Got some spare tomatoes handy? Want to know can chickens eat tomatoes? If so, how many should they be eating at a time? Do chickens need to avoid certain parts of of the tomato as we mentioned about the strawberry? We have all those answers right here on this page!
Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes?
Absolutely! Chickens can eat tomatoes and many chickens do love their tomatoes. However, it is something that you are probably going to want to be feeding them as a treat.
Tomatoes, like all fruits, are going to be very high in sugar. In fact, the tomato is considered a hot food due to its high caloric value. This is not going to be good for your animals in the slightest. That being said, tomatoes do have a few more nutrients than the typical fruit you may feed your chickens.
Tomato’s are considered a fruit. Chickens can enjoy other fruit treats like grapes, apples, and avocado.
Benefits of Chickens eating Tomato
Tomatoes are very nutritious fruits and contain lots of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium.
Tomatoes also contain folate and Vitamins C, K, and B9.
According to USDA, tomatoes are part of the nightshade family of plants. These types of plants also related to eggplants and potatoes.
Unripe tomatoes, vines, and leaves should be avoided in bulk as they contain Solanine. Solanine can be toxic in large amounts to chickens and should be monitored. If you suspect any large ingestion, please contact your local veterinarian.
Can Chickens eat tomato seeds?
Yes, chickens can eat red ripe tomatoes and the seeds inside. You should avoid allowing your chickens to eat green and unripe tomatoes.
Can Chickens Eat Tomato Vine and Leaves?
The vines and leaves contain Solanine and should be limited as they can be poisonous.
Chickens are very curious and may try and peck at the leaves and vine of the tomato plant. Nature has made green tomatoes, vines and leaves taste bitter to animals like chickens and ducks. The chicken may not be interested in these bitter parts of the tomato and want to eat the fleshy red part.
Remember to keep an eye on your chicken flock and check to see how they are acting after eating tomatoes. If you suspect that they are acting strange or extra tired, contact your local veterinarian. Solanine found in tomato vines and leaves can be poisonous.
How Many Tomatoes Can Your Chickens Eat?
You can feed a couple of tomatoes to your chickens once or twice per week. About a quarter to half a tomato per chicken is fine. You can feed it to them in chunks.
It is worth noting that not all chickens are going to be fans of tomatoes. For some reason, there are some who will actively avoid it. If this is the case, then you may want to try a different fruit as a ‘treat’.
Remember, as we said before, tomatoes are incredibly high in sugar. This means that you do not want to overwhelm your animals with them. If you are going to feed them tomatoes, then you will probably want to ‘go easy’ on the other fruits and vegetables.
Basically, tomatoes should be one of the only fruits you give them. If you are giving them something else in addition to the tomatoes, then you will want to change up the quantities a little bit.
Red tomatoes are a delicious treat for chickens and contain many nutrients and vitamins.
What Part of Tomato to Avoid for Chickens?
When it comes to ‘can chickens eat tomatoes’, there is absolutely one big ‘no’ about the plant. This is that you should not feed them the leaves. They would eat the leaves if you gave it to them, but you must be aware that tomatoes are part of the nightshade family. This means that the plant leaves are poisonous.
Can Chickens eat Tomato stems?
The tomato stem is similar to the vine in that it contains the poisonous ingredient solanine. The Solanine can cause bloating and diarrhea.
It is best to remove tomato stems before feeding them to your chickens.
Free range chickens may do well if the tomato plants are fenced off in another area of your homestead to avoid any accidental nibbles.
Chickens can eat the ripe red part of the tomato as it contains water and many valuable nutrients.
Avoid feeding chickens the stem, flower and vine of the tomato plant.
Chickens are very curious and may try many different plants in your garden. The tomato plant before ripening can be bitter and your chickens may choose not to eat the bitter plant. Still, it’s a good idea to be cautious around tomato plants for your chicken flock as you want them to stay healthy. Healthy chickens will lay healthy eggs.
If your chicken eats the leaves, then there is a chance that they could get so sick that they may die. You will certainly not want to eat chicken meat if they have become sick for this reason.
The rest of the tomato is fine. They can eat the seeds of the tomato too. There is no need to remove them, which you would probably need to do with other animals. Although, as we said; you should not be feeding chickens too many tomatoes.
Can Chickens eat tomato flowers?
The tomato flowers also contain solanine and should be avoided. Free range chickens may have access to your garden and be curious about your tomato plants that are growing. Chickens are naturally curious and may want to investigate tomato plant flowers, leaves and vines.
A hen and chicks on a homestead can be curious and looking for plants, fruit, and bugs to eat. The chicks may also be curious and should avoid plants that contain solanine.
Keep an Eye Out
If you do want to feed your chicken tomatoes, then you will want to keep an eye on their poop. Obviously, tomatoes are quite watery, and some chickens can become ‘overhydrated’ as a result.
This means that you will need to keep an eye on their poop consistency. If it is quite watery, then there is a high chance that you are feeding them too many tomatoes and will need to cut back as a result.
So, there you have it. Chickens can eat tomatoes. However, they should only be eating tomatoes. Not a single part of the rest of the plant. This will likely be toxic to them. You will also want to ensure that they eat cheri tomatoes in moderation. Tomatoes should always form part of a healthy, balanced diet.