Have you ever wondered if you can share some of your corn with your rats? After all, there are only a few things that rats cannot consume seeing that they are omnivorous animals. Rats are not picky eaters but there should still be some caution taken concerning their feeding or diet. So, can rats eat corn? Corn is a widely known grain because of its delicious taste. Also known as maize (Zea mays), corn is the seed of a plant in the grass family and is cultivated all around the world. Corn is one of the most popular grains used in the production of cereals but popcorn and sweet corn are among the most known varieties. However, refined corn products are also popularly consumed as ingredients in processed foods, which include polenta, corn, corn flour, corn oil, corn syrup, tortilla, and tortilla chips.
Just like any other cereal grain, whole-grain corn is very healthy because it contains fiber and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Corn is yellowish in color but also comes in other colors, such as orange, red, blue, purple, black, and white. Corn is a starchy grain that comes as kennels on a cob, covered by a husk. Corn contains a lot of natural sugar and carbohydrates, but moderate consumption can be a good addition to your rat’s diet.
Can Rats Eat Corn?
Yes, rats can eat corn, but dried corn should be avoided. Rats can eat corn as long as it is given in moderation. Even though corn is not the most nutritious food for rats, it is not entirely a harmful food either. Frozen corn, canned corn, or corn on the cob are all safe for rats to eat. Corn has a sweet flavor and it is easy to digest. Additionally, corn is a nutritious food for rats to consume as it is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and carotenoids.
Is Corn Good for Rats?
Rats are omnivorous, meaning they are able to consume both plants and animals, which also means they can eat corn and probably other grains. Aside from the taste, corn is also very nutritious and contains many minerals and vitamins that are important for the health of rats. Corn is high in vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, and selenium. Also, rats can consume corn even if it is canned or frozen. Here are some of the benefits of corn to rats:
Promotes Gut Health
Corn, like many other grains, vegetables, and legumes also contain dietary fiber. Feeding your rats corn can help improve digestion and reduce the chance of constipation. Additionally, according to some studies, fiber may promote longer life.
Improves Eye Health
Corn is especially rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that may reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The dietary consumption of antioxidants, especially carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin may help improve eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the primary carotenoids in corn, which make up around 70% of the overall carotenoid content. However, white corn often has low qualities of these carotenoids. These substances are often referred to as macular pigments and are found in the retina, the light-sensitive inner surface of the eye where they support against oxidative damage brought on by blue light.
Corn May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
The presence of fiber in corn may help reduce cholesterol levels, which can help improve heart health. The presence of soluble fiber, a kind of fiber in corn can decrease the number of cholesterols the body absorbs. Additionally, corn does not have any cholesterol.
Controls Blood sugar
The presence of phytonutrients in corn may help control blood the rate at which insulin is absorbed and released by the body, alleviating sudden rise and drop in blood sugar.
Supports Heart Health
According to a Food Science and Human Wellness article from September 2018, corn contains many vitamins and minerals. For instance, potassium, a mineral present in corn, promotes normal blood pressure, heart function, and muscular contractions, reduces cramping and supports in maintaining muscle mass. According to research, corn has a lot of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that can help promote digestive health and reduce the chance of developing issues like heart disease.
Why Can’t Rats Eat Dried Corn?
The mycotoxins produced by fungi are one of the disadvantages of corn. These fungi can often contaminate corn, especially dried corn. The precise fungi are fumonisin and aflatoxin, and both are carcinogenic to rats. These fungi can lead to liver, colon, and kidney cancer. Not all dried corn has these fungi, but there’s no way of knowing for sure if any dry corn you offer your rat has it or not. So, it is better to do away with dried corn totally.
It is also important to take note of the dried corn occasionally added to low-quality rat meal mixtures. You should stop giving your rat a mix that contains dried corn if your rat has been consuming such mix, and switch to a high-quality lab block so you can ensure your rat receives a healthy and nutritious diet. A food that mentions corn as its primary ingredient should also be avoided.
Can Rats Eat Corn Flakes?
Yes, rats can eat cornflakes, and they may enjoy it as a treat. You can either offer them cornflakes as it is or combine them with milk. Corn flakes are included in the list of foods that rats prefer to eat as they like to consume things that make crackling sounds. Corn flakes, including other cereals low in sugar and high in carbohydrates, make a good and healthy snack for rats.
Can Rats Eat Corn on the Cob?
Yes, rats can eat corn on the cob. You can consider offering your rat corn on the cob, which can be boiled with no salt or butter. However, it is necessary to cut the cob down into smaller pieces to prevent your rat from getting indigestion.
Rats can enjoy corn only when it is offered as an occasional treat, unseasoned, and not dried corn or its mixes. You should consult your veterinarian if you have questions about your rat's nutrition or any issues with its health.