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How much beet pulp?

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    06-25-2009, 04:29 PM
Green Broke
How heavy are your bales? Does she also have grazing time? If she doesn't have much grass or grazing, and your bales are normal 55-65 lb grass hay, then she's really not getting enough hay. A horse should get at least 2% of its body weight a day in forage and/or hay. That's roughly 20 lbs for a 1,000 lb horse. If a 65 lb bale is lasting you a week, then she's getting less than 10 lbs hay a day. That's half the requirement for a horse much smaller than she is.

To put weight on my 15.2h Anglo Arabian gelding, he was getting 30 lbs of hay a day, so one bale lasted just two days (he didn't have any real grazing to speak of).

For quality calories, I would go with hay pellets over beet pulp. If you're feeding grass hay or Timothy, then Alfalfa pellets are good. If you're feeding Alfalfa or mixed Alfalfa/grass hay, then Timothy pellets or Alfalfa/Bermuda pellets would be best. Hay pellets will give your horse real calories, nutrients, and in the case of Alfalfa pellets, amino acids. Amino acids will help her build real muscle weight, not just put on fat. You can give 3-5 lbs a day of hay pellets as a supplement to forage/hay.

I would also have her on milled flax. 4 oz (by weight) a day for weight gain, 2 oz for maintenance. I use Nutra Flax and have been very happy with it (shipping is free). They will custom blend ingredients for you at the factory. You might ask about adding Yeast and Probiotics, both aid in digestion and weight gain. Omega Horseshine is also a good product.

Check page 2 of this article on good tips for skinny horses. - Let Your Horse Eat Hay
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    06-25-2009, 04:53 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by aynelson    
I feed Beet Pulp to my horses. It must be soaked for about 2 hours before you give it because if given dry could expand in their GI tract and cause impaction.
That is not true. Beet pulp can be a choke hazard for horses that bolt their food down really fast, but to cause impaction or a stomach issue with dry beet pulp, a horse would have to eat 15+ pounds of it at one sitting.$departm...hrs3243#soaked
"Beet pulp may soak up water like a sponge, but it cannot soak up saliva quickly enough to expand in the esophagus and cause choke. Instead, choke associated with beet pulp (particularly the pelleted form) is often in response to the particle size and the horse's aggressive feeding behaviour, rather than the actual feed itself. Horses that bolt their feed without sufficient chewing, or do not have adequate access to water, are far more likely to choke, regardless of the type of feed, compared to horses that eat at a more leisurely rate.

Nor is it likely that dry beet pulp will rupture the horse's stomach. The equine stomach holds 2 to 4 gallons. This volume is equivalent to 4.5 to 9.5 pounds of dry beet pulp, which is more than most horses receive in a single meal. Likewise, most food that enters the stomach passes on to the small intestine within 15 minutes or less—and for those of you who have timed how long it takes beet pulp to expand, it's longer than 15 minutes."

The Myths and Reality of Beet Pulp - Susan Evans Garlinghouse
"Contrary to popular belief, while beet pulp can and usually is soaked prior to feeding, it does not necessarily have to be. In fact, in some management situations, feeding beet pulp dry is the only alternative if beet pulp is to be fed at all. Horses consuming soaked beet pulp in hot weather may be unable to finish off a large portion before it begins to sour and becomes unpalatable. Likewise, horses in cold climates may not be able to finish their soaked beet pulp before it begins to freeze. Research conducted at several universities have fed dry beet pulp in amounts up to 45% of the total diet and saw no instances of choke or other adverse reactions."

Beet Pulp
"If you choose to soak it, it is currently recommended to soak it no longer than 1-2 hours, especially in hot weather, as it can begin to ferment. If soaked beet pulp smells sickly-sweet like wine, it has begun to ferment and should be disposed of."
    06-25-2009, 04:59 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by AussieDaisyGirl    
I give her a 50lb bale of very good quality hay in a rack. She eats it, it's usually gone in about 4 or 5 days.

Ok - I'll scrap the sweet feed. Do I need to replace it with anything? I was mostly using it just to add some weight but if it's a candy bar lol it can go!
You should put the hay on the ground, or in a ground feeder (a trash can works well, or an old water trough). Eating from the ground is more natural and she'll consume more hay than if it's up in a rack.

I agree on nixing the sweet feed. See if you can find good alfalfa pellets or alfalfa cubes instead.
    06-25-2009, 05:27 PM
Well, I'd up the beet pulp a bit at a time. LIke I said, I give my appy 2 3# coffee cans 2x a day plus probably 1/2can alfalfa pellets, plus 2# of total equine, which is a well balanced horse pellet feed that can be fed solely or with hay but is not to be fed with grain.. It is alfalfa based with corn. Very highly digestable, which beet pulp is as well. So they absorb more nutrients and poop less. :) Dunno if you can get TE where you are. I like it a lot for my old nag. I don't know why your horse is still acting hungry if he is eating the hay well. Maybe he just loves his dinner.. ;)
    06-25-2009, 05:29 PM
Thank you for the info!!!!! I feel terrible that I wasn't giving her enough hay! Gosh. :(

So - I need to get my hands on alfalfa pellets. There's got to be a good feed store somewhere around here. If I get those, plus up her hay, do I cut out the safe and sound or leave it as is?

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