Can Horses Eat Cabbage? Time to Know The Truth!

As you may know, horses aren’t picky animals when it comes to diet. In fact, they enjoy a wide range of foods compared to other pets.

However, that doesn’t mean horse keepers can feed their friends whatever they consume. Because there are so many different opinions on treating horses with cabbages, some people still wonder can horses eat cabbages.

Can Horses Eat Cabbage?

While these four-hoofed animals generally accept most fruits and vegetables, some are not safe for horses to eat. So should horse keepers feed cabbages to their pets? Let’s find out.

What can horses eat?

Before we find out whether it is safe for horses to eat cabbages,  we should first look at a horse’s diet. What do they eat to get essential nutrients and strength?

Since horses are herbivores, they need a fiber-rich diet. In addition, their digestive tract is different from that of humans.

That’s why horses often eat different small meals during the day rather than large portions of food as we do.

Here is a list of nutrient sources for your horses.

Pasture grass

A large portion of horses’ diet consists of pasture grass. A lush pasture provides horses with limitless fiber and, more importantly, silica – an important substance for their dental health.

Pasture grass

Pasture grass is a vital source of nutrients for horses.


While eating dried grass isn’t very much appealing to us, horses love it. In addition, hay is an essential nutrient source for horses during winter, where the temperature is too extreme for grass to grow.


In the former, oats and other grains such as corn or wheat were horses’ main foods. Undomesticated horses especially favor seeds from different grasses because they are available everywhere in the wild.

Water and supplements

Horses need water as much as we do. What’s more, their bodies require a certain amount of supplements like salt and other minerals to stay healthy. Horses generally consume more salt in summer than in winter.

Can horses eat cabbage?

Besides grass and grains, horses love treats. Our four-hoofed friends munch almost everything from apples, carrots, and other vegetables. The thing is would it be safe for horses to eat cabbages?

The truth is quite different from what we think.

Cabbages belong to the cruciferous family with broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Scientists have found that a particular type of sugar called raffinose in cruciferous vegetables can cause intestinal gas in humans and animals.


Cabbage contains raffinose which causes intestinal gas.

While a bit of gas may only cause discomfort to you, horses suffer significantly from gas pains and gas-related colic.

Overconsumption of cabbage leaves could lead to severe consequences and even death. Therefore, it is not advised to feed your horses cabbages.

What to do if horses have gas colic?

It is not advised to give horses cabbages, if they do eat them and experience gas pains, there are a few things you can do to help.

First, remove all access to the cabbage leaves. Second, try to encourage your horse to drink plenty of water as this will help flush out their system. Third, administer an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen to help relieve any discomfort. Finally, if the pain doesn’t go away or gets worse, contact your veterinarian immediately.

So in answer to the question “Can horses eat cabbage?” we can say that it is not advised to feed them these vegetables as they contain raffinose which can cause intestinal gasilst horses generally love to eat carrots and apples, it is important that we give them food that is good for them and will not cause them any harm.

When it comes to feeding horses, always consult with a professional who can give you specific advice on what your horse should be eating.

What to do if your beloved friend over-consumes cabbages?

Follow these tips below:

Let your horse lie down

Some people may argue that laying down could lead to internal displacements; however, it is not likely to happen. So let your friend lie down and make sure that he does not hurt himself.

If you notice any abnormal behaviors, force your horse to stand up and go for a walk.

Walking with your horses helps ease his pain.

Consulting a veterinarian

You never know when things get worse. So as soon as you find out your horse is suffering from gas pains, call a veterinarian. The vet will give him an analgesic to ease the pain.

Some vets could even recommend mineral oil to help the horse feel comfortable. This oil also restores the function of the intestinal tract.

Cabbage-free diet

Yes, this is the most critical part. You must ensure there is no cabbage around for your horse to eat. Paying attention to their natural and balanced diet to keep gas colic away.

FAQs about Can Horses Eat Cabbage.

What are the side effects of cabbage?

Intestinal gas, discomfort, and pain. In severe cases, it can lead to colic and even death.

What should I do if my horse ate cabbage?

If your horse ate cabbage and is experiencing gas pains, try to encourage him to drink plenty of water to flush out the system. You can also administer an over-the-counter painkiller like ibuprofen. If the pain doesn’t go away or gets worse, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can horses eat carrots?

Yes, horses can eat carrots as a treat. However, they should not be given too many as they are high in sugar.

What is the best food for horses?

The best food for horses is grass or hay as it is their natural diet. They should also have access to fresh water and supplements like salt and minerals.

Horses should not eat cabbage as it can cause them gas and pain. If they do eat cabbage, you should remove all access to it and consult a veterinarian if the pain doesn’t go away.

What vegetables do horses like to eat?

Owners often think that all vegetables are good for horses. However, this is not the case. There are some vegetables that horses should not eat, such as cabbage. Carrots and apples are a safer choice when it comes to feeding vegetables to horses. As always, it is best to consult with a professional before giving your horse any new food.

Is dried cabbage good for horses?

There is no difference between fresh and dried cabbage as both contain the same harmful compound, raffinose. So it is best not to give your horse any form of cabbage.

Is lettuce OK for horses to eat?

Lot of owners think that lettuce is a good treat for horses, but this is not the case. Lettuce actually contains a harmful compound called lactucarium which can cause gastrointestinal upset in horses. So it is best to avoid giving your horse any lettuce.

Are sweet potatoes good for horses?

Yes, sweet potatoes are a good source of nutrients for horses and can be given as a treat. However, they should not be given in large quantities as they are high in sugar.

The Last Answer is…

Can Horses Eat Cabbage? They CAN’T

However, there are a bunch of different vegetables they can enjoy as snacks. As a horse keeper, you should keep track of your horse’s diet to make sure your friend stays healthy.

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