Can Rabbits Eat Corn?

Rabbits Jun 23, 2021
Written by | Updated Oct 19, 2021
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Can Rabbits Eat Corn?

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Can Rabbits Eat Corn?

We humans typically love corn. It’s one of a few crops that have been cultivated since ancient times across many cultures, and it’s versatile enough to go into foods of all types. Whether you’ve got fresh corn on the cob in your kitchen or if you’re simply searching for healthy bunny treats, you’ve got questions.

And we’re here to answer them.

First, you’re wondering it rabbits can eat corn. The answer is complicated – yes and no!

Keep reading for the full scoop. We’ve got all the answers to your questions about corn for rabbits.

Corn Nutrition Stats

Corn can be good for you in moderation, as it’s fairly high in sugars and starches. These are what make corn taste so yummy and seem so satisfying, so nibble away!

A large ear of sweet corn gives you approximately:

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

Corn Nutritional Facts

Corn does have some redeeming qualities, so there’s no need to avoid it altogether. That same tasty ear of sweet corn offers about:

  • 310 IU vitamin A
  • 3 mcg folate
  • 3 mg vitamin C
  • 9 mg niacin
  • .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 Rabbits Have Corn?

Here’s the thing.

There’s a lot of information out there about corn for rabbits, with some sources saying it’s OK, and others saying it’s dangerous.

Rabbits can eat corn but that doesn’t mean they should have it since there are some pretty serious risks associated with its consumption.

You don’t have to be terribly worried if your rabbit has eaten a little bit of corn, but it’s something you’ll want to watch out for in the future.

Is Corn Good For Rabbits?

Corn might be pretty good for you but that doesn’t mean it’s good for rabbits.

In fact, corn is not at all good for your bunny. There are a few reasons why.

First, rabbits can’t digest corn. Their hulls are formed of a polysaccharide complex that isn’t broken down in the rabbit’s cecum. There’s a huge risk of intestinal blockage if your bunny eats a lot of corn at once, even if the kernels are small and fresh.

Second, corn has far more sugar and starch than a rabbit needs.

Third, too much corn can prevent the long fibers from your rabbit’s hay from moving properly through the digestive tract. If this happens, a life-threatening condition called GI stasis can be the result.

Corn can put your rabbit’s life at risk. It really isn’t worth it – particularly when there are so many other delicious treats that are actually healthy for your bunny to have!

Do Rabbits Like Corn?

Yes, and unfortunately this has led to quite a bit of misinformation stating that corn is a “good” treat for rabbits.

How Much Corn Can A Rabbit Eat?

This is the part where we put on our serious faces! Here’s how much corn to feed your rabbit:

Age Amount
Baby rabbits None
Juvenile rabbits None
Adult rabbits Not recommended

We want your rabbit to stay safe. We’d like to help you keep your pet healthy. That’s why we can’t recommend feeding corn to your bunny rabbit.

How Often Can A Rabbit Eat Corn?

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say “never.”

Even though rabbits can physically chew and swallow corn, the serious digestive issues it can cause mean it simply isn’t worth the risk.

The Correct Diet Is Important

Since corn is off your bunny’s menu, what should rabbits eat instead?

Let the fun begin! Your rabbit can enjoy a wide variety of colorful, healthy foods including lots of different veggies and fruits. But the focus of their diet should be fresh hay – preferably orchard, oat, or Timothy, perhaps with a bit of alfalfa for extra protein if your bunny is still growing up.

Besides a 24/7 supply of hay, here’s what else to feed your rabbit:

  • High-quality rabbit food needs to be offered every day. Since serving sizes vary from one brand to the next, check the label to see how much you should feed your rabbit.
  • Fresh veggies add extra nutrients to your rabbit’s diet and they make life a whole lot more interesting. You can give your rabbit about one cup of leafy greens plus a tablespoon of crunchy veggies per two pounds of body weight. Remember to remove any uneaten bits so that nothing spoils and your bunny’s hutch stays clean.
  • Tiny bits of fruit can be offered, too. Take a few minutes to research each type of fruit you consider giving your rabbit. In general the correct amount is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of fruit per 2 pounds of your bunny’s body weight.
  • Fresh, clean water is important for all life. Keep your bunny’s water bottle full and remember to rinse it out every day.

Last but not least, remember to give your rabbit full access to chewable toys like apple wood sticks, pieces of unbleached loofah, or natural coconut shell. Your rabbit’s teeth never stop growing, and all that nibbling helps keep them at the correct length.

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

Even though your rabbit really shouldn’t have corn, there are lots of other tasty nibbles to try.

Next time you’re looking for a snack to give your bunny, you might consider:

  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • basil
  • carrot tops
  • mustard greens
  • swiss chard
  • beet greens
  • green beans
  • pumpkin
  • radishes
  • winter squash
  • summer squash
  • zucchini
  • radish tops
  • spinach
  • arugula
  • romaine lettuce
  • butter lettuce
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • broccolini
  • dandelion greens
  • endive
  • escarole
  • fennel
  • bok choy
  • yu choy
  • kale
  • carrots
  • bell peppers

As you can see, there’s no need to risk your rabbit’s health by giving them corn!

Remember to research each new food you consider for your bunny rabbit as it’s the best way to offer the right amount and ensure that your pet stays safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is corn safe for rabbits?

No, corn isn’t really safe for rabbits. Even though corn might not make a bunny sick right away, over time, those undigestible bits can cause serious illness or even death.

Can corn make my rabbit sick?

Yes, corn can make your rabbit very sick. Even though some sources say that giving corn to your rabbit is OK, it really isn’t a good idea.

Can my rabbit eat corn husks?

Corn husks aren’t really safe for rabbits. The reason is that they contain long, tough fibers that can become lodged in your bunny’s throat and cause serious problems.

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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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