Many of us love the taste and texture of popcorn as a comfort snack when watching a movie. If you’ve ever had any popcorn left over, you might have considered feeding wild animals—especially to attract them for a close-up view. But is it okay to feed popcorn to wild animals?
What Wild Animals Can Eat Popcorn?
Wild birds can eat air-popped popcorn, as their stomachs can digest it. It’s also okay for foxes, deers, and badgers to consume popcorn, but do so in moderation. This will stop them from thinking you’re their prime feeder. Also, don’t store the food too close to your home for safety reasons.
When feeding popcorn to these wild animals, ensure that it’s free from additives, flavors, butter, and oil.
It’s safe to feed wild birds air-popped popcorn since it’s easy for them to digest. For the healthiest, safest options for wild birds, feed them completely plain popcorn that’s free from salt, butter, oil, and flavorings. Avoid microwave popcorn since this can contain additives that are harmful to birds.
Birds can eat unpopped corn, but consider boiling popcorn to soften the kernels, making them easier to consume. If you choose this method, allow enough time for the kernels to cool down before leaving them outside.
Moreover, don’t feed wild birds solely popcorn, as they require a diet of cooked grains, vegetables, and seeds. Popcorn is acceptable as a treat once in a while.
Unfortunately, popcorn doesn’t offer many nutritional benefits for birds compared to other foods, but it contains fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, and iron. For the healthiest option, feed them popcorn in moderation and make it easily accessible via a hanging birdfeeder.
These wild animals have a diverse diet and will eat almost any food they come across. It’s fine to feed them popcorn in moderation, but they also require vitamins and minerals to be healthy. Plus, leaving out an abundance of food for foxes can attract rats.
For the safest option, avoid flavored popcorn and, similar to feeding wild birds, consider softening the kernels in boiling water to make them easier to digest.
Deer are vegetarians, and their diet mainly consists of foliage to keep their weight low and them healthy. That said, it’s still fine to feed them popped and unpopped popcorn. This is a great way to attract them, as it’s food that they won’t have easy access to.
For a nutritional balance, in a bowl, mix popped and unpopped kernels with apples and carrots. Scatter this mixture on the ground in woods, leaving a trail of the ingredients to attract them across multiple directions.
Again, avoid microwave popcorn, which contains chemicals and preservatives to make the kernels last. Deers don’t need flavored popcorn, and the unflavored kind is best for them, as it’s free from salt and butter. You can always mix in some honey to make the corn extra tasty for the deer.
Badgers are omnivores and will eat pretty much anything. The bulk of their diet is earthworms, slugs, and insects. But it’s fine to feed them popcorn every so often (avoid feeding them all the time because they’ll rely on you for food).
For the safest option for their health, choose unsalted, unflavored popcorn. Check for any added preservatives and chemicals in the ingredients, and avoid them. If you don’t recognize the word, choose another brand.
Place the popcorn in a bowl that’s not too close to your home. Allowing a distance gives the badger some privacy from other animals and prevents them from being spooked by neighbors and loud sounds coming from houses.
Feeding Popcorn to Wild Animals
The biggest concerns with feeding wild animals popcorn are contributing to illnesses and not providing them with enough nutrients. Here are some key things to keep in mind when feeding them food:
- Don’t attempt to befriend the wild animal (this could be very dangerous)
- Don’t place the popcorn in food contains that aren’t easy to eat out of; simply scatter it on the floor
- Never hand-feed wild animals
- When you feed a wild animal once, it may consider you its food source going forward.
Popcorn and Wild Animals Conclusion
Generally, it’s fine to feed popcorn to wild animals, so long as you avoid microwave popcorn and stick to a flavor-free option that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients, making it a healthier choice for wild animals.
Only feed popcorn every now and then to ensure that they contain to eat a varied diet. Most animals enjoy popped popcorn, but consuming too much of it can be fattening and doesn’t provide any health benefits.
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