Rice bran and beet pulp? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Rice bran and beet pulp?

What do rice bran and beet pulp contribute to a diet? Or what are they intended to do when added to a diet?

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post #2 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:09 PM
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Rice bran is high fat and will help a horse gain well. Beet pulp also helps gain when added to the feet, but is a fibrous feed, more like a forage. On a normal horse rice bran is not a long term feed but beet pulp is.
The base of my feed is molasses free beet pulp. My horse is an uber easy keeper, when she was rescued and malnourished the rice bran put weight on like a charm.
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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So basically if you're feeding rice bran to an underweight horse, you would take them off of it once they are back to a good weight?
And do you have to soak beet pulp? whats the difference when it's dry as opposed to soaked?

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post #4 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:25 PM
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I have fed soaked beet pulp and rice bran to a Tb mare to help her gain weight with wonderful results.

The beet pulp if in pelleted form must be soaked, its very compressed and expands quite a bit with water, I have heard of people feeding the shreds dry but I personally wouldn't want yo run the risk of choking when soaking is so easy.

Now that my mare is up to weight and actually going in the porky side I have taken her off the rice bran and she seems to be keeping her weight well. If using rice bran be sure to get stabilized as the regular stuff goes rancid rather quickly.
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:37 PM
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You don't have to soak beet pulp. Some people do, as it used to be thought that if you didn't it would expand so much the horse would colic (that has been disproved, but some still believe that and swear by it, but I have never had a problem). If your horse has never had beet pulp, soaking it can make it palatable if they don't seem to like it. (it has a very coarse texture) In winter, as a nice measure I might soak it in some warm water. On the flip side, beet pulp will turn rancid quickly when soaked (it begins fermenting), so if your horse won't eat it, it has to be thrown out.

I use beet pulp if there isn't enough quality forage available. (I try to stay on a hay-only diet, but sometimes extra is needed when hay is hard to come by or of lesser quality than I'd like) In that case, I use primarily beet pulp, and add in a small amount of feed to give compensate for the nutrients they would be lacking.

I've only given rice bran to young horses that were underweight, as it has high fat and protein that help gain weight/muscle. Once they are getting where they need to be, then I haven't used it. I have known people that used it with horses that are in intense work, and are young and growing. I myself wouldn't recommend it as a every-day supplement unless you work your hard every day, as they don't need it and can cause more problems than it's worth. (Problems being; anxiousness, hyperactivity, etc- all that energy has to go somewhere!)
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:43 PM
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Rice bran is about 20% fat and is usually fed for additional calories. There's no reason why it can't be fed long term unless (like any other feed) the horse needs to lose weight.

Being high in fat, rice bran can go rancid quickly, so it's best to buy a stabilized rice bran unless you're going through it very quickly. If buying unstabilized, be sure to get it from a feed store that goes through their inventory often or it could be rancid before you even buy it.

Another consideration is whether it's fortified or not. Rice bran is naturally high in phosphorous and low in calcium. Horses need to have an overall diet that is higher in calcium than phosphorous, so many manufacturers fortify rice bran with additional calcium (usually so that there is roughly equal calcium and phosphorous). If you're feeding in small amounts (say, 1-2 lbs per day) the horse might be getting enough calcium from other sources (hay, pasture, other hard feeds) that fortified rice bran isn't required. But if your horse is getting more than 2 lbs/day, you don't know how to calculate the calcium-to-phosphorous ratio in your horse's diet, or your horse isn't getting a high-calcium diet (like alfalfa hay) then fortified is a safe way to go.

Beet pulp is another great feed for putting on weight. It's full of highly digestible fiber, which provides more calorie content than other high fiber sources that contain more indigestible fiber (like stemmy hay or peanut hulls). Most people will soak it (especially if feeding the pelleted form). It's not strictly necessary to do so, but is certainly a good idea to reduce the risk of choke, and can also add some fluid in the winter when horses tend to drink less.

Beet pulp is a high calcium feed, so it pairs well with rice bran. IME beet pulp and rice bran together form a mash with a very nice consistency that can be great for hiding supplements that the horse might otherwise sift out of a dry meal.
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:48 PM
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I soak my beet pulp in winter in hot water and in summer in Gatorade water. We use small shred and that makes it soak fast.
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 07:50 PM
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By the way I feed the Gatorade bc she likes it, and bc we show in other towns in summer and by teaching her to drink it it I can cover up the egg water.
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 08:05 PM
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Yeah, rice bran is reasonably high in fat, but beet pulp is also high in energy & good for weightgain. As mentioned, ricebran, like wheatbran is very high phosphorus, & beet pulp is quite high calcium which can create imbalances if not fed as *part* of a balanced diet. **I'd add extra Mg if feeding high Ca.
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-09-2013, 08:17 PM
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Wausuaw, what makes you say that rice bran makes horses higher energy? In my experience it has been a great 'cool calorie' source and when I fed it to my 2 year old TB filly, she didn't seem any more high energy on 1 1/2 lbs of rice bran than she did on 3 1/2 lbs of beet pulp. She did have quite a bit of energy, but that is a given with a baby TB who is being fed 6-7 lbs of alfalfa pellets, rice bran, and 2 lbs of hard feed every day!

Personally I had more luck with beet pulp helping with weight BUT my girl was a picky eater and after a while she refused to eat it. She never refused rice bran.

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