Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn (corn on the cob, husks, leaves)

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn (corn on the cob, husks, leaves)

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Published By: Martyn

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn

When it comes to feeding guinea pigs, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, these furry little creatures are herbivores, so their diet should consist primarily of hay, fresh vegetables, and pellets. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy the occasional treat. One popular option is corn. But can guinea pigs eat corn?

The answer is yes, but it’s important to feed it in moderation. Corn is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for guinea pigs. However, it’s also high in sugar, so too much can cause obesity and other health problems. When feeding corn to guinea pigs, make sure to give them only a small amount at a time.

What Parts Of The Corn Can Guinea Pigs Eat?

Corn is made up of several parts. It’s important to know which part is which, as the amounts that your guinea pig can eat does depend on what part of the corn they’re eating.


The kernels are high in starch and should only be given 1-2 times per week as a treat. They should only eat a few of them at a time. Never give them cooked or canned kernels.

Inner Husks

Guinea Pigs love the husks and they can have them on a daily basis. This is because they’re very much like hay or grass when it comes to the nutrients.

I would remove the outer husks as these can have pesticides on them.

Silks (hairs)

These can be given on a daily basis as well. In fact they are a very good treat for your piggies since they are full of vitamins and minerals.


My guinea pigs have never really liked the stalks, potentially because they can be a bit hard. They are safe to eat and make a really good chew toy.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Eating Corn?

millie enjoying corn

Guinea pigs actually really enjoy eating corn. In fact, corn is one of their favorite foods! Corn is a great source of nutrients and energy for guinea pigs, and they love the sweet taste.

While most guinea pigs will happily chomp on any part of the cob, the reality is that they actually have a preference for the husks.

The husks are softer and easier to chew, and they also tend to be more flavorful. However, that’s not to say that guinea pigs don’t enjoy the kernels as well. In fact, many guinea pigs will go back and forth between the two, depending on their mood.

Every Guinea Pig is different, so one may love the kernels, whereas another might not go near them.

I asked 28 Guinea Pig owners what their cavies preferred and the results where pretty interesting.

52% said that they would nibble at the kernels but preferred the husk and silk.

47% said their piggies would eat all of the corn.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn?

Yes, your guinea pig can eat corn and it’s perfectly safe for them to do so. It is however important that like with many things, they are given as a treat and in moderation.

Giving them too much can be harmful.

Below i’ve gone into detail on giving your piggies corn, the benefits and why you should only give it to them as a treat. I’ve also gone into the different types of corn that you can feed your guinea pigs.

What Are the Nutrients in Corn?

Corn is jam-packed full of nutrients and vitamins, many of which are very beneficial to your Guinea Pig. There are however some that should be limited in your piggies diet.

Below are the nutritional values of 100g of corn

Vitamin C6.8mg
Vitamin A9µg
Carotene47 µg
Lutein + Zeaxanthin644 µg
Calcium2 mg
Phosphorous89 mg
Potassium270 mg
Fiber2 g
Sugar6.26 g
Magnesium37 mg
Carbs18.7 g
Calories86 Kcal
Fat1.35 g
Water76.05 g

It’s worth noting that there is more nutrients from the husk and silks than in the kernels.

Why Give Your Guinea Pig Corn To Eat

There’re a number of very good reasons why you should give your guinea pigs corn to eat, as a treat.

Improved Immune System

Corn including the kernels can help to improve your guinea pigs immune system. This is because corn contains a good amount of antioxidants. These can help to protect your guinea pig against diseases and infections.

Boosts Energy Levels

Corn is a complex carbohydrate, which means that it takes longer for your guinea pig to digest it, and as a result, they will have a more sustained energy release. This is perfect if you have an older guinea pig that struggles to get around or is generally a bit sluggish.

Aids Digestion

Corn can also help with your guinea Pigs digestion. This is because it’s high in fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. The husks in particular are very good at helping to keep things moving along smoothly!

Good For Teeth

Corn can also be good for your guinea pigs teeth. This is because the kernels help to wear down their teeth, which is important for keeping them healthy and strong.

Provides Essential Vitamins and Minerals

As we saw in the nutritional values above, corn is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, many of which are very good for your guinea pigs health.

Some of these include vitamin C, which is important for a healthy immune system, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for vision health.

The Risk of Your Guinea Pig Eating Too Much Corn

Molly watching her sweetcorn

Now its important that not only is it important that you give corn to your guinea pigs in moderation. You should also be careful on what type of corn you give them.

DO NOT give your guinea pig cracked corn thats hard. Their teeth arent strong enough to handle this type of corn. They could break which could cause some expensive dental bills.

Kernels can also be a risk as they can easily get stuck in their teeth. If this happens it can lead to infection and pain.

Hard kernels could also become a choking hazard, so its important to be careful.

One of the main reasons why you should give them a limited amount is because of the sugar content.

A typical diet should be high in fiber but low in carbs and protein. Corn is higher in calories and carbs, so it could lead to too much weight gain.

The high sugar content can also cause diabetes long term, if your guinea pigs are given too much sweet treats.

Finally corn does contain calcium and phosphorus. Small amounts are not an issue, however if they have too much then this can cause urinary issues.

How often can guinea pigs eat corn?

One of the most common questions that new guinea pig owners have is how often their pet can eat corn. While there is no definitive answer to this question, it is generally safe to say that corn can be fed to guinea pigs on an occasional basis.

It does also depend on what part of the corn you do give your piggies.

Corn should not become a regular part of their diet. I’ll usually give kernels to my Guinea Pigs once or twice a week, every so often.

The husk can however be given more often as its naturally not as sweet as the kernels.

How much corn can guinea pigs eat?

It’s important that you do not give them too much corn, they should always just be a treat.

I would recommend giving corn on the cob, trying to get the silk and husk on if possible. The corn on the cob should only be a small slice, as you only want them to have a few kernels.

Remember Guinea Pigs eat raw food, so make sure that it is not cooked corn.

Only ever feed them corn on the cob. Do not give them canned corn as this will often have increased salt, which is not good for your guinea pig.

Different Types Of Corn

Corn can come in a variety of ways, not all of them are good for your guinea pigs. Below is a quick table to show which they can and cannot eat. I’ll go into more detail below on each way.

Type of CornCan The Eat It (YES/NO)
Corn On The CobYes
Corn Husks/SilksYes
Cooked CornNo
Canned CornNo
Corn FlakesYes
Baby CornYes
Cracked CornNo

Can guinea pigs eat corn on the cob?

Yes, Guinea pigs can eat corn on the cob but only in moderation.

The cob of corn is where you find the kernels. More often than not your Guinea Pigs will eat the kernels but not the actual cob.

the kernels on the cob are higher in sugar and starch, so you shouldn’t give your guinea pigs too much of it.

Can guinea pigs eat corn husks/silks?

Yes, guinea pigs can safely eat corn husks. In fact, corn husks are a good source of fiber for guinea pigs. Fiber is important for guinea pigs because it helps to keep their digestive system healthy. Corn husks also provide some essential vitamins and minerals.

If you didn’t know the husk is the leafy outer covering of the corn or the shell. You might find that your Guinea Pig prefers this over the kernels.

It’s important to make sure that you do wash the husk before giving it to you cavies. This will remove any potential pesticides that might have been used during the farming process.

Can guinea pigs eat cooked corn?

No, Guinea pigs should not be given cooked corn to eat. Your Cavies should always eat raw fruit and vegetables, this includes corn.

Cooking the corn offers not benefit to your guinea pigs and will often need you to use salt or oil to cook it. These can be harmful to your piggies.

Just give them raw corn, its healthier and lets face it a lot easier.

Can guinea pigs eat canned corn?

No, Guinea Pigs cannot eat canned corn. A small amount shouldn’t make them poorly but It’s not recommended.

You don’t know what has been added to the canned corn. More often than not they contain preservatives and chemicals. They’ll also have added salt or sugar, which is not going to be good for your guinea pigs health.

Can guinea pigs eat corn flakes?

Yes, your guinea pig can eat corn flakes. I didn’t think they could eat corn flake cereals but it turns out they can. Within moderation and in small amounts. Corn flakes are high in carbs, so they should not become a regular part of their diet.

Corn flakes are essentially just toasted corn, so perfectly safe in small amounts. Even though they’re low in fat, the sugar content is high so too many could cause them to put on too much weight.

Can guinea pigs eat baby corn?

Like Corn on the cob, Guinea pigs can eat baby corn. They should only be given once a week as an occasional treat and not part of their regular diet.

Unlike Corn on the cob, your cavies can eat everything including the cob. This is because these are harvest early, before the cob becomes too hard for them to bite into.

Can guinea pigs eat cracked corn?

No, you should not let your guinea pig eat cracked corn.

I mentioned it before but cracked corn is too hard and could cause your guinea pigs to damage their teeth. Not only that but they can also cause digestive problems and cause lot of pain when trying to digest the cracked corn.

Can guinea pigs eat popcorn?

No, Guinea Pigs cannot eat popcorn. Popcorn offers no nutritional value and can be harmful to the health of your guinea pigs. Since they are cooked, this makes it hard for guinea pigs to digest them. They’re also made with oil and other ingredients such as salt and/or sugar, which is not good for their health.

Plus have you ever tried to make your own popcorn? The amount of kernels that dont pop. These end up being hard and could damage their teeth.

Do NOT give your guinea pigs popcorn.

Can guinea pigs eat cornmeal?

Cornmeal is basically a type of course flour made from grinding down dried corn.

No, Guinea Pigs cannot eat cornmeal.

Again this is cooked, which is not good for our guinea pigs digestion. Cornflour is also made with added oil and salt, which can also worsen digestive issues.

Cavies can experience cramps, indigestion and even diarrhea from eating cornmeal.

Final Thoughts

So can guinea pigs eat corn?

Yes, corn is a great food for guinea pigs and can provide many health benefits. It is important to know what part of the corn you are giving them. They can eat the husks and silks daily, but only have access to kernels as a rare treat because of their sugar and starch content.

Millie and Molly love corn as a special treat and will often whistle when they know it’s coming. Its pretty funny watching them trying to hide the corn from each other, since they don’t want to share it!


I started my journey into the wonderful world of Guinea Pigs, when my 5 year old son wanted a pet. We spent many weeks and months deciding what type of pet to get him. This is when we fell down the rabbit hole of Guinea Pigs...

I had so many questions when we first started looking into them. Hours and hours of research has given me the answers. So I wanted to share what I've learned with you, to help you learn more about these amazing animals.

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