Can Willow Eat It? …Yes!
It’s closing in on warm weather which means most of the Once Upon a Wheek team will be enjoying an assortment of BBQ and grilled items including a crowd favorite – corn. Luckily, it’s also a favorite sweet treat for our guineas! So yes! Guinea pigs can eat corn, but you need to be aware of what you can and cannot feed them.
The best part? Even if you want all the sweet corn kernels for yourself, you can still make your own guinea happy by giving them the parts you wouldn’t eat anyway. If you’re creative, or have some extra time on your hands, you can even make them toys or some boredom busters from the husks (see below under ‘Getting Creative’).
Remember – wash the corn thoroughly before giving any part to your guineas!
How Often Can Guinea Pigs Have Corn?
Raw corn on the cob kernels can be fed to guinea pigs as a treat 1-2 times a week. Due to the amount of starch in the kernels, you don’t want to feed it anymore than that. Cooked corn is not okay because they aren’t able to digest cooked vegetables or food. Raw corn in any sort of can or in a juice is also something to avoid due to the amount of salt content. The added salt and other ingredients aren’t good for your pet.
Some parts of the corn on the cob can be given daily. This include the inner husk (the outer husk is not recommended due to the use of pesticides and therefore should be discarded) and the corn silk/hairs (cut off and discard any parts that hang unprotected from the husk due to exposure to pesticides). The nutrient value of husks are similar to hay and grass, so this is great for them to have due to the fiber and helping grind down their teeth! Corn hair has also been proven to be good for their bladders.
Guinea pigs will not eat the middle part – the part we always throw away – so once they seem finished, make sure to toss it away in the trash.
Why Shred the Corn Husks?
Corn husks are pretty tough. While guinea pigs can certainly chew through that fibrous husk, tearing them up into thinner long pieces makes the it easier for them to eat the pieces with less effort. We find that Willow and Cora will eat more of it, and enjoy it more, when we shred them up. The pieces don’t have to be super thin, but we like the width of a large blade of grass. It’s not an exact science, so if some are wider or thinner than the others, that’s okay!
Should the Corn Husks Be Dried Out?
There are two ways you can feed your guineas the husks.
If you plan to feed it within the next few days, you can place them in a bag and seal it to keep them tender. If you want them to last longer you can leave them out to dry before putting them in a bag to save for later. It’s essentially like hay at that point, so you can feed it whenever you’d like!
All the guineas at Once Upon a Wheek love both dried or fresh.
How Do You Dry Out Corn Husks?
They can dry out pretty quickly! Dry them off from any water that’s on them from your washing. Leave them out on the counter to dry out. If you want to place them outside in the sun, this is also a good idea if you have a way to make sure they don’t get blown away.
Tip: The thinner they are, the faster they dry out.
Sometimes we like to spend some extra time making boredom busters for our furry potatoes. Whether or not you can braid, weave, or you’re not really great with crafts, we can guarantee that your guinea won’t mind – they just want the end result – a tasty and fun treat!
Whatever you decide to do with the husks – you can hang it on the side of the grid (tying it up on the cage with the husk itself so your pig can pull on it and enjoy a challenge), place it on the ground, make a ‘puff ball’ and use other husk pieces to hang it from the ceiling so they have to try to eat and pull it as it moves – you can be sure that the little wheekers will appreciate and love you for it.
Here are some fun things you can do with the shredded husks, but remember, the only limitation is you and your imagination!
What About You?
What about you and your pets? Do you feed them corn, corn hairs, and the husk? Have you done anything fun or creative with your husks? Let us know below!