As bird lovers, we love to provide a fresh diet to our cockatiels. Fresh fruits and vegetables are among the prettiest foods we provide. Many bird lovers provide tomatoes to their cockatiels, and many have been confused about providing those.
But, what is the actual scene? Can cockatiels eat tomatoes? This is a little complex topic to answer. Despite having a lot of health benefits, most experts don’t suggest giving a bigger portion of tomatoes to your cockatiels. Because it’s acidic. By the way, experts allow a very small portion of tomatoes to serve to your cockatiel.
Okay, there are several facts to know about tomatoes so that you can provide the right amount of it to your cockatiel buddy. Also, you should learn what alternatives you can feed your cockatiels.
Before getting the answer to the question, can cockatiels eat tomatoes, it would be fine to learn about the level of acidity as well the nutrition of a tomato. Consequently, you should be able to determine what you should do.
From an acid test of tomatoes- by Kevin Milaeger, different types of tomatoes show a pH level ranging from 4.3 to 4.9. Here he tested on the following breeds.
- Sweet Baby Girl
- Sun Sugar
- White Cherry, and
The study shows there is not much difference in the pH level between ripe and unripe tomatoes.
Note: pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, whereas 7 is considered neutral. A lower than 7 means acidic, and a higher than 7 is called base or alkaline.
By the way, here are two tables showing the acidic level and nutrition of raw tomatoes.
|Table 1- Acidic Level of Tomato*|
|pH||Citric Acid||Malic Acid||Ascorbic Acid|
|4.3 – 4.9||9%||4%||0.5%|
|Table 2- Tomato’s Nutrition Facts (100 g)|
|Carbohydrate||3.9 – 4.8g|
|Protein||0.9 – 1.1g|
|Calories||18 – 22|
|Vitamin C||18.92 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.12 mg|
|Vitamin K1||12 micrograms|
|Sugar||2.6 – 3.92 g|
As you see there are a lot of nutritions present in tomatoes, eating the right amount of tomato will provide some great nutrients to your cockatiel. Since tomatoes hold 95% of water, they will add a great benefit to water needs, no doubt.
- The vitamin C of tomatoes reduces stress and develops the mental health of birds. It also creates antibodies and develops the immune system.
- Potassium enhances blood regulation
- Vitamin K1 enhances bone health and so many health benefits.
Although tomatoes have a bunch of health benefits, you shouldn’t feed your cockatiels tomatoes due to acidity.
Tomatoes are not immediately toxic to birds. So you may have seen some bird lovers feeding tomatoes to their cockatiels in tiny amounts.
But because tomatoes are acidic and the little stomach of your cockatiels might not tolerate its acidity, you can surely avoid feeding tomatoes to your bird.
If you must, then consider the tiniest portion of tomatoes, not more than 3 to 4 little pieces. Aside from this, dried tomatoes are suggested by experts and bird nutritionists. Because dried tomatoes are less acidic than raw tomatoes since they lose the most acidity during the drying process.
By the way, dry tomatoes are a little tougher. So, chop them into pieces, and serve. This will help your cockatiels to take them easily.
As we mentioned before, tomatoes are accepted to feed the cockatiels. They are not poisonous but rather acidic. So, this shouldn’t kill your birds but there are still a few reasons why you should refrain from feeding tomatoes to your ‘tiel.
The main reason is their acidity. A bigger, even a moderate portion can cause several health hazards to your cockatiels. Here are some examples.
- If you keep too many tomatoes on your cockatiel’s diet list, it can cause stomach ulcers in your bird.
- Citric acid is the most prevalent natural acid found in tomatoes. Due to its prevalence, it can cause iron storage disease in the cockatiel’s body. Consequently, your cockatiels may face-
- Lunge damage, which causes difficulty in breathingParalysis
- Distended/swollen abdomen.
Raw tomatoes are more acidic than ripe tomatoes. So, you shouldn’t feed your cockatiels raw tomatoes. If you are just exhausted from giving raw tomatoes to your cockatiel, make sure this is not more than one-fourth of a single slice.
Red tomatoes are mainly ripe tomatoes. In the case of ripe tomatoes, it is the only suggested type to give to your cockatiels. Ripe tomatoes are less acidic than raw tomatoes.
Green tomatoes and raw tomatoes are the same. They are mostly acidic. You shouldn’t feed green tomatoes to your cockatiels. But if you are determined and your cockatiels love green ones, a little portion could be served.
Yes, you can serve a small amount of fresh and ripe tomatoes to your cockatiels. It is suggested to give tomatoes with other vegetable mixes, which will be more reliable and healthy to eat for the cockatiels.
There are many alternatives to tomatoes you can feed your cockatiels that will help to fulfill their nutrition demands. Some of the fruits and vegetables are listed below you can give as mixtures to your cockatiels.
|Food – pH Level||Food – pH Level|
|Carrots||5.88 to 6.40|
|Cucumber||5.12 to 5.78|
|Beans||5.60 to 6.50|
|Pumpkin||4.8 to 5.2|
|Coconuts||5.5 to 7.8|
|Corn||5.5 to 7|
|Ripe Mango||5.8 to 6|
|Lentils||6.30 to 6.83|
|Cantaloupe||6.13 to 6.58|
|Sprouted seeds||5.8 to 8.5|
|Romaine lettuce||5.78 to 6.06|
|Spinach||5.1 – 5.7|
|Chinese vegetables||6 to 7|
The following questions and answer might light on some more facts of cockatiel’s foods.
Can Cockatiels Eat Tomato Leaves?
No; tomato leaves and stems are entirely prohibited from giving your cockatiels. They are naturally, mostly poisonous, as we mentioned before, for green tomatoes.
To protect themselves while they are growing, plants in the nightshade family turn poisonous by producing compounds classified as alkaloids, making it impossible for any animal to consume them. It is actually a defense mechanism for the nightshade family.
What Can Cockatiels Not Eat?
You should avoid the following viands and general foods for your cockatiels.
• Fatty snacks
• Avocado, etc.
So, can cockatiels eat tomatoes? In our verdict, tomatoes are not poisonous, but they are highly acidic for cockatiels. In such cases, you are suggested to give a tiny portion of tomato to your cockatiel’s diet.
For more clarification, you should maintain an 80/20 diet rule for your birds, giving 80 percent pellets as their food. The rest 20 percent should be fruits and vegetables, whereas the portion of tomato should be too little.