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  1. #1
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    Jul. 8, 2010
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    Default How long to soak beet pulp?

    I was raised that you soak your beet pulp until it will absorb no more water. This can take up to 10 minutes. BY the time I'm done, it looks like sloppy oatmeal.

    Barn owner received information from outside source saying you don't need to soak it long. She ads a little water, stirs it around and feeds it. This scares me because if it is still in absorb mode, it will absorb any water in the gut and delay motility.

    Am I paranoid or have they "re-engineered" beet pulp and I missed the memo?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    Default

    I would not consider 10 minutes very long in the grand scheme of soaking so the difference between 10 minutes and adding water, stirring and carrying to the stall is pretty negligible.

    Beet pulp can be fed dry, your biggest risk is choke, so as long as the horses are doing fine with what the BO is doing I would not panic.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 2, 2003
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    Mayerthorpe, AB
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    Default

    I soak mine for 12hrs. I always soack the next feeding ahead but then we don't have a huge heat problem here where I worry about it going bad. I would soak for 10 min at least myself as I don't like to feed beet pulp dry regardless of the articles that say it is safe.
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  4. #4
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy's Warmbloods View Post
    I don't like to feed beet pulp dry regardless of the articles that say it is safe.
    And all the grain products that use beet pulp as a base that people do not soak. Do not forget those.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Saco, Maine
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    Default

    Pellets or shreds? The shredded can soak a much shorter time than pellets. I wouldn't dream of serving pellets unless they had soaked at LEAST 2 hours. Longer if possible. The shredded stuff can be served within 1/2 hour I'd guess. One of the whole points of feeding beet pulp is to get extra water into the horse so why feed it dry where it will only absorb water from the gut?
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  6. #6
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    Dec. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Like Cindy's I always soak for the next feeding. In the summer I make sure it is kept in a cool place. In the winter if it is below freezing in the feed room we will soak with hot water in the morning and give it 15 minutes to soak. The horses love the warm meal in the morning.

    There is a huge difference in soaking for 10 minutes versus just mixing with water and feeding. I would never feed my beet pulp dry. YES there are a lot of grains with beet pulp in them, but they are ground up into very small pieces and mixed with other ingredients that the horses are able to chew. If I ever fed a grain with beet pulp in it, I would probably add some water to be on the safe side. And even though choke is the biggest risk...that is a risk NOT worth taking. Trust me, just had one 3 weeks ago and it resulted in a $700 vet bill! (the choke was not beet pulp related, but still, rather be safe than sorry!)
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  7. #7
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    Usually, the higher the fiber content, the more it will expand when soaked.

    That is why hay stretcher pellets, alfalfa pellets, beet pulp pellets, all expand a huge amount when wet, and present a great risk for choke.

    I soak until they are mushy. Usually that takes about 10 minutes with warm water. My horses don't like soup, and will leave it in their dish. It has to be fluffy. So, that means I can't soak until they won't absorb water. It would be too runny for them.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    Default

    I too soak for the next feed and in the winter put it in the tack room where it doesn't freeze. I use pellets and it takes a good 6-8 hours to really separate anyway.

    I sometimes keep some shreds on hand for emergency if I forget or want to take some to a show - that can soak for about 10-15 minutes and is fine. But not pellets.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Default

    I wet shreds with the sprayer in the kitchen sink and stir it up some, then I pour the liquid in with the pony's, although I've switched up the old guy to Tim grass pellets and they get pretty mushy. Altogether they have about 15 minutes to soak.
    It all depends on what they'll eat. The old guy is turning up his nose at Alf cubes - dry, wet or whatever and even the pony eats them last. The old guy also won't eat wet beet pulp, unless the Tim pellets are in it too. He'll only eat plain beet pulp if it is fluffy, or dry,and he can't be bothered with beep pellets at all, but I don't feed plain beet pulp, I mix it with a sweet type feed and forage cubes or pellets.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2010
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    Default Thanks guys.

    Yep, it's shreds. It soaks up nice after about 10 minutes. I'll let it soak longer if I can, but 10-15 usually gets it just right. I usually add water twice and stir.

    BO only feeds 2-4 times a week. We have a great girl working and she or I do it the rest of the time. Those 2-4 times of just "spritzing" and putting it in front of her makes me uncomfortable though. My theory is why risk it?

    It gets mixed with grain and multiple supplements. One that smells like carrot cake. She loves it. Doesn't even lift her head.



  11. #11
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Honestly, it really, truly doesn't take much time at all to soak to the point of reducing/eliminating that risk of choke. 2x the volume of water to beep, do that first, then do whatever else has to be done and you're done.

    I put my water/beep in first, add supplements/feed, carry to stalls, done.

    Will it absorb more water the longer it sits? Yes, of course. But with few exceptions it's just not necessary to go that long.
    ______________________________
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  12. #12
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    Sep. 6, 2003
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    WA, Land of the damp Thongpend
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverBendPol View Post
    Pellets or shreds? The shredded can soak a much shorter time than pellets. I wouldn't dream of serving pellets unless they had soaked at LEAST 2 hours. Longer if possible. The shredded stuff can be served within 1/2 hour I'd guess. One of the whole points of feeding beet pulp is to get extra water into the horse so why feed it dry where it will only absorb water from the gut?
    It doesn't absorb water from the gut.

    "Concerns about beet pulp "pulling water from the blood and into the stomach and causing dehydration" are also unfounded. Regardless of the type of feed, horses will generally drink approximately 3 to 4 liters of water for every kilogram of dry matter consumed (dry matter is what's left over in a feed after its own moisture content is disallowed). Assuming free access to clean, fresh water, horses will voluntarily consume enough water to adequately process any amount of beet pulp consumed. If soaked beet pulp is provided, drinking will be proportionately less as the moisture content of the soaked pulp supplies considerable water. In either case, it is unlikely that fluid shifts from blood plasma to the interior of the gastrointestinal tract will be significantly different from those occurring with any other type of feed with similar moisture content." - Susan Garlinghouse DVM



  13. #13
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    Oct. 27, 2009
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    Default

    I soak mine for 12hrs. I always soack the next feeding ahead but then we don't have a huge heat problem here where I worry about it going bad. I would soak for 10 min at least myself as I don't like to feed beet pulp dry regardless of the articles that say it is safe.
    This is what I do as well. I feed pellets so there's no way 10 min would be enough. If I'm in a hurry and forget to add water to my beet pulp at the previous feeding I soak it with hot water for 30 - 45 min instead of regular hose temp and that's plenty of time... This however drives my horse nuts because he wants to eat NOW



  14. #14
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    Feb. 6, 2000
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    MA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Honestly, it really, truly doesn't take much time at all to soak to the point of reducing/eliminating that risk of choke. 2x the volume of water to beep, do that first, then do whatever else has to be done and you're done.

    I put my water/beep in first, add supplements/feed, carry to stalls, done.

    Will it absorb more water the longer it sits? Yes, of course. But with few exceptions it's just not necessary to go that long.
    Same here.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2011
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Honestly, it really, truly doesn't take much time at all to soak to the point of reducing/eliminating that risk of choke. 2x the volume of water to beep, do that first, then do whatever else has to be done and you're done.

    I put my water/beep in first, add supplements/feed, carry to stalls, done.

    Will it absorb more water the longer it sits? Yes, of course. But with few exceptions it's just not necessary to go that long.
    I do the same thing with the shreds I've never had an issue with it.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 19, 2010
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    Gum Tree PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seal Harbor View Post
    It doesn't absorb water from the gut.

    "Concerns about beet pulp "pulling water from the blood and into the stomach and causing dehydration" are also unfounded. Regardless of the type of feed, horses will generally drink approximately 3 to 4 liters of water for every kilogram of dry matter consumed (dry matter is what's left over in a feed after its own moisture content is disallowed). Assuming free access to clean, fresh water, horses will voluntarily consume enough water to adequately process any amount of beet pulp consumed. If soaked beet pulp is provided, drinking will be proportionately less as the moisture content of the soaked pulp supplies considerable water. In either case, it is unlikely that fluid shifts from blood plasma to the interior of the gastrointestinal tract will be significantly different from those occurring with any other type of feed with similar moisture content." - Susan Garlinghouse DVM
    Doc, thanks for taking the time to explain why this is just a “pony club myth”. To those who wish to stand by their “convictions” fair enough. If it make you feel better then that’s all that matters cause it won’t hurt the horse.



  17. #17
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    Jul. 19, 2010
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    Gum Tree PA
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    Default

    To the OP, shredded beet pulp, have never use pellets, can be feed dry out of the bag or be soaked for what ever time makes you happy. There is no scientific bases in fact to dispute this. As the good Doctor above pointed out. I have countless other vets and professional horsemen say the same over the years. The only reason we add some warm water is so that it mixes better with the other ingredients in their bucket and doesn’t separate out. Have never had one choke, and I can’t remember the last time we had a horse colic. And our average horse population for the last 10 years has been around 45.
    I have found over the years most things people do for their horse does more for the owner then it does for the horse.



  18. #18
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    Jul. 19, 2010
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    Gum Tree PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverBendPol View Post
    Pellets or shreds? The shredded can soak a much shorter time than pellets. I wouldn't dream of serving pellets unless they had soaked at LEAST 2 hours. Longer if possible. The shredded stuff can be served within 1/2 hour I'd guess. One of the whole points of feeding beet pulp is to get extra water into the horse so why feed it dry where it will only absorb water from the gut?
    There are a number of reasons why we feed beet pulp to certain horses. But this has never been one.



  19. #19
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Saco, Maine
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seal Harbor View Post
    It doesn't absorb water from the gut.

    "Concerns about beet pulp "pulling water from the blood and into the stomach and causing dehydration" are also unfounded. Regardless of the type of feed, horses will generally drink approximately 3 to 4 liters of water for every kilogram of dry matter consumed (dry matter is what's left over in a feed after its own moisture content is disallowed). Assuming free access to clean, fresh water, horses will voluntarily consume enough water to adequately process any amount of beet pulp consumed. If soaked beet pulp is provided, drinking will be proportionately less as the moisture content of the soaked pulp supplies considerable water. In either case, it is unlikely that fluid shifts from blood plasma to the interior of the gastrointestinal tract will be significantly different from those occurring with any other type of feed with similar moisture content." - Susan Garlinghouse DVM
    Well well. I stand corrected. Thanks.

    If I fed beet pulp, (I did but I don't now) I would soak for as long as it took to become mush.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2010
    Posts
    111

    Default Thanks to all!

    This has been helpful and informative. I will try to no longer be paranoid.



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