When you discuss the topic of goose nutrition, the food category that is invariably at the top of the list is greenery.
Whether it is various wild plants that they can forage or nutritious vegetables and sometimes fruits that they can eat, these tend to be the stereotypical foods that geese seek out.
Whole foods like these are also ones they should be fed if they are in captivity. But it stands to reason that geese could also eat grains in the wild as a food source, and grains are likely a source of nutrition for domestic geese also.
So what about that most ubiquitous of grains, corn? Can geese eat corn and is it safe for them?
Yes, corn is safe for geese but only in limited amounts as part of a balanced diet. Corn is a good source of energy, plus vitamins and minerals, but it’s very high in calories and can be hard for them to digest.
Not much of a surprise here if you ask me. Seems like every single species of livestock there is can eat corn, and geese are no exception.
However, you’ll be making a serious mistake if you give your geese corn all the time or allow them to overindulge. And believe me, they will overindulge if you let them!
There’s a lot more you will want to know on the topic so keep reading and I’ll tell you all about it in the rest of this article.
Do Geese Like Corn?
Yes, they do! Corn is sweet, easy to eat, filling and a great source of energy. Like I mentioned above, most animals like it and that includes geese. If you let them, your geese will eat way, way too much of.
So we have to be diligent and cautious about serving it to them. I’ll tell you all about that in the following sections.
Is Corn a Healthy Food for Geese?
Yes, somewhat surprisingly, corn is a pretty healthy food for geese as long as it’s given to them in moderation.
Corn is an excellent source of energy for geese, but more than that it contains a roundly excellent amount of vitamins and minerals that geese need in abundance.
For starters, looking at the vitamins, we see that corn has lots of vitamin A and most of the B complex vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folate, along with a good amount of vitamin E and just a little bit of vitamin K to finish things off.
The mineral content is also very good, and corn contains a good amount of iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. Impressive!
Together, these nutrients can improve almost every element of a goose’s health, giving them plenty of energy, and lots of calories to help sustain growth, healing, or dealing with stress. All good things!
But, it’s obvious that too many calories, too often, will cause unwanted weight gain and eventually obesity, and corn is also fairly high in sodium which must be managed by careful portioning.
Is Raw Corn Safe for Geese?
Yes, raw corn is safe for geese to eat. So long as you take it off the cob, they will eat it with no problems, and this is generally the best way to serve it to them. That’s because it will contain the best possible amount of nutrition.
Is Cooked Corn Safe for Geese?
Yes, it is. Cooked corn is safe, but not my preferred way to serve it to geese. It doesn’t really make it any easier for them to eat, and the major downside is that the cooking process will destroy a significant amount of the vitamins in it…
This means it is less nutritious overall, and nearly just a source of bulk calories at that point.
Can Geese Eat Colored Corn?
Yes, they can. All colors of corn are completely safe for your flock to eat, from the classic yellow and white to black, blue, ruby red, and more.
Can Geese Eat Dried Corn Safely?
Yes, generally, but cautiously. You must be very, very careful of dried corn because sometimes the kernels are just too hard and tough for geese to digest.
Hard, dried corn is notorious for causing crop and gizzard problems, so if you are considering feeding this kind of corn to your flock, I highly recommend you thoroughly crush it or grind it prior to serving it.
Is Cracked Corn Okay for Geese?
Yes, cracked corn is generally just fine for geese. Cracked corn is nothing more than dried corn that has been partially or completely crushed, which will soften it and make it much easier for a goose’s gizzard to handle after eating.
Can Geese Eat Corn Husks Safely?
Yes, they can, but I don’t recommend it. Corn husks are not nutritious, and most geese don’t like them, so there’s no need to waste time trying to get them to eat them.
Is Canned Corn Safe for Geese?
Not really. Although not overtly toxic, most brands of canned corn will have too much salt and other additives that your geese don’t need.
Can Corn Hurt Geese in Any Way?
Yes, if you aren’t careful. Corn is not nutritionally complete and is extremely calorie-dense compared to other foods that geese can eat, and so they shouldn’t ever get too much of it.
Nutritional imbalance, obesity, and potential issues like fatty liver syndrome can result if geese get too much corn. As long as it’s fed to them on a limited basis, there won’t be any problems.
Another potential issue that is not specific to corn, but one closely associated with is foodborne illness due to the presence of molds. We’ll talk more about that in just a few sections.
How Often Should Geese Eat Corn?
As a rule of thumb, I only want to give my geese one or two modest servings of corn per week. Corn is good for these birds in limited amounts, and it is a great source of energy as mentioned. This gives corn a certain utility as a bulking or warming feed, but you shouldn’t overfeed them with it.
Because of this, you want to ensure that your flock is getting a balanced, nutritious diet and then incorporate corn into it on a limited basis. Done right, your birds will reap all the benefits and avoid all of the problems.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Corn to Geese?
The very best way to give corn to your geese is raw and removed from the cob.
Place it out where they can get it in a bowl or other feeder and let them go to town, but make sure you measure the portions and always ensure that the individual birds are getting a more or less equal amount.
And just a reminder: if you are giving your flock dried corn make sure you crack it or grind it prior to serving to avoid potential issues with crop impaction and other problems.
Never Give Geese Corn if it is Rotting or Moldy
One of the biggest potential issues with corn is the presence of mold. Corn, worryingly, can play host to various species of mold that produce toxins that can be absolutely devastating to birds, including your geese.
These specific toxins, called mycotoxins, can shut down the lungs of a goose and kill them before you can react in time to get them help.
This is really serious stuff, so you must be alert to the presence of any kind of mold on any corn that you would feed to your birds. If it looks off, smells peculiar and musty, or seems strange, just throw it out and don’t let your geese get to it!
Is Corn OK for Goslings?
Yes, but you’ve really got to watch the quantity with goslings, and even then, only give it to them once they are around 5 weeks of age or older.
The calories and nutrients in corn will definitely give goslings a boost, but it isn’t nutritionally complete and you never want them to fill up on it. I recommend that you avoid giving them dried corn, also, even if it’s cracked.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.
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