It’s well known that a guinea pig’s diet consists of mostly plants, but not everything is good for it! There are superfoods and then there are just OK foods—corn falls in between both those categories. In general, guinea pigs can have some corn but not a lot because the starch content isn’t good for them.
We've also got a Vegetable Master List that lists common veggies that your piggy can and can't eat!
What vitamins and other nutrients does corn contain?
Corn has quite a small amount of Vitamin C, clocking in at 6.8 mg in a 100 g portion. In this case, corn should not be relied upon as your source of the vitamin in your guinea pig’s diet! Try looking into other more Vitamin C rich foods.
This vitamin is vital to your guinea pig’s diet for their immune system and to prevent scurvy, so include plenty of vegetables that can accommodate this need! Check this list to see which vegetables are better alternatives for vitamin C.
When it comes to calcium, corn doesn’t contain much of this either. It has around 2 mg of it in a 100 g portion, which isn’t significant enough for it to be considered a calcium supplement in your piggy’s diet.
Calcium is still necessary in your guinea pig’s diet, but in moderate amounts to prevent urinary tract issues. To learn more about calcium and its benefits, read this post! And to find better alternatives, refer to this list.
Corn does, however, contain a moderate amount of phosphorus, coming in around 89 mg per 100 g portion. Phosphorus works in tandem with calcium to build and maintain bones, so it’s just as important that there is a good amount of this in their food. The calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, or Ca:P, is 0.02:1, and the ideal ratio is 1.33:1
What other benefits does corn provide for your guinea pig?
Corn silk or hairs contain fiber, which can help your piggy with their overall digestion. In general, corn doesn’t have a whole lot of significant health benefits. This is partially why it shouldn’t be included in their diet as a nutrient supplement.
What are the downsides about corn for guinea pigs?
In general, we shouldn’t feed our piggies too much of the raw kernels themselves because of the starch content. If you’re choosing to feed the husks to them, make sure you only give them the innermost pieces because the outside has more contact with pesticides than the rest of it. This is obviously for your piggy’s safety.
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat too much corn, but do they like it?
Yes! They love corn, and it’s in part because of the sweetness. But despite their love for it, they shouldn’t have too much.
How should you go about feeding your guinea pig corn?
When it comes to the different parts of corn, there are different frequencies that you should feed your guinea pig corn! Some parts are more edible and tasty to your piggy than others. For example, the raw kernels of the corn should only be fed to your guinea pig a few times a week. It would be best to limit the amount you give to them—something like two or three kernels.
The inner husks of the corn can be fed to guinea pigs daily! The best way to prepare them is to wash them thoroughly to get rid of any pesticides. Then you can feed it to them as is, or you can shred it into thinner strips to make it easier for them to eat. The strips could be a quarter of an inch to half an inch wide, and you can give them one or two of those.
If you want to save them, you can leave them out to dry and then you can store them in something like a Ziploc. Corn silk or hairs can also be given daily. When it comes to the corn stalk, they can be treated like chew toys, but you should only let them keep it for a day or two to ensure that your piggies don’t get sick.
Overall, it is OK to feed your guinea pigs corn!
However, just remember that it should be regarded as a once-in-a-while treat! The starch can be harmful to your guinea pig, and it’s important that we keep them safe and healthy. Make sure to monitor their body’s physical reaction to the food, as well as examine their urine and excrement to gauge whether corn is good for your piggy!
What else can guinea pigs eat?
Check out our Vegetable Master List for an extensive list of vegetables for guinea pigs!