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Can horses eat cauliflower? – Is cauliflower, a toxic horse treat?

Eating fresh green vegetables is one of the healthiest habits that you can add to your daily lifestyle. Not like instant food, vegetables and fruits always provide necessary nutrition to our body without any harm. Therefore, we prefer those veggie diets even for our pets as well. However, this situation is different with horses, especially when it comes to certain veggies. Thus many are concerned that can horses eat cauliflower.

Actually, having a horse or looking after a horse stable is precious and kind of respect for your life in many ways. But feeding them and looking after them are not easy and simple. This might be a wondering fact if you are new to horse-related facts. You may think that what is the big deal of feeding them, it just a strong animal in large size.

But the reality is far away from your imagination!

We cannot give whatever we like to feed them if the vegetables and fruits are fresh and have high nutrition value in the general context, because most of the supper food might be toxic and a life threat for horses. Thus we should be more sensitive and concern about horse’s food.

When we are moving on to the main question that can horses eat cauliflower, the answer is simple and straight, no, and they cannot eat cauliflower due to some reasons. This article will examine those reasons and related scenarios.

Let us dig up about cauliflower before discussing can horses eat cauliflower or not!

When looking at cauliflower in general, it is a cruciferous vegetable that is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. That means cauliflower is rich in vitamins and minerals. As per scientific researches, cauliflower provides antioxidants and phytonutrients, and therefore, it has the capability of protecting against cancer.

can horses eat cauliflower

In addition, it also contains fiber. Therefore, cauliflower becomes a pretty good source for the enhancement of the digestion process. Since the vegetable contains choline, you can improve your learning skills and memory as well. If you need to know more details on the nutrition values and the benefits click here.

Can horses eat cauliflower? -Read before feeding your horse!

As we mentioned, earlier horses cannot eat cauliflower because it can cause gas and related colic nature.

Not only cauliflower but also some other vegetables like onions, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can produce intestinal gas in horses. Thus they may have digestive problems for your horse, and they may have a very uncomfortable time. Therefore once again, you have a negative answer for the question that can horses eat cauliflower. The below links provides more details on the toxic treats for horses,

Certain researches have been done to find out the toxicity of cauliflower for horses. The second edition of Nutraceuticals highlights the nature of cauliflower and the related plants.

Cauliflower belongs to a particular group of vegetables called the Brassicaceae family of plants, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, rapeseed, mustard, and horseradish. This group of veggies contains Glucosinolates and other biologically active compounds. Usually, glucosinolates are a healthy compound that has beneficial effects such as regulatory functions in inflammation, stress response, phase I metabolism, antioxidant activities, and direct antimicrobial properties.

However, although the above benefits are more common with eating cauliflower, the situation is the opposite of the horses’ case.

Since the horses have a pretty sensitive gut, numerous health issues occur as follows:

  • Reduced feed intake and growth
  • Gastrointestinal irritation
  • Goiter
  • Anemia
  • Hepatic cysts
  • Renal lesions

Even taking an excessive amount of Brassicaceae family of plants may cause the conditions as mentioned above for anyone, including humans. Thus overconsumption is not recommended. You can learn more details on the adverse biological effects of glucosinolates and other compounds found in plants from the Brassicaceae family here.

By any chance, if they eat the vegetable, do not panic and worry too much because cauliflower is not a severe toxic vegetable for your horse. But always be alert on your horse as each horse is different and sensitive. They have delicate digestive systems that may react differently to different vegetables. Some symptoms can be identified, such as gas, stomach upset, or diarrhea, if they have unhealthy conditions after having cauliflower.

When those symptoms remain too long for more than a day, do not forget to visit your veterinarian soon. Sometimes, colic and abdominal pain conditions may be severe if you ignore to contact your veterinarian. The best thing is prevention. Therefore do not give cauliflower to your horse. Actually, there are more healthy fruits and vegetables to feed your horse.

Some may wonder that if they can treat their horse with other parts of cauliflower, and they question that can horses eat cauliflower leaves. Remember that it is better not to give any part of the cauliflower to avoid any unnecessary health issues.

You can learn many aspects related to why it is said no to treat horses cauliflower and what are the healthy foods for them here.


In conclusion, cauliflower or its leaves are not an excellent choice to feed your horse as it may cause many issues related to their digestive system. Although cauliflower is not a severe toxic food that may bring a life threat to your horse, it is better to avoid feeding them with vegetables.

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