Monday, February 10, 2014

Garden Tips A to Z: CORN & Animals

Do you have any other tips for "corn & animals"?  Share your tips in a comment!
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Corn & Animals

d  Dogs
Voilet, the newest rescue dog in the family.  She was transported
from a shelter in Alabama to Connecticut. 
Corn cobs can be deadly to dogs.  Dogs will chew off and swallow chunks, which can easily get lodged in the digestive tract.  If the cob isn't removed, the dog will die.  Never give a dog cobs and make sure dogs can't get into garbage bags or compost bins to retrieve cobs.

Corn in dog and cat food has mistakenly gotten a bad rap as a cheap "filler" ingredient.  On the contrary, corn is a valuable source of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamin E, and lutein), and fiber.  In fact, when we were trying to see if our black lab was allergic to commercial dog food, our vet recommended trying a diet of cooked corn, sweet potatoes, fish, and beans.  (It turned out he was allergic to pollen and dust, but he did like his home-cooked meals!)

d  Chickens
Chickens, on the other hand, adore leftover corn cobs!  They will pick every bit of kernel off.  We also toss in any "wormy" ears of corn, which is like the icing on the cake to a chicken.  Make sure cobs are in an enclosed space, like a coop or fenced run, so other animals can't grab the cobs.
Chickens' diets can consist of some dried livestock corn.  Corn tends to raise body temperature, so is a good way to help chickens stay warmer in the winter.  Avoid corn during hot weather.

d  Horses
Horses love corn husks and it's a perfectly safe treat for them.  Only feed small amounts at a time and never give a cob to a horse, which can cause choking or digestive blockages.

d Cats
We had a diabetic cat, Woochie, many years ago.  We gave him insulin shots but he would sometimes get low blood sugar.  Giving him a bowl of canned creamed corn quickly brought his blood sugar level up, and he would devour it instantly.  Another cat, Missy, would sit and eat corn-on-the-cob like a human. (She was also known to break into bakery boxes to eat donuts and muffins, which I brought from my part-time bakery job to a soup kitchen.  She was such a little lady :)

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