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Home > Birds > Can Conures Eat Tomatoes? What You Need to Know

Can Conures Eat Tomatoes? What You Need to Know

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Tomatoes are a delicious but acidic fruit that can cause ulcers and other health problems if fed to birds too frequently. They are okay in moderation. To be safe, it’s best to avoid green and smaller tomatoes (like cherry or plum) because they both contain more toxins, being unripe and smaller, respectively.

Dried tomatoes are acceptable as a treat every so often. Along with cooked tomatoes, most of the toxins and acidity are removed during the cooking or drying process. However, they are still capable of causing your conure harm. It’s always best to side with caution. Make sure you only give your conure a little bit of dried tomato once a week at most.

While fresh tomatoes are best avoided, sun-dried tomato slices have several health benefits:

  • Boosting heart health
  • Preventing cancer
  • Supplying necessary vitamins and minerals

The leaves and main tomato plant, however, are a no-go. As part of the nightshade family, the plant is poisonous even if the fruit itself is edible. Eating tomato leaves could be fatal for your conure.


What Other Foods Are Poisonous to Conures?

sun conure on the ground
Image Credit: Rutpratheep Nilpechr, Pixabay

As guardians of these cheerful birds, we know that it can be easy to spoil our conures with all sorts of treats that we find tasty. After all, we’re both social creatures. What’s better than eating with a friend? Even the feathered, winged kind?

While tomatoes (except the main plant part) are okay in moderation, there are several human foods that you need to avoid entirely for the sake of your conure’s health. Here are a few as detailed by PetMD.

  • Alcohol: Like with humans, alcohol is a dangerous substance if abused. While we can drink it with only a few side effects, we can’t say the same for our beloved conures. It doesn’t matter if you drink beer, wine, or spirits, resist the urge to give any to your bird. Alcohol, in any amount, can be fatal to our feathered friends. It’s best not to risk it.
  • Avocado: This is a disputed food, but it’s not easy to say how it will affect yours until it’s too late. In this case, let’s stick with the adage of “Better safe than sorry.” Avoid giving your conure avocado.
  • Caffeine: Whether you’re an avid coffee drinker or enjoy the occasional caffeinated tea or even soda, make sure your conure doesn’t sneak a sip. For us, caffeine gives us a boost to propel us through the day. Birds, on the other hand, can suffer from an elevated heart rate, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest.
  • Chocolate: Although a sweet treat for us humans, chocolate contains theobromine, which has a similar effect as caffeine. With all the downsides of caffeine regarding birds, feeding your conure chocolate also isn’t a good idea.
  • Dried beans: Beans can be a healthy addition to regular bird food, but only when they’re cooked. Like tomatoes, the cooking process reduces the number of toxins inherent in the raw food. Dried beans contain hemagglutinin, which is lethal to birds. If you do offer your conure beans, make sure they’re fully cooked.
  • Fruit seeds and pits: While fruit is a recommended part of your conure’s diet, avoid giving your bird the seeds or pits. Most seeds, like in apples or some pits, like in peaches and cherries, contain cyanide and are highly poisonous. It might be tempting to offer your conure fruit seeds to keep their beaks in tip-top shape, but it’s best to stick with a regular cuttlebone.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms might be one of those foods where one type is better than another—for humans, at least—but birds are a different matter. Even the edible kind of mushroom can cause digestive problems or liver failure.
  • Onion: Whether it’s diced or powdered, onions add an extra flavor to our meals. However, due to the sulfur compounds in the bulbs, onions don’t have the same effect on our feathered friends. Both onions and garlic, as part of the same family, can cause digestive issues, hemolytic anemia, and breathing problems.
  • Salt, sugar, and high-fat treats: Too much of a good thing never ends well. Salt gives even the blandest dishes a new life, and in small amounts, it is relatively safe for your bird. However, too much salt can cause dehydration, kidney failure, and death. Most salty foods, like your favorite chips, contain sugar and are high in fat content. Our birds can suffer from the same health issues that we do when we eat too many of these snacks.
  • Vegetable leaves: Tomatoes aren’t the only members of the nightshade family, and as a result, there are several other fruits and vegetables where the plants themselves are lethal. To be safe, never give your conure any leaves or vines when you feed them fruit or veggies.


What Can Conures Eat?

Conure eat grape
Image Credit: Treetstreet, Shutterstock
  • Pellets: Most birdfeed and the majority of what your conure’s diet should consist of are made up of pellets that you can buy in a pet store.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables: To spice up your conure’s diet, fresh fruit and vegetables can be healthy additions to their meals, provided that you offer the right ones. Squash, berries, and melons are a few fruits that your conure can eat safely.
  • Birdseed: As a special treat, birdseed can spice up your conure’s routine. Don’t go overboard, though; treats are only good in moderation.

How to Know if Your Conure Has Been Poisoned

Conures close up
Image Credit: rutpratheep0, Pixabay

Keeping food that you know is unsafe away from your conure is relatively easy, but we can all slip up from time to time. Make sure to always keep an eye on your conure, particularly when you let them out to play and when you return them to their cage. Catching the early warning signs of poisoning may be the difference between life and death.

Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced mobility
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea



Tomatoes are a disputed food for your conure. Raw kinds, especially cherry or plum tomatoes and the unripe green ones, can cause more harm than good. They’re acidic and are host to various toxins that can be lethal in high doses.

In moderation, you can offer your bird a slice of dried tomato as a treat once a week. Provided that you don’t overdo it, your conure will be fine.

If you’re not sure tomatoes will be safe for your feathered best friend, stick with the fruit recommended by your vet. They’ll be able to tell you the right foods to give your conure and help ensure that they will be living with you for a long time.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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