What Animals Eat Popcorn Kernels?

Sunlit Red Deer

Popcorn kernels are a great, nutritious treat for a number of different animals.

Whether you have leftover kernels after popping a large batch or you buy the kernels specifically for feeding to wildlife, it’s important to know what animals can eat it (and do so safely).

Will birds or squirrels eat popcorn? What about dear?

You can find out everything you wanted to know right now.

Can Deer Eat Unpopped Popcorn?

Whether you’re hunting deer, or you simply want to draw them out of the wild to observe or photograph, it’s important to know what deer eat. Most deer will eat approximately 6% of their body weight in foliage each day as a way to stay healthy.

Deer are vegetarians. They’ll spend most of their day grazing grasses, crops, acorns, and nuts.

Can deer eat unpopped popcorn? Absolutely. And they can eat popped popcorn, too.

Particularly when you want to attract deer, it’s best to provide them with a variety. You don’t know what they’ve been grazing on throughout the day. If you give them more of what they’ve already had, they could easily turn their nose up at your offerings.

A good variety to offer deer includes apples and carrots, a mineral salt lick, as well as a combination of both popped and unpopped popcorn kernels. Mix it all together in a large bowl.

Head into a clearing where you’re likely to see deer. Scatter the popcorn kernels and popcorn that has been mixed up with the fruit and veggies.

Leave a good trail of the ingredients instead of just one pile. Deer will often be attracted to food from multiple directions, so it’s best to spread it out over a larger area.

Be sure that the popcorn isn’t microwaved as the bags have a lot of chemicals. The popcorn also doesn’t need any flavoring, so stay clear of salt and butter.

If you do want to add flavoring to what you’ve mixed in the bowl, try using a little bit of honey.

Do Ducks Eat Popcorn Kernels?

Feeding ducks at the local pond can be a fun thing to do. Most people will bring leftover bread and rolls to feed ducks. The question is, do ducks eat popcorn kernels?

No. Ducks have a difficult time digesting the hard kernels, so they can stay in their digestive system for a very long time. Over time, the kernels can end up festering and putrefying, which can lead to an infection and even death.

While surgery could save a duck’s life, most ducks would never get the necessary help. Additionally, many ducks find the kernels hard to swallow, so it poses a choking hazard.

Popcorn is also considered junk food for ducks. The reason for this is that there are not very many nutrients for them.

If they fill up on popcorn, they won’t have room for anything else, which means they won’t get the nutrients that they actually do need to stay healthy.

If you do decide to throw popped popcorn into the pond and the ducks don’t eat it, mold can form, which leads to a toxic environment for the ducks to be exposed to day in and day out.

There are so many other things that you can feed to ducks, so forget popcorn as it’s not a safe or healthy treat for them.

What Birds Can Eat Unpopped Popcorn?

Birds will eat all sorts of different foods – including nuts and seeds. The average bird isn’t too picky about what they will eat. Just look at what birds will pick up when they’re at the beach, an amusement park, or anywhere else that there are loads of people with a lot of trash in the vicinity.

You may have the desire to feed birds – it can be at a park or within your backyard.

Knowing what to feed them to ensure they aren’t consuming too many calories or anything that is dangerous to them, it’s best to do your research to know what kinds of birds you are going to feed – and what is recommended for their diet.

For the most part, you are safe with feeding them seeds and nuts.

Unpopped popcorn is another thing that you can feed them. What’s fun is that some of the bigger birds will also eat popped popcorn. This means that you can decide what stage of the kernel to feed them – unpopped or popped.

Kernels can be extremely hard – and smaller birds will find that the kernels are too difficult to eat. If you give a smaller bird unpopped kernels there is the risk that they could choke on them.

Turkeys, crows, and other large birds will eat the kernels without any problem. If you are going to feed the kernels to smaller birds, consider soaking them in water so that they soften. This will make it easier for them to eat and digest.

If you do want to pop the popcorn, be sure to do it using an air popper. You won’t want to feed the birds any popcorn that has been cooked in oil or flavored with butter and/or salt.

Many birds will flock to anywhere where they know there is a food supply. As such, be careful putting out popcorn kernels as they can attract a number of territorial birds such as pigeons, grackles, and starlings.

Can You Feed Squirrels Unpopped Popcorn?

If you’re going to feed squirrels, do so in an area away from garbage cans and bird feeders. You don’t want to invite squirrels onto your property if they’re going to cause various problems – or scare other wildlife away.

Often, it’s best to feed squirrels on a nature trail or in a park. That way, they don’t become dependent on you as a food source.

Squirrels love popcorn. You can feed them unpopped popcorn kernels by the handful. Should you wish to bring along some popped popcorn, they will love that as well.

Don’t feed the squirrels any kind of flavored popcorn or popcorn that has been cooked in oil.

The popcorn and/or kernels can be added to a squirrel feeder if you have one in your backyard, too. It ends up being a great source of fiber for them, which can help their digestive system. It won’t be a good source of other nutrients, though, so you won’t be providing the squirrels with all of the food that they need in a day.

Ultimately, all sorts of animals will enjoy popcorn kernels as well as popped popcorn. Just be sure that it is completely unflavored so that you don’t give them any ingredients that are harmful or too high in calories.

When in doubt, check to see if a particular animal can safely consume the kernels.

Contact Shumway Popcorn to secure your order now.

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