hermit crabs eat broccoli

Can hermit crabs eat broccoli?

Broccoli is one of the lush green and fresh vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals. People enjoy eating it in salads and stir-fries. In fact, it’s a popular option in many diets, not just for humans but also for pets. Whenever a crab keeper gets a veggie tray with broccoli, they keep asking: “Can hermit crabs eat broccoli?”

Hermit crabs can eat broccoli. They love to consume it raw or steamed, especially the broccoli leaves. It provides essential nutrients and adds diversity to the hermies’ diet. However, it’s crucial to offer it in moderation as part of their balanced diet. You can offer them small, pincher-sized bites of broccoli.

Broccoli is an attractive veggie for hermit crabs due to its distinctive appearance with florets and stalks. But what is the nutritional value of broccoli? Is it really beneficial for crabs or not? Let’s explore more fascinating details about the relationship of hermies with broccoli. Your hermit crabs will thank you for it! 🥦

Can hermit crabs eat broccoli?

Absolutely, yes, hermit crabs can eat broccoli. You know hermit crabs are primarily scavengers, and they tend to eat various decaying plants and animal matter. They nibble on small pieces of veggies like broccoli, providing essential nutrients for their growth and health.

However, broccoli is not a staple in their diet. It is so much better to provide them broccoli with a well-balanced diet that includes other foods suitable for hermit crabs, such as:

  • Specialized commercial crab foods
  • Fruits
  • Dried seafood
  • Cereal 
  • Vegetables

Watch out for this fantastic YouTube video where a hermit crab eats broccoli. Thus, broccoli is wonderful for hermit crabs.

Is broccoli healthy for hermit crabs? Benefits of feeding broccoli for hermit crabs.

hermit crabs eat broccoli

Yes, broccoli is healthy for hermit crabs when given in moderation. It offers the following benefits:

1.Nutrient source:

Broccoli is a nutritionally rich veggie. It contains essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and fiber. Here’s a table that lists various nutrients and vitamins found in 100 grams of broccoli:

Vitamin C89.2 mg
Vitamin K101.6 mcg
Vitamin A623 IU
Folate (B9)63 mcg
Vitamin B60.175 mg
Vitamin E0.78 mg
Fiber2.6 grams
Calcium47 mg
Potassium316 mg
Magnesium21 mg
Phosphorus66 mg
Water content89.3 grams

Important Note: The value of the nutrition mentioned above may vary slightly. This is because the nutritional value depends on factors such as the freshness and growing conditions of broccoli and so on. But, they provide a reasonable estimate of the nutrient content of broccoli.

2.Variety is nice:

Adding broccoli to their diet diversifies their nutrition and taste. A new addition to their diet keeps them interested in their food.


As you can see in the table given above, broccoli contains more than 85 percent water content. Thus, the high water content in broccoli can contribute to the overall hydration of hermit crabs.

4.Prevent constipation and illnesses:

Broccoli can help the hermit crabs to digest their food easily. This is because broccoli is a good veggie that provides the necessary dietary fiber to improve their digestion. It also prevents many ailments like constipation, bloating, and so on.

5.Boosts immune system:

Vitamin C is an important element of broccoli. It helps boost their immune system and support their overall well-being. Also, it helps them to process food.


You know broccoli has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants act as a protective shield for the health of hermit crabs and their shells.

Moreover, it safeguards their delicate cells from the harmful clutches of free radicals. These protective compounds promote the longevity of these crustaceans in the underwater world.

7.Exoskeleton strength:

The nutrients in broccoli can strengthen the exoskeleton of hermit crabs. For example, it contains calcium that contributes a lot to the health and development of their shells.

What are the harmful effects of eating broccoli for hermit crabs?

Broccoli is a healthy veggie for hermit crabs if given in moderation. However, there are some harmful effects associated with broccoli if it’s not used correctly. Let’s review those harmful effects:

  • Overfeeding:

If you feed too much broccoli to hermit crabs, it can lead them to nutritional imbalances. As a result, you’ll start seeing digestive issues in your favorite hermit crabs.

  • Gas production:

Broccoli, like other cruciferous vegetables, can produce gas in the digestive systems of your crab. The gas can cause discomfort for hermit crabs in excess.

  • Impaction:

Large quantities of broccoli, especially the fibrous stalks, can lead your hermit crabs to impaction if they consume too much. It also causes blockages in their digestive system.

Last but not least, hermit crabs can develop a preference for broccoli over more nutritionally essential foods. Thus, this preference can lead them to consume an imbalanced diet.

Read also: Do hermit crabs eat mealworms?

Raw or cooked broccoli: which one is better for hermit crabs?

Although hermit crabs can consume both raw and cooked broccoli, raw broccoli is generally a better choice for your pets. They can get more benefits from the natural nutrients and moisture present in raw broccoli.

On the other hand, cooking broccoli can cause nutritional loss. Still, it doesn’t mean you cannot feed them cooked broccoli. You can occasionally offer them cooked broccoli free from additives like salt or spices.

Things to consider while feeding broccoli to hermit crabs:

Here are a few things every hermit crab parents must consider while feeding broccoli to their hermies:

  1. Purchase from authentic stores:

When purchasing broccoli, purchase it from a reputable source that ensures the safety and quality of its veggies for your hermit crabs.

  1. Freshness:

Buy fresh and organic broccoli. Don’t buy packed trays or preserved ones.

  1. Organic if possible:

Make sure broccoli is free from pesticides and herbicides. The chemicals in inorganic broccoli can harm the health and shells of hermit crabs. That’s why I opted for organic broccoli.

  1. Wash it:

Wash the broccoli thoroughly when feeding it to your pet hermit crabs.

  1. Cut into small pieces:

Chop the broccoli into small, manageable pieces for the hermit crabs to eat easily.

  1. No seasoning:

Do not add any seasonings, salt, or spices to the broccoli. Hermit crabs should have plain and unseasoned food. They don’t prefer spicy and salty food.

  1. Remove uneaten portions:

Hermit crabs are messy eaters. So, remove any uneaten broccoli after a few hours to prevent it from spoiling in the enclosure.

  1. Supplement with protein:

You can add some protein sources like fish flakes, shrimp, or other suitable options with broccoli. Lastly, remember most hermit crabs do not like to eat broccoli and many other food items, and many of them do love to eat broccoli.

Watch your hermit crabs and see if they eat the broccoli. So, adjust their diet accordingly and don’t make them starve if they are not willing to eat broccoli.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can baby hermit crabs eat broccoli?

Yes, baby hermit crabs can eat broccoli. But it would be best to chop the broccoli into smaller pieces before offering them. Smaller pieces of broccoli are more manageable for baby crabs to eat.

  1. How often do you feed broccoli to hermit crabs?

Hermit crabs can eat broccoli as an occasional treat. Do not add it as part of their primary diet. You can offer broccoli in small amounts a couple of times a month or at least three times a week.

  1. What are the alternative vegetables to broccoli for hermit crabs?

The following bright-colored vegetables are the best alternatives to broccoli for hermit crabs:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green peas and beans
  • Kale 
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini

Here is a rule of thumb: the brighter the color of the vegetable, the more reasonable it is for the health of your hermies.

  1. Can hermit crabs eat broccoli every day?

Yes, hermit crabs can eat broccoli every day. But remember to offer them only a small quantity of broccoli.

  1. How much broccoli should I feed my hermit crabs at a time?

You should offer them a small quantity of broccoli, roughly the size of their claws, as a guideline. If you have many crabs, you can adjust the portion based on the number of crabs and monitor their response.

Wrapping – up: Can hermit crabs eat broccoli?

So, “Can hermit crabs eat broccoli?” Hermit Crabs not only eat broccoli, but it is one of their happy meals. Hermies are fond of dark green veggies, so they love to eat broccoli, too. Moreover, it has two essential nutrients: protein and calcium.

Thus, broccoli, its sprouts, leaves, and even seeds are a good fit for their diet. However, responsible feeding practices are essential to adopt. Avoid overeating and ensure broccoli is just one part of the varied diet of your cherished pets.

If you have any questions, kindly ask here. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments section. We would be happy to answer your queries and emphasize your suggestions. Thank you for reading!