As owners, we know that fruits and vegetables can be a great addition to cockatiel’s diet. It’s always tempting to give your cockatiel something that you’re not sure about, and we often know to give our cockatiel a piece of vegetable or fruit when it’s cooking. So after our cockatiel ate a tomato last week, I decided to do a little research to see can cockatiels eat tomatoes? Here’s what I found out.
Can Cockatiels Eat Tomatoes?
Can Cockatiels Eat Tomatoes? Yes, cockatiels can eat a small amount of tomatoes, but it’s advisable to give only ripe ones. Tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals that are healthy for cockatiels. However, avoid giving the unripe and green parts of the tomato. Green parts of tomatoes such as leaves and vines can be toxic to cockatiels.
Tomatoes are easily accessible in many supermarkets. In addition, they offer many health benefits for cockatiels. However, before you feed your cockatiel with tomatoes, you need to check a few things about tomatoes to ensure that your cockatiel can safely eat. So let’s take a closer look at are tomatoes safe for cockatiels to eat and which tomatoes are toxic and which are not.
Are Tomatoes Good For Cockatiels?
Tomatoes aren’t toxic for cockatiels to eat, so they can safely eat this fruit. One reason why owners avoid giving tomatoes to their cockatiels is that they are highly acidic. Tomatoes contain citric acid, which can bind to iron in their body, causing disease. This disease can cause a swollen stomach, difficulty breathing, and paralysis.
Also, too many tomatoes in the cockatiel’s diet can lead to stomach ulcers. So while a moderate feeding of tomatoes may be good, overeating can negatively affect your cockatiel. Instead, offer to your cockatiel a small piece of tomato mixed with other things. Also, please don’t feed them with tomatoes too often. Some owners have fed their cockatiels with tomatoes without any problems. They say it is entirely safe to do it. But there is still a reason why you shouldn’t feed your cockatiel with tomatoes. Limiting tomatoes or eliminating them from the cockatiel’s diet is the best option.
Although tomatoes can be acidic, they have still some health benefits, such as:
Tomatoes contain lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants. Lycopene is found in the skin of tomatoes and protects against heart disease. In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin protect the eyesight of cockatiel from a condition known as cataracts. These antioxidants also make your cockatiel’s feathers vivid and more beautiful. For male cockatiels, this is more important because they are more likely to attract a partner with their colorful feathers.
Like many other fruits, tomatoes are high in vitamin C. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t produce vitamin C, so your cockatiel must get it through their diet. Vitamin C is essential for:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Regulating cholesterol
- Boosting the immune system
- Healing wounds
- Preventing kidney problems
Potassium helps cockatiels to maintain the proper fluid balance in cells and tissues. It is also necessary for strong bones and the good functioning of the digestive system. It also normalizes a cockatiel’s blood pressure, reducing the likelihood of heart disease.
Folate is important because it balances homocysteine levels. This amino acid is responsible for breaking down protein. Cockatiels need folate to form uric acid, which is a waste product of protein metabolism. The Lack of folic acid can cause:
- Weakened immune system
- Impaired cell division
- Under-development of the reproductive tract
Vitamin K maintains bone health and the quality of the eggshell. Cockatiels with low vitamin K are likely to experience delayed blood clotting. In the worst cases, vitamin K deficiency causes internal hemorrhages and increased mortality.
Can Cockatiels Eat Raw Tomatoes?
Raw tomatoes are the most acidic. Tomatoes contain many types of acids, including citric acid, malic acid, and others.
Ripe tomatoes contain lower levels of acidity and have a sweeter taste. So it is okay to feed your cockatiel with ripe tomatoes but in moderation. Cockatiels instinctively understand the ripeness of food. Of course, they will probably reject the orange tomatoes, but still, avoid giving them underripe tomatoes anyway.
Can Cockatiels Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Due to their smaller size, cockatiels can eat cherry tomatoes much easier. In addition, cockatiels the most prefer cherry tomatoes because they have a sweeter taste than others.
However, cherry tomatoes have the same issues as raw tomatoes because they’re acidic. It is also easier to overfeed your cockatiel with cherry tomatoes. Always limit their intake of cherry tomatoes to 1-2 times a week. They are a safe and nutritious addition to your cockatiel’s diet.
Can Cockatiels Eat Canned Tomatoes?
Avoid feeding your cockatiels with canned tomatoes. In the canning process, acid is added to prevent the tomato from getting moldy. It also prevents the growth of Clostridium botulinum – a bacterium that causes food poisoning.
You must add lemon juice or citric acid to home-canned tomatoes to keep them fresh. As a result, even homemade canned tomatoes can be harmful to cockatiels.
Can Cockatiels Eat Green Tomatoes?
Green tomatoes are generally more acidic than red, ripe tomatoes. For this reason, we suggest that you don’t give to your cockatiel more than a bite or two of green tomatoes if you want to give them any normally.
How Many Tomatoes Can Cockatiels Eat?
Although tomatoes are healthy, they should not be a significant part of their diet. Limit the intake of tomatoes to your cockatiel to 9-12 grams only. Tomatoes and other vegetables and fruits should make up 30% of your cockatiel meal.
Cockatiels eat an average of 30-40 grams of food per day. So it would be best to mix tomatoes and other vegetables with pellets. The highest percentage of their meal should be pellets, which make up 60% of their daily diet. The remaining 10% should be treats such as seeds, nuts, and fruits.
What Should I Do If My Cockatiel Eats Tomato?
All owners can make a mistake when it comes to pets and food. For example, maybe when you are cooking, and your cockatiel is lurking about, it can be very easy for a cockatiel to end up pecking at some of your ingredients. In the case where your cockatiel eats your tomatoes (you may not have realized that they are bad for your cockatiel, and you fed some to it), in this situation, you shouldn’t panic. If you have fed your cockatiel with a little bit of tomato, you don’t need to worry.
But, if they were eating through a significant amount of tomatoes, for example, if that was their entire meal. Then, you may need to pay extra attention to your cockatiel and ensure it doesn’t start to act unusually. In this situation, you should take your cockatiel to the vet immediately.
It is unlikely that the tomato will do any harm to your cockatiel, but make sure that it will stay away from the stem of the tomato.
While tomatoes may not be toxic to your cockatiel, the stem and leaves can be harmful. Tomatoes should be offered to your cockatiel rarely and in small quantities due to their high acid content. Dried tomatoes are the safest for your cockatiel. Chop them into small pieces because the cockatiels may have difficulty chewing them. Providing to your cockatiel a variety of fruits and vegetables will prevent it from getting bored. If you decide not to feed it with tomatoes, they will still have plenty of other choices.