Beet Pulp, Hay Pellets & Hydration Hay - CONS?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-20-2015, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Location: ashland ohio
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Beet Pulp, Hay Pellets & Hydration Hay - CONS??

Ok guys I have a horse that when we got it decided it didn't want to eat hay. He had bad tooth and tmj so the thought was maybe the hay hurt him. He wasn't skinny but he wasn't healthy. We've been working to get some weight on him to be healthy. So this is the recipe we've had him on.
2x's a day he gets:
1lb beet pellets soaked
2lb alfalfa timothy pellets soaked
1 cube of purina hydration hay soaked

plus his regular 3lb of safechoice grain & offered a flake of hay if he wants it but usually its never touched.

SO my question is, has anyone ever fed any of these individual ingredients being the beet pulp, hay pellets or hydration hay and experienced negative results in anyway? I ask because he's been really grouchy, and at times exhibiting stud like behaviors. I am going to have a vet out to start the process of checking things over on him but I was reading online and found someone indicating a negative reaction from beet pulp like this. Could it be there's too much sugar in this stuff or something? Before I convince myself the horse has gone nuts (a lot of Dr Jekyl Mr Hyde sorta thing) I'm trying to narrow down or eliminate factors that may have a contributing factor. Thanks.

** on the bright side he IS gaining weight!! If feed isn't the factor in these mood swings I'd keep him right where he's at. **
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-20-2015, 09:36 AM
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My eager eater would not touch the hydrated hay. I feed cubes, pellets and senior.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-20-2015, 10:49 AM
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I would be more concerned about pain causing mood swings or unpredictable behavior like that. I have seen skinny and undernourished horses get 'fizzy' ie more energetic or willing to challenge others than they used to be simply because the weight was coming back up to normal and they were finally feeling good. "Feeling their oats" so to speak, but that was just their real personality coming out. If he's always been an easy going guy and all of the sudden is acting nasty, that seems like something else.

I've fed rice bran, beet pulp, pellets, hydration hay all together and separate. My horse took a while to accept the hydration hay, but none of the food items ever caused any differences in his personality or behavior.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-21-2015, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by pebbs View Post
He had bad tooth and tmj
I presume his teeth got addressed? How about his 'TMJ'? How did you fix that - chiropractic vet, or...?

2x's a day he gets:
1lb beet pellets soaked
2lb alfalfa timothy pellets soaked
1 cube of purina hydration hay soaked

plus his regular 3lb of safechoice grain
Never heard of the 'hydration hay', had to look it up. Appears it's just an alfalfa/grass mix that's compressed, so requires 'watering' to be edible?? If so, I wonder what your reason for feeding this and the alfalfa/timothy pellets, which are essentially the same(??).

Cons of those things... hay/processed feed loses nutrients compared to fresh feed, so an appropriate 'ration balancer' or other nutritional supp would likely be a good move. *Worth looking into carefully tho, because all 'ration balancers' are definitely not equal & giving supps willy nilly is often wasteful & sometimes even harmful, if they're getting 'too much of a good thing' for eg. Also alfalfa is generally high in protein, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, so that needs to be considered. Maybe too high protein, etc for some horses. Alfalfa is also high energy, can be too high for some horses - 'easy keepers' or not in hard work for eg.

Beet pulp cons... It's actually higher energy than alfalfa(similar to oats), so as above, a 'con' for an easy keeper. If it's molassesed, can be high sugar. It's very high in calcium, low in phosphorus & magnesium. It's quite high in potassium, especially problematic for HYPP horses.

Safe choice cons... No fixed ingredients & main ingreds are 'byproducts'. It's usually got corn in it. It's relatively high NSC(sugars) so not generally a 'safe choice' for horses with metabolic issues/risk of laminitis. High energy. High fat - not generally great for horses not in very hard work, better to gain 'condition' from structural carbs than from fat.

Feeding twice daily, rather than free choice forage, could mean the horse is left hungry for extended periods, if he eats his meals quickly. Feeding 'rich', grainy meals only twice daily can also be problematic. Esp with high NSC/grainy feeds, little & often is best.

I ask because he's been really grouchy, and at times exhibiting stud like behaviors. I am going to have a vet out to start the process of checking things over on him
What's the 'studlike behaviour'? Great you're getting a vet, but a bodyworker, such as a chiropractic vet might be more appropriate, if he's got a body/pain issue. Chiros will also be able to diagnose stuff like ulcers, a common cause of pain/grumpiness. But as he's on a high energy, high potassium, high calcium diet, these are 3 nutritional causes for 'bad behaviour', so very possible diet/nutritional balance could be the issue.
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