiwi, and berries are excellent for poultry.

Great vegetables for chickens include chards, kale, cabbage, and lettuce. The right way of introducing fruits and vegetables to your birds is by cutting them and mixing these portions with chicken feed.


Corn is a fantastic snack for chickens. Nonetheless, chickens don’t eat corn only. Being omnivorous, they can eat many foods, including insects, vegetables, grains, and fruits. Avoid making corn your chickens’ primary diet since the chickens will not get any nutritional value from consuming corn.

Instead, introduce a wide variety of nutritious foods to your birds. Give your chickens corn in moderation if you want to give them corn as a treat.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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