Though popularly considered a human food, corn is actually eaten by many animals in the wild. Farmers have to be particularly careful of what animals eat corn invading their corn fields, as some species can eat huge quantities of the crop.
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Scientific name: Procyon lotor
Raccoons are known for being one of the most versatile eaters in the animal kingdom. They will consume just about anything that they come across in their search for food. This includes corn. Raccoons will often raid human settlements in search of an easy meal.
Raccoons are also known to eat raw, uncooked corn straight from the field. While corn does not provide much in the way of nutrition for raccoons, they will still consume it if they are really hungry. Luckily, raccoons are not major pests since they cannot eat large amounts of food at one time.
Scientific name (family): Sciuridae
Squirrels are small, nimble creatures with a prodigious appetite for nuts. However, they can also be pesky nuisances, especially when they get into your cornfield. They are also well-known for their love of corn, which is why they are often seen in fields near forests. While a squirrel will gladly eat corn, it can only consume so much at a time.
Instead of eating the corn on the spot, they will stuff their cheeks full and carry it back to their homes in tree trunks. This helps to ensure that they have a constant supply of food, even during times when nuts are scarce. In addition to being efficient foragers, squirrels are also excellent climbers and can easily scramble up trees to escape predators.
Scientific name (family): Cervidae
Farmers who live in areas with a high deer population have to take extra precautions to protect their crops. These large animals travel in herds, and they are not afraid to enter a cornfield and eat the plants. Not only does this result in bad crops for the farmer, but it can also damage the equipment if the deer trample on it.
In addition, deer are very alert and will stay away from corn fields if they hear any loud noises. As a result, farmers must make sure to keep their equipment well-maintained and make noise when they are working in the fields.
4. Wild Mice
Scientific name (genus): Apodemus
House mice and wild mice may look similar at first glance, but there are a few key differences between these two small animals. One of the most notable distinctions is their diet. While both house mice and wild mice enjoy eating corn, wild mice actually rely on this food source for sustenance. This is because they often live in burrows near or in corn fields.
Wild mice can easily reach on to the top of crops with their climbing ability. However, if food is in scarcity, wild mice can eat the whole plant itself – not just the kernels of corn.
Scientific name (order): Galliformes
Quails are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of whatever food source is available. In agricultural areas, this often means corn. Quail will eat corn that has fallen to the ground, but they are not typically a threat to crops since they do not eat corn directly from the plant.
Along with corn, quail will also eat seeds, nuts, and worms. This makes them a popular target for hunters, who often use corn fields as their primary hunting grounds. However, quails are not always found in agricultural areas. They are also common in brushy habitats and forest edges, where they feed on a variety of plant and Animal matter.
6. Wild Boars
Scientific name: Sus scrofa
Wild boars are a big problem for corn farmers. They move in small groups, they’re very strong and hungry. In fact, these animals are without a doubt the biggest threat to corn farmers. They eat a lot of corn – an average of 2-3% of their body weight every day. And given that they can weigh up to 300 pounds, that’s a lot of corn! Not only do they eat the kernels, but they also damage the stalks, which can make it harder for the plants to produce food.
Each day, an adult wild boar requires 4000 to survive which is twice that for a human. To get those calories, wild boars will often mow down entire corn fields with their full strength and then eat the corn right off the stalk.
Corn farmers have tried a number of different methods to keep wild boars away from their crops. These include everything from electric fences to loud noises to dogs. But so far, nothing has been completely effective.
7. Wild Geese
Scientific name (family): Anatidae
Wild geese are a type of bird that will often eat corn. They have a high-calorie diet, which is necessary for them to be able to migrate every year. However, they are not usually a problem for farmers, as they usually only eat corn that has already fallen on the ground.
Additionally, corn is not the primary food source for these animals. They focus on eating water plants, but it is also possible to catch a goose eating a small fish on occasion.
Scientific name (family): Ursidae
Bears are opportunistic eaters and will take advantage of whatever food is available to them. In the wild, their diet primarily consists of plants and animals, but they have been known to eat other things as well.
For example, bears have been known to eat corn if it is available. Corn is not a primary source of calories for bears, but they will eat it if food becomes scarce. This is because bears are omnivores and will eat both meat and plants.
Polar bears do not typically come in contact with corn in the wild, but grizzly bears and black bears may stumble upon corn fields from time to time. When they do, they will usually eat the entire plant. This is because bears need many calories to survive and corn can provide them with a significant amount of energy.
9. Wild Turkeys
Scientific name: Meleagris gallopavo
Corn is a popular food for many animals, including wild turkeys. Turkeys are foragers, which means that they collect food instead of hunting it.
In addition to corn, wild turkeys will eat worms, nuts, seeds, snails, and insects. The birds are attracted to corn fields and will pick the corn off of the ground. As a result, hunters often roam corn fields in search of wild turkeys. Corn is a nutritious food for wild turkeys, providing them with the energy they need to survive in the wild.
Domestic Animals Eating Corn
Domestic animals have been known to eat corn as their main source of food. Corn is full of nutrients that are essential for animals’ health, and it is also a very affordable food source. Many animal shelters and rescue organizations choose to feed their adopted animals corn as a way to help them get the nutrition they need while also keeping costs low. Some research has shown that corn as food can bring down stress levels in animals, making it an ideal food for those who have been through a traumatic experience.
While corn isn’t the only food horses eat, it is a big part of their diet, especially for those that are bred for equestrian purposes. This is because corn is calorie-dense and rich in both fiber and carbs, which helps horses develop strong leg muscles and bones.
However, it’s important to monitor how much corn a horse eats since too much can be unhealthy. This is especially true for smaller horses, as they can easily become overweight if they consume too many calories.
Corn is a staple food for many animals, including sheep. Sheep love the taste of sweet corn and find it to be highly palatable. Apart from providing sheep with a nutritious source of food, corn also has several other benefits. For example, corn is rich in fat that helps to grow the wool of a sheep.
This is necessary during shearing in order to reduce the chances of the skin getting hurt. Additionally, corn cobs and husks can be given to sheep as a source of roughage, which is important for maintaining digestive health. Farmers should monitor the amount of corn given to their sheep in order to ensure that they are getting sufficient nutrition.
Corn is a popular feed for goats, but it’s important to only give them small amounts. Goats have sensitive digestive systems, so their diet needs to be closely monitored.
Corn can be added to their regular diet as a supplement, but it’s best to give them cracked corn. They can’t digest all parts of the cob properly, so feeding them cobs could cause problems. Farmers who want to include corn in their goats’ diet need to make sure they’re feeding them cracked corn.
Cattle are primarily herbivores, which means that their diet consists mostly of plants. While cows are able to digest a variety of different plants, they have a particular preference for corn.
This is because corn is relatively high in digestibility, compared to other plant options such as hay or straw. In addition, corn is also rich in starch and carbohydrates, which help to support the animal’s digestive system. While cows graze continuously throughout the day, they still require a supplement of corn in order to maintain their body weight.
Feeding cattle with corn is considered normal practice, due to the fact that cows prefer this grain over other plant-based options.
A chicken’s diet is very important in terms of the quality of its meat and eggs. Farmers raising chickens for poultry purposes typically give them a diet rich in corn kernels.
The minerals and vitamins found in corn ensure that the poultry products maintain a high level of nutritional quality.
Also, corn-fed chicken is generally healthier, with higher protein and fat content in its meat than other types. This is due to the macro and micronutrients present in corn, which helps chickens build strong bones and muscles.
Chickens on a steady diet of corn also tend to produce better eggs than those fed on other grain or fish diets. This superior egg quality is attributable to the yellow carotene and xanthophyll present in corn, which is essential for forming strong egg shells and yolks.
In the wildlife, there is a great diversity of animals who enjoy feasting on corn. While some view it as a last option, others, like squirrels, mice, and wild boars, see it as a full-course meal. These three species in particular are known to consume corn in large quantities.
However, some animals that eat corn can cause problems for local farmers. For example, wild boars and deer often destroy crops. Corn is a vital source of food for many birds, with turkeys and quail particularly enjoying it.
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What animals eat corn in the wild? ›
What wild animals are attracted to the corn? While it may vary based on where you live and the time of year, you can catch many animals around your home by using corn, including: songbirds, hawks, crows, quail, squirrels, opossum, rabbits, raccoon, foxes, turkey and deer.What farm animals can eat corn? ›
Stocker cattle, beef heifers, and cows have excellent weight gains grazing corn. Dairy farmers have utilized corn, through grazing, to feed dairy cows and dairy heifers for breeding. Sheep, goats,and swine have all been used to graze corn successfully.What animals eat corn seeds? ›
- Deer. Deer will begin feeding on or tramping down corn starting at emergence. ...
- Raccoons. ...
- Wild turkeys. ...
- Groundhogs (woodchucks)
In addition to the many birds that will eat cracked corn, it is also a favorite food of other backyard wildlife, including deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons. This can make it a good seed to offer at separate wildlife feeders to distract them from bird feeders.What animals use corn? ›
Corn is a major component of livestock feed. Feed use, a derived demand, is closely related to the number of animals (cattle, hogs, and poultry) that are fed corn and typically accounts for about 40 percent of total domestic corn use.Do cows eat corn in the wild? ›
In nature, cows don't eat corn. They subsist on grasses and similar forage. That's how their digestive systems are designed to operate. Farmers and ranchers might feed a lot of corn to cows in order to have them gain weight quickly, or because corn happens to be cheaper than hay at a particular time.