What is beet pulp for?
I know a suuuuuper old gelding who gets beet pulp for lunch. It kinda looks like soggy cereal, smells good though. What is it for? What are the benefits of it?
Beet pulp is often given to help maintain weight or gain weight in hard keepers. It's a very "safe" feed to give, since it's not high in sugar/starch. It's very high in digestible fiber and can also be given to supplement hay if the hay supply is running low, if it's low-quality (stemmy), or the horse has bad teeth.
In smaller quantities it is often used as a carrier for supplements, since it masks the taste and can't be sifted out like it could be when mixed in dry pellets
ETA- beet pulp pellets also absorb a lot of water, so can be aid in hydration
It is a great source of highly digestible fiber. When we had a much colder and harsher than usual winter this year, I loved feeding an extra beet pulp "snack" each day to the horses. Fiber to help them keep warm through digestion, plus I loved that I could basically make a "soup" with it and they would slurp it right up, which made me feel better knowing that they were getting that extra water in them on the coldest days when they didn't drink much from the trough.
Beet pulp is magic. It's cheap, healthy food. I can get 50 pounds of it for $15, and it lasts forever. Horses generally like the taste -- one of my mares will only eat it dry, though she is infamously picky. It puts weight on horses safely and is very digestible.
My favorite thing about beet pulp is it's ability to hydrate a horse. Soaked pulp is both a great carrier of water and very fibrous, making it a great "storage vat" for extra water in the intestines. When I do endurance rides, I load the ponies up on beet pulp that morning, and they can tap into that water/fiber reserve as needed for hours.
I saw it was one of the ingredients in the feed we give the horses on my "geriatric ward"... haha.. One of them is over 30. Just not sure how far over 30 he is. They tear that Senior Feed up though. We soak his in a little water to soften it up for him a bit. Awesome information. Thanks!
Beet pulp vc. rice bran? Lady at the feed store told me rice bran was cheaper, and said that beet pulp has basically no nutritional value. But she didn't say that rice bran had nutritional value either. I've thought of both of them as weight gaining fiber feeds, not to fulfill a nutrition requirement.
I will say... Rice bran is hella more expensive than beet pulp. Where are you buying your bran? :lol: (Seriously. Rice bran is white gold in this part of the country.)
I got a bag of beet pulp and am slowly putting in more beet pulp pellets and less alfalfa pellets for my mom's mare who is only ridden 2x a week.
My jumper gets 3 quarts alfalfa and 1 quart beet pulp.
Although, there are days I get lazy and don't give supplements. Almost 10pm now, but I suppose there is still time to give feed. After all, the horses love getting feed at any hour. :lol:
Geesh... I hate how lazy this heat makes me.
Unstabilized rice bran is pretty cheap here, but I go through it pretty slowly and have read that it can actually go rancid before it actually hits the store shelves. Stabilized rice bran is $33 for 50 lbs, so much more expensive than beet pulp, which runs $12 for 40 lbs at my feed store.
Both rice bran and beet pulp are frequently used for weight gain, but have very different nutritional profiles. Neither are suitable as a sole ration (i.e. they aren't a good source of balanced minerals and vitamins) Rice bran is high in fat (>20%), phosphorous, and NSC (>20%). Beet pulp is high in digestible fiber and calcium, and unmolassed beet pulp is very low in NSC and thus much more suitable for IR horses. I like to mix a little rice bran into my beet pulp mash (I currently do 6 oz beet pulp pellets and 1 oz rice bran meal just for mixing in supplements); I think it gives it a better texture and makes it more palatable.
Wow, I'm not getting rice bran then! It must be unstabilized. And with the heat we get out here, I would not feel safe buying it. I'll stick to the beet pulp for a few dollars more :wink:
Maybe compared to some AZ horse people, I feed my horses too much. But I like them having enough bermuda hay that they can graze for 2-3 hours. My horses are certainly not overweight. They look like healthy pasture horses, but not the pasture horses that have hay bellies :lol:
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