Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn?

Guinea Pigs May 5, 2022
Written by | Updated May 11, 2022
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Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn?

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Corn is a staple food for many people worldwide. Roasted and ground, corn kernels find their way into a variety of snacks and cereals – and there’s nothing quite so nice as a fresh ear of sweet corn with a summertime dinner!

But what about our pets? Can guinea pigs have corn? If so, how much of it should they eat, and how often can they have it? Can guinea pigs eat corn husks? Can you give a cavy corn silk?

The quick answer is “yes,” guinea pigs can eat corn. But they can only have certain kinds, in certain quantities. Keep reading for answers to all of your questions about corn for guinea pigs.

Corn Nutrition Stats

Corn is a high-calorie, high-sugar vegetable – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for you – just that it’s something you should enjoy in moderation.

A large ear of sweet corn offers an average of:

  • 125 calories
  • 5 g carbohydrates
  • 3 g fiber
  • 9 g protein
  • 5 g fat

Corn Nutritional Facts

Corn offers a variety of nutrients, but isn’t terribly high in any single vitamin or mineral. Still, it’s pretty good for you and your guinea pig.

That same delicious ear of sweet corn provides approximately:

  • 310 IU vitamin A
  • 3 mcg folate
  • 9 mg niacin
  • 3 mg vitamin C
  • .3 mg thiamine
  • 5 mg phosphorus
  • 7 mg magnesium
  • .2 mg manganese
  • .7 mg zinc
  • .1 mb vitamin B6
  • .5 mg iron
  • .1 mg riboflavin
  • .1 mg copper

Can Guinea Pigs Have Corn?

Yes, guinea pigs can have corn. But they can only eat fresh, uncooked varieties, meaning that canned corn and corn products such as chips and tortillas are out of the question.

You can give a guinea pig fresh sweet corn, and they enjoy baby corn, too.

Can Guinea Pigs Have Corn Husks?

Yes! You can give a cavy corn husks as well as corn silk. Since corn is usually treated with chemicals, it’s important not to give your guinea pig the outer husks unless they’re from your own garden and you haven’t applied pesticides or herbicides.

Only offer the tender, lighter green inner husks that grow right next to the corn kernels.

If you give your cavy corn silk, take a similarly cautious approach and offer only the portions from deeper inside the husk. The outer corn silk or “tassel” could have traces of pesticide or herbicide on it.

Is Corn Good For Guinea Pigs?

Corn is really high in sugar, so it’s not the best thing for your guinea pig. At the same time, a little bit won’t harm them and they’ll benefit from the nutrients.

Corn husks are very good for your guinea pig. If you have fresh corn often, feel free to give your cavy corn husks as often as you like.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Corn?

Some guinea pigs like corn, while others prefer the corn husks only. The best way to determine if your cavy likes corn is to offer them a small amount and see how they react!

How Much Corn Can A Guinea Pig Eat?

That’s a great question and we’re glad you asked!

Here’s how much corn a to feed your guinea pig:

AgeAmount
Baby guinea pigNone
Adult guinea pig1 tablespoon fresh corn kernels or 1 baby corn

That might not sound like much, but keep in mind, you can also give your guinea pig as many corn husks as they’ll eat.

Since corn is high in sugar, you’ll want to offer it on a different day than other sweet treats. Too much sugar can harm your guinea pig so it’s best to take a very cautious approach!

Keep an eye out for signs of discomfort or diarrhea since corn can sometimes cause digestive trouble. So long as everything is normal, you can keep giving your guinea pig fresh corn as an occasional treat.

How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Corn?

Because corn is so sweet, it really ought to be eaten just once per week or so. If you have fresh corn husks, feel free to offer them to your guinea pig as often as you like.

The Correct Diet is Important

A guinea pig’s natural diet doesn’t sound terribly interesting by human standards but for cavies, days spent nibbling on wild grasses and leafy plants are ideal! Your guinea pig will enjoy a healthier life if you try to mimic the cavy’s natural diet.

This means making Timothy hay a priority. Give your guinea pig an endless supply of fresh hay so they always have something to nibble. Not only does hay help prevent boredom, the fibers keep your guinea pig’s digestive tract running smoothly.

Besides an unlimited amount of fresh Timothy hay, here’s what to feed a guinea pig:

  • Guinea pig pellets fortified with vitamin C (Read the label to find the correct serving size as it varies by brand)
  • Fresh, clean water – Remember to rinse and refill your cavy’s water bottle every day
  • Approximately one cup of fresh food each day, preferably divided into two or three smaller servings; leafy greens and crunchy vegetables should be included

What Are Other Healthy Alternatives To Corn In A Guinea Pig’s Diet?

When fresh corn isn’t available and there are no corn husks to be found, you still have options! Guinea pigs love all sorts of veggies and fruits.

Here are some favorites to consider next time you’re searching for the ideal snack for your cavy.

  • cilantro
  • mint
  • basil
  • parsley
  • carrot
  • carrot tops
  • tomato
  • sweet potato
  • romaine
  • beets
  • beet tops
  • swiss chard
  • spinach
  • endive
  • escarole
  • cabbage
  • asparagus
  • artichoke
  • rocket
  • arugula
  • butter lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • bibb lettuce
  • cabbage
  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • parsnip
  • pumpkin
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • bok choy
  • yu choy
  • watercress
  • cauliflower
  • brussels sprouts

Also Read: What Do Guinea Pigs Eat?

It’s a lot of fun to see how guinea pigs respond to different foods, and when you offer a variety of fresh options on a rotating basis, you’re not just having fun – you’re helping your pet stay healthy!

Giving your guinea pig corn (or corn husks!) is a nice way to show you care while making their life a bit more exciting.

FAQ

Is corn safe for guinea pigs?

Yes, corn is safe for your cavy to have. Just remember to offer the right amount and never feed a guinea pig cooked corn.

Can my guinea pig have corn chips?

No, corn chips aren’t an appropriate food for guinea pigs.

Can corn make my guinea pig sick?

Even though corn is natural, and although it can be good for your guinea pig in small quantities, it is high in sugar. Sweet foods are OK in very small quantities but too much at once can make your guinea pig sick, with symptoms including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Stick to small amounts and your guinea pig will thank you!

Can a guinea pig eat popcorn?

No. Popcorn is cooked and guinea pigs' digestive systems aren't capable of processing cooked foods, plus the sharp portion of the kernel could harm your pet's sensitive mouth. Never give popcorn to a guinea pig.

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Anne is a wellness writer with a lifelong love of animals large and small. As a former veterinary technician, she has a passion for your pet’s well-being. Anne rescues and rehabilitates animals in need. She shares her farm with lots of critters including horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits, and chickens.
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