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Can Chickens Eat Iceberg Lettuce? Is it Safe and Healthy?

If you’re battling with can chickens eat iceberg lettuce, you’re in luck:

Yes, your chickens can eat iceberg lettuce, but only in moderation or as an occasional treat.

Though a great plus to a diet, iceberg lettuce has a high content of water, which can cause digestive problems such as upset stomach and diarrhea.

But I can assure you, that’s not all there is to it: Keep scrolling…

Key Takeaways

  • You can feed iceberg lettuce to your chickens, but only in moderation.
  • When you feed iceberg lettuce, substitute it with other essential foods — veggies, fruits, chicken feeds  — for a better meal option.
  • Watch out for too much — lettuce in excess can cause tummy problems.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Iceberg Lettuce?

Health expert Rachael Link on Dr. Axe writes the following about iceberg lettuce: “Despite its reputation as a nutritionally void ingredient, it contains several important nutrients” [1].

iceberg lettuces placed on cloths. can guinea pigs eat iceberg lettuce?

But, Iceberg lettuce doesn’t have a lot of nutrition like other types of lettuce, as it contains mostly water. Here is a list of benefits of iceberg lettuce [2]:

1. Keeps Chickens Hydrated

One of the benefits of iceberg lettuce is its high water content. Iceberg lettuce is 96% water which is why it’s an excellent source for keeping the chickens hydrated.

2. Promote Stronger Bones

Iceberg lettuce contains Vitamin A, which helps make the bone stronger and keep them healthy [3].

3. Helps With Digestion

The lettuce will help break down carbohydrates and proteins, which will help the stomach function properly.

This allows the bowel to move smoothly through the digestive tract. Also, iceberg lettuce will help cure chickens that have constipation.

4. Strengthen Body Immunity

Iceberg lettuce has essential minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus.

All of these minerals help to strengthen the chicken’s body’s immunity.

How To Feed Iceberg Lettuce To Chickens?

So, can chickens eat iceberg lettuce? Now that you know the answer is yes, in moderation, the next question is, “how do I feed lettuce to them?”

Feeding iceberg lettuce to the chickens is the same method as romaine lettuce and other leafy greens.

The first method is simply to give them the whole lettuce head. Make sure to clean thoroughly first to get rid of any pests that may be there.

chickens trying to eat lettuce but can chickens eat iceburg lettuce

Once you’ve cleaned it, place it on their feeder.

Much better is to use a product like:

Ware Manufacturing Chick-N-Veggie Treat Ball

Features:

  • Keeps vegetables from getting dirty
  • Large enough to fit a whole head of lettuce
  • Easy open and close design

The second method is to chop or shred the lettuce into tiny pieces. 

Then place the lettuce onto their feeder, and they will start pecking away at it.

Chopping lettuce into smaller chunks will make it easier for your chickens to eat and digest, so feel free to do it.

For a visual representation of cutting this lettuce, I’ve included a brilliant video here (please watch it!): 

How Much And How Often To Feed Iceberg Lettuce To Chickens

Even though most leafy greens are great for chickens, this particular one in large amounts isn’t healthy.

Because of the high water content in iceberg lettuce, feed it to your chickens in moderation.

iceberg lettuce for chickens

Generally speaking, iceberg lettuce and other vegetables should only make up 10% of their diet. The rest should come in the form of commercial feeds.

These feeds have been formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s diet requirements.

At each feeding, depending on how large your flock is, one head of iceberg lettuce is enough for 10 chickens.

After they finish it, don’t feed them any more lettuce. When your chickens eat the wrong foods, they’ll feel too stacked to jump tackle their commercial feeds.

FAQs

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Iceberg lettuce?

Yes, they can.
But you’ll want to give them in small quantities. Cooked lettuce can still contain too much water and cause your chickens diarrhea.

Can Chickens eat iceberg lettuce daily?

Yes, chickens can eat them every day!
But please ensure that you don’t feed this lettuce as their main feed. It isn’t enough to supply them with adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Conclusion

can chickens eat iceberg lettuce? You bet, but only in moderation!

A favorite on a juicy burger or a treat for chickens, iceberg lettuce has mostly water. But don’t despair: this green contains some formidable nutrients.

Substitute this type with healthy food, such as commercial feeds, and you got yourself a winner: a meal rich in nutrients and water.

Always check that your chickens get the correct source of nutrition — commercial feeds and a variety of fresh fruits and veggies.

Remember that your chickens — just like you — need a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals to fuel them for their day. 

After all, if they snack, they need a healthy snack. And if they don’t get proper food, they’ll not be happy with you.

chickens waving at iceberg lettuce but can chickens eat iceberg lettuce

What’s next? Write to me about your experience with iceberg lettuce as a meal option for your chickens. I’d love to hear it.

Resources

  • 1. Dr. Axe. Does Iceberg Lettuce Have Any Nutritional Value? [Internet]. Dr. Axe. 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 23]. Available from: https://draxe.com/nutrition/iceberg-lettuce/
  • 2. Whelan C. Does Iceberg Lettuce Have Any Nutritional Benefits? [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2017. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/iceberg-lettuce#benefits
  • 3. Contributors WE. Health Benefits of Iceberg Lettuce [Internet]. WebMD. 2022. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-iceberg-lettuce
Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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