MY vote on soaking Beet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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MY vote on soaking Beet

I have ALWAYS ALWAYS soaked beet, shreds and pellets to feed, but have often read that you can feed unsoaked.

I was going to practice Ben's trailer loading, he has been a pain recently, but was getting better, so wanted some treats in a pail to feed him if he loaded.

The treat bag had gone mouldy , shows how often I feed treats, so I just grabbed a couple of handfuls of beet pellets instead.

The loading went fine, every time he hopped on I let him have a mouthful out of the pail, he didn't snatch or take a huge gulp at it, just a nice delicate controlled mouthful each time.

On the third and last try, he took a mouthful, then made a weird sort of pulling back motion, I took it as being odd, but thought nothing of it, made much of him and put him away.

Then he did it again, and I was worried, for anyone who doesn't know, this is what I was seeing


Yes I know his halter is way to low on his nose, that was the last thing I was thinking about when I threw it on him.

Call to the vet, told to monitor as he was not in severe distress, what a calm and good boy he is. It took a while and lots of stuff being coughed up but he did clear, TG

I will NEVER EVER feed beet unsoaked again
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 03:01 PM
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Happened to me as well :( I, personally, would only feed dry shredded beet pulp if I could rather than the pellets. I know of people that feed both unsoaked hay cubes and beet pulp fine but I also know of people who tried it and their horse almost died. I always like to go on the err of caution..

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 03:05 PM
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Oh, wow, poor Ben. Glad he's doing better.

I've never fed beet pulp of any sort. Are they that much different in texture than, say, alfalfa pellets? I've fed those pellets a ton without soaking them and never had a problem but I'm beginning to wonder if I am just lucky or if the texture has a lot to do with it.

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Last edited by smrobs; 07-13-2012 at 03:13 PM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 03:06 PM
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The reason most people do not like feeding dry beet pulp is because its such a dry feed, theres a rumor that it will soak up liquids in the horses stomach causing impaction or colic. but if a horse has easy access to water and is properly hydrated produces enough saliva to moisten the feed properly.

We always soak ours because A. its easier for them to eat, more palatable. and B. were in a dry climate where feed gets very dried out fast, so its better safe than sorry, id rather spend the 30 min soaking it than risking having my horse choke on it....never pleasant.

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post #5 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 04:41 PM
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I feed one of my horses some beet pulp and I get the shreds instead of the pellets. I've been soaking them, are you supposed too? Hope so, this is the first horse I've fed beet pulp, hope I'm doing it right.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 04:45 PM
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choking is scarey .. I like to soak too.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 05:13 PM
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Good day all. I believe horses find beet pulp very digestible and thus it works well with the hard keeper or one that is dentally deficient. I also believe it's imperative to soak it prior to feeding (either in a one to one or two to one ratio of water to pulp). It is very absorbant and expands greatly in size when soaked. Thus if eaten dry in large quantity there is risk of expansion in the horse's stomach when water is taken in after the fact leading to a mighty ache. Golden Horse, in your case, it sounds the quantity your horse ingested was not in itself alarming and I'm wondering if what did happen was that your boy was perhaps a little anxious or nervous about a new learning situation and was doing a grab and gulp rather than chewing properly -- all of which will change once you progressed with his trailer loading skills.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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What is so scary is that he didn't grab, or appear to gulp at his few mouthfuls at all, and it honestly wasn't that much, maybe he just didn't chew *shrugs*

I feed beet to nearly everyone on the winter, I usually soak feed for the next feeding, as soon as I have finished one feeding, so I always have soaked on hand.

I've read so often that pellets can be fed dry, so I thought we would be OK, wont do it again
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-13-2012, 09:28 PM
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Yes, GH, I read that too, but I think I"m going to pass on trying to feed it dry!
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 09:20 PM
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I always soak beet pulp pellets if I feed them. Because they're so condensed it's more likely for horses to choke when it's broken up. I never soak shreds though but then again I never fed enough to warrant my worry about it.

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