Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes? All You Need To Know

Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes? The solution to this question isn’t as simple as you would expect. While most people would respond that a chicken can eat a tomato, it’s vital to examine both the nutritional worth of the chicken and the nutritional value of the tomato before making such a judgment.

If you’re attempting to feed your bird more protein, a tomato might not be the ideal option. However, if your purpose is to add taste and diversity to their diet, go ahead and do it!

The crucial issue is that tomatoes may contain pesticides and herbicides that could damage your chicken’s health if consumed in big numbers over time.

Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, Chickens can eat tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes are a healthful treat that contains minerals that help chickens, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, and Folate.

can chickens eat tomatoes

Tomatoes, however, are nightshade plants, and green tomatoes, tomato leaves, and tomato stems contain solanine, which is harmful to hens. Also, please adhere to our veterinarian-approved feeding restrictions since overfeeding may result in decreased egg quality.

There is a lot of confrontation over what type of food to feed your chickens. It’s essential to know which foods are healthful because hens are an excellent method to recycle food that would otherwise go to waste.

Even though you’ll be tempted to present your chickens with all your kitchen scraps, now not all human foods are appropriate for fowl.

Tomatoes Nutritional Stats

Tomatoes  tomatoes stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

One tomato consists of:

  • Calories—22
  • Water—95%
  • Protein—1.1 g
  • Sodium—.02 g
  • Potassium—292 mg
  • Vitamin A—20%
  • Vitamin C—28%
  • Calcium—1%
  • Iron—1%
  • Vitamin B6—5%
  • Magnesium—3%

Tomatoes Nutritional Facts

A ripe tomato often contains various components in varying amounts. Water accounts for up to ninety-five percent of the overall, with the remainder primarily made up of fiber and carbs.

Some of the most frequent nutrients contained in tomatoes are as follows:

  • Carbohydrates account for about 4% of the tomato’s total weight. This percentage corresponds to 5 grams of carbs in a medium specimen weighing approximately 123 grams. Aside from that, other nutrients like simple sugars (fructose and glucose) account for over 70% of the carbs content. All of these nutrients keep your birds active and energized throughout the day.
  • Tomatoes also are an excellent source of fiber. One tomato contains nearly 1.5 grams of fiber. The majority of these fibers are insoluble and consist of lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose. When your birds consume ripe tomatoes, these various fibers work together to aid digestion.
  • Vitamin C – This vitamin is ideal for your birds because it is an antioxidant and provides a necessary nutrient. A single medium-sized tomato has around 28 percent of the RDA or recommended dietary allowances.
  • Potassium – Although only in trace levels in tomatoes, potassium is an essential mineral for your birds.
  • Vitamin K1 is likewise known as phylloquinone and is vital for bone health. So, if you feed tomatoes to your hens, their bones will remain healthy and robust for the rest of their lives.
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate) -Folate is a vitamin that aids in tissue growth and cell function.
  • Lycopene is a red component in tomatoes that serve as an antioxidant in all animals.
  • Beta Carotene– Another antioxidant that can turn foods orange or yellow. When this enters the body, it is turned into vitamin A.
  • Naringenin – Found in abundance in tomato skin, this component is a flavonoid that functions as an anti-inflammatory. It can protect your birds from a variety of infections and minimize swelling.

Health Benefits Of Tomatoes For Chickens

Red hens.

Abundance of vitamins

Tomatoes are also high in vitamins, which can help your chickens stay healthy. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Folate, and many others are examples.

Vitamins are an essential aspect of human life, valid for other animals. While vitamins may be purchased at any feed store, it is also a good idea to feed these to your chickens in a more natural manner.

Antioxidants in abundance

You’ve heard a lot about how antioxidants are a very beneficial vitamin. Lycopene, an antioxidant, is found in tomatoes. This type of antioxidant is essential for both humans and chickens to keep healthy.

Antioxidants aid in preventing and treating a wide range of ailments, including heart disease and cancer.

Carotene (Beta Carotene)

Tomatoes also contain Beta Carotene, which contributes to their natural red color. When your chickens consume it, it is transformed into vitamin A, which aids in the average growth of your chicken’s bones.

Can Chickens Have Tomatoes?

Yes, chickens can have tomatoes. It is beneficial to feed tomatoes to your chickens. To avoid any health concerns that may result from giving them green tomatoes, make sure the tomatoes you feed them are ripe. Also, never feed tomato leaves or stems to your bird.

Fresh red ripe tomatoes on the vine on a dark rustic cutting board

It is critical to feed tomatoes to chickens in moderation and always check the feeding, just as any other food. Keeping your chickens healthy also entails providing them with an adequate supply of all the required nutrients.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, baby chicks can eat tomatoes. Since we’re already talking about chickens and tomatoes, let’s see if the kids can have a nibble. Yes, you could feed tomatoes to your baby chicks, but the same rules apply.

Baby chick hatching in nest

In general, do not feed your baby chicks anything that you would not feed to an adult. Furthermore, keep in mind that chicks should be fed starter feed primarily until at least the sixth month!

At what age can chickens eat tomatoes?

We don’t recommend giving your new baby chicks treats immediately away since they need to understand their feed to obtain a balanced diet. Treats do not offer a balanced, nutritious weight loss plan, and it is critical to make a decent start in life for your chicks.

Remember that if a mother nurtures the baby chicks, she will force them to eat anything delicious that she eats from the start. There is never a time when they are too young to be free-ranging or eating certain foods.

They’re challenging, tiny birds. The maximum important factor is to ensure that they have everything they need to digest, what they consume effectively, and that their diet is nutritious.

They increase and require a lot of nourishment, so if they only eat treats, they may not obtain the proper balance of vitamins and minerals. When they eat something other than their finely milled beginning, they will require grit to digest it effectively.

Are Tomatoes Safe For Chickens?

Yes, tomatoes are safe for chickens. Green tomatoes, unfortunately, are not suitable for hens; only ripe red tomatoes are. And, in truth, neither are eggplants.


Generally, when it comes to the food you feed your chickens, you should avoid all plants in the so-called nightshade family.

Yes, your birds can eat ripe red tomatoes. However, it would help to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t eat too many of them. You should provide them in moderation and just on certain days of the week when they don’t have access to other foods.

Ripe red tomatoes are a favorite of chickens. They will devour them when you are not looking, so limit how many you offer them.

Are Tomatoes Good For Chickens?

Yes, tomatoes are good for hens. This turns out to be a scenario where you can reward them while also feeding them well. The study, as mentioned above, fed its test hens a 15 percent tomato diet, and all metrics of egg quality either remained constant or rose.

It was seen that the yolk color improved significantly. The trial included 50% broiler hens, and they performed just as well on a diet with tomato pomace, indicating that it can be fed to meat chickens as well.

Are Tomatoes Bad For Chickens?

Smiling boy looking at hens in coop. Male is enjoying with birds. He is wearing casuals.

No, tomatoes are not bad for chickens. When giving tomatoes to your chickens, make sure you only give them ripe fruit. There’s a reason we wait until tomatoes are vivid red before eating them. Also, offer the fruit to your pet, as the leaves can be hazardous.

Can chickens eat green tomatoes?

No, chickens can not eat green tomatoes. There’s a reason we eat ripe tomatoes, except the occasional fried green tomato, since green tomatoes aren’t good for humans or hens.

Green vegetables that are not ripe, such as green tomatoes and green potatoes, can make your chickens sick (as well as people). Common sense tells us that if it isn’t good for our bodies, it can’t be suitable for chickens.

Even if some green peels from potatoes or green tomatoes end up in your chicken compost bin, you shouldn’t be too concerned. Chickens will take one taste and discover it is bitter, and they will not eat it again.

Do Chickens Like Tomatoes?

Yes, chickens like tomatoes. Chickens adore tomatoes and will go crazy for them as a delightful treat or snack. If you don’t believe us, watch this video of several chickens physically devouring tomatoes for some visual confirmation of their attraction.

Free range chickens pecking in the grass, looking for food on a sunny day

While hens enjoy tomatoes, they should not be utilized as a staple diet and should be offered as a delightful treat from your chickens sometimes.

This can be done on purpose by giving them some fresh, ripened tomatoes or as a method to get rid of some table scraps or leftovers rather than letting them go to waste (or compost).

They should be consumed as a treat to dissuade them from overindulging in tomatoes, which will result in a decrease in the frequency with which they produce eggs. This might be especially troublesome if you have tomato plants easily accessible to your chicken.

As a reward, serve your chickens’ ripe tomatoes that have been finely chopped into tiny, bite-sized portions, which will bear less similarity to a whole tomato and make portion management much more straightforward.

Can chickens eat cherry tomatoes?

Cherry tomatoes

Yes, ripe cherry tomatoes can be eaten by chickens. They are entirely safe when consumed in moderation and in conjunction with a well-balanced and healthy diet.

Chickens should avoid green tomatoes and the leaves and stems of the tomato plant. The tomato vine is harmful to hens, but the fruit, including cherry tomatoes, is safe and healthy.

Can chickens eat unripe tomatoes?

No, chickens cannot eat unripe tomatoes. Green tomatoes, unlike the plants, do not contain solanine; yet, they are difficult to consume if all you have is a beak! You can feed them to chickens once they’ve begun to turn color.

Sliced green tomatoes on wooden cutting board

Unripe tomatoes are usually fine. It depends on how unripe we’re talking, but I’m assuming they’re reddish and a little tricky for you.

If you produce tomatoes in your garden or greenhouse and your chickens discover them, they’ll consume something they can get their palms on, ripe or not.

Can chickens eat cooked tomatoes?

Yes, chickens can eat cooked tomatoes. You can feed the tomato to your chickens as soon as ripe. If you need to be extra cautious, boil the tomatoes before offering them to your flock to ensure they get a safe and juicy feast.

However, keep in mind that salt is harmful to your birds. Leave out the seasoning if you ever want to feed them cooked tomatoes.

Can chickens eat red tomatoes?

Yes, chickens can eat red tomatoes. Your birds can eat ripe red tomatoes. However, it would help to keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t eat too many of them.

You should provide them in moderation and just on certain days of the week when they don’t have access to other foods. Ripe red tomatoes are a favorite of chickens. They will devour them when you are not looking, so limit how many you offer them.

Can chickens eat sun-dried tomatoes?

No, chickens cannot eat sun-dried tomatoes. If you wish to dry your tomatoes, be sure they haven’t been in the sun for too long. It is acceptable to feed dried tomatoes to your hens.

sun dried tomatoes

Because they have no teeth and only a beak, dried tomatoes are more difficult to consume. But don’t worry, a bird will try to eat it anyway.

They will pound it on the ground to break it apart and consume the dried tomato chunks. If any bits are too hard for your chicken, they have two options.

Either swallow it whole or spit it out. And if the dried tomato chunk is too large for them, they will leave and go away.

How Many Tomatoes Can Chickens Eat?

You can give your chickens a couple of tomatoes once or twice a week. A quarter to half a tomato per chicken is sufficient. You can feed it to them in bite-sized pieces. It is important to note that not all hens enjoy tomatoes.

Some people will purposefully avoid it for whatever reason. In case you need to be extra careful, you might wish to experiment with a different fruit as a ‘reward.’ Remember that, as previously said, tomatoes are pretty high in sugar.

This means you don’t want to suffocate your animals with them. If you’re going to offer them tomatoes, you should probably cut back on the other fruits and veggies.

How Often Can A Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

The best answer relies entirely on the availability of tomatoes, your schedule, the number of hens, and the time of year. To be clear, you should only feed your chickens tomatoes in moderation.

This implies you should give them in tiny doses at regular intervals. Perhaps two to three times each week would provide critical elements not available in other foods.

Close-up on a female chicken in profile, with the tail out of focus to the left.  Composed to allow for ample copy space if needed.

You must be careful not to pamper your chickens when feeding them this reward. If you feed them plenty of ripe tomatoes, they will likely cease eating their natural food.

On the other side, eating too many tomatoes might cause significant health problems. However, you can avoid this problem by rigorously adhering to the proper feeding plan for your birds.

When it comes to supplying tomatoes to your birds, you must also consider the time of year. They will consume more in the winter than in the summer.

In cold weather, chickens consume more food to help their bodies produce enough heat. In this situation, you should increase the number of tomatoes and other feed compared to what they eat in the summer.

How To Feed Tomatoes To Chickens?

Many chickens have consumed tomatoes with no adverse consequences. When offered in moderation, they can be supplemented as snacks and treats. Use common sense when caring for any animal, and serve a snack as a sensible portion in addition to the usual food.

  1. Your birds should only be fed ripe tomatoes.
  2. Never use tomatoes to supplement more than 5% of their diet.
  3. Chickens should not be fed tomato plants.
  4. Green or rotting tomatoes should not be fed.
  5. To guarantee that the entire flock has access to the treat, cut it into parts and distribute it among regular meals.

Can chickens eat lettuce and tomatoes?

Yes, Sometimes chickens can eat lettuce. Lettuce is generally beneficial to your birds, but be wary of the iceberg kind. Iceberg lettuce has low nutritional value and might cause diarrhea. Stick to dark, leafy greens.

Do Tomatoes Affect The Digestive System Of Chickens?

No, tomatoes don’t really affect the digestive system of chickens. Green tomatoes, unlike plants, do not contain solanine; yet, they are tough to consume if all you have is a beak! You can feed them to chickens once they have begun to change color.

A group of free range hens finding food among the grass.

Solanine is an intriguing molecule; some vegetables and fruits contain solanine to protect themselves from being eaten!

Solanine is found in a few Nightshade family members, including peppers, potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes. It is almost always found in green things, such as the leaves, stalks, and any green or unripe parts on the vegetables.

This is why chickens should never consume green potato peels, leaves, blossoms, or other plant parts indicated above. While a tiny amount may go unnoticed, if a chick consumes too much solanine, the following symptoms (known as solanine poisoning) may occur:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

They experienced burning and discomfort in their throats and digestive tracts. Their joints were inflamed. Aches and pains in general

Final Thoughts

Red ripe tomatoes are a favorite food of chickens. It’s no wonder that they’re frequently utilized as a treat for them. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium.

These are essential nutrients that keep hens healthy and robust. However, the number of tomatoes you feed your chickens should be kept to a minimum. They may get hooked and sick if you give them too much of this fruit.


Can chickens eat bananas?

Yes, chickens can eat bananas. They’re pretty nutritious, and most chickens adore them! It is in abundance vitamins B6, C, and A and niacin, iron, magnesium, and other trace minerals. You now know what to do with those splotchy brown bananas!

Can chickens eat grapes?

Yes, chickens can eat grapes. High in B vitamins and A and C also contains various trace elements such as calcium and copper. Because the sugar level is considerable, give in tiny amounts once a week. To assist digestion, rough chop first.

Can chickens eat kiwi?

Yes, chickens can eat kiwis. Kiwis are healthy but incorporate a lot of sugar, so feed best in moderation. Kiwis include vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Can chickens eat onions?

Yes, chickens can eat onions but in moderation. Although onions are high in vitamins and minerals, poultry should not consume them. Onions in large quantities can cause hemolytic anemia.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!