Rabbits love eating fresh crunchy vegetables. In fact, some veggies and fresh greens are a must-have in their diets alongside hay. But this doesn’t mean you can let them eat just any vegetable that comes in their way. Do you let your rabbits eat sweetcorn? If you’re a rabbit parent, then you should know that these little animals have very delicate digestive systems. They can’t digest every type of food and the sad part is, the digestive issues can cause numerous health problems to bunnies.
While talking about healthy vegetables, many people wonder if their rabbits can eat sweetcorn as it is among the healthiest and tastiest vegetables out there. No, rabbits cannot eat sweetcorn. Here we will discuss everything you need to know about why we advise not to feed your rabbits sweetcorn
Do Rabbits Eat Sweetcorn?
Bunnies love munching on crunchy and sweet food items, mainly fresh vegetables. And because sweetcorn falls into this category, your bunny is most likely to eat them. However, feeding corn to rabbits isn’t a very good idea for more than one reason. Turns out that sweetcorn offer no nutritional value to bunnies. In fact, it is one of the foods you should avoid feeding your bunny, it is next to harmful JUNK food!
This may surprise many readers because as humans we know and eat sweetcorn for its numerous vitamins and minerals. We are told that corn is a whole grain that is packed with Vitamin B12, iron, folic acid etc. However, bunnies aren’t similar to humans. So, these advantages are not for them. The reason behind this is the high sugar and starch content or corn that will do more harm than good to your rabbit.
While the sweet taste and juicy texture may attract bunnies towards sweetcorn, they should be prevented from munching on them. If your bunny ends up eating a lot of sweetcorn without your notice, it can cause numerous health problems to him. So, make sure to keep any form of corn away from your pet’s reach.
Do Rabbits Enjoy Eating Sweetcorn?
Like most other animals, rabbits tend to have a sweet tooth. This is the reason they go crazy for eating sweet veggies and fruits like carrots, beets, bananas and sometimes corn. While the sugar content of such veggies is negligible for humans, it is a little too much for the bunnies. So, rabbits might enjoy eating these sugary treats, they should not be allowed to munch on them.
The same goes with fruits, they can be only given as rare treats in limited amounts. Apart from high sugar and starch content, corns are also rich in complex polysaccharides, which bunnies can’t digest. And if they accidentally eat some of the corn kernels, they might experience digestive problems like gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Can Bunnies Eat Corn on The Cob?
Corn in any form is unhealthy for the rabbits. The reason is, there is no nutritional value, plus the woody cob is indigestible. A rabbit’s digestive system is made to break down herbs and grasses. And also, it finds it extremely difficult to break down hard fibers and grains. The issues like impaction can arise if your bunny eats even small pieces of cob. So, avoid feeding corn on the cob or any other form of corn to bunnies.
Can Bunnies Eat Canned Sweetcorn?
If you ask for the worst form of corn for bunnies, then it is none other than sweetcorn. Both fresh and cooked sweetcorn are highly unhealthy for the rabbits. Although sweetcorn won’t cause problems like impaction, they are still dangerous as it is loaded with salt, sugar and preservatives. Hence, these should be avoided at any cost.
The extra sugar in canned sweetcorn can cause your bunnies to gain weight and disturb their digestive systems. Further, the preservatives can also cause other gastric problems in bunny.
Can Rabbits Eat Babycorn?
Baby Sweetcorn is perhaps the most favorite form of sweetcorn for humans. It is sweet, crunchy and can be used in a variety of dishes. But no matter how great is it for humans, it is still unsafe for the rabbits. As we have clearly mentioned, all the types of corns are unhealthy for bunnies and hence should be avoided.
Just like all other corns, baby sweet corns are loaded with sugar and salts. Including it in a rabbit’s diet will do nothing except adding a massive amount of calories, which will result in weight gain and abdominal problems. However, feeding in small amounts as a rare treat will not result in these side effects.
Disadvantages of Feeding Sweet Corn To Rabbits
There are many cons of feeding sweet corn to bunnies. But some rabbit owners still plan to include corn in their rabbit’s diet. If you’re one of those rabbit parents, then before introducing sweetcorn to your lovely pets, have a look at the dangers :
- 1.Can Result In Choking Hazard
Sweetcorn kernels can cause choking hazard if ingested by small and baby rabbits. Although sweet corn is soft, the harder and stiff kernels can block the food pipe of young rabbits. This is especially true in the case of corn on the cob.
- 2.Can Cause Cecal Dysbiosis
Bunnies generally pass two types of poop including the hard pellets and soft cecotropes. Talking about cecotropes, they are formed in a part of the intestinal tract known as the cecum. In this tract, there are too many bacteria and yeast that helps in digestion. This bacteria also prevents the breeding of harmful bacteria in the gut. When you feed healthy and gut-friendly food to your bunny, these friendly bacteria thrive and keep their digestive systems in the right shape.
But on eating sweet corn, the sugar and starch content in it can upset these bacteria. Also, yeast feeds on sugar, so high sugar levels can result in the wild growth of yeast colonies. Further, starch is indigestible altogether. This solid starch can ferment in the cecum and result in the growth of bad bacteria. And this is how Cecal Dysbiosis is caused.
Cecal dysbiosis is a condition when cecotropes are not fully formed and passed as sticky puddles of dark poop. This type of poop is smelly and sticky. You can easily spot this disease as your bunny will look dirty and under groomed.
Cecal Dysbiosis can be easily treated by serving a healthy and fibre-rich diet to your bunny. The high fiber content will help the gut to pass all kinds of sugars and starches from a rabbit’s gut and will keep it healthy. Nonetheless, if the conditions get worse, you might need to put your bunny on medication.
- 3.Can Cause Gastrointestinal Stasis
Gastrointestinal stasis is a condition when food stops moving through the digestive tract. Similar to cecal dysbiosis, Gastrointestinal stasis is also caused by the disturbance of gut flora. In simple words, this condition puts a rabbit’s digestive tract at a halt.
Additionally, corn kernels can cause an immediate blockage in the gut of rabbits and this obstruction gets bigger and bigger when different food pieces get attached to it.
Both of these conditions can be deadly for little rabbits. When food stops moving in the intestines, it starts breeding deadly bacteria. These microorganisms start producing harmful gases in the stomachs that cause immense pain, discomfort and bloating to bunnies. These problems will discourage bunnies from drinking, eating, pooping and staying active.
Because sweetcorn is packed with sugars and starch, the risk of Gastrointestinal stasis is much higher. If left untreated for a long time, this problem can impose life-threatening issues on bunnies.
- 4. Can Cause Weight Gain
Obesity or weight gain is a common problem among bunnies and other house pets. This mainly happens due to feeding too many treats and high sugar and starch foods. The sugary and starchy corns can cause your bunny to put on weight quickly. This is true even if you feed them corn 1 or 2 times a week. Understand that obesity is the root cause of a number of problems including :
- Heart problems
- Liver problems
- Increased risk of cardiovascular problems
- Kidney issues
Apart from these problems, an overweight bunny also fails to maintain himself. He may suffer :
- Lack of grooming
- Abnormal poop
- Nutritional deficiency
- 5. Can Result in Impaction
Impaction is a condition where the digestive tract of the bunny gets blocked or impacted. Impaction and Gastrointestinal stasis can be caused by one another, so they are very closely related problems.
As we have mentioned earlier, sweet corn kernels contain complex polysaccharides that can’t be digested properly by the rabbits. The starchy corns can form a blockage in the gut resulting in the formation of cecal dysbiosis. This prevents them from pooping normally. Impaction can lead to abdominal problems such as gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. All of these problems can be very deadly for rabbits.
Do Rabbits Eat Sweetcorn Plants?
We have discussed that rabbits can’t eat sweetcorn in any form. But what about its leaves and stalks? Can bunnies safely eat sweetcorn plants? A rabbit can easily get attracted to the leaves and soft crunchy stalks of the corn plants. While they don’t contain a lot of sugar and starch, they are still not suitable for bunnies. The reason is the pesticides and fertilizers they are sprayed with.
Generally, the corn plants are heavily treated with fertilizers because they are attacked by bugs and crop-damaging insects pretty quickly. On the other hand, these pesticides are very toxic for little animals if ingested even in small quantities. So, there is no chance of feeding chemical treated plants, leaves or stalks to your rabbits.
But if you’re growing your own corn by organic means, then you allow your rabbit to nibble on some fresh greens. When you do so, make sure to wash the leaves and stalks thoroughly to remove any traces of dirt and debris before feeding your bunny. Also, take care of portion control while doing so.
Can Bunnies Eat Corn Husks?
Yes, you can give corn husk to your rabbit. But again, avoid feeding him chemically treated plants. Corn husks refers to the leafy part that wraps the corn. Rabbits love eating this part more than the sweet corn itself.
This leafy part is packed with fiber and minerals, which is ideal for a rabbit’s diet. In fact, corn husks make amazing edible toys for bunnies. They will keep your bun engaged and happy for a long time.
Can Rabbits Eat Popcorn?
Popcorn is among the most favorite snacks of humans. However, it is not meant for the rabbits. Just like corn, popcorn is also unhealthy for bunnies. It is extremely difficult to digest and is loaded with additional salt, sugar, spices and butter, making it junk food for animals.
Feeding popcorn can result in problems like choking hazard, gastric issues, impaction, obesity, diarrhea and whatnot. So, keep this tasty snack to yourself and avoid feeding it to your bun.
Can Empty Corn Cobs Be Used As Chew Toys For Rabbits?
Corn is dangerous for rabbits, but can we use the clean cob as a dental toy? It is a nice, woody thing that can keep their teeth trimmed, right?
The answer is no. Corn cobs should never be used as chew toys for rabbits. The reason is simple, it is very easy for a bunny to break down the cob and ingest its pieces. When this happens, it can have the same impact as the corns. It can cause blockage in the little stomach of your lovely pet. So, find other dental toys and keep the corn cobs out of their reach.
Moreover, cobs don’t have that great abrasive surface that can keep the teeth of bunnies trimmed. They are husky, dull and soft. So, avoid using them altogether.
Sweetcorn is a great food for humans. It is tasty and healthy too. But for rabbits, it is one of the most unhealthy food items. It is loaded with starch and sugar and can cause many severe health problems to your rabbits. Hence, to keep your pet safe and healthy, avoid feeding him corn and instead include lots of hay, fresh veggies and good quality rabbit pellets into his diet.