Can Chickens Eat Popcorn? Popped or Unpopped Kernels

Can Chickens Eat Popcorn? It’s a common question between most of the chicken raisers.

If you consider rearing chicken, you must know what they can eat. As per the feeds, there are varieties of feeds or foods chicken prefers more than others; therefore, let’s look if a chicken can eat popcorn.

Popcorn is one of the healthy options with excellent and best nutritional value. But can chickens eat popcorn like unpopped (Kernels), popped ones, and other processed ones with caramel, butter, or cheese?

Let’s find out the correct answer.

Can Chickens Eat Popcorn?

Of course, they love popcorn as one of their best treats. One thing about feeding chickens is that they get overwhelmed if you stick to one type of feed and give them daily. 

However, feeding your chicken with different food items is suitable and advisable. The good thing is that when it comes to popcorn, your chicken can even go crazy about eating them. 

Though chickens like popcorn, you should not give them excessive quantity but stick to their daily intake quantity in terms of food. Controlling what they eat and what quantity is necessary helps maintain or sustain their physical health.

Popcorn is ideal for your chicken because it is soft and different from simple corn. When you heat the hard corn kernels, they will pop out into popcorn. 

However, chicken can love and enjoy the corn directly from the corncob because they are delicious and soft during that time. However, if the corn is in the raw form, the better way to prepare them is to grind or cook them so that your chicken can eat and digest them easily.

How is Popcorn Good for Chickens? – Health Benefits

fedding popped popcorn to my chickens
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Popcorn is one type of feed that has a lot of nutritional value. Due to its nutritional value, it gives good health to the chicken. Popcorns have a high level of nutrients like magnesium, fiber, and many others. 

They use magnesium in digestion, promoting bone health, and is also needed in carbohydrate metabolism.

Also, popcorn contains vitamins like A, K, and E. Chickens will need these for health and proper body function. If your chickens lack vitamin A or E, they will have muscle weakness and other unhealthy conditions. 

Vitamin K has a useful role in blood clotting capability. Therefore if your chicken lacks vitamin K, it can lead to severe health conditions even if they get minor bruises.

Popcorns contain proteins, water, fats, carbohydrates, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, and folate. If you try to analyze each nutrient found in popcorn, you will find that they play different roles in improving your chicken’s health. 

Therefore, popcorn does not contain bad stuff for your chicken. However, you can notice that it does not have all the nutrients your chicken might require. 

You can not only give popcorn your chicken alone as their staple food, but you can also include it as a diet in their daily meal; it will not harm you. Remember to give the popcorn to the chicken in moderation.

Also read: Best vitamin and mineral supplements for chickens

Now let’s understand: what happens if you give unpopped popcorn to a chicken?

Can You Feed Unpopped Popcorn Kernels Chickens?

No, you cannot feed your chicken with unpopped popcorn because it has a lot of adverse effects on your chicken. When you heat a batch of popcorn, then there will be several popcorn kernels will be left uncooked. 

Unpopped popcorn kernels result from water escaping from the popcorn instead of the popcorn building up and bursting. When this happens, the unpopped popcorn will dry and become even harder than the raw popcorn.

If you give the unpopped popcorn kernels to your chicken, then it will be upon their gizzard to break it down. However, it poses plenty of risks. It may choke the gizzard on some chickens, especially the younger ones. 

Sometimes, the chicken gizzard does not have enough grit to break down the unpopped popcorn. If the chicken cannot break down, it will have difficulty passing out the undigested, unpopped popcorn (kernels). 

However, chickens love to eat popcorn; never try to give them unpopped ones if you care for them.

Can Chickens Eat Caramel Popcorn?

Caramel popcorn is a type of popcorn that has artificial additives like sugar, sweeteners, flavoring, and many others. Remember that these additives are unhealthy for poultry

For example, by feeding the layers with a lot of sugar, they can become overweight, but their egg production will reduce. 

Another thing is that sometimes, chickens become selective. If you introduce sugary to them, they will reach a time when they will lose appetite for their regular daily feed and become picky about only sugary food. 

Also, their digestive system is very sensitive, and it can also pose some digestion problems. Therefore, you should never serve your chicken with caramel popcorn or any food that contains artificial additives like sweeteners or flavors.

Another big question around chicken raisers is whether chickens can have popcorn with butter and cheese. 

Can Chickens Eat Popcorn with Butter and Cheese?

The answer is no. Butter and cheese come from milk products. It is not suitable for your chicken because of the chicken’s digestive system makeup. 

Chicken has a small and sensitive digestive system that cannot handle milky products like cheese and butter.

Since they cannot digest the milky product once they take this popcorn with butter or cheese, it will produce gas. The gas can then cause diarrhea or other digestive problems.

Another problem that can cause your chicken is dehydration, leading to death or other severe health conditions. Therefore, you should not give your chicken butter or cheese popcorn because it is very harmful.

My Experience On Feeding Popcorn To Chickens – With Video

In the early morning make a few popcorn for my chickens. As we all know, salt and butter are not good for our chickens I used a little vegetable oil to make popcorn.

I had just made a noise, and my boys and girls ran towards me for the treat. Very few pullets and cockerels came near popcorn when I gave them popcorn. I also saw that a few hens were excited about pecking on the popcorn.

None of the roosters were interested in this new treat; maybe they were afraid of the new food. But yes, a few of them are eating them very happily.


In summary, can chickens eat popcorn? The answer is yes. Chicken love popcorn, and it also has nutritional value. However, making popcorn their regular or daily diet would not be best because it lacks various nutrients chicken might need. 

Note that you should give unsweetened and unsalted popcorn to your chicken only because the other types can cause unhealthy conditions for them. Also, always give the popped popcorn to chickens to avoid giving the unpopped kernels.

I hope the post has been helpful to you. Therefore, act responsibly and care for your chicken while serving them popcorn.

Bijaya Kumar
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