Can Cockatiels Eat Tomatoes? (Vet’s Guide)

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Ali Shahid

Can Cockatiels eat tomatoes? This is one of the common questions among cockatiel lovers. While humans can safely eat tomatoes are they safe for cockatiels?

Can Cockatiels Eat Tomatoes?

Cockatiels can eat ripe tomatoes, but I wouldn’t recommend feeding them tomatoes and by-products of tomatoes like canned tomatoes and tomato sauce because of their acidic content. In addition, cockatiels are prohibited from eating unripe tomatoes, green tomatoes, stems, and land leaves from tomato plants. As there are a lot of other safe fruits available cockatiels should stay away from tomatoes.

In this article, I will explain why tomatoes can be risky for cockatiels. I will also explore why cockatiels might be drawn to tomatoes even though they aren’t suitable for them, and provide safe ways to include tomatoes in their diet.

Can Cockatiels Eat Tomatoes

Potential Risk Associated With Feeding Tomatoes to Cockatiel

While tomatoes might seem like a good addition to a cockatiel’s meals, they come with certain risks that need attention. Being part of the nightshade family, tomatoes contain a chemical called solanine. This substance can be harmful in larger quantities, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and even fatal outcomes.

To ensure safety, it is essential to offer tomatoes to cockatiels in small portions as an occasional treat, rather than a regular part of their diet.

Additionally, only fully ripe and pesticide-free tomatoes should be given, as pesticides can be detrimental to birds’ health. Lastly, cockatiels with liver or kidney issues should steer clear of tomatoes, as the solanine content can worsen their condition.

What will happen to the cockatiel if it eats tomatoes?

The effect of tomatoes on your cockatiel can vary, much like in humans, depending on their sensitivity to the acid present. While there might be no immediate consequences, it is important not to assume that tomatoes are safe for continuous consumption.

Over time, feeding tomatoes to your cockatiel could lead to the development of stomach ulcers or other adverse reactions.

Vomiting could occur as a response to the acidity and stomach discomfort caused by tomatoes. Nevertheless, ceasing tomato intake for your cockatiel would likely result in the healing of any digestive system damage and a return to normalcy.

Why the tomato vines and leaves are more dangerous for cockatiels?

It is essential to avoid giving your cockatiel or any bird tomato vines and leaves, as they are toxic. These parts of the plant aren’t just hard for birds to tolerate. They are poisonous. Tomato plants, being a part of the nightshade family, produce compounds called alkaloids, which are toxic.

This mechanism evolved as a defense to prevent animals from consuming the plant while it is growing and producing its fruit.

The highest concentration of these alkaloids is found in the leaves and vines of the tomato plant, making it crucial to never feed these parts to your cockatiel. Even if these parts taste bitter and your cockatiels might naturally avoid them, it is safer to ensure these elements are kept out of their diet altogether.

Can cockatiels eat sun-dried tomatoes?

If you are worried about your cockatiel missing out on tomatoes, there are a couple of options available. Interestingly, dried tomatoes are safe for them to consume. The drying process significantly reduces the acidity, addressing the primary concern.

However, dried tomatoes are tougher compared to fresh ones, so it is advisable to dice them into smaller pieces if you plan to incorporate them into your cockatiel’s diet. This ensures easier consumption.

Keep in mind that dried tomatoes are somewhat concentrated, meaning your cockatiel won’t need a large amount. If you are using store-bought sun-dried tomatoes, opt for those that are purely tomato, packed dry, and free from any oil.

Can Cockatiels Eat Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce?

Sun-dried tomato sauce can indeed serve as a flavorful treat for cockatiels, yet it is crucial to offer it in moderation.

This type of sauce holds valuable vitamins and minerals that contribute to the well-being of birds, including vitamins A, C, and E. However, make sure to opt for organic and unsalted versions of sun-dried tomato sauce to ensure the best option for your cockatiel’s health.

Can Cockatiels Eat Tomato Ketchup?

Using tomato ketchup can be a clever approach, but there is a catch to consider. Most widely available ketchup tends to have high sugar content. While your cockatiel might be drawn to the idea, it is your responsibility to ensure their diet remains balanced, minimizing the intake of empty calories that could result in weight gain.

There are natural or organic ketchup options that come with lower sugar levels. However, it’s important to emphasize that these should only be used sparingly, serving as infrequent treats for your cockatiel.


Considering the popularity of tomatoes for home gardening, you might find it disappointing that you cannot share tomatoes with your cockatiel.

However, the potential risks associated with tomatoes make this a cautious choice. The acidity in tomatoes can lead to stomach upset in your bird.

Even more concerning, other parts of the tomato plant, including the vines and leaves, contain toxins that are harmful to cockatiels.

Regrettably, enjoying fresh tomatoes is a pleasure meant for you alone. Fortunately, there’s an array of other fresh fruits and vegetables that your cockatiel can safely enjoy without the risk of discomfort or harm.

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