the fiber is going to absorb what it absorbs, regardless of the shape, Pellets are just packed tighter and more dense. So if yo are measuring by volume, yeh pellets will absorb more water, but its really only because you have twice as much fiber... IE one scoop of pellets is equal to 2 scoops of shreds. Just pick up the bags, you'll see. The pellets are twice as heavy. The crumbles you are getting is ground up even more I would assume by a mill that is using beets as a base for commercial horse feed, not as a stand alone product. That much grinding is going to cut down on the available fiber and not really be as good of a product.