Absolute refusal to eat beet pulp
We took in a 3 and a half year old Tennessee Walking horse a couple months ago who is blind in one eye from a tree branch mishap at 6 mo old. The woman we got the mare from said she couldn't afford to feed her anymore, and had both the 3 year old and a 27 year old on a mud lot surrounded by a fence. All they got was hay, and last year, with the drought, it was very expensive, and this woman could very plainly not afford to feed them much, since they were both bones. We took in Montana, and began feeding her grain in addition to pasture and hay, as we did our other rescue horse who is currently about ready to pop with her foal. This diet worked very quickly for our pregnant rescue horse, she has beefed up quite fast, added weight all over the place. Montana on the other hand, not so much. Or maybe it is just taking longer, I don't know. She needs to gain a lot of weight, the vet estimated about 200-300 pounds of weight. She has unlimited pasture, mineral, salt, a clean pond for unlimited water, freedom to run and play and build muscle, has been wormed twice. We grain her twice a day, with 11%. She gets carrots and apple wafer treats and even alfalfa cubes. She can eat all the grass she wants and they have a big round bale sitting right there if they would rather have hay. She just is not filling out very fast. She has gone into heat three times, and spent a lot of that running around neighing and carrying on at the neighbor's mini donkey...who is thankfully gelded. Maybe she ran off what she gained?? I figure exercise is good for her, though? So we decided to try beet pulp, since its mentioned on here so much. We mixed her nightly ration of grain with it, after soaking it a while. She turned her nose up at it, refused to eat it. She ended up sharing one of the other horse's feed that night. Every single one of the horses refused to eat it, even our most food driven girl, Idaho, the paint, who is first in line for dinner and treats. We then called over the chickens and ducks, thinking at least it wouldn't go to waste. They just picked out the grain, leaving the beet pulp untouched. Eventually we just carried it down to the neighbors pigs and even they gave us a look like, "Really?" Anyone have any suggestions on how to get a horse to eat beet pulp? Is there something wrong with our bag? It doesn't smell great, smells a bit burned or something, but never having smelled it before, I have no idea what it should smell like? It doesn't smell moldy or anything. And if beet pulp isn't going to work, your thoughts on helping her gain are much appreciated. I would like her to be able to be as healthy as possible. The last pic was taken about a week ago, so you can sort of see the progression from the day we got her home to now.
Last edited by Chechatonga; 07-01-2013 at 05:23 PM.