Can Horses Eat Broccoli? (Is It Good or Bad?)

Last Updated on March 1, 2022 by Allison Price

Can horses eat broccoli

Broccoli is often considered a superfood because of its many nutritional benefits and immune system support.

Is it safe to include this green vegetable in your horse’s diet?

Let’s get together to find out.

Table of Contents

Can Horses Eat Broccoli

Give your horse a piece of broccoli, and they will eat it.

Horses can eat different grains but they still enjoy some variety in their diet. Vegetables and fruits are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Can Horses Eat Broccoli

A well-balanced diet should contain healthy snacks that don’t cause digestive problems for your horse. Horse owners often think of carrots, bananas, or apples.

Horses can eat broccoli, but not horses.

The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no”.

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Broccoli is a great source of vitamins, minerals, but can cause problems for your animal’s digestion.

Because broccoli is part of the cruciferous family, it has a type sugar that makes intestinal gas. A little gas, bloating and stomach pain isn’t an issue for humans.

Gas-related colic in horses can cause severe abdominal pain. Overfeeding cruciferous veggies like cabbage or broccoli can lead to death.

You’re likely to hear a variety of opinions. Experts agree that horses can consume small amounts of broccoli. Others caution against it.

Dr. Lydia Grey, for example, says that cruciferous vegetable “don’t technically contain a toxin but their tendency to cause excess gas production in your GI tract concerns some people.”

Horsemart also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage in their category of foods that are dangerous for horses.

Horses Can Eat Raw Broccoli

Both cooked and raw broccoli contain raffinose which is responsible for excess gas production and bloating.

Broccoli is stripped of many nutrients by cooking, which reduces its nutritional value.

Therefore, if your horse is going to eat broccoli as a healthy treat then it’s not worth cooking it.

Fresh broccoli is more appealing in texture and has a better flavor.

Are Horses Attracted to Broccoli?

Parsley, swede and turnips are all favorites of horses. Broccoli is a favorite because of its great taste and pleasant texture.

It all depends on the personality of your horse. It is perfectly normal for your horse to not like broccoli and to turn its nose at you when you offer it.

If your horse is resistant to eating broccoli, don’t force them. Try other healthy snacks such as cucumbers, carrots and pumpkin.

Avoid treats containing dangerous ingredients like caffeine and chocolate.

Broccoli safe for horses?

Broccoli is not toxic to horses like tomatoes, avocados and peppers. So, don’t panic!

There are still some things you need to be aware of before giving your horse broccoli.

Intestinal Gas

We have already mentioned that excessive gas production from cruciferous vegetables can lead to colic.

Although colic is not usually serious and can resolve quickly, it is something that should be taken seriously. PetMed advises horse owners to treat any type of colic as an emergency .

This is why you should not give your animal more than 4 ounces of broccoli per day, or more than once or twice per week. It can be dangerous for your animal to ignore this limit!

Even though this is a large risk, some owners are reluctant to take it. Colic is too dangerous to be concerned about.

This risk can be taken by providing plenty of water for your animal to help reduce abdominal pain.

Choking Hazard

Broccoli is safe for young horses unless the horse is more likely to eat whole.

Older animals may have problems with their teeth and are unable to chew properly. Even on something trivial like broccoli, older animals are at risk of choking.

We recommend that broccoli be cut into smaller, more manageable pieces or blended with water/other safe vegetables.


Pesticides are used by farmers and manufacturers to protect their crops from disease and pests. These chemicals can cause many problems and may be toxic to animals.

Before you give the broccoli to your horse, make sure it has been soaked in water for at minimum 30 minutes. Buy organic if possible.


Equines, just like humans, can become allergic to many strange foods, such as broccoli. Veterinarians can find it difficult to determine what animal your pet is allergic to.

Mixing a small amount of broccoli with the grain will ensure your horse is safe. Keep an eye on your horse for several days to determine if there are any adverse reactions.

Talk to your veterinarian if you notice unusual symptoms. An increase in gas is something to watch out for.

Broccoli is good for horses

You might be wondering if broccoli is a healthy snack after reading about the dangers of intestinal gas.

However, it is a great source of essential vitamins.

Broccoli has many health benefits for your four-legged friend.

Discussing feeding broccoli to horses with your vet is a smart thing to do if you don’t want to put your horse at risk.

Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional benefits.

Hydration Aids

For horses to be able to digest properly and have good overall health, it is important that they are hydrated.

Broccoli can also be a great snack for horses during the hot summer months. Horses who are reluctant to drink water can noticeably benefit from it.

The effects of the diet are limited because you can’t feed it a lot.

Healthy Digestion

Did you know that one cup of broccoli has 2.4 grams of fiber. Broccoli is a great source of dietary fibre, which is vital for a healthy digestive system.

Additional fiber can also be beneficial for constipation, and may help regulate your pony’s bowel movements.

Broccoli can be a good option for the digestive tract if eaten in moderation.

Strong Antioxidant Properties

Raw broccoli is a great source of vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant protects cells against free radicals and strengthens your immune system.

A 100g serving of broccoli has almost 90 mg Vitamin C. This is 150% more than the daily recommended intake for humans.

Juliet M. Getty recommends ” adding 3-5 mg per pound body weight per day for horses in their late teens.

A little bit of broccoli can provide your animal with a good dose of Vitamin C.

There are many vitamins and minerals

Broccoli is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B. These nutrients are essential for healthy bones, a strong immune system and normal metabolic functions.

Broccoli is a great source of potassium, calcium, zinc and phosphorous. This is great for your horse’s overall health.

Tips for Preparing Broccoli For Horses

It is easy to prepare broccoli for horses. These are some tips to help you get started:

  • Wash the broccoli well to remove any traces of chemicals/pesticides.
  • Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
  • To avoid choking, feed it slowly to your horse.
  • Limit the amount of broccoli you give at once to four ounces.

Use a blender to blend broccoli with water or juice, and give it as an occasional treat to animals that have dental problems.

Mixing a little bit of broccoli with other fruits and vegetables, like turnips, carrots and apples, can be a great way to get your daily dose of healthy vegetables.

Broccoli for Horses FAQs

What foods are poisonous for horses?

The most toxic human foods to animals are chocolate, caffeine, garlic, onion, and ginger.
Horses should not eat vegetables of the nightshade family, such as tomatoes and potatoes. Because seeds and pits are a natural source for cyanide, they can be very dangerous.
Although vegetables from the cruciferous plant family (like cabbage and broccoli) are not toxic, they can cause colic.

Can Horses Eat Cucumbers

How about cucumbers? Horses can eat cucumbers Cucumbers are a nutritious treat due to their high water content and rich in vitamins and minerals.
This video will show you how to add safe fruits and vegetables to your horse’s diet.

Can Horses Eat Broccoli Cooked?

Yes, cooked broccoli can be as safe as raw broccoli. It is less nutritious than raw broccoli and can cause problems for horses if you add any ingredients to it.


Broccoli is good for horses and has many health benefits, but it can also cause intestinal gas.

It is best to feed your horse in small quantities and slowly to get used to it. If you have concerns about the horse’s diet, talk to your veterinarian.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!