Question
Asked 19th Oct, 2014

Does anyone know some nutritional properties of the tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum) as a ruminant feed?

In some Costa Rican farms, people are using the tomato plant (stems + leaves) to feed sheep and dairy cows. We are analyzing this as a feed, but we need more information in order to do a better characterization.

Most recent answer

16th Apr, 2015
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Hello Mr Garipoglu (or Mr Vaiz, I don't Know, sorry!!!)
Values of 13,56 and 17,6 were reported in tomato leaves  by Osama et al (2013) and Ventura et al (2009), respectively.  Analyzing tems, Ventura et al (2009) reported 18,4%. In whole tomato plant (stems+leaves), Lofti (nd) indicated a value of 19% and Ventura et al (2009) 18.1%.
I think that values between 20-25% can be possible in certain agricultural conditions, dependind on the soil type, maturity of the plant, fertilization levels.  Also, if your samples are soil-contaminated, it can be expected higher ash levels.
Also, as a part of the silage process, you could use some additives that hightened your crude ash levels.
I hope this answer can be useful for you. If it isn't, please say it to me.
I attached the publications cited. I'm very sad, but I cannot give you any Costarican info, beacause I didn't received yet analysis results of my sample.
3 Recommendations

Popular Answers (1)

16th Apr, 2015
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Hello Mr Garipoglu (or Mr Vaiz, I don't Know, sorry!!!)
Values of 13,56 and 17,6 were reported in tomato leaves  by Osama et al (2013) and Ventura et al (2009), respectively.  Analyzing tems, Ventura et al (2009) reported 18,4%. In whole tomato plant (stems+leaves), Lofti (nd) indicated a value of 19% and Ventura et al (2009) 18.1%.
I think that values between 20-25% can be possible in certain agricultural conditions, dependind on the soil type, maturity of the plant, fertilization levels.  Also, if your samples are soil-contaminated, it can be expected higher ash levels.
Also, as a part of the silage process, you could use some additives that hightened your crude ash levels.
I hope this answer can be useful for you. If it isn't, please say it to me.
I attached the publications cited. I'm very sad, but I cannot give you any Costarican info, beacause I didn't received yet analysis results of my sample.
3 Recommendations

All Answers (28)

20th Oct, 2014
Thomas Guiraud
Bordeaux Sciences Agro
What about alpha-tomatin ? Is it not toxic for cattle ?
21st Oct, 2014
Denis Bastianelli
Cirad - La recherche agronomique pour le développement
There is a paper by Myriam Ventura with some analyses and in sacco degradation parameters:
Ventura, M. R. ; Pieltin, M. C. ; Castanon, J. I. R., 2009. Evaluation of tomato crop by-products as feed for goats. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol., 154 (3-4): 271-275
1 Recommendation
22nd Oct, 2014
A. Febriansyah
Behn Meyer GmbH
Dear Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
Please find the attached file as follow below concerning on NUTRITIVE VALUE OF TOMATO POMACE USING IN VITRO GAS PRODUCTION TECHNIQUE 
Best regads :)
22nd Oct, 2014
Doni Zivotofsky
Zivotofsky Veterinary
I seem to recall an issue with nitrates (?) and also that sheep eating "tomato hay' urinated excessively causing there to be issue with air quality (ammonia smell)  and bedding being wet
22nd Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Dear Thomas. I don't know about alfa-tomatin. But I promise to research about it. If you can give me more information, I will thank you
22nd Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Thanks to Denis and Ahkir, your literature recommendations are so useful.
22nd Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Dear Doni, Do you have any documented experience about it? 
23rd Oct, 2014
Doni Zivotofsky
Zivotofsky Veterinary
nothing documented just clinical impression from farmers that tried it
23rd Oct, 2014
syam mohan kolamveettil Mohanan
Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
Great information from Reza. we never thought of feeding tomatoe plant for dairy cattle. we also need to do some research on it. Thanks Reza and Luis
23rd Oct, 2014
Thomas Guiraud
Bordeaux Sciences Agro
I'm not a specialist about tomato chemical composition, my question was a matter of curiosity. It seems that alpha-tomatin is a toxic component we can find in green parts.
Moreover, I can testify that some people working long enough in greenhouse who can contract a form of skin and/or respiratory allergy. It's only a human concern but it can match with the hypothesis that these green parts contain one or more toxic products.
I read the Ventura paper and it seems tha goat suffer from intestinal disorder if they eat to much tomato fruit. Nothing about vegetative parts, only chemical data about theorical digestibility.
2 Recommendations
23rd Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
In the farms we saw, the staff reported some nutritional disorders (diarrhea) and some reject behaviour when the product is first used.
1 Recommendation
23rd Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Dear Reza, these are the fotos that you want.  In this moment, I only have about the use of the plant in sheep.
23rd Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
At this moment I don't have any picture of the product itself.  The product has been grown on a greenhouse, I think, but i'm not sure at this moment. It is offered fresh, without any tratment.  In that farm, the tomato plant is used as alternative to cut-and-carry grass, and the animals receive variable quantities of both feeds. The product is really bad stored, beacause in the farm where we see the product, they put it outdoors.  Our objective is to identify what are the nutritional and antinutritional properties of this feedstuff, and how much tomato plant is convenient to use. I don't know yet the dairy facility using tomato plant, only a sheep farm.  Staff of the farm reports diarrhea, in sheeps consuming this plant during about a month, but, as they don't manage very well the product and don't know how much to provide, we are waiting to make any hypothesis.
24th Oct, 2014
Leovegildo Matos
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)
You can solve this problem just going over the literature. It is toxic, unfortunately, even for ruminants.
24th Oct, 2014
Sunday Aderoju Olabi Dada
Tuskegee University
Tomato by-products are usually fed to ruminants due to their high fibre content. They are not excellent feed ingredients, being less digestible than most major oil meal and protein sources. They can be bitter and should then be used together with more palatable feeds. However, they can be a valuable source of protein, energy and fibre and cost-effective (Göhl, 1982; Caluya et al., 2003). In the Phillipines, Caluya et al., 2003 recommend to include tomato pomace at up to 50 % of the daily roughage requirement irrespective of whether it is fresh, dry or ensiled. The pomace should be given before the roughage or mixed (particularly when dry) thoroughly with the chopped roughage.
2 Recommendations
24th Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Leovegildo, Do you have anypaper that confirms that?
26th Oct, 2014
Sunday Aderoju Olabi Dada
Tuskegee University
Feeding animals with tomato by-products is therefore a valuable way to prevent ... Tomatine may have medicinal properties such as antibiotic, anticancer, ... Their physical form, chemical composition and subsquent nutritional value depend on the ... Tomato pomace ensiled with whole maize plant up to 12 % (DM basis) ..
27th Oct, 2014
Robert Alan Lane
Sam Houston State University
Tomato pomace is the remaining residue after processing the tomato fruit, not the tomato plant itself.  As with other members of the nightshade family, I believe the tomato plants themselves contain compounds (solanine, et al.) that will be detrimental to ruminants, though I have no proof of such a claim.
2 Recommendations
27th Oct, 2014
Luis Alejandro Rodríguez Campos
University of Costa Rica
Thank you Robert.  
5th Nov, 2014
Zibani Madzonga
University of Arkansas
Luis, please analyse and share the results.  What I have noticed with tomato palnts is that, the plant matures as rapidly as the fruits are being harvested.  By the time the plant has stopped producing fruits and the last set of fruits is ripe, the plant has lost most leaves and whatever leaves are left, they would be discolored and stems look really fbrous.  I am not sure about anti-nutritional substances,but i believe there should be some in the tomato palnt.  Please finish your analyses and we can take it from there.  It should be interesting!

Similar questions and discussions

Related Publications

Article
Acetone and ethanol extracts of Albizia saman (ASL) and Tithonia diversifolia (TDL) leaves used as fodder for ruminant were evaluated for their antibacterial properties against selected pathogenic bacteria. Phytochemical screening was determined according to standard procedures, while antibacterial activity was by agar well diffusion and broth micr...
Article
Full-text available
The aim was to evaluate how the fodder pre-dehydration time and its phenological stages influence on ruminal degradability and digestibility of ryegrass silage. The evaluated samples consisted of treatments: Vegetative: Cut and ensiled; cut + 4 hours pre-drying and ensiled and; cut + 7 hours pre-drying and ensiled; Pre-flowering: Silage cutting and...
Article
Full-text available
The agricultural activity has generated a progressive amount of waste, which needs a proper treatment to avoid negative environmental impacts. At the same time, values can be added to such waste, as its use in animal feed. This research was conducted at the laboratory of Animal Nutrition, State University of Southwestern Bahia, campuses of Vitória...
Got a technical question?
Get high-quality answers from experts.