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LETTUCE, allowed or not ...


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A friend of mine, a long term owner of a grey, told me that lettuce is not good for the bird, but mine enjoys eating it and, as you can see, when I come with it to feed my other birds, he simply flies in and grabs a leaf for himself.

Should I let him eat it?

I was also told that cabbage is not to be given either, true?


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I will slightly disagree that lettuce leafs are not valuable for the birds. There are many varieties of the lettuce, but most popular varieties grown around the globe are:

- Butter-head, with loose heads; it has a buttery texture. Butter head cultivars are most popular and widely grown in Europe .

- Chinese variety generally have long, tapering, non-head forming, strong-flavored leaves unlike its Western counterparts.

- Crisp-head variety forms tight, dense heads that resemble cabbage. Cultivars of the crisp head are the most familiar type used in the USA (I believe so).

- Loose-leaf variety features tender, delicate and fully flavored leaves with a loose bunch. This group includes green oak leaf, red oak leaf, valeria and lolla-rosa-types.

- Romaine-lettuce grows in a long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib almost reaching to the tip of the leaf. Cultivars of Romaine are also the most popular types in the USA.

- Summer Crisp variety forms moderately dense heads with a crunchy texture; this type is intermediate between crisp-head and loose-leaf types.


a) Lettuce leaves are one of the very low calorie green-vegetables. 100 g fresh greens provide just 15 calories. Nonetheless, they are the store house of many phyto-nutrients that have health promoting and disease prevention properties.

b) Vitamins in lettuce are plentiful. Fresh leaves are an excellent source of several Vitamin A and beta carotenes. Just 100 g of fresh, raw-lettuce provides 247% of daily vitamin A, and 4443 µg of beta-carotene (Carotenes convert to vitamin A in the body; 2 µg of carotene is considered equivalent to 1 IU of vitamin A). These compounds have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin, and is also essential for vision.

c) It is a rich source of vitamin K. Vitamin K has a potential role in the bone metabolism where it thought to increase bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone cells.

d) Fresh leaves contain good amounts folates and vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

e) Zea-xanthin (1730 µg per 100 g), an important dietary carotenoid in lettuce, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea.

f) It also contains good amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for red blood cell formation.

g) It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavin.


So, as far as I am aware Your Grey can enjoy lettuce. It will not make any harm and is good for bird’s health, no matter lettuce is considered low-calorie vegetable. Lettuce can’t give your bird energy but can provide parrot’s body with vitamins and minerals that are important for vitality and long living.

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