Last week I had a huge party in my house and one of the major leftovers we had was tomatoes.
And as a duck farmer, this got me wondering if ducks can eat tomatoes and what are the health benefits to them.
Can ducks eat tomatoes? Ducks can eat tomatoes and they love this healthy fruit and the nutrients it gives them. Tomatoes are packed with a lot of necessary nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants that make it such a great treat for ducks. In addition they are delicious, juicy and very easy to eat especially the ripe ones.
What are the health benefits of tomatoes to ducks?
- Tomatoes are very important in the diet of ducks. They are rich and have several essential nutrients that improve the wellbeing and growth of your birds.
- Even though most people refer to tomatoes as a fruit, it is usually cooked and prepared like other vegetables. The come loaded with a powerful antioxidant called lycopene which has several health benefits for both humans and ducks.
- Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin c, vitamin k, potassium, folate and many more.
Here are some of the nutritional facts of tomatoes
Tomatoes are made up of about 4 percent of carbs.
Also it contains other healthy sugars such as fructose and glucose which make up about 70 percent of the carbohydrates content in tomatoes. All these nutrients ensure that your birds are very active and energetic all day.
This is another very important component found in tomatoes.
One tomato provides approximately 1.5 grams of fiber which is the ideal requirement for most ducks.
Most of these fibers come in insoluble form in the form of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. These different forms of fibers all help in the digestion of your birds and ensure a healthy gut.
This is a powerful antioxidant and the source of an essential nutrient that is just right for your birds.
A single medium sized tomato is capable of providing the recommended dietary allowance for your birds.
Although potassium is found in tomatoes in small quantities, it is also an essential nutrient for ducks and your birds.
Potassium helps them get strong bones and beaks so they grow into healthy birds
Vitamins K1 and B9 (Folate)
This is one nutrient that plays a significant role in the bone health of ducks.
Folate is another form of vitamin that plays an important role in promoting tissue growth as well as cell function
So you want to make sure that you feed your ducks tomatoes all the time for healthy growth
Lycopene and Naringenin
This is the red component found in tomatoes and it act as an antioxidant that boosts the immune system of the birds
Naringenin is a flavonoid that acts as an anti inflammatory substance.
It helps protect your ducks from diseases and swellings.
How often should I feed my ducks with tomatoes?
In my personal experience I tend to feed them in moderation
Remember you want their diet to be balanced and to include all the necessary nutrients and minerals that they need to grow.
Another thing you have to note is that it also depends on the availability of tomatoes, your schedule, the number of ducks you have and the time of the year.
So you want to give them is small quantities and at specific intervals
I will advise two or three times a week as this will be enough to provide the essential nutrients not found in other foods.
Also you want to ensure that you do not feed them tomatoes always so that they get used to it and forget other types of foods.
And like I mentioned earlier, feeding them only tomatoes can lead to some health complications that you definitely want to avoid
Lastly you want to take into consideration what time of the year it is.
Ducks will eat more in winter than in summer.
This is because of the cold weather and their bodies tend to produce more heat during winter and they need more food to accommodate that.
So in this case you want to increase the amount of tomatoes and other foods that they consume.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on “Are ducks good pets?”
Can ducks eat unripe tomatoes?
No ducks cannot eat unripe tomatoes and you should not try giving it to them.
This is because unripe tomatoes (when they are green) contain solanine which is a poisonous substance that disrupts their digestive system and causes health problems.
So you want to ensure that you do not include unripe tomatoes in whatever diet you give your ducks.
Can ducks eat tomato leaves?
With tomato leaves being green, I will not advise that ducks eat the leaves
Truth is that I have not personally tried it so I cannot give you any advice on how safe it is to feed ducks tomato leaves.
But my reasoning is that unripe tomatoes and the leaves are all green so I kinda group both of them together.
So I have not tried and that’s not something I give a yes or no answer to that question
Can ducks eat tomato worms?
Yes my ducks totally love the pests and small animals that infect my tomatoes like worms.
This is one very good reason that I allow my ducks to wander around in my garden
They help to keep worms and beetles from attacking my tomatoes.
Besides the worms and beetles are delicious sources of proteins for my birds and they also have the added benefit of keeping my garden worm free.
How to feed tomatoes to ducks – My 7 step guide
- First you want to make sure that you slice the tomatoes into half or smaller chunks. This will help you keep moderate their tomato consumption and also allow you to check the quality of the fruit.
- You can mix the tomatoes with other fruits like apples, grapes and pumpkins. This will ensure that their diet is balanced and also gives a colorful mix to the diet.
- If this is the first time you are feeding the duck, you want to ensure that you serve in small quantities and then observe. Observe their poop, their behaviors and see how they fare in a 24 hours period. Then you can make your decision on whether to continue or to stop.
- Only feed rip tomatoes to your ducks.
- Never supplement more than 5 percent of their diet with tomatoes. You want a complete and balanced diet.
- Do not feed tomato plants or the leaves to ducks
- Do not feed unripe, moldy or rotten tomatoes to ducks
Yes ducks can eat tomatoes and they seem to enjoy it a lot.
It contains lots of essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins that are essential for the healthy growth of your birds.
The only thing to note is that you need to ensure that they do not eat unripe ones, the leaves or the plants.
Every other thing is fair game and you can go ahead.