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Can Parrots Eat Tomatoes? What You Need to Know!

tomatoes

Parrots love having snacks added to their menu—and we all know these herbivores love their fruits and veggies. However, you may also know that not all vegetation is safe or healthy for them. As an owner, you are absolutely doing the right thing in checking before serving your bird something from the dinner table.

So, the big question—can a parrot eat tomatoes? The answer is that parrots really shouldn’t eat this shiny red fruit, although it isn’t toxic to them. So, if you have fed tomatoes to your parrot in the past, don’t fret. We’ll explain our answer in more detail below.

divider-bird

What Are Tomatoes?

Contrary to what most people think, tomatoes are not veggies—but rather fruits. They are one of the most prevalent fruits, thriving in many conditions with all sorts of varieties.

Here are a few different types of tomatoes:
  • Roma
  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Heirloom
  • Beefsteak

They vary greatly in size, shape, and color. But all tomatoes are very acidic—and therefore, they don’t benefit your parrot.

sliced tomatoes
Image Credit: Beverly Buckley, Pixabay

Tomato Nutrition Facts

Serving for one red tomato:
  • Calories: 22
  • Carbohydrates: 4.8 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Vitamin C: 28%
  • Vitamin B6: 5%
  • Magnesium: 3%

Why Are Tomatoes Bad for Parrots?

As we mentioned already, tomatoes aren’t a top choice for parrots. While they might enjoy munching on these watery, scrumptious fruits, they hold minimal nutritional value, and the cons outweigh the pros.

Parrot Eating
Image Credit By: Tanuj_handa, pixabay

Acidity in Tomatoes

Tomatoes have an incredibly high acidity level that doesn’t work well with your parrot. Acid can really upset the lining of their stomach, which could lead to ulcers with prolonged eating. The glandular stomach has a relatively thin wall lining, which can wear down easier than in other animals.

Because of this inclination, it’s best to steer away from food with a high acid content, as it can irritate the walls. Ulcers are excruciating and sometimes challenging to treat. Raw tomato has much higher acidity than cooked tomatoes.

Green Portions

Make sure to remove any green from tomatoes if you still plan to feed your parrot a bite. Unripe parts contain a toxin called alkaline solanine, as tomatoes are in the nightshade family. You might also recognize this toxin since it is found in other unripe plants, like potatoes.

Even in small doses, this toxin can make your parrot incredibly sick, which can warrant unwanted vet costs and more. In severe cases, it can cause premature death from toxicity. So, even if there is barely any green whatsoever, avoid it entirely.

green tomatoes
Image Credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter, Pixabay

What Veggies Work Better for My Parrot?

Maybe your parrot loves the taste of tomato, but that doesn’t mean they should eat it. Your parrot can enjoy a wide variety of fruits and veggies, so don’t be disheartened about tomatoes.

Here is a quick list of bird-safe items your parrot can snack on:
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Mango
  • Squash

That isn’t all—you can find a complete list of bird-safe fruits and veggies here. Generally, if a veggie is green, orange, or yellow, it’s feather friend compatible. But it’s always a good idea to check before introducing any new items to their overall diet.

If You Do Serve Your Parrot Tomato

Even though you shouldn’t feed your parrot tomato, you are the ultimate decision-maker for your pets. If you choose to let them indulge once in a while, make sure that the tomato is either organic or has been thoroughly washed to remove any potential chemicals.

It would be best if you allowed them to eat a tiny portion about the size of the tip of your finger. Serve no more than once every 2 weeks maximum.

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Parrots and Tomatoes: Final Thoughts

So, if you choose to feed your parrots tomatoes, be mindful of moderation. Don’t overload their systems with a ton of this fruit, as it contains high levels of acid. Plus, even small green parts of tomatoes include alkaline solanine, a toxic substance that can be lethal to these pets.

Always remember to wash anything you want to share with your birdies thoroughly to avoid chemical exposure. Ultimately, the best idea is to avoid feeding your parrot tomatoes altogether to avoid any potential issues.


Featured Image Credit: LoggaWiggler, Pixabay

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