7 Things You Need to Know- Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

Chickens Eating Healthy Treats
Chickens Eating Healthy Treats
CAN CHICKENS EAT TOMATOES

Many chicken owners frequently ask, “Can chickens eat tomatoes?” Not only can they eat them, but they enjoy eating them, especially the jelly-like center with seeds. Good thing because there are many health benefits to serving your chickens these nutrient-dense tomatoes. Just make sure they are ripe, given in moderation and don’t include any part of the tomato plant.

1. Are Tomatoes Healthy for Chickens to Eat?

Tomatoes contain many nutrients that are beneficial for your chickens. These include vitamins A, C, E, K, fiber, potassium and many other antioxidants. These help to keep your chickens whole body, including its heart, muscles, bones, digestive system, reproductive system, immune system, eyes and skin healthy.

Nutrients Inside Tomatoes and How Chickens Benefit from It

NUTRIENTS IN
TOMATOES
HOW IT BENEFITS
CHICKENS
VITAMIN ASUPPORTS IMMUNITY,
VISION, SKIN
VITAMIN CDECREASES SIDE
EFFECTS OF
STRESS
VITAMIN ENERVE, MUSCLE,
CIRCULATORY HEALTH,
IMMUNE RESPONSE,
FERTILITY,
EGG PRODUCTION
ANTIOXIDANTSREPRODUCTIVE
HEALTH
VITAMIN KBONE HEALTH
FIBERDIGESTIVE
HEALTH
POTASSIUMHEART FUNCTION,
MUSCLE CONTRACTION
NUTRIENTS FOUND IN TOMATOES AND HOW CHICKENS BENEFIT FROM THEM.

2. Can Chickens Eat Tomato Leaves or Plant?

Tomato plants contain solanine, a product that is toxic to chickens. It is in all parts of the tomato plant, with the exception of ripe tomatoes.

The leaves, stem, flowers and unripened tomatoes all contain solanine. For the most part chickens instinctively know to stay away from things that can be harmful to them, but if they are hungry or very young they may indulge. It’s best to keep your chickens away from tomato plants.

The solanine inside the tomato plant protects it from many pests. I guess you can call it its natural defense. Solanine acts as an insect repellant, fungicide and a neurotoxin.

3. Can Chickens Eat Green Tomatoes?

No, you cannot feed chickens green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are unripened tomatoes and they contain solanine, which is toxic to chickens. Solanine is found in plants of the nightshade family such as eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes.

The solanine level decreases during the ripening process of tomatoes. Once a tomato is fully ripe it contains a low enough concentration that it is safe for chickens to eat.

CAN CHICKENS EAT TOMATOES RIPE UNRIPE
CAN CHICKENS EAT TOMATOES?

4. What Happens if My Chickens Eat a Tomato Plant?

Ripened tomatoes are perfectly fine and healthy for your chickens to eat. If they eat any part of the plant itself, including the flowers or unripe tomatoes it can cause detrimental effects.

In larger doses solanine can cause neurological problems, respiratory distress, convulsions, paralysis and even death. If only a little bit is consumed, it can cause gastrointestinal upset (stomach pain and diarrhea) and vomiting.

Depending upon how old the chicken is and how much of the plant it ingested will determine how detrimental it is to them.

Older chickens and very young chickens are more likely to suffer harmful effects of the solanine, including death.

Depending upon how much a chicken ingests, it can take anywhere from a few days up to 2 weeks for symptoms to subside. The best thing you can do for a chicken going through this is to make sure they have access to fresh water with vitamins and electrolytes.

5. When Can I Feed My Chickens Tomatoes?

During a baby chicks first week of life, it should only be fed its main chick feed so it can get used to it. Their main feed is packed with the essential nutrients that it needs to thrive.

By 2 weeks, it is safe to offer your baby chicks a diced ripe tomato. It is important to only give them completely ripe tomatoes. Unripe tomatoes still contain solanine and even small amounts of this can upset a young chicks digestive system.

6. Can Chickens Eat Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce?

It is best not to give your chickens too much spaghetti tomato sauce. It is usually pretty high in salt and sugar. A little bit isn’t going to hurt them, but too much tomato sauce can cause a stomach upset, giving your chickens diarrhea.

Many people will argue that they freely give their chickens sweet and salty foods without any problems. If you are looking at providing the best nutrition for your chickens, it is not recommended to feed chickens sweet and salty foods.

On the other hand, plain spaghetti noodles makes a great and fun treat for your chickens to enjoy! Spaghetti looks like little worms to a chicken and they will go on a feeding frenzy when you serve it to them. Just make sure that you serve it in moderation.

7. Tips on Feeding Chickens Tomatoes

Chickens love getting treats and it’s fun giving it to them too! The important thing is to make sure that you don’t let them overindulge in the treats. There are several different treats that I like to give to my flock. I like to change it up each day so they don’t get bored:

CONCLUSION: 7 Things You Need to Know- Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

  1. Tomatoes are filled with healthy nutrients for chickens and make a great treat for them!
  2. Don’t let your chickens eat tomato leaves, stems or flowers. All of these parts contain solanine, which is toxic to chickens.
  3. Green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes and they also contain solanine. Let them fully ripen before giving them to your chickens.
  4. If your chicken eats a little bit of the tomato plant or an unripe tomato it can cause stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Larger amounts can cause neurological problems such as paralysis, convulsions, breathing problems and even death.
  5. Wait until your chickens are at least 2 weeks old before beginning to feed them any tomatoes.
  6. For the optimal health of your chicken, it is best to avoid too much sweet and salty foods. So, it is best to give them spaghetti without the sauce on it. A little bit of sauce isn’t going to hurt them though.
  7. It’s ok to feed your chickens tomatoes, but offer them their regular feed first. Treat shouldn’t be more than 10% of their regular diet. So, for an adult chicken, that would be about 1 TBS of tomato in a given day.

Leave a Reply