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Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes? (Myths And Facts)

Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes

Chickens’ diet includes a variety of food items consisting of both plants and insects. When it comes to if chickens can eat tomatoes, the answer is yes: they can eat tomatoes, but they can’t eat tomato leaves!

Actually, most chickens eat whatever you give them to feed; however, you need to be careful regarding certain food items. 

But vegetables like tomatoes or eggplant are safe for your birds. Tomatoes are a nutrient-rich food that helps chickens to grow healthier and faster. 

There is huge confusion about feeding chickens tomatoes as the plant belongs to the nightshade family, but contrary to people’s assumptions, they are safe for the flock

I will talk more regarding the topic in the following paragraphs. Therefore, keep reading to learn more about the subject in question. 

Can you feed chickens tomatoes? 

Yes, chickens can have tomatoes.

Flock owners are skeptical about feeding chickens tomatoes because the nightshade family plants like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc., contain a toxin called lectins which are harmful to humans as well as animals. 

Lectins are considered harmful toxic substances as they can cause arthritis or inflammation in the body. 

However, the amount of lectin in tomatoes is very low, and no definite evidence of them causing inflammation or arthritis has been found yet. Therefore feeding tomatoes won’t be harmful. 

Can chickens eat green tomatoes
Don’t feed your chickens green tomatoes

Can chickens eat green tomatoes?

No, chickens should not eat green tomatoes.

Green unripe tomatoes contain solanine which is a poisonous substance and is harmful to chickens. 

Eating green tomatoes will reduce the body’s capacity of the birds to absorb essential nutrients; hence, it is best to keep your flock away from the green ones. 

When it comes to food, you can’t trust your hens to pick and choose what is good for them and what is not. Therefore, as a responsible flock owner, it is up to you to be mindful about what you are feeding your chickens. 

Can chickens eat cherry tomatoes safely?

Yes, chickens can eat cherry tomatoes. Chickens love these juicy little treats but ensure that they are ripe. Eating unripe cherry tomatoes will again be harmful to the birds. Cherry tomatoes are safe and healthy when offered with other foods and in moderation. 

Can chickens eat cherry tomatoes safely
My chickens love tomatoes!

Are tomatoes good for chickens? 

Yes, tomatoes are good for chickens, but as I mentioned above, they should be offered in moderation. Like other fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are packed with several essential nutrients. 

What you have to be mindful of is, you should only feed chickens ripe red tomatoes. Ripe red tomatoes are safe, and they taste great. Chickens would enjoy pecking on these juicy ripe ones and swallowing them. 

Tomatoes contain vitamin C and other antioxidants, which help in chicken egg production. The vitamins present in tomatoes will not let chickens lay tasty eggs, but they will be healthier as well. 

Tomatoes contain almost 95% water which is great for chickens’ health. Moreover, tomatoes are rich in carbohydrates which can keep chickens active and energetic. The fiber in ripe tomatoes is again good for the flock’s digestive health. 

How often can you feed chickens tomatoes?

You can feed chickens tomatoes periodically. Moreover, vegetables like tomatoes should be an occasional treat for chickens rather than making them habituated with one particular food item. Also, making them accustomed to the taste of tomatoes regularly will make them avoid other regular dietary staples. 

You can give tomatoes to chickens occasionally, like once every two weeks. But remember that they should not eat too many tomatoes, rather restrict them to bite-size pieces. 

Can chickens eat tomato leaves? 

Absolutely no. You should never give chickens tomato leaves. Like I mentioned earlier, tomatoes are from the nightshade family, where the green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance called solanine. 

Hence, it’s better to keep your chickens away from the green leaves of tomato plants. If accidentally your flocks eat a couple of leaves, it would make them sick. However, if eaten in large numbers, your chickens are sure to fall sick. In certain cases, it can even kill your birds. 

I hope you found your answer to Can chicken eat tomatoes? I have listed down all the facts and necessary things you need to keep in mind while giving your backyard chickens this juicy treat. Just make sure that your chickens are away from the leaves and stem, rest they are all good!

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Carlos Warren

Growing up in Texas, I was fascinated by the world of science and invention, thanks in large part to my father's work at Dow Chemical Company. However, my true passion lay in the natural world, and I became an expert in organic gardening and composting at a young age. I spent hours studying the microbiological communities in our family garden, using a microscope to define the quality of the soil. My love for farming and gardening led me to explore new techniques and methods, constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible.