Tomato Plant - Safe to Eat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ssteiner, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. ssteiner

    ssteiner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Orange, CA
    My chickens free range in my small vegetable garden. We only started this habit in October, after my tomato plants were all harvested, but my question is this. When the warm days of summer are once again upon us and I have a full, large tomato plant in my vegetable garden, will anything bad happen to my chickens if they eat the foliage? Tomato's in the Nightshade family, and thus has a toxicity not to the fruit, but to the leaves. I have my other vegetables netted to keep them from eating my crop before I do, but I don't want them to get even a nibble of a poisonous plant. Thanks for any help.

    -Scott
     
  2. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    I plan on caging my tomatoe plants and then adding a bit of netting around the bottom so the birds cannot reach them...last year all they ate off the plants where the fruit not the foliage...
     
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Dec 16, 2008
    westchester
    I have no idea about the foliage but I know my chicks love tomatoes, I picked all of my green ones before frost and ripened them in the house and the ones I did not want to eat I used as treats for them. I do not believe any of the tomatoes plant will harm your birds.
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    tomato plant foliage is dangerous to them..and to many other animals also...its in the nightshade family..... the fruits are fine for them to eat...but NOT the plant......i also have to find a way to keep them out of mine next summer...i think the cages...although..they can still peck the leaves through the wire...so, its a pain..[​IMG]..but..mine loved to jump up and grab my tomatos off the plant..[​IMG]..good luck, Wendy
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    westchester
    Quote:really? Interesting I never read that, but know you are correct about the nightshade family and all I have a couple books that mention having your chickens help out in the veggie garden but all they do is warn you that the birds will head strait for the ripe tomatoes if they are in season. That was how I realized they must like them and started feeding my rejected ones to them as treats.
     
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:really? Interesting I never read that, but know you are correct about the nightshade family and all I have a couple books that mention having your chickens help out in the veggie garden but all they do is warn you that the birds will head strait for the ripe tomatoes if they are in season. That was how I realized they must like them and started feeding my rejected ones to them as treats.

    ooh yeah..they love them!...i would go to pick a tomato..and they all would have little peck marks out of them...[​IMG]...and they even liked the green ones!....but..yeah...i have heard the plant is pretty dangerous for any animal..in my goat book..and my pig book(i'm a dork..and buy books about my animals..[​IMG]..)..it says to keep them away from tomato plants, etc....so...i would for chickens also...
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    twice I have tried lettings chickens in the garden- and twice I have had to replant everything! I did keep them away from tomatoes from the git-go, but they ate EVERYTHING else. [​IMG]
    The ate all the herbs even, we called them "pre-stuffed" chickens.
     
  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    If you allow your chickens anywhere near your tomato plants, don't expect to have many tomatoes for yourself. They don't eat the plants all that much (most animals know what plants are poisonous to them and stay away when they have options), but they LOVE tomatoes -- even small green ones. You'll have some very happy chickens, though. [​IMG]
     
  9. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Interesting, mine ate the plants at the end of the year and suffered no ill effects. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, mine stuck their little beaks though the fence keeping them out of the gardens and they ate the leaves on anything they could reach. Including the tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, beans and the list goes on... yet they seem to ignore the other few acres of weeds just to target the garden spots. [​IMG]

    They were none worse for the wear.
     

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