Can horses eat Broccoli? A Complete Guide

Can Horses Eat Broccoli? is a commonly asked question. Broccoli, an edible green plant, belonging to the cabbage family, is eaten as a vegetable around the globe. It has three varieties Calabrese Broccoli, Sprouting Broccoli, and Purple Broccoli. Because of its high nutritional profile, it is an essential part of human and animal food. So the question arises

Can horses eat Broccoli?

Yes, Of course, they can eat broccoli. And it is as beneficial to them as it is for humans. It is, in fact, an excellent source of vitamins, and minerals for them. 

To get maximum out of it you need to figure out the right way of feeding broccoli to your horse.

Give it as a snack

Yes, give it as a snack around 4 ounces a day. It should never be considered or given as a whole one time meal. A quantity above 4 ounces can cause discomfort. You can feed them separately or with some vegetables and grains too. However, it is advisable to mix it with grain and vegetables. But keeping the quantity below 5 is the key to get the positive effects of vitamins and minerals present in broccoli.

Do horses like broccoli?

Yes, they kind of like how it tastes or they neither hate it nor love it would be more appropriate to say.

What vitamins and minerals broccoli has?

Broccoli has a long list of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

 And they are:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Floate
  • Vitamin A, K, D, E, and B6, and B,12.

And this is how these help in your horse’s growth.


Like humans, horses need calcium for the integrity of their skeleton. Calcium deficiency may give a resting shoulder to issues like lameness, ill-thrift, and an enlarged head. Being rich in calcium, It can be used to treat such issues.


As per a research conducted by the National Research Council, horses need 14.3g of phosphorus a day for their equine skeleton and enzyme system to work well. And it is an excellent organic source of phosphorus for both mature and young horses.


Zinc and phosphorus deficiencies are common among horses. And broccoli is an excellent way to keep these two balanced as the mature adult horse needs 500 kilograms of zinc for their bone development and healthy skin and hooves. Moreover, zinc is also needed to metabolize carbohydrates and protein.  


We all know how important it is to have enough iron in all living things. It aids in producing healthy red blood cells as they keep the oxygen supply to all parts intact. And with adding broccoli to their diet you can avoid the iron supplementation to some extent.


Potassium, a crucial mineral, helps with several issues in your horse’s body and they are:

  • Maintaining the acid and base balance.
  • Sound muscle and nerve functions.
  • Cellular osmotic pressure.
  • Keeps the cells hydrated.


Yes, horses need thiamine to convert carbohydrates into energy. They also need thiamine to prevent the formation of lactic acid by processing the pyruvic acid. And it helps in keeping the horse active and overall healthy.


Niacin, a vitamin, humans, and animals like horses need for the proper functioning of all parts of the body. It also helps in repairing DNA.


Riboflavin in combination with other vitamins works for overall growth. It aids in red cell production as well.


It improves cell work and helps in tissue growth both in humans and animals.

Vitamin A, K, D, E, and B6, and B,12

Vitamin A helps in improving reproductive function and the immune system. Vitamin k prevents the risk of haemorrhage in horses. Vitamin D maintains calcium concentration and plasma in horses.  It mobilizes and channels the stored calcium. Vitamin E prevents muscular disease and helps in the healthy performance of muscles in the horse’s body. Vitamin B6 and B12 improve various functions like digestion and metabolism.

In short, this forgiving vegetable contains all the necessary nutrients your horse needs to live a balanced healthy life. It can be added to their diet to cut down the inorganic vitamins they need.

What should broccoli be mixed with?

It can be mixed with vegetables and fruits like apples, turnip, pumpkin, beets, lettuce, carrots, bananas, raisins, strawberries, fennel, peas, and even grains. It is totally okay if you want to feed it separately it is only mixed to develop a better taste.

Be aware! It can produce intestinal gas and digestive problems.

Though broccoli is considered a nutritional powerhouse for both humans and animals. But feeding it a wrong way can bring these two minor issues( intestinal gas and digestive problems) forward. Irregular consumption can even develop anaemia. But it will only be a source of discomfort for some time.

is broccoli toxic for horses

Is there a way to make Broccoli less risky?

Yes, to prevent diseases vegetables are sprayed with pesticides. Wash it well or soak it in water for some good amount of time then wash it again. Pesticides are loaded with chemicals 

Soaking it up in the water is the best way to get rid of them. This extra step makes it more beneficial and nutritional.

Some other facts about broccoli

  • It has no fat.
  • It contains 90% water, 3% protein, and 7% carbs.
  • It contains more protein than many other vegetables.
  • It lowers blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and prevents cancer.
  • It aids in detoxification.
  • It improves vision.
  • Broccoli is referred to as “crown of jewel nutrition”
  • It promotes heart and eye health.
  • It has more vitamin C than orange and lemons.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Broccoli

Horses loved to feed on other treats like apples, pineapple, carrots and watermelon but broccoli is not best to treat. Extra Broccoli can because of Gas. Here are some pros and cons related to feeding Broccoli.


  • Can be a source of vitamins, potassium, calcium and phosphorus
  • Good as a treat and low quantity is not harmful
  • Help to digest other feed


  • Extra amount of Broccoli can cause gas and discomfort in horses

Taking Care of your Horse Feed

Like Broccoli, some treats that you should not feed regularly to horses. Like you can not feed chocolate to horses in the large amount. Horses are sensitive to Theobromine which is present in chocolate. Persimmons are also not the best treatment for horses, fibers can cause phytobezoar. Avacado is toxic for horses, however, you can feed skin, pit and seeds. Lawn clippings are also harmful to horses. Many people think they are safe but toxic plants can cause colic.

Other Treats for horses


Yes, horses can eat broccoli and it’s safe for them to eat if the quantity is kept lower than 5 ounces a day. It is considered a healthier snack for horses as it contains all necessary nutrients horses need to function properly. The two little minor issues, attached to broccoli consumption, horses have faced yet is intestinal gas and minor digestive problems. But if it is supplying all needed vitamins and antioxidants who has the heart to deprive this adorable creature of this healthy snack?

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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