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Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

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Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby DanaYares » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:01 am

My rabbits seem to really like my tomato greens, but are they ok to feed to them?

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:18 am

Not a good idea... All parts of the tomato plant except the fruits are toxic. Not drop-down-dead toxic, but still not good for them. Tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants are all members of the nightshade family.

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Pickles » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:41 pm

Steer clear of Tomatos, Tom stems & Tom leaves.

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Devon's Mom Lauren » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:53 am

DanaYares wrote:My rabbits seem to really like my tomato greens, but are they ok to feed to them?


How long have your rabbits been eating the tomato plants? Was it just one time or was it more long term? How did your rabbits do after they ate them? I am very interested to know! I have had people tell me certain items "cause diarrhea" that I have been feeding forever and not had a single case of diarrhea yet.. Now granted my particular tomato plants are a very sorry looking bunch and seem to have some sort of disease so I wouldn't feed them just because of that, but healthy green plants...

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:32 am

Lauren,

There is a lady on the MeatRabbits Yahoo group that feeds her rabbits tomato greens all the time. She has done this for years and they have no issues. I seem to remember it may have something to do with the variety of tomato but I am not sure.

What I do know is that she has very healthy, large rabbits that have big litters and typically raise them all to weaning. So, it must not be doing them any harm....but, she starts them with small amounts very young and works up to feeding larger amounts.

Devon's Mom Lauren wrote:
DanaYares wrote:My rabbits seem to really like my tomato greens, but are they ok to feed to them?


How long have your rabbits been eating the tomato plants? Was it just one time or was it more long term? How did your rabbits do after they ate them? I am very interested to know! I have had people tell me certain items "cause diarrhea" that I have been feeding forever and not had a single case of diarrhea yet.. Now granted my particular tomato plants are a very sorry looking bunch and seem to have some sort of disease so I wouldn't feed them just because of that, but healthy green plants...
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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:38 am

It could be that the tomato plant toxicity thing is yet another of those annoying myths or it could be that rabbits can tolerate a certain amount in their diets without harm. I hope those who continue to feed tomato leaves to their rabbits will be observing closely to see if there are any ill-effects and that they will post their findings.

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SterlingSatin » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:54 am

oops, i feed my rabbits tomato stems and leaves. they haven't had a problem.

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Devon's Mom Lauren » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:09 pm

Thanks for the input guys, its good to know! I did find a lot about tomato plants being toxic to dogs but not why or what would happen..could be its just one of those things that just keeps getting passed by word of mouth and no really questions or tests it scientifically. After all the human race once believed that tomatos were poisonous to eat at all!!

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:36 pm

i've found if they get a bit of tomato it won't kill them. I've lots other things to feed though so I just tend not to bother. The tomato itself is just fine to feed them as I've done that numerous times.
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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby DanaYares » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:27 pm

I asked a veterinarian friend about the tomato toxicity problem, and here's what she had to say.


Question: Are tomato leaves toxic to rabbits?

Answer #1: Possibly. Tomato plants contain tomatine, an alkaloid glycoside, that yields tomatidine when hydrolyzed. These are similar to solanine, which can be a gastrointestinal irritant and cholinesterase inhibitor. However, the tomatidine is poorly absorbed and appears to be of low toxicity. On the other hand, there have been reports of deaths in pigs and cattle grazing on tomato plants. So best to avoid tomato leaves in any animal.
>
Answer #2:The Solanacea or nightshade/potato family is of considerable economic importance as it includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, cayenne peppers, tobacco and belladonna.
>
> The cultivated tomato contains alpha-tomatine. It is found throughout the plant, but especially in flowers and leaves. Concentrations are also high in young, green fruit, but decline markedly during ripening. Tomatine can be weakly cardiotoxic, but is poorly absorbed.
>
> The highest clinical concern for tomato plants is herbivores eating large amounts of leaves, and dogs eating large amounts of green fruit, although I suspect you would have a dog with severe GI upset before any other signs developed.
>
> I truthfully don't know where the "thin the blood" thought came from, and would not be too concerned if a dog was getting a small amount of ripe tomato.

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Frosted Rabbits » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:48 am

Well, two of my rabbits got a good bellyfull of Morning Glory a few weeks ago-- no issues-- So, maybe--- old wives tales, etc-- and cows and pigs wil seek out and overindulge at times-- but their digestive systems are also a bit different than the rabbits is... and that can preclude toxicity in some species..
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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:14 pm

It is true that a lot of the toxicity information we have about plants is for larger livestock. I think it is wise to avoid feeding questionable plants but on the other hand there are very few plants we are likely to encounter while foraging or from our vegetable gardens that are "drop dead" poisonous.

Among the ornamental and medicinal plants, you will find some that should definitely NEVER be fed: lily-of-the-valley and monkshood (aconite) come to mind.

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Jack » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:30 pm

aconite is medicinal, but I forget in how SMALL of a dose
Oleander is another, but I do know that its a forage plant,
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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:31 pm

Monkshood is a very scary plant. It does have medicinal qualities, but is also extremely dangerous. Not recommended in a garden with children, pets or free-range poultry. I've seen it growing at old homesteads maybe a hundred miles north of here and wondered if they used to grow it for its medicinal properties or just as an ornamental.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum

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Re: Should rabbits eat tomato greens?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby hoodat » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:38 am

Wild rabbits will often eat small amounts of otherwise toxic plants as a medicine. Their instincts tell them when they need it. Wild rabbits that have a wide choice of both food and toxic plants however are a far cry from those who have to depend on what we bring them. I always follow the better safe than sorry rule.
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