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Home > Birds > Can Parakeets Eat Tomatoes? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Info You Need to Know!

Can Parakeets Eat Tomatoes? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Info You Need to Know!

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Bird enthusiasts love giving their pet parakeets a mix of fresh fruits and veggies as a treat. Even though a lot of these foods are safe for them, not all are. What about tomatoes? Are these juicy veggies safe for our little winged friends? Tomatoes are safe for parakeets to eat, but the stems and leaves are toxic for them.


What Is a Parakeet?

A parakeet isn’t a specific type of parrot but rather a term given to several small to medium-sized species of parrots with long tail feathers. The term parakeet isn’t a taxonomical reference to any genus or family of parrots; the parrots, sometimes referred to as parakeets, span multiple genera.

Examples of parrots generally termed parakeets include budgies, cockatiels, ring-necked parrots, and nose-ringed parrots.

Are Tomatoes Safe for Parakeets

While a small bite of raw tomato here and there isn’t dangerous, the stem and leaves shouldn’t be offered to your parakeet. Let’s start by looking at the positives.

First, tomatoes are made up of 94% water and are an excellent tool for hydration. Raw tomatoes are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and K that benefit the well-being of birds.

parakeet eating sliced tomato
Image By: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

Dangers of Too Much Tomato

Though the tomato fruit itself is safe for your parakeet, it should be noted that the stem and leaves of the tomato plant are toxic for all parrots—including all parakeets. Therefore, before offering your parakeet some tomato, you should ensure that the stem and leaves are removed from the fruit.

In addition, you should also thoroughly wash the tomato before offering them to your parakeet, to ensure there’s no pesticide or insecticide residue on them.

How to Safely Feed Tomatoes to Parakeets

The healthiest pet birds are the ones with owners who follow the “80/20” rule. A parakeet’s diet should be 75–80% pellets and only 20–25% percent seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies.

Parrots can consume cooked tomatoes, however many parrots don’t appreciate the taste of cooked tomatoes (or other cooked fruits and vegetables). If you do opt to cook tomatoes, do not ever cook the tomatoes in Teflon. Teflon emits toxic substances that are harmful to birds. Also, try to avoid giving them premade sauces with other ingredients that could harm them. If you do want to cook down some tomatoes, do it at home and use fresh tomatoes that are thoroughly washed to remove dirt and pesticides.

fresh ripe cherry tomatoes
Image By: ignartonosbg, Pixabay

The Danger of Pesticides

Pesticides are a huge cause for concern when it comes to parakeets and all other pet birds. Some of their favorite treats, including strawberries, tomatoes, cherries, grapes, bell peppers, peaches, and apples, are commonly sprayed with chemicals to keep pests off the fruits. Buying organically grown fruits and vegetables is one simple way to reduce the number of pesticides they consume. You should wash all your produce before serving it to your birds, regardless of how the crops were grown.

Safe Foods for Parakeets

Now that you know that tomatoes are safe in moderation, we bet you’re wondering what other food is safe to give your pet parakeet. Here is a list of some of their favorite treats:

  • Pears
  • Melon
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Cucumber
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Bok choy
  • Kiwi
  • Carrots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Squash
  • Bananas
  • Celery
Parakeet Eating Brocoli
Image By: Christine Bird, Shutterstock

Unsafe Foods for Parakeets

Even though some foods may seem safe, don’t rely on your gut instinct. Always research if a food is safe for birds before feeding it to them. Here is a short list of foods that you should avoid feeding to parakeets at all costs:

  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Cheese and dairy
  • Salt
  • Rhubarb
  • Daffodils (bulbs)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Xylitol

Final Thoughts

As a bird parent, you want to be able to give your parakeets a fulfilling life with lots of tasty treats along the way. Tomatoes are safe for parakeets, but the stems and leaves of the plant are not safe for them and should be removed. Birds need a well-balanced diet.

If your parakeets are getting a healthy mix of food pellets, birdseed, fruits, and vegetables, they will have far fewer health issues than those who stick to only one food.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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