For all those who seem to believe that you don't need to soak sugar beet! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
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For all those who seem to believe that you don't need to soak sugar beet!

you may want to read this!
Pony died after being fed dry sugar beet pellets - Equestrian news, equine news, horse news - Horse & Hound

Personaly I always have and always will soak sugar beet as I have watched it expand after soaking and if it did that in a horses stomach it could do serious damage.

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post #2 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 09:30 AM
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I think England And Ireland always soak beetpulp i had never even heard it as an option before i joined here still wouldnt try it though.
Must be all the ponyclub drilling it into our heads when we were younger

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post #3 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 10:21 AM
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Don't know about the pellets, but I used the shredded beet pulp and my horses and calves don't have a problem with it. I also don't feed it in large quantities at a time.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #4 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 11:08 AM
Green Broke
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It would be good to know the cause of death with this horse... beet pulp does expand but studies have been done that prove it doesn't expand enough that the horse's stomach cant handle it. Their stomachs are quite large & have the ability to expand as well.
An issue that can occur, however when fed dry is that if it is fed to a horse that tends to eat treats/food quickly it will expand as it goes down the throat & may cause suffocation if not taken care of.
A similar thing happened to a friend's horse when her bf's mother unknowingly fed him beet pulp pellets. He started choking & having troubles with his breathing so they took him to the vet. By the time they got there he had begun to come back around but they still had the vet flush his throat out.
This isn't very common, but it does happen if the horse doesnt chew his food properly.

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post #5 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 11:17 AM
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Actually horse's don't have that large of a stomach, in fact it's remarkably small for the size of their body.

I don't feed beet pulp so I don't have any comments on the rest, but I did soak my horse's feed this weekend so they could have a hot dinner and I was surprised at how much the pellets expanded.
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 11:20 AM
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Sorry, there is not enough there to believe it. Did they do a necropsy on the horse? A horse found dead in a field can mean lots of things.

Many of the complete feeds are mainly beet pulp. People do not soak them.
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 11:31 AM
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I prefer to soak beet pulp, especially if I can only get it in shreds.

However, unless I knew a horse was particularly prone to choke, I don't see it as a 'must do or they'll ALL DIE' type of thing.

I like to give my horses warm meals during the winter, plus my 12 y/o gelding doesn't drink as much as I'd like him to, so soaking the beet pulp puts more water into his system.

A horse dead in a field doesn't conclusively mean it died from ingesting unsoaked beet pulp. It could have been any number of things, including stroke, heart attack, or aneurysm.
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post #8 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 12:12 PM
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I agree...the horse could have died from any ailment. Cant say it was from unsoaked beet pulp.

I have fed beet pulp for YEARS...I personally love the stuff. I have fed both shredded and the pellets, and I have fed both either wet or dry.
I do prefer to soak it, as it is a great way to hide meds, supplements, even dewormer if need be. It also is more palatable for horses to eat when soaked...most my horses wouldn't eat it dry, but some would.

Yes it expands quite a bit, but if you also notice it expands faster in hot water then cold, it also only expands as much as it has liquid to absorb.

Horses aren't walking around with 3 gallons of water in their beet pulp eaten dry wont expand as much as it would sitting in a bucket of hot water.

Now choke is a different story...that would be my main concern w feeding dry beet pulp. But that being said a horse can choke on hay too. That it why its important to ensure your horses teeth are up to date in dental care, and that horse that are bolters are fed adequately.

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post #9 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 12:58 PM
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I agree that beet pulp does not expand enough to cause problems, not to mention I read in a nutrition book that as their systems are made to have a constant flow of food going through, nothing stays in the stomach for a long period of time. When I was in pony club, they drilled it into my head that beet pulp MUST be soaked overnight.
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post #10 of 28 Old 12-13-2010, 05:43 PM
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My quarter horse coliced and the vet blamed it on the beet pulp that i had fed him. I was told by the feed store that it could be fed soaked or dry. Dry seemed easier so thats the method i used. Until he coliced. Now i still feed shredded beet pulp but always soak it. i let it soak over night for the morning feed and through the day for the evening feed. One concern my vet had was the moisture being pulled from the horses system when the beetpulp did expand in the stomach. This could be a problem for a horse that is not taking in enough fluids to help digest the dry beetpulp. I am definitely not an expert but i would soak it. Im too scared not to but that is just me. I would advise just watching any horse and do what works for that individual horse
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