When you consider that geese are primarily herbivores, you immediately think of all the various plants that they can eat, including vegetables.
But the more you think about it, you start to realize that geese really wouldn’t have access to a lot of produce in the wild, at least not most of the time.
And then there’s the obvious question of whether or not geese eat grains. Grains are plants, of course, so geese should be able to eat them.
How about corn, the most popular of grains? Can geese eat corn?
Yes, geese can eat corn but they should have it only as a small part of a properly balanced diet. Corn is great for giving them energy, and it can also provide them with vitamins and minerals they need, but it tends to be fattening and hard, dry corn kernels can be very difficult for geese to digest.
Corn is one of the most popular and most common of the cereal grains eaten around the world, and that includes being eaten as livestock feed.
Corn isn’t the first staple feed I think of when I think of geese, but it’s definitely good to know they can eat it as part of their diet.
Keep reading I’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding corn to your geese.
Does Corn Have Health Benefits for Geese?
Yes, it does. First and foremost, corn is a highly energy-dense food, and can provide geese with plenty of calories.
Whether they are dealing with stress or you’re just trying to encourage them to put on weight quickly, corn can play a vital role in achieving that objective.
Corn is also surprisingly nutritious for geese, and has a great assortment of vitamins and minerals that geese need.
But, corn should not be the majority part of their diet, and it shouldn’t even be a larger minority fraction.
Corn is a supplement or a treat, but so long as you feed it to your flock on a limited basis and as part of a well-rounded diet containing everything else they need, your geese can get great benefits from corn.
Nutrition Info for Corn
Corn is often thought of just as raw bulk calories, and then one way it is, but it’s also surprisingly nutritious, and it contains many vitamins and minerals that geese need in order to thrive.
It also has a surprising amount of protein, which young and old geese alike need in order to grow and heal.
Looking at the vitamins first, we see that corn is generally rich in the B complex vitamins, among them thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and folate.
It has plenty of vitamins A and E, as well as a little bit of vitamin K.
The mineral content is similarly impressive, and you’ll find a lot here that can improve the health of geese.
Corn has calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium and manganese along with zinc and selenium.
Corn also contains a fair bit of sodium naturally, something that can help to balance electrolyte levels in geese to help them cope with hot weather, but you should keep an eye on it to make sure they aren’t getting too much salt in their diet.
This is a very minor concern considering the overall benefits of corn, so as long as you are feeding them smaller portions you won’t have to worry about it.
Can Geese Eat Raw Corn?
Yes, geese can eat raw, fresh corn with no problems, and they tend to really like it. It’s tasty, easy to swallow and easy for them to digest, and it also has the added benefit of having the best possible nutritional content.
Cooking corn will destroy some of the vitamins and minerals in it, so it’s always best to feed your geese raw, fresh corn if you can.
Can Geese Eat Dried Corn?
Yes, they can, but you must be very cautious of hard kernels.
Dried corn tends to be difficult or impossible for geese to digest, and it isn’t out of the question that it can block their crop or gizzard.
If you’re going to serve dried corn to geese, make sure you crack or crush it first.
Can Geese Eat Cracked Corn?
Yes, and if they are eating dried corn then you must make sure that you do crack it first.
Cracking the corn will help to soften it and also make it much more digestible for geese so that they can get all of the benefits from eating it without any of the digestive issues associated with hard, dry kernels.
Can Geese Eat Multicolor Corn?
Yes. The color of the corn makes no difference to geese, even though different colorful cultivars might have varying nutritional content.
Can Geese Eat Canned Corn?
No. Canned corn invariably is too moist and too salty for geese.
Can Geese Eat Corn Husks?
Yes, technically, but practically they shouldn’t. Corn husks have almost nothing in the way of nutrition for geese, and they are so stringy they are unappealing to them anyway.
Is Cooked Corn Safe for Geese?
Yes, it is, but you usually don’t have to cook it.
Geese can eat raw, fresh corn just fine, and with the best nutrition content, so unless you’re in a situation where you have to cook your corn for some reason, you should feed them raw fresh or softer dried corn instead.
Cooked corn is safe for geese, but not as nutritious as raw…
Can Goslings Eat Corn Safely?
Yes, they can, but they should only get very limited amounts since it is too high in calories and not nutritionally ideal for them.
Giving goslings a few kernels here and there as a treat won’t hurt, but do make sure you avoid giving them hard-dried corn; it can easily block their crop or gizzard!
How Often Can Geese Eat Corn?
1 or 2 servings per week. Corn is a great supplement to the usual diet of geese, especially if they need a little help dealing with cold weather (it makes a great warming feed) or they just need extra energy or calories.
But, as you might have ascertained, corn is not a staple item in any goose’s diet. Feeding geese corn the majority of the time can and will lead to health issues such as obesity.
It’s best to stick with a balanced diet that includes lots and lots of greens, some other grains, and a few other wholesome foods.
Preparing Corn for Geese
The best way to prepare fresh corn for geese is to shuck the kernels off the cob, and then serve them to your flock.
If you are giving them dried corn, make sure that you thoroughly crack or crush the kernels so that they don’t struggle to digest them.
Don’t Give Corn to Geese if it Has Any Bad Ingredients or Additives
Corn is so ubiquitous it is easier to list the things it isn’t in rather than the things it is. Corn is a staple food around the world, and it is also an ingredient (or its derivatives are ingredients) in countless other processed and prepared foods.
Some are good, some are junk, but almost none of them are okay for geese.
Corn is okay but corn syrup is terrible for geese, and all the foods that contain it usually also have things like preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and other additives that geese should never eat.
Whatever you like eating or snacking on, keep it for yourself and serve your geese only fresh, natural corn!
Never Give Geese Moldy or Spoiled Corn
One last thing: don’t ever give your geese old, spoiled, rotten, moldy corn. Geese might be forced to eat all sorts of suspect things in nature, but they are not immune to the effects of foodborne illnesses.
Particularly in the case of mold, geese can be highly vulnerable to several of them, like Aspergillus ochraceous, Penicillin viridicatum, Fusarium graminearum, Gibberella zeae and Cladosporium spp.
These molds produce toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause severe respiratory complications and even death in geese.
If you feed moldy corn to your geese, you might expose them to these silent killers. Don’t do it!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.