As long as it is cooked properly, corn is safe for birds to eat. Salt, fat, garlic, and onions are toxic to birds, so you should be careful to only feed corn to your birds if it is prepared with safe ingredients.
What You'll Learn
Cooking Bird-Safe Corn
Vegetables are generally safe for birds to consume. This includes cooked corn. If you want to feed corn to your birds, you must prepare and serve the corn to them safely.
Corn from a cob, can, or frozen bag should be fine to cook for a bird so long as it is free of aflatoxins.
Sweet corn is a great way to give cooked corn to birds. Ingredients like butter, garlic, salt, and fatty oils will make cooked corn unhealthy or unsafe for birds.
Otherwise, cooked corn is a safe and healthy option for birds, as it is a vegetable that’s easy to prepare, serve, and consume in small portions.
Think About Ingredients
You won’t want to use butter, garlic, salt, or other oils while preparing your corn. These ingredients may be common when feeding corn to humans, but the chemical makeup of these ingredients will irritate a bird’s digestive system or cause the bird to gain unnecessary weight.
You should always think about each ingredient as you’re cooking corn that will be given to birds, recognizing that they will be ingesting each part of what you cook.
Recognizing Aflatoxin Risk
Aflatoxin is a toxic substance produced by a fungus, usually while a crop is produced. To avoid exposing birds to aflatoxin, it is best to inspect corn before preparing it.
Aflatoxin on corn will look like a gray, yellow, or greenish mold. Cooking the corn will not eliminate the risks posed by aflatoxin, so if you suspect it is present in the corn, you should dispose of it rather than risk exposing birds to the toxin.
Serving the Corn
Corn produces bacteria rather quickly, so you shouldn’t leave cooked corn out for your birds to eat over a long period of time. Only let birds eat from one batch of cooked corn for a day or two. After this, the bacteria and fungus growing on the corn can be highly toxic to birds, making the cooked corn dangerous for them to consume.
When considering the threat of aflatoxin, it’s important that you only leave cooked corn out to be eaten by birds for one day if the weather is humid or wet. These weather conditions will increase the risk of aflatoxin growing on the corn, posing a threat to the health of the birds who eat it.
Is Cooked Corn Health For Birds?
Cooked corn is a healthy food for birds, and it is also a great option for you if you want to feed birds in the wild.
Rather than solely buying bird food, you can provide leftover cooked corn as bird feed from your own kitchen. In doing so, you’re reducing waste and introducing a healthy variety of nutrients to the birds you’re feeding.
Corn is cheap and easy to prepare (especially when accounting for birds’ dietary restrictions), so feeding cooked corn to birds can be a smart decision for your time, kitchen, and wallet!
Birds cannot eat a large portion of corn, but since it is composed of kernels, cooked corn is a simple way to provide bird-sized portions.
It’s simply a matter of weighing the amount you serve rather than trying to cut up a piece of food. Serving is simple because cooked corn is a simple food. If you’re cooking corn for dinner, simply save a small amount for the birds you want to feed. Be sure to only add salt, butter, and oils after you’ve set the bird portion aside!
What About Popcorn?
Cooking corn by baking or boiling it is just fine for birds, as long as you are mindful of what ingredients you include. Even popping corn is safe for birds, as long as you don’t allow it to spoil! This is the general rule for any cooked corn…safety will depend on limiting how long birds have access to the food after it is prepared.
Remember not to add salt, butter, or oils to popcorn. Birds will likely enjoy the snack just like you would. Don’t give birds specific flavors of popcorn. It is safest to provide them with plain popped kernels that are free from any additives.
Bird-Safe Portions of Corn
Generally, a smaller portion of food will be better for a bird, which is true with cooked corn.
Keeping in mind your bird’s overall diet and how much it has already eaten that day, a bird should not consume a total amount of food greater than 1/4 to 1/2 of its body weight.
You shouldn’t worry about the amount of cooked corn that a bird eats, but rather consider the cooked corn in the bird’s general diet and food intake.
It is easy to forget how drastically different a bird’s daily food intake is from our own, so be sure to measure the amount of corn you’re providing to a bird. If a typical backyard bird weighs around 40 grams, then it should only consume a maximum of 20 grams per day–this amounts to about 10 percent of one can of corn.
So if a bird were eating only corn and eating as much as it healthily could in one day, it still would only make its way through one-tenth of a can. This is why it’s so important to consider how much cooked corn you’ll provide to one bird. It doesn’t take much to fill them up.
Recommended For You
- What Do Water Birds Eat?
- What Does it Mean When Birds Fly Low?
- Is Aluminum Safe For Birds?
- Are Birds Afraid of Snakes?
I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.