Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes? What You Need to Know!

“Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes” is a common type of question in every flock keeper? Many flock keepers are curious about the eating habits of chickens.

A “eats virtually anything, and it’s quite a bit interesting, too. You can add a few treats to their usual diet; tomato is one such example. Here is the list of 100+ chicken treats.

Birds like chicken can feed upon these tomatoes. Chickens like red ripe tomatoes so much that they tear them and swallow them.

On this page, you will know all about feeding tomatoes to chickens. Also, understand what are its health benefits and the various ways by which you can give tomatoes to your flocks. 

So, before feeding tomatoes to your chicken, go through this article to clarify all your doubts.

Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, chickens love to eat tomatoes like the other food. They are healthy with many essential vitamins and minerals. Also, tomatoes are delicious, juicy, and easy to eat. 

All types of tomatoes, such as Cherry, Roma, Better Boy, and Cocktail, are suitable for chickens, but only give them ripe ones.

Tomatoes are one of the contentious foods of the Solanaceae family. It is high in sugar and has more nutrients compared to other fruits. You can feed a couple of tomatoes once or twice a week to your chicken.

Tomatoes can also be eaten raw. The quantity of lectins present in tomatoes is very low. There is no precise confirmation on inflammation or arthritis. Tomatoes contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and Polyphenols which are very healthy to eat.

Chickens prefer to eat ripe tomatoes over unripe green ones. A red tomato makes a tasty treat for most of the birds in the flocks. 

Health Benefits of Tomatoes to Chickens?

Various benefits are associated with the feeding of tomatoes to chickens like-

  • It reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer. It contains Lycopene that is useful to slow the growth of cancer cells in the body.
  • Feeding tomatoes reduces body fat (obesity). To get rid of excess body fat in the body needs regular exercise, high protein, and calories like tomatoes. These nutrients play a vital role in keeping good body weight in chickens.
  • Flavonoid compounds and zeaxanthin present in tomatoes works to counteract free radicals. It is good for health and skin.
  • It contains calcium that is beneficial to strengthen the bones and teeth.
  • Tomatoes control blood sugar and also protect the skin from ultraviolet rays.
  • Tomatoes are a great source of fiber; these fibers are insoluble and come in the form of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin.
  • Tomatoes are also enriched with carbohydrates that comprise 4% of the tomato. Simple sugars, for instance: fructose and glucose, are also present on them, and all these nutrients ensure that birds remain active and energetic throughout their life journey. 

Which Part Of Tomatoes Can Chicken Eat?

Give only the ripe red fruit part of the tomato to your chickens. They cannot eat other parts of the tomato, like the leaves, stalks, flowers, and other parts because they contain solanine, which is bad for chickens.

Tomato Plant Leaves

Tomato plant leaves are bitter. The chicken will try them once for a small amount, and then they will, and further will not go there.

Raw Tomato 

Tomato is an edible berry of the plant, commonly known as Solanum Lycopersicum. Tomatoes contain very vital nutrients that keep chickens healthy on feeding. 

Red tomatoes contain lots of antioxidant properties. It carries antioxidant Lycopene, which is a critical factor for both humans and chickens. 

Antioxidants play a vital role in combating many types of diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Red tomatoes are also a good source of vitamins. Tomato contains vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, folate, and other essential vitamins to help the chicken stay fit. 

Vitamins are an essential part of human life, and it’s the same for every animal. You can also buy the vitamins from stores, but the best way is to feed the chickens naturally.

Red tomato also has beta-carotene, which helps to give them a natural red color. When a chicken eats it, it converts into vitamin A, which helps in keeping healthy eyes. 

Tomato Sauce

Yes, you can give tomato sauce to your chickens. It is safe for chickens. In my case, my chickens hate tomato sauce. My flocks love to eat only when I give them by cutting them into two pieces.

Giving them homemade tomato sauce is natural and healthy for them. Store-bought tomato sauce is also a safe but not affordable treat for chickens.

How to Give Tomatoes to Chickens?

It solely depends upon the availability of tomatoes as well as the number of chickens you have. 

Chickens easily eat them without any side effects. Tomatoes must be supplemented as snacks and treats, and you should provide them in moderation.

Only feed your birds fully ripened tomatoes, and never offer more than 5% of their diet as tomatoes. Always keep in your mind not to feed green or moldy tomatoes to your chicken as this may cause serious health issues in them.

Cut in Few Chunks

To distribute tomato to a chicken, we have to cut the tomatoes into small pieces. You can spread your flock and help each chicken to get their treat.

Don’t Spoil The Chickens

Chickens should be given a small diet, and it is advised to give 5% of tomatoes to their diet. It is considered a treat, so make sure that you should not be feeding them regularly. 

Then only you can consider it healthy. We should regularly check how much quantity they eat.

Winter is Coming

Chickens used to eat a variety of foods during the winter to produce heat for their bodies. In such cases, you must increase the amount of food or, in general, the number of tomatoes. This will make their body warm. 

Keep in mind that it may be bad for their health if you are giving excess food to chickens. If your backyard has plenty of ripe tomatoes, give them one or twice a week to your flocks.

Read how to keep your chickens warm in winters?

Mold

If you are feeding moldy tomatoes to chicken, it can be very harmful. Molds like Aspergillus flavus produce the toxin which causes cancer to both people and animals. Keep the tomatoes dry and mold-free in any form; it can be very harmful to chickens.  

Conclusion

Yes, backyard chickens can eat tomatoes. You should keep in your mind while feeding that you should not give unripe and moldy tomatoes. It should be kept in mind that, to feet, ripe tomato only, not any green tomato.

Tomato should be considered to treat food, and it’s not staple food for your chicken. It would be helpful if you provided tomatoes to your flocks in a moderate amount on specific weekdays.

Another thing, you should be very careful of chickens eating leaves, flowers, or other parts of the tomato plant. It would be helpful if you monitored the chickens, as they lack a sense of what is nutritious.

It consists of Solanine, which contains harmful chemicals and can cause health problems when consumed. I believe this article will be helpful and exciting, and you might consider all the steps that you should take before feeding tomatoes to your chickens.

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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