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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn? What You Need To Know!

Kristin Hitchcock

Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means they eat plants. However, not all plants are ideal for your piggy. Some are exceptionally healthy, while others are not. Corn is a plant that falls into the middle of these two categories. It isn’t blatantly toxic and won’t cause most guinea pigs problems. However, you shouldn’t feed your guinea pig much corn, as it is high in starch.

One of the great things about corn is that your guinea pig can eat many parts of the plant, including parts you won’t eat. For this reason, you can easily set things like the husks aside for your guinea pig when you cook. You can even make toys out of the husks for your pet to play with.

There are also a few things you should be careful about when feeding your guinea pig corn, such as washing it thoroughly. We’ll discuss all of that in this article so that you can safely feed your guinea pig corn.divider-guineapig

How Much Corn Should Guinea Pigs Have?

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Credit: PHOTO FUN, Shutterstock

There are several different parts of corn that guinea pigs can safely eat. Each can be given in different amounts, so we’ll need to go through them separately.

  • Raw kernels can be fed to guinea pigs a few times a week as a treat. You shouldn’t feed them anymore than that, as this part is high in starch, which isn’t necessarily suitable for your pet. You should also avoid canned kernels and things of that sort, as they are often high in salt. Guinea pigs are relatively small, so they don’t need to consume much added salt.
  • The inner husks can be fed daily. It is not recommended to use the outer husks, as they come into contact with more pesticides. The husk’s nutrient composition is similar to hay and grass, which makes it one of the better options for your guinea pig.
  • Corn silk or hairs can also be given daily. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and makes a solid option for your guinea pig.
  • Stalks can be munched on as well. Guinea pigs typically don’t eat the whole thing, as the middle is a bit hard. However, they can be an excellent chew toy for a day or so.

A guinea pig will not eat the cob’s inner part—the part that we humans don’t eat either. If you give them the cob, be sure that you throw away this inner part when they are done. You should not give guinea pigs cooked veggies, as this interferes with their ability to break it down. Only raw corn should be given.divider-food2

How To Feed Your Guinea Pig Corn Husks

Before you feed your guinea pig corn husks, you need to prepare them appropriately. Shredding them into large, thin pieces makes it easier for the guinea pigs to eat through them. They absolutely can get through them without shredding them. However, it will take them significantly longer. This is great when you need to keep them entertained. If you’re looking to feed them, though, then you’ll need to shred the husks.

corn-kernels2-pixabay
Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

You can feed the corn husks fresh. To save them, put them in a Ziploc bag and seal it. If you want them to last even longer, you can leave them out to dry before storing them. This makes them essentially like hay. They dry out pretty quickly. All you need to do is place them out on a flat surface, like the counter. You can put them in the sun, but be careful that they don’t blow away.divider-multipet

Corn Toys for Guinea Pigs

There are several ways you can corn husks into toys. You can hang the corn husks from the side of the cage, which will require some pulling before your guinea pig can eat it. You can also tie many together to make a “ball” and then hang that from the ceiling or let the guinea pigs chase it around. Braiding a few pieces together makes it a bit sturdier, which can be helpful when you need to keep your pet entertained.

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Featured image credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Kristin Hitchcock

Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!