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Sensitivity to beet pulp?

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    Sensitivity to beet pulp?

    This is not a thing I have ever experienced before.

    Twice now, after transitioning to beet pulp as a carrier for his vit/min supplement, my quarter pony has lost his marbles. He seems relatively normal in day to day activities, maybe a bit wider eyed and slightly more reactive, but nothing that says fire breathing dragon or unusual for a 4yo in cold weather. Until I go to work him. Leaping, rearing, bolting, bucking, kicking out, and my personal favorite - leaping straight up with a double barrel at the end (he thinks he's at the Spanish Riding School doing caprioles, I guess). He seems quite perturbed, as though there is something on him he's trying to get off. He is normally exceptionally lazy and not inclined to displays of great athleticism.

    No other changes. The turnout is the same, hay & vit/min exactly the same, no new management changes at all. Literally everything else the same. The first attempt to switch was a few months ago, and I thought perhaps the behavior was a fluke - switched back to the other grain for another reason. Then I sort of forgot about the crazy behavior and thought we'd give it another shot. I only wanted to switch to the BP because I had been using a forage-based pelleted grain (Haystack SB, for the locals) BUT he doesn't really need the extra calories it has, and he dislikes plain hay pellets. BP gave me more volume with less calories and still enough slop to hide the V/M powder.

    Anyone ever seen this? Ideas as to what in the BP is causing this possessed by demons behavior? I've already taken him off it, and hopefully the demons will exorcise themselves within the week. I'm just curious about the potential causes and avoiding any sources of that in the future...

    Could he possibly have a sensitivity to the molasses used as a dust control? Could you try soaking and rinsing the beep?
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


      Original Poster

      Originally posted by buck22 View Post
      Could he possibly have a sensitivity to the molasses used as a dust control? Could you try soaking and rinsing the beep?
      I'll have to check the tag, but I believe this is molasses-free. Could be the issue though.

      Someone would have to pay me a lot of money before I'd put this guy back on it He's fine to handle as far as turning out and grooming, but acting downright dangerous on the lunge line. No way. I'll stick with the other stuff and hopefully can just cut back a tad if he starts to get too fat!


        Anything has the potential to cause issues. Beet pulp is way low on the list, but it definitely happens. Some horses get really gassy on any appreciable amount of beep, and maybe that's his deal, and he just reacts this way as a result.

        Alfalfa pellets with a bit of water makes a great carrier
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          Original Poster

          Originally posted by JB View Post
          Anything has the potential to cause issues. Beet pulp is way low on the list, but it definitely happens. Some horses get really gassy on any appreciable amount of beep, and maybe that's his deal, and he just reacts this way as a result.

          Alfalfa pellets with a bit of water makes a great carrier
          He doesn't appreciate alfalfa pellets. First horse (and a pony, to boot!) I've known that will eat around them. He's not crazy about it in hay form, either. I suppose I could try Timothy pellets.

          The stuff I'd been using is great and he looks great, and he's not currently too fat, I guess I was just trying to fix what wasn't broken! He was only getting maybe 2 (dry measure) cups of the beet pulp a day, and I didn't note any manure changes or gas, so who knows. Back to what works!


            If he likes the Haystack Special Blend, but you just don't want the fat, you might try Haystack's Low Carb Low Fat pellet. It is the same thing as Special Blend, minus the canola. I used to feed it to my IR/EMS horse. I can't recall if the price was much different. My feed store stocked it as there were a few of us that used it, but any feed store that carries Haystack should be able to get it.


              Why not just dampen his current feed?

              And if he is leaving his supplements at the bottom of the tub and not eating them, and he is eating them with the beet pulp, maybe it does have something to do with the supplements.


                Original Poster

                Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post
                Why not just dampen his current feed?

                And if he is leaving his supplements at the bottom of the tub and not eating them, and he is eating them with the beet pulp, maybe it does have something to do with the supplements.
                I do wet the other stuff, in fact I soak it in hot water until it's a chunky slop and then mix it up with a big spoon - the only thing missing with his hot meal is a bib tucked into his shirt. He licks the entire bucket clean and somehow manages to get every last bit off his face, too. He loves it way more than the beet pulp. When I add the vitamins it smells like maple syrup.

                I was simply trying to reduce the number of calories. A smaller amount of beet pulp expands to the same volume, with less calories.


                  You might want to try Albers Pellets. It is more Alfalfa than beet Pulp. My guy prefers special blend though. Teff Pellets pretty low in anything. Including taste!