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Can Cows Eat Tomatoes? (Read This First!)

Tomatoes are juicy, sweet and also a great source of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutritions for both humans and animals. They boost cells and tissue growth and promote a healthy body.

However, tomatoes might not be always helpful for everyone, some animals can have allergies and digestive issues and for having tomatoes as well. 

Can cows eat tomatoes?

Cows can consume only the fresh ripened red tomatoes. Actually, ripe tomatoes contain many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that can help to build their body. However, there should be certain limitations because feeding too many tomatoes can cause a cow digestive and stomach illness.

Tomatoes are high in nutrients, and cows can eat them in the required proportions. Actually, tomatoes can be both useful and dangerous for a cow. A  small amount of ripe tomatoes is good for cows but if they are fed a large amount of tomatoes, they can fall sick. 

Moreover, cows can consume any variety of tomato except green tomatoes because of major health issues.

The cherry tomatoes: 

Cherry tomatoes are a favorite of cows. Unless they are green, these are safe for cows to eat. These are little tomato cultivars that might be yellow or orange and are significantly healthier for cows. 

Cows can eat these cherry tomatoes because they are high in vitamins and beneficial to them.

The green tomatoes: 

Green tomatoes should not be fed to cows because they contain two poisonous components called tomatine and saponin, which can cause health problems in cows such as diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. 

The unripe tomatoes also contain alkaloids that are known to cause toxicity in cattle and other animals, causing alkaloid poisoning. These harmful steroids are found in green varieties of tomatoes only, so cattle should avoid them. 

Even their toxicity does not decrease when they are boiled or cooked, rather it rises. So, they should not be consumed in any case.

The ripe tomatoes: 

Red ripe tomatoes are a better choice for cows. These do not include any hazardous elements such as alkaloids, and ripe fresh tomatoes contain 90% water and are rich in vitamins, so cows do not face dehydration or vitamin deficiencies.

Are tomatoes poisonous to cows? Do cows like tomatoes? 

Cows are not poisoned by ripe tomatoes. Only the green, unripe tomatoes are harmful to them since they contain significant levels of saponin and tomatine, which cause disease in the cows due to the toxicity of these materials. 

Tomato plants’ leaves and stems contain alkaloids that are poisonous to them. Aside from these, feeding fresh organic red tomatoes to cows in sufficient quantities is beneficial since the harmful effects of tomatoes fade as they ripen and become rich in nutritional elements. 

Cows like only fresh, ripe tomatoes because they find them appetizing and readily consume them. They also enjoy it when it is cooked or served as a tomato pomace with vegetables. Despite the fact that it may be surprising to some, the majority of cows find it delightful. 

Additionally, they are high in fiber and minerals, making them easier to digest. Green or unripe tomatoes are the only ones that cows dislike since they are poisonous to their stomachs.

5 Reasons why cows can  eat tomatoes?

Tomatoes are a great source of nutrients and energy. If the quality of tomatoes is good enough, feeding a significant amount of tomatoes can help to build their body and health. Actually, tomatoes are rich in various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Ripe tomatoes don’t do any harm to them and so cows can have the red ripe tomatoes. Here are some beneficial compounds why cows can eat tomatoes:


Tomatoes are high in fiber and also low in calories which helps for cow’s healthy digestion. In fact, tomatoes have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber. They work to keep blood sugar levels steady. 

It lowers cholesterol level and helps in achieving healthy weight.


Tomatoes are filled with so many vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K. Vitamin A works for good eyesight and maintaining healthy teeth. Vitamin C is good for skin, tissue growth and also for the immune system. 

Vitamin K works for healthy bones and tissues and blood clotting. 


Tomatoes have folate and potassium which work for maintaining muscle health, cell function and stronger bones. These minerals are also good in keeping blood pressure in control.


One of the important reasons for feeding cows tomatoes is they contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that can fight against cancer cells and also reduce heart disease. It helps cows to have healthy bodies and stronger bones. 

Beta carotene: 

Beta carotene is a pigment that makes a tomato vivid yellow, orange and red color. But in a cow’s body, they work for powerful vision, maintain a healthy body and healthy organs. It also packs a powerful punch in skin growth and cell function. 

What vitamins and minerals do tomatoes have for cows? 

Tomatoes are enriched with so many useful vitamins that work for cows in maintaining a healthy body. Tomatoes have vitamin A, vitamin C and also vitamin K. Vitamin A works for vision and promotes healthy eye health. 

Vitamin A is also good for teeth, skeletal and soft tissue. Vitamin C also has several functions. It intensively works for tissue growth and skin benefits. It increases the immune system and helps tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels for healing wounds. 

Again, vitamin K serves cows improving cell function and also makes healthy and stronger bones. 

Among minerals, tomatoes contain folate and potassium. Folate works for creating new proteins, red blood cells and also produces the most important factor of the human body, DNA. It also helps cell and tissue growth. 

And the potassium helps in blood clotting and maintaining normal blood pressure. It also improves digestion and muscle health.

How much tomatoes should be fed to cows? 

Tomatoes might be highly nutritious but there’s a certain limit feeding tomatoes to cows. Tomatoes should be served as their snacks, not their daily food. If you feed cows a lot of them, they might get sick. 

A small amount of tomatoes, like 3 to 4 tomatoes are enough for cows a week. Or, you can chop a large ripe tomato and give 2-3 pieces every other day. 

But it’s not necessary to feed cows tomatoes every day. But if you want to provide the nutrients of tomatoes to your cows, you can serve them tomatoes 2-3 times a week. Cows can have diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal heart rate if they are fed large amounts of tomatoes. 

Moreover, some cows might have allergies in tomatoes so, you must start with even smaller amounts to observe their reactions. If negative effects are noticed, the cow needs to be taken to the vet. 

Can cows eat tomatoes, plants and vines? 

Cows cannot eat tomato plants or vines because they contain poisonous components known as solanine. Actually, the solanine that  they contain is a bitter-tasting steroidal glycoalkaloid compound that is known to cause poisoning in cattle. 

Tomato plants belong to the nightshade family, which means they contain a significant amount of nitrate and alkaloids. If cattle eat these plants or vines in any form, they will become sick and possibly pass away if they eat too much.

Cows can vomit, become lethargic, or dehydrated, causing frequent diarrhea after eating these plants and vines, interfering with acetylcholine nerves and causing gastrointestinal difficulties due to the effects of high nitrates. 

So, for their safety, cows should not be allowed to eat certain vines and bushes. Even if they ingest it by accident, they should see a veterinarian immediately. So, cows should be kept out of the tomato-growing area as well.

How to feed tomatoes to cows? 

Tomatoes can be fed whole or chopped. Choose the ripe tomatoes for feeding as unripe tomatoes will cause digestive difficulties in cows. Wash it thoroughly and prepare it to serve. Moldy tomatoes should not be fed to cows since they may cause gastrointestinal issues. 

You can feed tomatoes to cows by:

Mixing with regular vegetables:

Tomatoes can be fed by cutting them into little pieces and mixing them in an equal amount with other green vegetables. 

However, due to the lack of calcium in ripe tomatoes, calcium supplements can be added to the mixture to maintain the nutrition level for their growth.

Making dry tomato pomace for feeding cows: 

Dry tomato pomace, comprising lycopene-rich tomato pulp and peels, can be combined with green fodder in the appropriate quantities and fed to cows. 

It is a high-quality source of nutrition for cows as well as a low-cost by-product that helps them thrive. 

Final Thoughts

Cows can eat tomatoes but there are some conditions. Though tomatoes are rich in many nutrients and energy, if cows consume a large amount of tomatoes they can face a major health issue. Moreover, they can eat only ripe tomatoes as green tomatoes can be dangerous for their health.