Unlike the adult ones, baby chickens require a large number of highly nutritious foods for their growth. Among all kinds of food, vegetables like lettuce can be a good option to feed your young chickens.
Lettuce offers a wide range of nutrients that improve your chickens’ health. However, it still lacks some important things for their strong development.
Can baby chickens eat lettuce?
It is possible for you to feed your baby chickens lettuce for daily meals. To get the most effective result, you should make sure that the amount of lettuce they eat is at an acceptable level.
Which nutrition values are available inside lettuce?
Lettuce is usually grown in the spring or fall in most countries. It has different types of lettuce such as crisphead, butterhead, romaine, and loose-leaf. But in general, all lettuce offers some nutritional benefits as belows:
Carbs and calories
In the research of FoodData Central, it can offer around 2.9g of carbs and 15 calories for each 100 grams of green leaf lettuce. Carbs and calories are the most essential nutrients for your chickens’ diet. A suitable amount of carbs and calories would give your baby chickens enough energy.
Lettuce contains up to 95% water inside. This high level of water, it can help your baby chicken keep overall good health.
Vitamins and minerals
There is a wide range of vitamins and minerals found in lettuce including:
|Value (for 100 gram of leaf lettuce)
Besides, lettuce would offer other smaller types of vitamins and minerals. The diversity of vitamins and minerals like this is useful for the high need of nutrients in baby chickens’ diet.
Should you feed your baby chicken a lot of lettuce per day?
Your baby chickens can eat different types of lettuce available now. However, you should keep in mind that each type has some discrepancies in nutrient and water levels.
According to the FoodData Central, Romaine lettuce is the best choice for your baby chickens with the highest nutrition value. You can also consider some other darker leaf lettuce options such as Arugula, Endive, Dandelion Greens, and Mesclun.
Meanwhile, it is not highly recommended to use too much Iceberg lettuce for your chickens’ diet. This kind of lettuce contains a very low level of nutrition compared to other categories. In addition, it can cause diarrhea when you let them eat it in excess.
How to feed your baby chickens lettuce effectively?
Here’s some recommendations for you to prepare lettuce for your baby chickens’ meals:
- Use Romaine Lettuce or other varieties with darker green leaf (darker leaf often offers higher nutrition level than the brighter one)
- Feed them a small amount of lettuce each time. And maybe you can offer lettuce in their meals a few times per week.
- Rinse lettuce well with clean water. This can help to eliminate or decrease any dirt or chemicals existing on it.
- Try to get lettuce from the organic source
- Cut up the lettuce into many easy-to-eat pieces for your baby chickens
- Make sure that the amount of Iceberg lettuce in your chickens’ meal is less than 5% or cut it out of their meals
Then, you can give them lettuce only by putting all of the prepared lettuce in the coop. Otherwise, you would mix it with other suitable veggies or add lettuce to their regular feed.
At the end of the day, you should clean any uneaten lettuce in the coop so that it can not become moldy or spoiled. Your baby chickens might suffer some serious diseases if they eat that lettuce by accident.
Some questions related to the ability of baby chickens to eat lettuce
What foods are highly nutritious to add to your baby chickens’ diet besides lettuce?
- Protein and layer feeds
- Greens: In addition to lettuce, you can have a mixture of: spinach, endive, beet greens, cabbage, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, sliced cucumbers, and Swiss chard
- Corn: All types of corn can be used for your baby chickens including canned, frozen, fresh, and on the cob. It would help to keep your chicken warm during the cold season.
- Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, grapes, or other types.
How many times per day should you feed your baby chickens?
Most people feed their chickens twice a day, one time in the morning and once in the evening. However, it has no strict limitation for how many times you should feed them. It only depends on whether the amount of food you offer is enough for them throughout the day.
You can use lettuce as your baby chickens feed. However, each type of lettuce has its own nutrition value for your own consideration.
Romaine or any other darker green leaf lettuce is the best option to offer your young chickens. Meanwhile, you should be careful when adding Iceberg lettuce to their meals.
After suitable preparation, you would either serve your lettuce alone or mix it with other safe foods to feed your baby chickens.