Been feeding the horses soaked beet pulp and grain and they are looking better. I am more so using the soaked beet pulp to kind of slow them down so the younger horses are able to get more, and to help out with the weight. I just have a large trough that I put their feed in, and there is 4 horses.
What are the positive points to feeding soaked beet pulp?
Whats the negative points to feeding soaked beet pulp?
Beet pulp is a good fiber source, it has some decent protein, and it's a "cool" feed (if it doesn't have any molasses). Soaking is good for horses that are prone to choke, and it adds some water in their diet, which is good if you have one that's not drinking enough.
The only negative is that it can go rancid if it sits out longer than 2 hours before feeding it. And some horses don't like it soaked.
I feed my mare beet pulp: she loves it. I let it soak for about 10 minutes before giving it to her.
Oh luvs2ride- I didn't know that you could feed beet pulp unsoaked...i was told that if it wasn't soaked, it would expand in the horse's stomach, and cause them to colic. (which is the reason for soaking in the first place I suppose)
No, you do not need to soak it. The acids in a horse's stomach begin to break down the beet pulp before it can expand. The only reason it could be dangerous is if the horse gulps his/her food and is prone to choke. Otherwise, it's just fine to feed dry, even the pelleted kind.
Beet pulp is an excellent source of fat for horses, and it digests in the hind gut rather than the secum. This means that you can feed it at a high volume without the worry of it upsetting the pH of the hind gut, which other feeds (grains, complete feeds, etc) will do if they are fed at high volumes because they are digested in the secum, but if that overfills it will spill into the hind gut and disrupt it. When the hind gut pH is disrupted, you end up with founder, colic and in severe cases complete kidney failure.
So, yay beet pulp! As long as you are building up the amount slowly, you can end up giving them as much as they need for weight building and it is great for young horses along with 30-50% Alfalfa hay to keep the protein and calcium intake up. For young horses, nursing and pregnant horses and horses in work it is also a good idea to be adding a "multi-vitamin" that is balanced for your area and hay.
I love to feed beet pulp, but I've never fed it dry. The expansion thing is what I heard, and it's a reasonable assumption, so I'm definitely going to stick with soaking it. I've also had soaked beet pulp on hand for three days and it never went bad.
Anywho, it's great fiber, helps keep their poo in tidy "little" droppings. =] I typically only use it in the winter to keep my horse fat without going through a bunch of extra hay and grain. It's also really cheap, and lasts a ridiculously long time. Well, I have an easy keeper, so it might not last as long with a hard keeper.
It is high in fiber and calories, but very low in fat.
BP is also low in Phosphorus, so if you're feeding more than 1-2 lbs (dry weight) a day, you should pair it with a high calcium feed like Alfalfa (pellets, hay, cubes, etc.) or add a supplement that is high in calcium and low in phosphorus.