Lettuce leaves?

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davlee
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Location: Richmond, S.A.

06 Jan 2019, 13:28

I have been giving my finches lettuce leaves now & then. I have recently been told that it isn't good for them.
Should I stop giving them lettuce or is it OK to continue?

Dave
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Rod_L
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Location: Mandurah WA

06 Jan 2019, 13:52

All green leafy vegetables are fine for birds but dark green leaf veges like spinach and silverbeet are more nutritional than lettuce.

The only issue with adding green leafy veges to the birds diet is to be careful about how much you feed them. If birds have not had fruit or green leafy veges (or grass) for a while and you give them some, they will eat a lot of it and can end up with an upset intestine and develop diarrhoea. To prevent this you simply offer a small piece every second day for a couple of weeks, then a small piece each day for a couple of weeks, and increase the amount you give them after a that.

This method of adding new foods should apply to all new foods and not just green leafy vegetables. Any sudden change in diet can cause problems to virtually any animal.

The only other issue with feeding green leafy vegetables is possible herbicide or pesticide contamination. If you grow your own it is usually safer assuming you don't use chemicals. Most food for human consumption should be safe too but always wash fruit and veges before feeding them to the birds.
death to all cats & ants
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Tiaris
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06 Jan 2019, 15:58

I often give cos lettuce leaves to finches (among many other green foods. Keenly eaten by any greenfood lovers esp. parrotfinches & cupnesters.
Any reference to lettuce not being good for them is based purely on the relatively low nutrient value of lettuce compared to some green "superfoods". Any non-toxic greens are far better than none & lettuce is fine as a part of a varied green part of the diet. If it were the only green food ever offered the birds may want for more variety but any fresh, moist green food including lettuce is useful & beneficial IMO.
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finchbreeder
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06 Jan 2019, 20:20

Fresh greens are always good. Lettuce is sometimes warned against because it can go slimy if left. But just clean uneaten greens out regularly and no problem.
LML
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