Can Donkeys Eat Broccoli? (Do Not Try This)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Donkeys are herbivores, and so, they love veggies a lot. However, not all veggies are suitable for donkeys. Surprised? A lot of persons assume that herbivores eat all plants. Well, this is not correct!

It’s always best to do your research on what your donkey can or cannot eat. This leads us to our case study today. Can donkeys eat broccoli? Well then, let’s find out.

Can Donkeys Eat Broccoli?

Can Donkeys Eat Broccoli

No, donkeys cannot eat broccoli. Broccoli is a super nutritious superfood. However, they aren’t good for your donkeys.  Broccoli contains sulfur. This sulfur turns into sulfide when it enters the bloodstream of donkeys. Sulfide is considered poisonous to donkeys. 

It has been discovered that sulfides can reduce your donkey’s appetite. And, this can cause your donkeys to lose weight in more severe cases. 

Broccoli also contains glucosinolates, which are considered toxic for donkeys. This chemical can increase the size and mass of the liver and cause lesions.

It can cause painful goiters, anemia, and stomach aches in your donkey as well. 

This article will give a complete guide on feeding donkeys with broccoli. If you need such answers the ride on! 

What Are The Health Risks Of Broccoli To Donkeys? 

Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

However, since broccoli is toxic to donkeys, it is best not to offer it to donkeys. 

Broccoli may provide some health benefits to donkeys since they’re rich in nutrients.

However, because of its glucosinolates and sulfur content, it will cause distress to donkeys.

Here are some of the side effects of broccoli on donkeys

1. Bloating 

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables often lead to excess gas production in the digestive tract, which causes colic.

Broccoli contains raffinose a type of sugar that produces intestinal gas.

While colic can be mild and resolve quickly, it’s nothing to be taken lightly. It can lead to severe abdominal pain in donkeys.

Feeding cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, can be deadly to donkeys.

2. Choking 

Broccoli doesn’t pose a choking threat in young donkeys. However, if the donkey is prone to swallowing food whole, it can choke.

However, older donkeys often have dental issues and can’t chew their food properly. As such, they’re at risk of choking, even on something like broccoli or other foods.

3. Death 

Broccoli poses a serious health risk to donkeys due to the sulfur they contain. Therefore, feeding broccoli to donkeys is considered as feeding it poison.

It will inevitably result in serious health issues as have been discussed.

However, in the worst-case scenario, if not properly and quickly checked, it could also lead to the death of the donkey.

Feeding donkeys with broccoli is unsafe as earlier stated. It is, therefore, best never to feed it to them.

However, if you’ve ever fed broccoli to your donkeys, it is advisable to stop. Broccoli shouldn’t be included in their diet at all. 

Here are some fruits and veggies that donkeys can eat: 

  • Apples
  •  Pears
  • Watermelon
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Collard green
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash 
  • Swedes

Asides from broccoli some other foods are toxic to donkeys. Here are some of them;

• Members of the brassica family: kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

• Vegetables from the nightshade family: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, and onions, leeks, and garlic.  

Some fruits are considered toxic to donkeys. Some of such includes;

• Peaches

• Apricots

• Plums

• Other stone fruits

• Avoid sugary biscuits, bread, and cake and never feed meat or dairy products – animal protein can be fatal to donkeys.

However, on a general note, donkeys shouldn’t be fed excessively with any type of food.

Moderation should be applied in feeding donkeys, especially treats. Feeding your donkey a balanced diet would ensure its in good health. 

Looking for a complete list of foods and treats for donkeys?

Can Mini Donkeys Eat Broccoli?

Mini donkeys shouldn’t be fed with broccoli. Mini donkeys require high-quality grass or hay as well.

Their main source of food is grass. However, they feed on other plants, leaves, and fruits as well.

They should also be provided with clean water. As much as you can, change their water regularly to avoid molds or germs.

It is important to know that their stomachs are separated into three chambers, similar to those of ruminants.

Donkeys require essential fatty acids, which are produced by their efficient digestive tract.

Feeding broccoli to mini donkeys, on the other hand, would most likely result in a gastrointestinal upset.

Can Donkeys Eat Broccoli Stems?

Donkeys cannot eat broccoli stems. Broccoli is generally not good for donkeys, so is their stem.

Their stem also contains sulfur which is considered toxic to donkeys. Hence it is unhealthy for donkeys to eat broccoli stem 

Can Donkeys Eat Broccoli Rabe?

No, donkeys cannot eat broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe is a green cruciferous vegetable.

However, they are not broccoli, shocking right? However, they look a lot like broccoli.  

They are cruciferous vegetables that are generally toxic to donkeys. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli rabe contain oxalic acid.

This acid may be harmful to your donkey. 

Broccoli rabe is also high in vitamin K which may interfere with the effects of anti-coagulant drugs in your donkey’s body.

Also check out this article I wrote on can donkeys eat almonds

Things To Watch Out For If You Feed Them Broccoli

Here are some things to note about broccoli

1. Since broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family, it contains a type of sugar that produces intestinal gas. This can lead to bloating in your donkey. 

2. This intestinal gas can lead to abdominal pain in donkeys. Feeding them cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, can be deadly! 

3. Broccoli contains sulfur, which enters the bloodstream of your donkey and turns into sulfide. Sulfides are considered poisonous for donkeys. They are generally harmful to ruminants. 

Sulfides can lower your donkeys’ appetite. And in turn, this can lead to weight loss in worse cases.

4. Broccoli also contains glucosinolates, which are considered toxic for donkeys. This chemical can increase the size and mass of the liver and cause lesions. It can cause painful goiters, anemia, stomach aches, and tummy upsets in your donkeys.

5. Both raw and cooked broccoli contains raffinose. This sugar is responsible for excessive gas production and bloating. 


Broccoli is no good for donkeys. Cruciferous vegetables are generally termed toxic to donkeys. 

Broccoli contains raffinose which causes bloating in donkeys. They also contain sulfur which causes loss of appetite in donkeys.

They also contain glucosinolates, which has lots of negative effect on a donkeys’ kidney.

Broccoli can affect your donkeys’ health negatively, hence it should be avoided. 

Photo of author

About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


HayFarmGuy - Get Info About Farm Animals in Your Inbox