Can Geese Eat Tomatoes? (What About The Leaves)
Can geese eat tomatoes? Yes, tomatoes are perfectly fine for geese, they are a great addition to their diet and bring a lot of health benefits.
While the fruit is good for them, the leaves are not to be fed to them, they can be considered toxic due to the solanine and alkaloids they contain that can be damaging to their digestive system.
Health Benefits Of Tomatoes For Geese
The basic health benefit of tomatoes, whether they are fed to geese or not is that they act as a rich source of dietary fiber, an important aspect of their digestion.
The fruit also contains many essential nutrients such as Vitamins A, C and E as well as a wide range of minerals and antioxidants that play a vital role in the overall health of geese.
Additional Health Benefits Of Tomatoes For Geese
Tomato seeds are also a common ingredient in some commercial goose feed, these seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help improve the overall health of both their skin and feathers. Omega 3 also helps keep their heart healthy and functioning properly which is vital to the life expectancy of geese.
The tomatoes also provide them with essential vitamins and minerals, but since geese are herbivores the main nutrient from tomatoes that can benefit them is the vitamin C found in large quantities in the fruit.
Avoid feeding them tomatoes that appear to be moldy or rotten as it can cause very serious consequences to their health.
Can Geese Eat Unripe Tomatoes?
Unripe tomatoes are perfectly fine for them to eat, if we are talking of red unripe tomatoes, of course they will not like them as much as the ripe ones, but just they don’t constitute any possible danger.
Green tomatoes are a different thing since they are very unripe there is the danger that they may still contain traces of the toxin so they can cause serious damage to a goose, so definitely not recommended!
Can Geese Eat Tomato Leaves?
Absolutely not! tomato leaves, just like the flowers, stalks, and the plant in general contain a lot of solanine, a toxin that is harmful to the health of any animal, in particular to that of a goose.
It’s wise to keep them away from tomato plants since it’s known that geese will try to eat everything that they can put their beaks in!
What Is Solanine?
I’ve talked about how dangerous are tomato plants for them due to the solanine present. But what is it?
Solanine is a glycoalkaloid compound, a toxic plant alkaloid that is found in the leaves, flowers and stems of many nightshade plants. These include carrots (Solanum carotiferum), potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and bell peppers (S. chilense). The term is also applied to any related alkaloid, such as solasodine, solasonine and solanidin. The glycoalkaloids are especially toxic to birds due to their high molecular weight.
It’s a glycoside which means that it’s a compound formed by the cleavage of a sugar unit and an amino acid residue. It’s not very often that they are poisonous but when they are it can be fatal to our little friends!
The symptoms usually appear several hours after ingestion or immediately after, with vomiting, diarrhea and even convulsions in some cases; while in others can lead to death within 48 hours.
Symptoms of Solanine Poisoning:
Dirty look in the eye.
Pasty, pale, dull and watery with thread-like vertical pupils that tend to be halfway open.
Convulsions and vomiting. Vomiting in the first 30 minutes is not uncommon
Drowsiness, headache and tiredness or lethargy.
Tremors in the limbs or neck muscles, with a dry mouth, drooling and slight salivation. If the location of poisoning is located in the very large intestines it can lead to severe cramps and diarrhea as well as a bowl full of mushy diarrhea. Inhibition of muscular movement can occur if poisoning is concentrated in the large intestine but it normally won’t be dangerous if there isn’t much solanine present (the small intestines are where it blocks digestive enzymes). Gaseous progression leads to slow respiration, reduced blood supply to vital organs resulting in organ failure such as liver failure.
Tomatoes are definitely good for geese, they will benefit from the rich nutritional value and enjoy the taste!
Just remember to keep them away from the really unripe and green ones, and especially from the leaves of the plant which can cause many problems to them