Most grains and cereals are fine for chickens. But, what about cornflakes. Can chickens eat cornflakes?
Yes, chickens can eat cornflakes and some other breakfast cereals. As long as they’re not the sugary types, they will be fine in small amounts. While cornflakes might be routine for you, they are a treat for chickens.
One of the best things about backyard chickens is that they happily take almost any scraps off our hands.
You do need to be sure that whatever you’re giving them is safe though. While cornflakes are safe, before you tip the rest of your box into their feeder there are somethings to be aware of:
Can Chickens Eat Cereal?
Generally speaking, chickens can eat breakfast cereals, yes.
Most cereals contain a good range of vitamins and minerals and all the other good stuff we need to fuel up for the day.
Chickens have different dietary requirements for us. But they do benefit from a lot of good nutrition in cereals.
There aren’t any that would pose any health issues that I know of. Obviously, cereals range from healthy to the more sugary, treat types of cereal that is loaded with sugars and preservatives.
So, you want to keep to the healthier side for your chickens, just as I’m sure you do for yourself - right?
The best cereals are ones like oats, granola, Shredded Wheat, Rice Krispies, puffs, and similar cereals.
As I said, the important consideration is that you’re giving them the low sugar types of cereals. So, keep the Lucky Charms and Frosties to yourself if you want to be a responsible owner.
Related - Read more about feeding chickens oats and granola here.
Are Cornflakes Good for Chickens? (What's in 'Em?)
The exact ingredients vary from brand-to-brand, but not a lot. Looking at Kellogg’s as they’re by far the most well-know, the ingredients are:
- Corn (88%)
- Barley malt extract
It’s easy to see why cornflakes are one of the healthier cereals. The sugar and salt content is low, and they’re mostly made from corn - which is pretty good for chickens as I’ve explained before.
There is really no downside to sharing some with your chickens. As long as it’s just a small amount in addition to their feed, you’ll have some happy chickens.
Some Foods That Are Bad for Chickens:
Now you know which cereals are fine, it’s just as important to know which foods are bad for chickens.
Here are some common foods you probably have around the home that are potentially toxic to chickens. Make sure you never feed any of the following to your flock:
Chocolate and Coffee - There are compounds found in both coffee and chocolate that can cause chickens - and other pets - health issues.
Green Potatoes - Potatoes are a controversial food in the backyard chicken community. When they go green, they contain a toxin called solanine that is harmful to chickens.
Cooked or raw white potatoes are fine, as are potato skins. Just be careful with potatoes that have been exposed to the sun and turned green!
Nightshade Foods - Coming off of what I said about potatoes above, they’re part of the Nightshade family.
Most Nightshade plants produce solanine to protect themselves against being eaten by insects. Be wary of green tomatoes (red ripe ones are fine), eggplants, and cayenne pepper.
Raw Beans - Unless properly cooked, raw beans contain a toxin that is very toxic to chickens. I’ve heard it can be fatal in small amounts, so be very careful if you grow beans.
Moldy Foods - I know you aren’t going to give your chickens moldy food. However, keep an eye out for what they’re eating in the yard that may have spoiled. Mold spores are potentially harmful - and pretty gross, let’s be honest.
There you go - if you want to share your cornflakes with your chickens, go ahead.
Just remember that any foods outside of their commercial feed are “treats”. Your flock should be getting 90% of their diet from their feed, which leaves a little room to have some fun.
It’s important all their dietary requirements are met from a quality feed if you want them to stay healthy, and importantly, lay eggs at their best.
Related - Can chickens drink milk?
I thought it would be fun to answer questions related to whether or not chickens can eat cornflakes.
Especially around the fact that there is an iconic chicken - or a rooster to be more accurate - on the front of the box.
What Is the Name of the Rooster on the Kellogg's Corn Flakes Box?
I don’t know about you, but I wanted to know if the rooster on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes box has a name, and he does - he’s called Cornelius.
Makes sense, it’s a play on words “corn-elius”.
What Kind of Rooster Is the Kellogg's Rooster?
Another interesting bit of trivia, apparently the breed of the rooster on the box is a Welsummer. Not the most popular backyard chicken today, but a hardy dual-purpose breed.
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Ingredients - Kelloggs.co.nz