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Beet Pulp - how much?

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  • #21
    Calvincrowe- I doubt most are feeding pelleted beet pulp without soaking. I am going to assume from experience in having fed both, they are referring to shreds.

    I agree with you that it is much more cost effective to feed pellets if you have the time.

    I only soak for about 3-4 hours w/ the bp pellets.

    I suppose any type of feed can cause choke in certain circumstances. But if it takes 3-4 hours at minimum to "expand", not sure how being in a horse's mout saliva for 20 seconds will cause it to expand to a point of being a risk. Once in the intestines and/or stomach, as others pointed out, acid will break it down.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by sign of Grace View Post
      Calvincrowe- I doubt most are feeding pelleted beet pulp without soaking. I am going to assume from experience in having fed both, they are referring to shreds.

      I agree with you that it is much more cost effective to feed pellets if you have the time.

      I only soak for about 3-4 hours w/ the bp pellets.

      I suppose any type of feed can cause choke in certain circumstances. But if it takes 3-4 hours at minimum to "expand", not sure how being in a horse's mout saliva for 20 seconds will cause it to expand to a point of being a risk. Once in the intestines and/or stomach, as others pointed out, acid will break it down.
      You are right about any feed causing choke - the worst case I ever saw was hay, nice soft alfalfa hay, however, most chokes are in response to particle size. The biggest problem with many pelleted feeds is they are so damnedably hard they are hard for the animal to break down
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      • #23
        Which pelleted feeds - besides pelleted beep - have you encountered that were that hard? I haven't seen any - any I've seen, which includes products of various brands including Progressive, TC, Purina, Nutrena, Dumor, and others - have been easy for me to just break even a smaller pellet by hand.

        Just curious, for future reference
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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        • #24
          Don't ask, can't remember and threw away the bag years ago, just made a note not to buy that blue bag again and I never did. The purple bag was just fine though. Of the list you gave, the only one I have ever seen was Purina and this wasn't that. We have different brands here in Canada, so IF i remember, next time I go th Peavey Mart, I will look at the blue bags!!!LOL For all I know they may have been vitamin/minerely pellets but damn, they were hard. Horses picked them out and left them
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          • #25
            I fed shredded beet pulp for years. I generally soaked it for the extra hydration but not for more than a few minutes.

            It does not expand in their stomach. That's a myth.

            I'd start with a half pound of beet pulp and see if your horse will eat it, then move up from there.

            I have always found that oil is the best way to add weight without adding too much volume.
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            • #26
              I was pertified when I moved to a barn where the BO fed beet pulp, mixed with feed. She soaked it for hours, and it sometimes soured in summer. It smelled like bad likker at a still.

              I've soaked beet pulp for about 30 minutes. It plumbs up by then and the water is absorbed by then.

              For shreds, it only takes a few minutes to get the same effect. 5 minutes or so while getting smartpaks and hay, etc. Shreds are so much easier.

              In winter, using warm water speeds up the process.

              How much? One scoop of shreds feeds 2 horses. (But mine got a lot of supplements with it.) I forget how much of the whole pulp fed the 9 horses at the old barn.

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              • #27
                I guess I'm feeling cranky today...but when we all respond on "how much/should I beet pulp" threads, I think we all need to say if we are using shreds or pelleted, because soaking times are VERY different for each. I want my BP to be a wet, rehydrated product. I feed it for fiber, water, and as a carrier of powdered supplements. I can't figure out why you would feed dry bp, but that's just me

                I soak my alfalfa pellets, too, as I just don't want a choke to happen if I can help it in any way.
                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                  FWIW, a pound (dry weight( of beet pulp is approx. 1200 calories so a cup isn't going to add many calories and if the cup fed is wet, it will mean even fewer calories added. In very cold weather, I used to feed up to 8 pounds twice a day to add water and keep my hard keeper sorta fat, don't feed much now in winter, just around 5 pounds as a water carrying medium and a treat.
                  This. Think of beet like super forage - more calories than alfalfa. You can feed up to 1/2 the forage ration of 1-2% of body weight per day. For an 1100# horse that's about 5.5-11# of beet a day. A cup or two? Pointless for weight gain.
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                  • #29
                    For those concerned about the supposed NEED (or you will choke your horse to death!) to soak beep for even a few hours, I took pictures this morning.

                    It's not scientific, and it might be a little hard to tell, but:

                    This is 3c beet pulp dry in the bucket

                    This is 1 minute after dumping in maybe 5-6c of water, already every shred of beep is coated in water and soaking it up (I see one teeny island of dry(ish) at about 10:00)

                    And this is 1 minute later, for a total of 2 minutes after adding the water


                    This looks more watery than the 1 minute mark because at that point most of the beep was still floating on top. In the 2 minute picture, most of it has absorbed enough water to be too heavy to float, pushing the unabsorbed water to the top.

                    this was well water - COLD

                    Now tell me, is a horse going to choke on this?

                    That 2 minutes is all it took for me to fix all 4 buckets of food. Right after I took this pic I added the rest of this horse's food and mixed it all up and fed it.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                    • #30
                      I can only find beet pulp pellets and they are big and hard as rocks. It takes about three hours for them to fully turn to mush. If I don't let them completely mush, I find soggy pellets at the bottom of their feeders. The horses eat the mush and spit out the left over pellets that are still hard. Since it is getting warm I've switched to soaking alfalfa cubes, they mush down faster.

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                      • #31
                        I'm going to ask a dumb question because when I was asked I realized I didn't know the answer that it was something that was I was always told.

                        So we all know beet pulp in heat will ferment. But why is it bad to use it after it ferments? (ie feed it to your horse) My arab will only eat fermented apples and has eaten fermented beet pulp before when I didn't catch her in time. However, she doesn't like beer. I should probably try some wine... just kidding there! The perch however did steal the drunk's beer and chug.

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                        • #32
                          The difference between fermentation and going off is the type of bacteria that make it happen. Fermented foods have good, edible bacteria. Spoiled foods will make you sick.

                          When people talk about fermented beet what they should say is sour beet, rotten beet, or beet that's gone off, and is inedible, unless they know that the bacteria present are edible. Since we know most horse feed facilities aren't exactly paragons of sterile manufacture, and beet pulp is known to be an excellent food for making the gut a friendly place for bacteria (it's "pre-biotic"), chances are sour beet is bad news.

                          Feeding beet that hasn't gone off still has bacteria, but they haven't had a chance to flourish and get to levels that can cause sickness. Stomach acids and good gut flora can quickly sort them out.
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                          • #33
                            Thank you Xanthoria. Makes sense. Just more out of curiosity has a study been done to show that spoiled beet pulp does in fact have bad bacteria? I used to hate beet pulp but now feed it regularly to all 3 mares.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                              I fed shredded beet pulp for years. I generally soaked it for the extra hydration but not for more than a few minutes.

                              It does not expand in their stomach. That's a myth.

                              I'd start with a half pound of beet pulp and see if your horse will eat it, then move up from there.

                              I have always found that oil is the best way to add weight without adding too much volume.
                              THIS

                              Another idea is flaxseed. I feed 1 cup of omega horseshine daily and it has helped a bunch with the two seniors holding weight and muscle. (24 yo TB geld and 27 yo QH hard keeper)

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                              • #35
                                I think it odd that people feed beet pulp WITHOUT soaking it.

                                Choke is choke, but why would you feed it dry? Part of its charm is that it keeps your horse hydrated!

                                THat plus what everyone else said.
                                “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                                ? Albert Einstein

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                                • #36
                                  Unless you're feeding large amounts of beep and adding quarts and quarts of water, the amount you use for most situations doesn't add a lot of hydration. Not when he is drinking 10 gallons a day, or more.

                                  Yes, for some horses who aren't good drinkers, the more you can force them to "eat", the better. But the 6c water in what I feed is nothing. The amount of water most people use for the amount of beep they use isn't terribly significant for real hydration
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                                  • #37
                                    Just as an aside: One winter (years ago) I was giving my horses warm mashes at night with a sweet feed mix that was high in pellets. Between the 3 horses I had, two of them each suffered from an impaction colic, so ever since then I have been mindful of soaking/expanding properties with pellets, beet pulp, etc. I prefer to let my beet pulp soak & expand quite a bit before I feed it. But 30 min. to an hour works for me. I put lots if water in and drain the excess at feed time. I use the shredded.

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                                    • #38
                                      http://www.allcreaturesanimalhealth....efDownload.pml
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                                      • #39
                                        I soak mine in the fridge over night for feeding in the morning.
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