Can Chickens Eat Popcorn?  – Is It Even Healthy?

Popcorn can be a nice snack to give your taste buds a new flavor to experience. Whether it is salted or straight popcorn, people love eating them. But, what about animals? Can chickens eat popcorn?

“The answer to this question is a BIG YES! Your chickens can eat popcorn. But, make sure you only feed your chicken flock straight popcorn. Simply put, they can have salted and flavored popcorn as well, but the excess salt and flavoring ingredients aren’t safe.

As long as you feed your chickens straight popcorn, you should not have to worry about them. Another thing that you need to make sure of is to only give your chickens popped popcorn. Here’s everything you need to know.

Chickens Eating Popcorn – Feeding Rules

It might seem as simple as filling up your chicken’s food pots with popcorn and letting them have a go at it. But, there is much more that is at play here.

You might know most of the chicken feeds you serve your pet chickens have corn in them. Considering this, it is safe to assume that your chickens can have popcorn as a treat from time to time.

Here’s a detailed insight into what you need to do and what you need to avoid when feeding your chicken popcorn.

1) Can Chickens Have Popcorn Kernels?

In short, yes your chickens can have kernels. But, you have to make sure it has exploded. Once it explodes, it turns into large and soft popcorns that we all love eating. The same goes for your chickens as well.

Chickens will enjoy eating popcorn kernels

They will enjoy eating popcorn kernels. What is interesting about kernels and chickens is that they will eat the unpopped ones too. While most of us might not like them, but your chickens will most probably do.

In addition to this, you can also mix things up for your chickens. You can do this by adding kernel to your chicken scratch. It will stir things up for your chickens and give them a nice little treat in the form of chicken scratch.

2) Can My Roosters Eat Popcorn?

In short, yes roosters can safely eat popcorn. Simply put, they will eat anything that the rest of the flock is having and will not show a dislike towards popcorn.

Both chickens and roosters can benefit from the nutrients in their food, including proteins and calcium. So, if you own a rooster along with hens you do not have to worry about feeding them popcorn kernels.

Roosters will enjoy every bit of it and will most likely end up loving you for giving them a snack like popcorn.

3) Can Baby Chicks Have Popcorn?

Chickens and roosters can have popcorn, but what about baby chickens? Before we can answer this question, you need to know that baby chickens have a really delicate digestive system.

You cannot feed baby chicks popcorn

This clearly means you cannot feed baby chicks popcorn. Baby chickens should not be having any snacks or treats until they are a few weeks old.

They require a special diet that is filled with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that they need to grow. When they are new to the world, they are more likely to suffer from many health complications.

This is due to the fact that their digestive system is weak and cannot eat any treats or snacks. Moreover, if you feed your baby chicks treats and snacks at an early age, they might choke on them.

Instead, you need to feed them herbs and bugs. This will allow them to get the essential nutrients that they need and prevent any choking risks they might be exposed to.

4) Is Popcorn Considered A Healthy Snack?

Here comes the most important question on the list, is popcorn a healthy snack for your chicken flock? The answer to this question is, of course, yes!

Popcorn is very beneficial for your chickens

Popcorn is in fact very beneficial for your chicken’s and roosters’ health. However, you need to make sure it is straight popcorn. Straight popcorn is not sprinkled with salts, flavors, or any other additives.

It is only a whole grain to your chicken’s eyes. It is also rich in fiber content and will allow your chicken flock to benefit from the extra fiber in their diet.

Even though it might not be as tasty as salted or sweet popcorn will be, your chickens will still love to have it. If you are wondering, we all like salted or sweetened popcorn, plain popcorn is rarely anyone’s favorite.

Most of us will avoid plain popcorn with no flavor or salt whatsoever. But when it comes to your chicken flock, they will love eating it! It will allow your chicken to safely benefit from the fiber content.

More importantly, you do not have to worry about the added salt, additives, or flavoring. Salt and flavoring can be harmful to your chicken’s health and should be avoided.

5) Can Chickens Eat Sweet Popcorn?

Can chickens eat sweet popcorn? In short, yes they can! But, should they eat sweet popcorn? In short, no they should not be eating sweet popcorn.

We all love sweet popcorn for a reason. The sweet taste of popcorn is what compels us to eat them. It is essentially the butter and added sugar that makes them sweet and everyone’s favorite.

However, when it comes to your pet chickens, they simply cannot have any butter or sugar in their diet. Simply put, they should not be fed sweet popcorn whatsoever.

The only popcorn that your chickens and roosters should have is plain unsalted popcorn.

On a side note:

In case you did not know, feeding your chickens dairy products will lead to flatulence. The dairy product in question here is butter. So, feeding your chicken flock sweet popcorn will fuel flatulence in your flock.

6) Can Chickens Eat Popcorn Seeds?

In short, yes your chicken flock can eat popcorn seeds. On looking at popcorn seeds and corn seeds, you will see a similarity in them.

Popcorn seeds have a significantly low concentration of sugar

However, when it comes to the nutritional content, popcorn seeds have a significantly low concentration of sugar.

Considering this, fresh popcorn that is right off the cobb can be very beneficial to your chickens. It will provide your chickens with the most nutrients and will turn out to be a healthy snack for your flock.

Fresh off the cobb popcorn is rich in proteins and has some carbs as well, which can be very healthy for your chickens. Additionally, it will also be easier for your flock to digest.

This is based on the fact that it is very soft in texture.

Looking to add some fun to your chickens’ lives? Here’s what you can do:

Hang one or two cobs where your chicken loves to eat their favorite foods and treats. Let them have a go at them and enjoy fresh corn. This will allow your flock to have some fun and play with the cob as well.

7) Can Chickens Eat Unpopped Popcorn?

In the process of making popcorn, some kernels might not pop. They are usually left unpopped and most people eat them. But, when it comes to your chicken flock, they cannot eat it safely.

In the process of making popcorn, some kernels might not pop

The unpopped kernels are usually rigid and not easy to break. This is due to the fact that all of the water content in them is dried up which in turn makes them significantly hard in texture.

If you feed your chicken treats occasionally, you might have noticed that they sometimes fight over food. So, when you feed your chicken flock popcorn, they might fight over them as well.

As a result, some might try their luck with unpopped and hard kernels. They will use their beaks to open them but due to them being surrounded by other fellow chickens and roosters, they will end up eating as a whole.

They do this due to the fear that other chickens might grab and steal their favorite kernel. But when they consume them as a whole, it will not take a second for your chickens to choke on them.

They find it challenging to pass an undigested kernel and may end up taking your chicken’s life away. No pet owner would want that and to avoid this, you need to feed your chickens popped and soft popcorns only.

Keep in mind, you should only feed them once or twice a week and as a treat only.

8) Is Popcorn And Dried Corn The Same?

For starters, popcorn and dried corn are not essentially the same. There is a difference when it comes to popcorn and simply dried corn. You cannot simply take the kernels of any corn to convert them into popcorn.

Popcorn and dried corn are not essentially the same

The corn that is in your chicken feed should is yellow dent corn. However, it is only recommended to be fed in the winter season. The major difference between popcorn and dried corn is the difference in their nutritional value.

Yellow dent corn is essentially a whole grain with numerous nutrients. It is also surprisingly low in sugar concentration. But, just like popcorn, the chicken feed corn should also be fed as a treat only.

9) Can Chickens Eat Popcorn With Flavorings And Sweeteners?

Flavorings and sweeteners are certainly not healthy for your chicken flock. Simply put, chickens cannot have popcorn with flavorings and sweeteners.

If you frequently feed your chickens flavored and sweetened popcorn, it will lead to numerous health complications. Some of the major issues linked with flavored and sweetened popcorn include:

  • Your chickens may put on excess weight and become obese.
  • Excess sugar can alter the egg production of your chicken flock.
  • It might lead to certain behavioral changes as well. A chicken accustomed to sweetened foods will likely avoid eating plain foods or anything with no sugar in it.

All of these will ultimately put your chickens in discomfort and make them sick. It may also lead to an imbalance in your chicken’s diet and should be avoided at all costs.

10) What Happens When A Chicken Eats Salted Popcorn?

Chickens require a balanced diet. Their diet also comprises a certain amount of salts. This is due to the fact that salt can be of significant importance to your chicken flock’s health. Here’s why.

  • Salt can help improve your pet’s immune system and provide protection against a number of diseases.
  • Salt can help your chickens with healthy muscle development.
  • Salt can help your chickens lay healthy eggs.
  • Salt keeps your chicken flock hydrated.
  • Salt can also help your chickens have a healthy thyroid.

Based on this, the foods that are considered a part of your chicken’s diet already have salts in them. Adding other salty foods, such as salted popcorn will only result in an imbalance in your chicken’s health.

Too much salt in popcorns can lead to many health complications

It will lead to many health complications and the salt that can be beneficial to your chickens will now take a toll on their health.

One of the major health complications that your chickens will be exposed to is kidney disease. In worst cases, it may end up being fatal to your chickens.

So, if you are already feeding your chicken flock a balanced diet, it is not wise to feed them salted popcorns. To avoid all this, you need to feed your chickens plain and unsalted popcorn only.

11) What Happens When A Chicken Eats Sweet Popcorn With Butter?

As you already know, butter is essentially a dairy product. When you feed your chickens sweet popcorn with butter in them, it will lead to gas in your chicken flock.

This is due to the fact that chickens cannot digest or process dairy products like butter. The milk used in butter challenges your chickens’ digestive system and can put them in ultimate discomfort.

It may also lead to diarrhea along with bloating in your chickens. Additionally, if fed frequently, it will dehydrate your chicken’s body and may lead to lethargy.

No chicken owner would want this for their flock. To avoid all the possible risks of feeding sweet and salted popcorn to your chicken flock, you should only feed them plain popcorn.

12) How Much Popcorn Can Chickens Eat?

Chickens can eat popcorn, but how much is considered safe for them? Here’s the answer.

Chickens can have a couple of handfuls of popcorn

Your chicken flock can have a couple of handfuls of popcorn. You can only feed them popcorn one or two times a week. It is considered a safe amount for your chicken flock and should strictly be followed.

Anything more than the recommended amount will be considered overfeeding. It may also lead to an imbalance in your chicken flock’s diet that no chicken owner would want for their flock.

Even though the nutritional content of popcorn might seem tempting but it should not be fed daily. It should only be a little over 10% of your chicken flock’s diet.

Popcorn should never be used as a substitute for your flock’s primary diet. If fed, it will lead to malnutrition and your flock’s health will be taking a significant hit.

Feeding Popcorn To Chickens – The Right Way

Feeding popcorn to your chickens is an easy task, you do not have to worry as long as you know the dos and donts. There are certain factors to consider prior to feeding popcorn to your chickens.

Here’s a detailed overview of what you should and shouldn’t do when feeding popcorn to chickens.

  1. Your chickens, unlike other animals, do not have teeth. They can only bite down on soft foods. For this very reason, you should only feed your chicken popped popcorn.
  2. Popped popcorn is soft and can easily be broken down by your pet flock’s beaks.
  3. Only feed your chicken flock popped, and unsalted popcorn.
  4. Avoid feeding your chickens salted, sweet or flavored popcorn. This is due to the fact that flavored popcorn has certain additives that may lead to an imbalance in your chickens’ diet.
  5. Never feed your chicken shop-bought pre-popped popcorn.

Nutritional Content Of Popcorn

Popcorn is considered a healthy snack for your chicken flock. But this is only true if they are popped. Moreover, they will only be beneficial to your chicken flock if they are plain and unsalted.

The additives and flavorings can make them unhealthy for your pet chickens. What you should know about popcorn is the fact that it is a whole grain.

It is surprisingly low in calories but rich in essential nutrients. The most important ones include:

  1. Magnesium
  2. Fiber
  3. Vitamin K
  4. Vitamin E
  5. Vitamin A

Considering the nutritional values of popcorn, they can be one of the best snacks that your chicken flock can have.

Chickens need a balance of essential nutrients in their diet. Popcorn can serve the purpose of providing them the vitamins and minerals they need.

A 30 gram serving of popcorn has over 110 calories, which is an okay amount. Although it provides your chickens with vitamins and minerals, it should still be fed as a treat only.

On a side note, it should never become a staple in your flock’s diet.

What Else Can Chickens Eat?

Chickens can eat a variety of foods. There are plenty of foods that your chickens will love to have in their diet. Feeding your chickens a variable diet will also provide them most of the nutrition that they need.

Here are some of the foods that you can feed your chickens to ensure they stay healthy and lay better eggs.

  • Grains – In case you haven’t noticed, the chickens that are grown on a farm have commercial feeds. It mainly consists of grains only. To replicate commercial feeds, you can feed your chicken the following grains. These include oats, wheat, rye, and barley, etc.
  • Fruits – Chickens can eat fruits as well. However, you need to make sure they are fresh, ripe, and not rotten in any way. They are a great source of giving your flock access to vitamins and numerous minerals that they need to grow.
  • Vegetables – Just like fruits, your chicken flock can also have vegetables. When feeding your chicken vegetables, you need to conduct proper research and make sure they are safe for them.
  • Herbs – Your chicken flock should also have herbs in their diet. They are a great means of giving your chicken flock the greens that they need.

What Should Chickens Not Eat?

Chickens can have plenty of foods but that does not necessarily mean they can have anything that you can have. There are certain foods that your chickens should never have.

When fed such foods, your chickens may suffer from digestive discomfort and they may end up making your flock severely sick. Here are some foods that you should avoid feeding your chickens.

  • Coffee, Chocolate, And Other Sweet Foods – Foods like coffee and chocolate contain nutrients like theobromine and caffeine. Both of these are not recommended for your flock and should be avoided at all costs.

    When it comes to veggies, most people assume chickens can eat any vegetables
  • Tomatoes, And Green Potatoes – When it comes to veggies, most people assume chickens can eat any vegetables. However, there are certain vegetables like green potatoes and tomatoes that should never be fed to your chicken flock.
    This is due to the fact that they contain toxic substances like solanine and chaconine. Both of these are toxic to your chickens and should be avoided.
  • Dried And Raw Beans – When feeding your chickens beans, make sure they are cooked properly. If left uncooked, they contain a toxic substance referred to as phytohaemagglutinin.
  • Avocado Seeds And Its Skin – Both avocado seeds and the skin part are harmful to your chicken flock’s health. Just like dried and raw beans, the avocado seeds and skin part also has toxins that can make your flock sick.
  • Moldy Or Rotten Food – Your chickens should only be eating fresh and organic foods. If you feed them moldy or rotten foods, they will suffer from bad health.

The list goes on and these are only some of the foods that you should never feed your chicken flock.

Suggestions Of Healthy Foods For Your Chickens

Not sure what to feed your chickens? Here are our top picks that are perfectly safe for your chicken flock as long as you keep the factor of moderation in mind.

When fed in the recommended amounts and in small quantities, your chickens will significantly benefit from them. These include:

Always give your chicken flock a mix of foods as part of a balanced diet so they do not get addicted to the same foods. This will keep your chicken flock healthy and ensure they are immune to health complications.

Moreover, a balanced diet will also guarantee your chickens lay better eggs, both in quality and quantity.


Can chickens eat popcorn? Of course yes. As long as you feed them plain, unsalted, and unflavored popcorns, you will not have to worry about your chicken flock getting sick.

You can feed a few handfuls to your chickens every time you intend to serve them popcorn. Keep their serving limited to once or twice a week or you may end up putting your chickens in ultimate discomfort.

Exceeding the recommended serving size will only lead to an imbalance in your chicken’s diet which should be avoided. Moreover, you should also avoid feeding your chicken sweet popcorn due to the presence of butter in them.

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