Turkeys are one of the few poultry birds that are actually not picky and will try to eat anything you give to them.
As a turkey owner it is your duty to check out that your turkeys should and should not eat.
Turkeys can eat tomatoes and it is actually healthy and beneficial to them. Tomatoes are absolutely safe for your birds but the leaves are another story.
This article will set out to explain the nutritional value of tomatoes to turkeys, how often you should feed them tomatoes, if baby turkeys can eat tomatoes, among other questions you might have.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Tomatoes To Turkeys?
Lycopene, an antioxidant, is found in tomatoes. This type of antioxidant is essential for both turkeys to stay healthy.
Antioxidants aid in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
Potassium is an essential nutrient for your birds, even though it is found in trace amounts in tomatoes. Potassium helps to improve bone, muscle and egg quality in your turkeys.
Tomatoes are also high in fiber. One tomato contains almost 1.5 grams of fiber.
The majority of these fibers are insoluble and come in the form of lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose.
When your turkeys eat ripe tomatoes, these various fibers help with digestion.
Vitamins make up an important part of human and animal life. Several vitamins such as Vit A, Folate and K1 are provided in great quantities by tomatoes.
Carbohydrates account for about 4% of the total weight of the tomato.
Aside from that, other nutrients like simple sugars (fructose and glucose), also account for nearly 70% of the carbohydrates content.
All of these nutrients keep your turkeys lively and full of energy throughout the day.
Check out this comprehensive article I wrote on what do turkeys eat
How Often Should I Feed Them Tomatoes?
Tomatoes are a healthy and tasteful treat which you should offer to your turkeys from time to time.
Tomatoes are a healthy option for turkeys, but they should not be the only source of food you serve them.
Tomatoes, like any other treat, should be fed to the birds in moderation.
Your flock may become so used to the taste and begin to disregard their feed.
Also, feeding your turkey hens too many tomatoes can affect their egg laying activities and levels.
Just like every other treats, tomatoes should be given in moderation.
To ensure a balanced diet, let 90% of your turkey’s food be from their commercial feed which has the nutrients they need to survive.
The remaining 10% should consist of fruits and healthy snacks of which tomatoes will be a part.
Tomatoes can be incorporated with other vegetables about once a week.
Can Baby Turkeys Eat Tomatoes?
Baby turkeys can eat tomatoes however before you start feeding them other foods ensure they are about 4 to 6 weeks of age.
When newly hatched, focus on giving your turkey poults only quality turkey or game bird starter feed.
This gives them protein and other supplements they need in a balanced way.
You can also feed them on starter grit which will help them digest the tomatoes and other foods you might feed them.
Ensure you feed them tomatoes in moderation, as tomatoes are high in sugar content.
Also, since tomatoes are mostly water content, you can throw them a whole ripe tomato or decide to cut into smaller pieces for them.
Can Wild Turkeys Eat Tomatoes?
Wild turkeys can eat tomatoes. Some tomato plant farmers who have turkeys around usually report the birds eating tomatoes off the plants.
We all know turkeys will eat almost anything.
If you are rearing wild turkeys, then it is okay for you to feed them tomatoes from time to time.
Also here is an article I wrote on can turkeys eat rice
Can Turkeys Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes are a species of the tomato fruit. They are smaller in size than the general tomatoes we have.
Also, cherry tomatoes have a tart and slightly sour taste as compared to the tanginess of normal tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes are most often eaten by humans as a snack since they are mostly bite-sized while tomatoes are mostly used for cooking.
Turkeys can eat cherry tomatoes as well and many turkey owners report their flock fighting over the delicious treat.
Cherry tomatoes usually have more water content than normal tomatoes and as such are juicier inside.
You should feed your turkeys cherry tomatoes in moderation so they do not have watery poop.
Can Turkeys Tomato Plants?
Tomatoes are perfectly fine for turkeys to eat but their plants are a ‘no no’. Tomato plants are toxic for eating as they belong to the deadly nightshade family.
The green parts of the leaves contain solanine which is toxic to most animals.
Tomato plants are deadly to turkeys and other poultry birds such as chickens, ducks, quails and the likes.
You should never feed tomato plants to your turkeys as they could end up seriously sick or dead.
Turkey owners have also explained that their turkeys do not go near or eat tomato plants.
This is a smart choice for the turkeys as the leaves of tomato plants are in no way healthy or safe for them to eat.
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Tomatoes?
Too many tomatoes fed to your turkey hens can have a negative impact on the quality of their eggs.
Because tomatoes contain a high concentration of nutrients, eating too much of it can affect the levels of lipid pexorodidation and yolk carontieinds, which can alter the taste of eggs.
Avoid giving your turkeys green or unripe tomatoes. The unripe tomatoes have traces of solanine which can cause health problems for your birds.
Also, do not give them moldy or rotten tomatoes as those are not safe for the turkeys to eat.
A diet high in tomatoes may also have an effect on the frequency with which they lay eggs.
Turkeys are known to eat tomatoes but if for one reason or another your turkeys are picky and do not eat the fruit, then you would have to find another supplement choice.
Also, feed your turkeys tomatoes in moderation as they are high in water content.
This means that when fed in excess, your turkeys will start having watery poop.
When you observe this in your turkeys then you should reduce or cut out tomato feeding to them.
How Can I Feed Tomatoes To My Turkeys?
You can feed tomatoes to your turkeys either raw or cooked. Cooked tomatoes are known to have higher levels of lycopene which is an antioxidant.
Most often you can decide to throw whole tomatoes at your birds and watch them fight over it. This can be fun to watch.
You can, however, decide to cut them into halves per turkey so that they can all get one to eat.
Mixing tomatoes with other fruits and vegetables and serving them in their feeder is also another great way of treating your birds.
Tomatoes are a great fruit which provides many health benefits to your turkeys.
They provide them with water content which aids in the digestion of their feed. It also helps to improve their egg quality.
However, tomatoes should be given to turkeys in moderation to avoid health issues such as watery poop.
Avoid feeding tomato leaves and unripe tomatoes to your turkeys as they contain a toxic compound called solanine.
You can feed tomatoes either raw or cooked tomatoes and watch them enjoy themselves feasting on the treat.