Can Chickens Eat Corn Cob? Yes!

What do Chickens Like to Eat? Corn Cob Treats, of Course!

JFA Speckled Sussex with Corn Cob Treat

Leftover corn cobs from Halloween and Thanksgiving don’t need to be thrown away. You may wonder can chickens eat corn cobs? Yes they can. They can be used to make a nutrient-rich activity treat. This treat is high in protein that will help to keep them active and warm through the colder months and fight boredom if they need to be confined.

Supplies Needed

    • Dried corn cobs (Field corn or Indian corn with or without the husks.)
    • Peanut butter or any nut butter
    • Molasses or honey (optional)
    • Chicken feed or a mixture of seeds and grains
    • Dried herbs. (Suitable herbs: Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Marjoram.)
    • Dried pumpkin or squash seeds (so if you wondering can chickens eat pumpkin seeds, you bet they can!)
    • Dried flower petals (Suitable Flower Petals: Marigold, Calendula, Rose, Violets, Clover.)
    • Twine
    • Knife or rubber spatula
    • Cooking tray

Pull back husks-attach twine


1. Pull back the husks and remove the silk from the corn.

2. Wrap the twine around the joint where the husk and cob connect.

3. Allow the cobs to dry.

4. Spread peanut butter, or other nut butter, onto the dried cob.

5. Roll in the chicken feed or a mixture of grains and seeds.

6. Now the cob is ready to hang. You can make up several cobs and freeze them to use later.


Spread with nut butter


Roll in grains


Ready to hang and serve

Since you were curious can chickens eat corn cobs, you may wonder can chickens eat pumpkin seeds and guts? Yes, they can. You can save the seeds when you’re carving pumpkins or making pies so you have them year round. You can also add some meat, fruit, vegetables, and seeds that you’ve dehydrated, for a nourishing treat that will keep your backyard chickens active if you hang it in their run. This solves the two issues at once, what to feed chickens and how to stave boredom. To hang the cob, either drill a hole through at one end and fasten with twine, or wrap twine tightly around one end. (Drill the hole first and insert the twine or wrap the twine securely around and tie off before spreading with the nut butter.) Store them in the freezer to serve up at any time the chickens are bored and need some activity.

One note of caution; do not reuse the cobs if these have been placed on the ground or fallen to the ground in the chicken run. This will help prevent the spread of illness and disease. In addition, if there are any illnesses within your flock, do not reuse the cobs in the event they are infected with the pathogens.

There’s really no need to measure the ingredients. I just took a couple handfuls of feed, a pinch or two of herbs and flower petals, a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds and mixed it all together. Then I poured the mixture onto a cooking sheet and rolled the peanut butter coated cobs in the mixture. I made sure to press down to fully cover and seal the mixture into the nut butter.

If you’re using the molasses or honey, mix it thoroughly with the peanut butter, then spread on the cobs. A ratio of 2-1 works fine.

Cobs that you have already eaten from will also work just fine. Allow them to dry, then wrap the twine around one end and proceed as above.

For answers to common questions about chicken diets, visit what can chickens eat and can chickens eat watermelon?

What do you feed your chickens for a treat?

  • Donna E.

    One thing that a lot of people don’t seem to know is that Indian corn can be popped! Just wrap the entire cob loosely with either paper towels or wax paper, stick it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and it pops right on the cob! My girls love for me to hang their popped corn for them to peck at!

  • One small point regarding proper nomenclature that any farm kid will notice right away: The central part of an ear of corn that the kernels attach to is the cob. “Cob” does not mean the cob plus the kernels of corn – although it’s OK to refer to the ear as “corn on the cob.”


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