Can Chickens Eat Tomatillos? (Safe or Not)

Can Chickens Eat Tomatillos

Yes, chickens can eat tomatillos, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure the tomatillos are ripe and not still green and hard if feeding them whole. The ripe fruit will be yellow/green and feel soft and pliable.

Tomatillos are generally safe and can be a nutritious snack for chickens, offering a source of vitamins and antioxidants.

Like any treat, tomatillos should be given in moderation. It’s important to ensure that the tomatillos are ripe and free from any pesticides or chemicals.

Don’t rely solely on tomatillos – incorporate them as part of a balanced diet along with pellets, grains, veggies, fruits, greens, protein sources, grit, etc. Variety is important!

Are Tomatillos Good For Chicken?

Are Tomatillos Good For Chicken
Are Tomatillos Good For Chicken

Yes, tomatillos are a healthy, safe food for chickens to eat when offered responsibly and in moderation. When ripe, tomatillos are a completely safe, non-toxic food for chickens to consume as part of a balanced diet.

Do not feed the leaves, stems, or any other green parts of the tomatillo plant to chickens, as these contain solanine, a toxic substance.

Wash the tomatillos thoroughly to remove any pesticides or chemicals if they are not organically grown. Cutting them into smaller pieces can make them easier for the chickens to eat.

Watch how your chickens react to tomatillos the first few times they are introduced. If there are any signs of digestive upset or adverse reactions, it’s best to avoid feeding them tomatillos in the future.

According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, a 100-gram serving of raw tomatillos contains about 1 milligram of sodium. This amount is indeed very low, making tomatillos an excellent choice for a low-sodium diet.

Are tomatillos poisonous to chickens?

Are tomatillos poisonous to chickens
Are tomatillos poisonous to chickens

No, tomatillos are not poisonous to chickens when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Both ripe and unripe tomatillos contain nutrients that are healthy for chickens to consume. Chickens should not eat extremely large quantities of tomatillos, as this could lead to digestive upset. But in general, tomatillos are a safe, healthy treat for chickens.

Can chickens eat raw tomatillos?

Can chickens eat tomatillo plants?

No, chickens should not eat tomatillo plants. While the ripe tomatillo fruit itself can be safe in moderation, the plant parts — such as the leaves and stems — are harmful to chickens. These parts contain solanine, a toxic substance that can be dangerous to chickens. Solanine is found in many plants in the nightshade family, which includes tomatillos, and can cause health issues in chickens if ingested.

It’s important to differentiate between the safe and unsafe parts of plants when feeding chickens. The safe part in this case is the ripe tomatillo fruit, not the plant.

What Vegetables Chickens Can Eat?

Chickens can eat a variety of vegetables, which can provide them with additional nutrients and variety in their diet.

Here’s a list of vegetables that are generally safe for chickens:

  1. Leafy Greens: Such as lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens. These are high in vitamins and are usually well-liked by chickens.
  2. Cruciferous Vegetables: Like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. These should be fed in moderation due to potential gas issues.
  3. Squash: Including pumpkin, zucchini, and cucumber. These are nutritious and often a favorite among chickens.
  4. Root Vegetables: Carrots, beets, and turnips (both the roots and the greens are safe).
  5. Peas and Green Beans: These are good sources of protein, but the plants themselves should be given cautiously as some can contain harmful substances.
  6. Corn: Fresh or cooked, corn is a treat that chickens enjoy. However, it should be given sparingly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  7. Bell Peppers: All colors are fine, including the seeds.
  8. Cucumbers: These are great, especially in hot weather, due to their high water content.
  9. Tomatoes: Ripe tomatoes are safe, but all green parts of the plant should be avoided due to toxicity.
  10. Sweet Potatoes: Both the cooked flesh and the skins are safe, but avoid feeding them raw potatoes or any green parts of the plant.

Remember to:

  • Wash all vegetables to remove pesticides and chop them into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking.
  • Avoid feeding chickens any spoiled, rotten, or moldy foods.
  • Feed vegetables in moderation and maintain a balanced diet primarily composed of a high-quality poultry feed.

It’s also important to provide fresh water at all times, especially when introducing new foods into their diet.


About Hailey Pruett

Hailey “Lex” Pruett is a nonbinary writer at YIHY primarily covering reptiles and amphibians. They have over five years of professional content writing experience. Additionally, they grew up on a hobby farm and have volunteered at animal shelters to gain further experience in animal care.

A longtime resident of Knoxville, Tennessee, Hailey has owned and cared extensively for a wide variety of animals in their lifetime, including cats, dogs, lizards, turtles, frogs and toads, fish, chickens, ducks, horses, llamas, rabbits, goats, and more!

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