Tomatoes are easily and cheaply available especially if you can them in your garden. I later found some birds eating tomatoes in my garden. This got me curious whether pet birds such as conures can actually eat tomatoes like their wild cousins.
So, can conures eat tomatoes? Conures can eat tomatoes mixed with other fruits such as papaya, mango, berries, and oranges as part of a balanced diet. When offered sparingly tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and hydration for conures. However, you should not feed unripe tomatoes, leaves or any other part of tomato to conures since they have toxins that may harm the conures. The high acidic nature of tomatoes can also cause ulcers if offered in large amounts.
Fruits and vegetables should never exceed 20-25% of your conures daily diet. 75-80% of the total daily diet of a conure should be made of high-quality commercially made pellets like these Tropical Fruit Nutri-Berries for Conures from Amazon. Which will promote your conures foraging instincts while providing them with all the nutrients they need.
Are tomatoes safe for conures?
Ripe tomatoes are safe for conures but unripe tomatoes and other parts of the tomato plant are not safe for conures just like all the other plants in the nightshade family. You should also offer tomatoes moderately since they have high acidity levels that can end up causing ulcers to conures.
As a matter of fact only offer to conures a tomato that you yourself can actually eat.
The table below shows the nutritional value of tomatoes
|Total lipid (fat)||0.2 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||3.89 g|
|Fiber, total dietary||1.2 g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||2.63 g|
|Calcium, Ca||10 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||11 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||24 mg|
|Potassium, K||237 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.17 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.059 mg|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||13.7 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.08 mg|
|Folate, total||15 µg|
|Choline, total||6.7 mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||42 µg|
|Carotene, beta||449 µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||22 µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.54 µg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||7.9 µg|
Benefits of Feeding Tomatoes to conures
Water helps to keep the metabolism of the conures body optimal. It also contributes to the elimination of waste products via the kidney.
Lack of enough water in the system of conures can therefore cause adverse health effects to conures.
Experts recommend having a bowl of clean, fresh, and chlorine-free in the cage of all birds that they can access on daily basis.
As we have insisted over and over in this website, you should always ensure the diet of your conure has vitamins.
If you feed your conure an all-seed or nut diet then it is just a matter of time before they suffer from nutrient deficiencies.
While nuts and seeds are a good source of omega fats, they are crucial in the health of the conures and most specifically the immune system.
They lack vitamins and minerals that are essential for the health of your conure.
Most pet parrots are susceptible to Vitamin A deficiencies due to poor feeding.
Vitamin A facilitates several functions in the body of all birds such as the health of the eye specifically the light-sensitive retina of the eye.
Health growth of the bones, boosting immune system, prevents respiratory and digestion system infections.
Vitamin A deficiencies has been associated with respiratory system fungal infections, and dull looking feathers.
Beta carotene a precursor of vitamin A helps with the plumage of the red and yellow colors of parrots.
Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, E, and selenium which helps with protecting the body against the harmful efforts of oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress leads to cellular damage, in fact, oxidate stress can also affect the reproduction of birds negatively.
These antioxidants help with reversing the effect of oxidative stress and protecting the cells from the damage of oxidative stress.
The best source of these antioxidants is either fruits or vegetable.
Minerals like vitamins are also crucial especially during growth and development and during reproduction.
Birds will have different requirements for minerals in different stages of their lives. For instance, birds that are injured, laying, sick, and molting will need more calcium in their diet.
Calcium and phosphorus are used in the development of the skeletal structure of birds and its maintenance.
The eggshell of birds is made using calcium which is where you should up the concentration of your conures’ mineral concentration if you are looking into breeding them.
Given that high phosphorus levels impairs the absorption of calcium. Avian experts recommend that you should aim to feed food that has a ratio of 2:1 calcium to phosphorus respectively.
This will allow for maximum absorption of calcium into the body. A ratio of 1.5:1 is fine for healthy adult birds that are not breeding. Source
High energy parrots such as conures need a constant supply of energy to maintain their personalities.
Tomatoes are a good source of carbohydrates that is normally converted into energy that will keep conures healthy and vibrant throughout the day as they engage with the toys in their cage.
How to feed Tomatoes to Conures
The best form of tomatoes to feed to conures are ones that have been grown organically free from chemicals. If you buy tomatoes from grocery stores follow these steps.
- Wash the tomatoes to remove any chemicals
- Peel the tomato or otherwise offer it with the peel
- Offer a small piece only [due to high acidity]
- Mix it with other fruits
- Remove any uneaten food at the end of the day
Risk of overfeeding tomatoes
According to this source feeding a lot of fruits that have high levels of acidity can cause increased absorption of iron in your conure. Excessive iron uptake can harm the liver.
High acidity levels in the bird can potentially cause cancer to the conure.
Therefore, given that tomatoes have a high level of acid, it advisable to feed just a small piece once in a while maybe once or twice a month.
While fruits should form an important part of your conures diet. Some fruits such as tomatoes can be dangerous to the health of the conure if not moderated. For instance, offering a whole tomato to conures given their small size can expose them to more acidity than their bodies can handle.
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