Can Cows Eat Tomatoes?

As animal caretakers, we want to ensure that our animals never go hungry, and that they eat nutritious and healthy food. Here are a few things to consider when asking the question: “Can Cows Eat Tomatoes?”

As known herbivores, Can Cows Eat Tomatoes?

Generally, since tomatoes are plants, and cows are herbivores, then cows can eat tomatoes. However, there are only certain conditions in which cows can (and should) eat them. 

First, tomatoes should only be eaten in moderation. Anything beyond the regular diet of grass and hay, when eaten in excess, will disturb the gut culture and digestive process of the cows and lead to indigestion and bloat. Three to four tomatoes per week per cow should be substantial to avoid poisoning them.

Second, tomatoes can only be eaten completely ripe. Although tomatoes are just as healthy a food source as high quality hay (same amount of protein and energy), the immature or incompletely ripe tomatoes contain a compound that are unsafe for cows’ digestion. 

Lastly, tomatoes should only be eaten fresh. Moldy tomatoes will cause more harm than good to these big Bessies.

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What are tomatoes?

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are the fruits of a flowering plant that are part of the nightshade family. This edible berry (actually labeled a vegetable for purposes of nutrition) is an excellent source of Vitamin C and the compound Lycopene, which is a good antioxidant. Commonly eaten raw, there are many different variations of tomatoes in size, color, and form.

Nutritional Value of Tomatoes for Cows

Tomatoes, much like many healthy fruits and vegetables, are made up mostly of water (96%). The rest of the berry is made up of dry material which contains the following nutrients:

  • Potassium : This helps your bovine besties with milk production, boost its immune system, and protect against cardiovascular diseases.
  • Phosphorus : This is needed to improve most major bodily functions, helps with milk production, metabolize fats, and build bones and teeth
  • Vitamin A : This helps with the cows’ bone formation, overall growth,a source of energy, and body maintenance.
  • Vitamin C : This is very crucial to the improvement of rumen function and overall gut health, and the boosting of the immune system, especially since cows cannot metabolize their own Vitamin C, so they need an external source.
  • Vitamin K : This helps cows protect against clotting disorders and internal bleeding, both of which can lead to further complications for the cows.
  • Fiber : This is essential to the cows’ healthy digestion, keeping blood sugar levels steady and regulated, lowering of cholesterol levels, and proper weight management.

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Benefits of Eating tomatoes for Cows

  1. Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants – With all the vitamins and minerals present in tomatoes (including lycopene), cows have an added shield against free radicals and other complications which can cause cancer. These also reduce the risk of heart disease in these bovine beasts.
  1. Tomatoes help with cows’ physiological wellness – Bivine vision, body organs strength and integrity, skin growth and conditioning, and cellular function are all aided by the compounds found in tomatoes.

The Danger of Cows Eating Tomatoes

Tomato poisoning is a risk when consuming more than the recommended amount. Too much tomato is cows’ diet can lead to one or more of these disorders and conditions:

Lethargy – Cows may be too lazy to move

Abdominal Pain – Gut complications may lead to swelling and bloating in the gut.

Constipation – Cows may also have a difficult time passing waste and urine due to complications arising from tomato poisoning

Vomiting – Their bovine bellies may be too upset that they start throwing up, which may lead to further complications such as dehydration

In Summary : Cows can eat tomatoes on certain conditions

Just because it tastes good, and is generally good, does not mean it is all good for your cow. Make sure these are only eaten in moderation. These must be eaten completely ripe, and fresh. Otherwise, these would cause your cow more harm than good.

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