I was just wondering what people's takes on beet pulp is.
I used to be really into feeding it until me and my father has a talk about it.
Here is mine: beet pulp is a filler. Almost no nutritional value. But for a horse that has been starved having the fiber can be a good thing, in small quantities.
Think about this, beets are squished so all of it's juice is gone, then they are dried. So it's just the haul of the beet. Nothing there but minimal nutrition and fiber.
I feed it in very small quantities to starved horses, about a qt and half is what I think the cup says with water.
What do you guys think?
You will get a 100 different answers on this one.
I refuse to feed beetpulp:
1. I have heard of too many horses colicking and/or choking on beet pulp, no matter how it was or wasn't prepared.
2. They now have beet pulp pellets that I might have considered for my two hard keepers until I read the label and learned it's recommended to soak the pellets too. I have enough to do getting stuff ready for four horses that eat different, I am not adding soaking anything to the list:-(
3. I feed pelleted equine rice bran instead. In the five years I've been feeding rice bran to my hard keepers, I have yet to read of a horse colicking or choking on it. Not saying it hasn't happened but I belong to several forums and haven't run across it yet:-)
minimum nutrition and lots of fiber is exactly what horses need. It has lots of great beinifits.
A fiber source as a partial replacement of hay that is cheap compact and easy to store,
A low carb food to mix in supplements for horses that dont need feed but need vitamins and minerals, Think mini's and ponies here,
A spare reservoir of water in he gut for endurance rides,
Soaked beet pulp keeps things going in the gut during stressful activities, its pretty tasty and horses will eat it when they wont eat hay.
i love feeding beet pulp ! if you dont feed a lot of it you only have to soak it for a few minutes. the bag lasts a long time too !
my mare loves it and is better focused on her food. i can also hide her powdered supplement in there very easily. since eating beet pulp she has maintained her weight much better this winter, shes eating about 1/5 of what she did last year.
Beet pulp has more nutritional value than you think. It's one of the first things recommended when you have a horse who needs some extra weight. It's also fiber rich, which is very important since a horse's digestive system needs to be constantly moving.
I've never fed it dry because it can cause choke, but it takes very little time to soak up the hot water I put on it. I have 3 horses and only 1 gets beet pulp added to his feed. I can see if you have a lot of horses and don't want to or can't wait while it's soaking. Mine takes less than 5 minutes to completely absorb the water I've put in with it, so it's not an issue for me.
The only thing being squeezed out of sugar beets is the liquid. The nutritional value of the beet itself is still very much there.
Ditto what SR said.
I feed bp to my old man, the only one of the dozen here that get it. He will be 31 here shortly and has very few teeth left. He has a hard time with hay - he does get chopped quality leafy hay but he can't maintain weight these days without the beet pulp. The fiber aspect of it is really important in his diet. He gets it fed in a mash with senior feed and alfalfa pellets.
I have my old man on on beet pulp. He can't handle a lot of grain and while still eating a good amount of hay needs more to keep weight. I like the extra fiber and getting extra water into him.
I've heard alot of good things about beet pulp, and I was actually going to start using it for mixing in powdered supplements and also to keep weight on during winter.
It's true, beet pulp has little nutrition. What it DOES have is high fiber and calories. For a horse who cannot eat hay, it can be a great addition to diet. It can also be a great addition to an under weight horse who needs to gain weight.
I, personally, won't feed it unless I absolutly had to for the simple reason that soaking feed is a pain, especially in winter. I choose other options for extra calories such as rice bran pellets, alfalfa pellets and/or cocosoya oil.
I can only pass on what I've been told, so I'll let the direct source do the speaking. Susan Garlinghouse is a very qualified resource.
Check out this link:
Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM horse management articles and lectures
You're probably most interested in the one titled "The Myths and Reality of Beet Pulp"
And I highly recommend "Beet Pulp Safety Warning", also on that page ;)
Personally, I feed beet pulp with Triple Crown and a mineral supplement mixed in, mainly for hydration since I do endurance and it's nice to get it in their system in the winter when horses don't drink as much, but also because my horses just love it and it's a great way to get them some nutrition, especially if you make it into a mash with other stuff. Speaking of which, I need to go start my pellets soaking lol.
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