Can Rabbits Eat Corn?

Every pet owner knows that it takes no time for it to start feeling that their pet is as close to them as their own flesh and blood. And just like you would for human family members, you will go out of your way to keep your pet safe and ensure that it lives a long healthy life. 

Rabbit owners will be pleased to learn that their little furballs can love up to eight to twelve years. However, that all depends on how healthy their lifestyle is. A major chunk of a healthy lifestyle all boils down to their diet. As their caregivers, it is your responsibility to ensure that you understand the food your rabbit needs to eat to thrive and the food that should be avoided at all costs. 

The foods that have to be avoided can be categorized into two: unhealthy food and toxic food. Now you might be thinking that there seems to be little difference between the two and you’re right, for most of the part. The difference between unhealthy and toxic food is the effect it has over time. Toxic food can have fatal consequences within hours of consumption and if fed to your rabbit, you’ll need to seek immediate medical help. Unhealthy food isn’t fatal and probably won’t do too much harm at the moment. But if this unhealthy food is fed over a period of time, it will add to your pet’s health issues. For example, foods that contain empty calories will build-up to lead to obesity.

Rabbits are herbivores which means their entire diet consists of plants. Fruits and vegetables and hay are staples in their diets. However, that doesn’t mean that all fruits and vegetables are safe to be fed to your pet rabbit. Some greens that are healthy for us could be the complete opposite of your furball.

Is corn safe for rabbits?

Corn is an interesting green because of the way it is classified. Corn is surprisingly a fruit. However, in the form of corn on the cob, it is considered a vegetable. If corn kernels are used, they are considered a whole grain. 

Now the real question is, regardless of what form it is offered in, is corn a suitable food for our pet rabbits?

The short and sweet answer to that question is: no. You cannot and should not be feeding your rabbit corn in any form be it cooked or raw, dried, or fresh. 

Are corn kernels safe?

You should avoid giving your rabbit corn kernels for the reason that their hulls are not something that your rabbit can digest and this can lead to blockages in the intestines. These can, in turn, become life-threatening.

The hull contains a complex polysaccharide that is foreign to your bunny’s system and is not digested. Indigestion will lead to intestinal problems such as impaction and the hull can remain undigested even after treatment.

Similarly, the amount of sugar and carbs present is also extremely unhealthy for your rabbit. They lead to intestinal problems as well as making your rabbit’s stomach upset, loose stool, and gas.

Are corn cobs safe?

It might be tempting to offer your rabbit corn cobs to chew on for their dental health but you should resist the temptation. Corn on the cob, irrespective of whether it is cooked or is fresh, is not safe for rabbits. The hull isn’t broken down by your rabbit’s digestive system and will lead to blockages in the GI tract. 

Another reason why corn cobs should be avoided is that there are too much starch present and too many carbs and too much sugar which will lead to health issues directly related to indigestion.

Are corn husks safe?

If you really do want to feed your rabbit corn then you can opt for the corn husks. However, by husks, we mean the outer leafy part of the cob. They do contain fiber and some people use them as chew toys for their rabbits. 

However, you need to be able to differentiate between the husk and the hull or seed shell. The latter is dangerous for rabbits.

Generally speaking, corn husks aren’t really recommended to be given to rabbits. The husks are hard to chew and are also stringy. The stringiness may end up getting caught in the rabbit’s trachea and that will lead to some serious health concerns and numerous visits to the vet.  

Another problem with corn husks is the fact that they are laden with pesticides and if proper precaution isn’t taken, it’ll only negatively impact your rabbit. There is nothing of utmost health benefits present in the husk that should push you to include it in your rabbit’s diet.

Are corn stalks safe?

Cornstalk can be fed to rabbits. Rabbits can eat dry stalk as well provided that they aren’t too ripe and are mold-free.

However, just like husks, there is no pressing need that you offer them to your pet. In fact, it’ll be more of a hassle to either get the stalk from an organic source or go around making sure the stalk is free of all possible insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides and even then you can’t be completely sure, so why take the risk?

Is popcorn safe for rabbits?

While popcorn is a preferred healthy snack for us humans, it isn’t appropriate for rabbits. While it isn’t toxic, it contains elements that will harm your rabbit in the long run. Popcorn contains salt, fat, and other additives which will negatively impact your rabbit’s health including intestinal problems.

The butter present in popcorn can be an aid to your rabbit’s obesity which in turn works well in reducing their lifespan. It also sets them up for weight-related health problems which are difficult to resolve.

Conclusion

To summarize, there is no reason for you to want to feed your rabbit corn. Corn, especially the hull, is devoid of any health benefits that would be a reason to offer it to them. Rather, it is more likely to cause more harm than good to your rabbit.

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