Tomato is a fruit often referred to as a vegetable.
It originated in South America but has since spread across the world.
The most popular color is red but tomato comes in other colors like pink, purple, near black etc.
Can alpacas eat tomatoes? Tomato has a lot of benefits and yes, your alpacas can eat them. They are sweet and flavored, which your alpacas will enjoy.
Not only are tomatoes for your alpacas enjoyment, they are also very nutritious and beneficial to their health. Let’s see how.
What are the health benefits of tomatoes?
1. It contains Water.
Tomatoes is mostly water.
In fact, depending on the type, a tomato is about 94% water.
This makes it ideal treats for your alpacas.
Alpacas require a lot of water in their daily diet so feeding them treats high in water content is advisable, especially during summer or on a hot day.
2. It has a high potassium content.
Tomato is a very good source of potassium.
One medium raw tomato contains about 292 mg of potassium which is very good for alpacas.
Alpacas tend to lose potassium during summer or when it is hot which can be a danger to their health.
Feeding them tomatoes can help them regain this loss.
3. It is rich in vitamin C.
Tomatoes are fortified with Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant to protect alpacas from diseases.
Vitamin C also helps to build the immune systems of alpacas and protect them against infections.
Vitamin C in their body also helps them absorb iron and aids wound healing.
Feeding your alpacas tomatoes regularly will help them to stay healthy and grow well.
4. It contains fiber.
Apart from water, alpacas also need food that are high in fiber.
In fact, their diet is mainly fiber based.
They can extract the energy they need from fiber and tomatoes are a great source of this nutrient.
A cup of tomatoes can provide about 2 grams of fiber which is especially necessary for alpacas during winter.
Alpacas need to produce body heat in order to stay warm during extreme cold and they need energy for this.
5. It contains vitamin A.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A which helps alpacas to grow healthy.
Vitamin A is responsible for proper teeth and bone formation in alpacas.
It also boosts their immune system and helps their vision.
Vitamin A also helps the females to remain healthy enough to get pregnant.
What to watch out for.
Alpacas love tomatoes and they are good for them.
There are several things to watch out for however, before feeding your alpacas tomatoes.
✓ Make sure the tomatoes are ripe.
Unripe tomatoes contains acid that can be harmful to alpacas.
It can cause mouth and throat irritation and in severe cases, vomiting and diarrhea.
If your alpacas consume a lot of unripe tomatoes, they could die.
✓ Make sure you feed them only organic tomatoes.
Non-organic tomatoes may have residue of pesticides which can be harmful to alpacas. So better to feed them only organic ones.
✓ Be sure tomatoes are properly washed before feeding them to your alpacas.
Unwashed tomatoes can be contaminated and this can cause poisoning.
The contamination can be as a result of the tomato touching the ground, or making contact with improperly composted manure or human handling during and after harvest.
This is why you need to wash them properly, preferably under a running water, to ensure it’s safe for your alpacas.
Ways to feed your alpacas tomatoes.
Feeding your alpacas tomatoes the right way is important. This reduces the risk of harm and ensures their safety.
- Cut tomatoes into slices before feeding your alpacas in order to avoid choking.
- Alpacas are treats and should not replace their main diet. Feeding your alpacas tomatoes often can make them neglect their main diet because it is fibrous and will give them a feeling of fullness. This can lead to malnutrition.
- Feeding your alpacas tomatoes excessively can also be toxic. Tomatoes are acidic and giving them too many can lead to heart burn which you don’t want.
Can alpacas eat tomato leaves?
No, alpacas cannot eat tomato leaves.
They are very toxic to them and should be avoided at all costs.
Do not feed your alpacas tomato leaves even in small quantities as there are several other plants they could safely eat which wouldn’t cause them harm.
Also ensure that tomato plants are nowhere near your farm.
Your alpacas could graze on them without your knowledge which could be dangerous.
Tomato leaves are considered to be part of the nightshade family.
They contain poisonous substances which are harmful to alpacas, that’s why they can’t eat them.
They are equally harmful to humans when consumed in large quantities.
Can alpacas eat tomato sauce?
Yes, alpacas can eat tomato sauce but in small quantities.
You don’t want to overfeed them with it. If prepared with other edible fruits and vegetables like carrots, parsnips and basils, tomato sauce can be very nutritious and beneficial to their health.
You should however ensure you make the sauce yourself.
Onions should be sparsely added, if added at all. Onions can cause poisoning to alpacas if consumed in large quantities, that’s why you should be careful about adding it to their diet.
Avoid adding sweeteners and spices to tomato sauce while preparing too, as this can be harmful to alpacas.
You don’t know the particular spice that won’t agree with their body system.
Better to avoid all. You may want to avoid salt too.
Tomatoes are edible fruits often referred to as vegetables, packed with nutrients.
They are quite safe and healthy for alpacas to eat.
They have a lot of health benefits for them like improved digestion, healthy vision, proper bone and teeth formation, strong muscles etc.
Alpacas cannot eat unripe tomatoes, tomato leaves and stems.
They are harmful to them. You should also avoid feeding your alpacas tomatoes excessively as it can cause a lot of health problems which you don’t want.
Tomato sauce is healthy especially when made with other healthy fruits and vegetables.