YES, your chicken can eat tomatoes.
Taking care of chickens is a really easy task as chickens are easy to feed. Chickens are known to be omnivores, meaning, they eat anything from formulated chicken feeds to kitchen waste, plants, fruits, and vegetables. You don’t have to worry about always giving them formulated feeds when you cannot afford them because they can eat anything you eat. You just have to make sure you don’t give them salty foods because it can be quite damaging to their health. In this article, we will be giving you the long answer of can chickens eat tomatoes? If you would like to read a comprehensive guide on raising backyard chickens we have a great article in our blog.
Table of fruits and food of what your chicken can and can’t eat
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family along with potatoes, eggplant, chili, and pepper. The nightshade family contains toxins that are harmful to your chickens. Well, the good news is that tomatoes are not guilty of harboring these toxins
These toxins are called lectins. Lectins bind the cells in the body together causing inflammation damage and pain. It also causes arthritis. Lectins can be removed or countered by cooking. Why stress yourself, cooking the stems or leaves when the tomato itself contains lots of very valuable nutrients, plus chickens love the tomato fruit.
Approximate serving size equivalents:
8/10 cherry tomatoes
2-3 small tomatoes
1/8 cup of tomato paste
8 ounces canned tomatoes (1 cup)
½ cup tomato juice
Nutritional Table For Tomatoes
|Total carbohydrates||7.1 grams||2|
|Dietary fiber||2.2 grams||n/a|
|Total fat||0.4 grams||1%|
|Saturated fat||0.1 grams||n/a|
|Monounsaturated fat||0.1 grams||n/a|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0.1 grams||n/a|
|Total omega-3 fatty acids||5.4 mg||n/a|
|Total omega-6 fatty acids||144 mg||n/a|
|Vitamin A||1499 IU||30%|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.1mg||4%|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.01 mg||2%|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||1.1 mg||5%|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||0.2mg||2%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg||7%|
|Vitamin C||22.9 mg||38%|
|Vitamin E||1.0 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||14.2 mcg||18%|
Sterols and other nutrients
Interesting Facts About Tomatoes
Tomatoes are nutrient-dense fruits that also double as vegetables. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and polyphenols which are very healthy for chickens. As nutritious as the fruit is, you’d expect the stem, leaves, and flowers to also be nutritious, right? Well, they aren’t. They are poisonous and harmful to chickens.
Tomatoes contain 95% water and 5% carbohydrates and fiber. They also contain antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid and lycopene.
Can Chicken Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, they can and they are very healthy for your chickens too.
There are different types of tomatoes, and they can all be consumed by chickens in their feeder.
Different Types Of Tomatoes
- Massive black Russians
- Gold sunrise
- Cherry tomatoes contain higher contents of beta-carotene than any regular tomatoes and lots more.
All these tomatoes in their differences provide lots of nutrients to your chicken. They also contain beta-carotene and lutein.
What You Should Know About Tomatoes
Tomatoes are usually red when they are ripe and are very healthy for the heart. Tomatoes are also delicious fruits and can be eaten raw
Moldy tomatoes should also not be given to your chickens. Although, there are different types of molds such as Penicillin, which is a good type of mold, and aspergillus flavus, which is bad and can cause cancer. It is better to avoid giving your chicken moldy tomatoes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You must make sure that the tomato threat you give to your chicken shouldn’t be more than 5% of their daily meal. This is because tomatoes contain a lot of sugar and your chicken’s digestive system was not designed for this, and so it is advisable to mix up their threat with another threat that doesn’t contain as much sugar as broccoli
How To Feed Tomatoes To Your Chicken
- Wash store-bought tomatoes properly to remove any trace of chemical preservatives
- Cut them into bits small enough for your chicken to pick
- Provide enough tomatoes for all your chicken to prevent them from fighting over it
- Don’t treat your chickens to tomatoes more than 2-3 times a week
- You should provide the equivalent of a quarter to half a tomato per chicken
Benefits Of Tomatoes For Your Chicken
- Due to the high level of sugar in tomatoes, given in moderation, your chickens are active and energetic
- Aids digestion
- Strengthens the bones
- Improves eyesight
- Assists tissue growth
- Improves cell function
- Increases immunity
- Increases body metabolism
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Tomatoes also brighten the color of the egg yolk.
Tomatoes are very nutritious treats for your chicken. Just as you wouldn’t eat rotten tomatoes, don’t give it to your chickens. Follow these instructions and be rest assured that your chickens would be very healthy. When you give your chicken a tomato, think of a healthy heart beating in your chicken’s chest.