If you own chickens then you may have wondered if they can eat Romaine lettuce? Is this vegetable healthy for chickens to eat and does it have any benefits? Having had poultry, including chickens for many years I thought that I’d share this with you.
Chickens can eat Romaine lettuce and other varieties of lettuce too. However this vegetable does not contain many nutrients but the high water content can be useful in dry conditions to help your birds to stay hydrated.
Is Romaine lettuce safe for chickens?
Romaine lettuce is perfectly safe for chickens to eat and, of all the lettuce varieties, it is probably the best sort due to it’s crispy texture and thickness of leaves.
Most leafy greens, such as lettuce are suitable for feeding to hens and other poultry.
Should chickens eat lettuce?
Although Romaine lettuce is safe for chickens to eat it should not form a major part of their diet. Chickens will and can eat a range of things but not all things are good for them in large amounts.
Romaine lettuce contains a high amount of water which, if not managed carefully could upset your hens and could result in conditions such as diarrhea or your chickens not laying eggs.
If you do feed lettuce then it is best to mix it with other vegetables and to also make sure that your hens have access to grit and a good food source such as pellets.
Romaine lettuce nutritional information
Romaine lettuce does contain some nutritional value, in a cupful of Romaine lettuce there is:
- 8 calories
- 1.5 g carbohydrate
- 1 g fibre
- 0.6 g protein
- 0.1 g fat
There are also a wide range of vitamins and minerals making Romaine lettuce one of the more nutritional varieties.
- USDA ORGANIC & NON-GMO: Manna Pro Organic Layer Feed is both USDA Organic and Non-GMO certified
- PELLET FORM: Easy to feed pellet form that helps eliminate waste and is suitable for both chickens and ducks
- CRAFTED FOR LAYING HENS: Nutritious and complete feed for laying hens 16 weeks and older
- SUPERIOR NUTRITION: High in protein and free of artificial colors or flavors
- ORGANIC EGGS: Feed Manna Pro Organic Layer Feed so your flock can produce delicious organic eggs
Is too much lettuce bad for chickens?
Like all foods, too much lettuce can be bad for your chickens. You should only ever feed treats or foods that your hens are unfamiliar with, sparingly and they should never be an alternative for a balanced diet.
In small quantities lettuces, such as Romaine, will not harm your birds but, should you feed too much then you could end up with a messy hen run from sloppy stools, and your chickens will need to recover.
How to feed Romaine lettuce to chickens
It’s unlikely that you will go out and buy lettuce for your hens but you may have some surplus or may be given some.
When feeding lettuce to your chickens you should:
- Make sure that you clean the lettuce to remove any chemicals
- Only feed small amounts and don’t feed daily
- Cut or tear the lettuce up into small pieces
- Try to get organic lettuce so that you are certain that it will not harm your animals
Chickens do like green foods and often you can simply give them the lettuce in a dish or mix it with some layers pellets or other grain and feed.
You could even grow some lettuce in a corner of the garden or vegetable patch for your chickens to enjoy.
To sum up – Can chickens eat Romaine lettuce?
Chickens can eat Romaine lettuce but it should not be a major part of a hen’s diet due to risks of diarrhea.
Lettuce does not provide a great deal of nutrition to chickens and, for this reason, it is best to only give your chickens leftover lettuce or scraps, it should not be a priority food for them.
Always make sure that you feed your chickens a healthy and balanced diet which includes pellets and grains – such as corn.
There are also lots of other fruits and vegetables that are great for chickens.