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Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

Can chickens eat tomatoes?

Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable to grow in America. If you’re someone who has chickens, it’s likely you’re also growing tomatoes. So, can chickens eat tomatoes? Yes, they can! As long as the tomatoes are fully ripe and are given as a treat and not a whole meal.

Great news for chicken lovers everywhere. You can share your tomatoes! When a chicken is trying a tomato for the first time, start small. Give them a couple of pecks worth of tomato and observe to make sure they’re feeling well with a new food in their diet. Tomatoes, like other fruits and vegetables, can be given to chickens as a fun treat. 

Some parts of the tomato plant are actually toxic for chickens and many animals, so there’s a little more to talk about on the subject! Let’s deep dive into the juicy tomatoes.

can chickens eat tomatoes?

When Should Chickens Eat Tomatoes?

When a tomato is unripe, it contains solanine which is toxic to chickens. Make sure any tomatoes you give to your chickens are fully ripe! 

Tomatoes aren’t good for chickens when you haven’t established a healthy diet of feed. Tomatoes and other treats should only make up 5 - 10% of a chicken's diet so be sure you don’t overfeed tomatoes to the point where your chickens are forgetting the main meal! 

Can Chickens Eat Tomato Plants?

No! Tomato plants (including the leaves and flowers) also have the same substance that raw tomatoes do, solanine. Make sure you remove all parts of the plant before giving tomatoes to your chickens. A lot of free-range chickens know they just want the juicy tomato but it’s best to be safe! 

The plants of all of the vegetables in the nightshade family are toxic to chickens. This includes peppers, eggplants, and potatoes as well. 

What’s In Tomatoes For Chickens? 

Tomatoes contain a great amount of vitamins C, A, K, potassium, and folate. These vitamins and minerals help chickens maintain a strong immune system and strong bones. They are needed for proper growth and development in a chicken flock. 

So, plenty to love about tomatoes!

Other Fruits and Vegetables Chickens Can Enjoy As Treats

Chickens can eat most vegetables but to help get the gears turning for new ways to keep things interesting for your chickens, here are some vegetables and fruits for your chickens to try! 

  • carrots

  • cucumbers

  • pumpkins 

  • broccoli

  • cauliflower

  • asparagus

  • herbs

  • beets

  • onion

  • garlic

  • squash

  • celery

  • leafy greens

Fruits can also be given to chickens but be aware of how much sugar they’re getting from the fruit and don’t give multiple fruits in one day. Removing the pits and seeds is a good idea as well as too many seeds and pits could give your chickens too much cyanide which is poisonous. 

Small amounts of seeds likely won’t be a problem so don’t panic if a mistake is made. 

  • berries

  • watermelon

  • apples

  • bananas

  • pears

  • kiwi

  • mango

  • peaches

  • pineapple

  • plum

Chicken Grub Bugs also make a great treat for chickens. Providing variety for your chickens helps you to get to know your pets and bond! I mean who doesn’t love the person with the treats? 

can chickens eat tomatoes?

Can Chickens Eat Tomatoes In Chunks?

To help the tomato love get around to everyone, it’s best to cut tomatoes in chunks so you can more evenly distribute them among your flock. Now, before you head out to be the tomato queen among your flock, here are a few reminders. 

  1. Never feed your chicken unripe tomatoes. Make sure they’re good and red!

  2. Tomato leaves and flowers are off-limits.

  3. Feed tomatoes as a treat in moderation and not as a daily binge session. 

  4. Tomatoes and other treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your chicken’s diet. 

  5. Focus on a quality feed for your flock. 

Alright, that’s it! You’re all set. Go make tomato memories with your chicken flock.


We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.


Before adding any new product, please consult your exotic veterinarian. If your pet is acting unwell and you have concerns for their well being, please contact your vet immediately.

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