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Beet Pulp - how much?

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  • Beet Pulp - how much?

    I've heard that beet pulp is a good way to put in some extra calories & fiber without making a horse 'hot'. My 'hot' warmblood could use a few more calories (not too many) - I'm feeding him Sentinel LS (high fat) & loads of hay when he's not on pasture. Is it enough to add just a cup of bp (soaked) to his grain, or will that do nothing? And, How much water does one add to a cup of shredded bp to make it not too watery after soaking?
    Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe

  • #2
    From my experience, 1 level cup of beet pulp equals about 1/8 of a pound (dry so maybe 1/4-1/2 lb after soaking) I currently feed my old guy 1/2 pound (dry)=4 cups, 2x day along with all his other stuff. He is only 14h and about 800lbs.

    As far as soaking i cover with water, just until it starts to float let it soak from one feeding to the next and it isn't too watery, if you are only soaking 15 or so minutes before you feed you might not want as much water, because of course the longer it sits the more water it absorbs. It is recommended to drain off excess water before you feed. I usually don't because there isn't that much water left and I add extra water as I mix the beet pulp with his pellets.
    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"

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    • #3
      Starting with 1/2 c dry beet pulp, and a splash of hot water, you'll see how much water it takes for the beet pulp to absorb it.

      Since I'm feeding much larger quantities I can't say exactly how much water the beet pulp takes up. And of course, there's the issue of which consistency your horse prefers. So to start, I'd go with 1:1 and see what you've got. Some people add enough water so it floats, other horses will find that much moisture unappetizing. Regardless, you MUST soak beet pulp before feeding.

      You'll gradually increase the beet pulp to a quart twice a day and see how your horse levels off.

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      • #4
        Remember: with hot water, beet pulp can soak for as little as 15 minutes. If soaking in cold, it needs at least 30 minutes or more. But in these warm temps of over 80 degrees, beet pulp will go rancid if soaked for much more than 2 - 3 hours. Keep your soaked beet pulp in a fridge, air conditioned room, or be prepared to make it up when you first arrive at the barn, then hang around for an hour before you can feed it.

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        • #5
          Beet pulp does *not* need to soak for 30 minutes or even 15. Really

          1c is, as said, about 1/8-1/9th of a pound, so no, not likely to do anything.

          It IS highly disgestible calories, so you're just going to have to play with how much you need. I would start with just 1/2c or so and work up from there. See where you get, if anywhere, at 1/2lb, add more if you need.

          A general starting point of beep:water is about 1:2

          I dump my beep, add water, add the remaining stuff/fix all buckets (4), and feed it. That's literally how long you need to "soak" it to the point of all but eliminating the choke risk.

          It will absorb more water the longer it soaks, of course, but unless you NEED that amount of plumpness, it's not a must. It also adds significant volume to the meal, so if you're trying to keep volume down, the long soaking can be counterproductive.
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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          • #6
            Keep in mind there are folks who can and do feed beet pulp absolutely dry. And those that feed the moment after adding water. The argument is that the dry product won't cause choke any more than feeding any grain dry.

            As for the 15 min/ 30 min soaking time: Why on earth risk it? Ever see a nasty case of choke?

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            • #7
              The point is - the minute you add water, it is no longer dry, assuming you added enough water, and the 2:1 water:beep ration IS enough water to do that. By the time you finish fixing whatever meal(s) and take it to the stall, it has already absorbed some water, it's no longer dry.

              There's no reason NOT to soak it longer (to a point), and if you have other chores you can do before feeding, go for it. But you don't HAVE to wait even 15 minutes.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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              • #8
                I fed BP for years! I used the regular scoop and then added the normal amount of feed to it.
                Covered the entire lot with water over the top about 2 inches. Stirred for a few moments...its still a bit sloppy.
                I feed immediately. As long as you have sufficient water in it there is not concerns for choke.
                My horses (3) always enjoys it when it was a little sloppy anyway.
                "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

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                • #9
                  For those feeding water and beet pulp without soaking--are you using pellets or shreds??? If you use pellets are you seeing them soak and disintegrate or are the pellets simply sitting in a pool of water, still whole?

                  OP- I feed 11/2 cups of dry BP, soaked for up to 10 hours (am feed to pm feeding time) to my hard-keeping horses, along with rice bran, oats, supplement/vitamin. I like that the bp holds the dry supps/rice bran and makes a nice, wet meal. Also gets more water into the horse when it's hot (or cold, in winter). Play with the amount of water. Do remember that it will begin to spoil in the heat--smell it before feeding and clean out old, uneaten portions if there are any.
                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                  • #10
                    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.

                    If you are in one of the areas that is being hit with the mass heat wave, don't let that stuff soak for more than a couple of hours, in 90° temps, it ferments pretty quickly, like within 3 hours.
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                    Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                    • #11
                      I think it is best to soak it, because it expands so much. I feed 1 1/2 coffee cans (dry measure) then soak that...2X per day divided between 3 horses (along with feed/supplements/electrolytes). It easily expands an additional third when soaked for an hour or two. I wouldn't like it to expand inside my horses stomach at that rate.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                        For those feeding water and beet pulp without soaking--are you using pellets or shreds???
                        I currently soak, but didn't in the past; use shreds. I was giving my mare about 1lb a feeding. However, she's always been a careful eater, chews well, loves to drink between bites, etc. If she'd been anything else, I'd have never considered not soaking. At that time, I too though you had to soooaaakkkkk the stuff for an hour. Good thing you don't have to
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fairtheewell View Post
                          . I wouldn't like it to expand inside my horses stomach at that rate.
                          That ain't gonna happen. So many commercial feeds (including dry cat and dog food) contain beet pulp and I tried some senior feed to add weight to one horse and he neer exploded. Lots of people feed dry beet pulp and their livestock doesn't explode. Any horse (or cow or anything) will drink enough water to process any dry matter they ingest. If the stomach would expand from beet pulp, the same would hold true for any grain or even hay for that matter - the moisture content of any of them is around 11% and they all expand when touched by water
                          Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                          Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fairtheewell View Post
                            I wouldn't like it to expand inside my horses stomach at that rate.

                            Not
                            Going
                            To
                            Expand
                            In
                            Stomach

                            It's just not

                            Stomach acid is *acid*. Things are broken down by chewing, and broken down even more by the acid.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just one cup? I can't imagine that will make much of a difference. What about adding another fat source like oil or rice bran?

                              I use very little BP just to get some extra fluid in my horse and to serve as a carrier for her powdered supplements. She probably gets about 6 cups (prior to soaking), with at least that much water since she does like it a little sloppy and I figure the extra water is never a bad thing. My ratio is usually 1:2, but will add more water if I feel like it. If anything, it has helped her hold her weight (my girl is a super easy keeper). The rest of her diet is just grass hay.

                              Also, I'm with the crew who doesn't feel like soaking for 15 minutes is a must. I usually soak for about 5, and it goes down fine. However, my horse is also a pretty careful eater and with so much water thrown in there too, there isn't much opportunity for her to take big bites. Its more like big slurps

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'd start out with 1/2lb, not a cup. Just put it in a bucket and put enough water in the cover it and stir it around. Let it sit for a bit until it's fluffy and feed. Boom, done. I make mine soupy, but my guy likes that. A lot of horses that have never had beet pulp look at it like it's poison so it's best to let it soak up the water and then even drain, seems to make it more palatable at first. But I'm in the camp of as long as it's been wet for a few minutes it's fine.
                                It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OK...I'm confuzzled Those of you NOT soaking--shreds? yes? I cannot imagine not soaking the pelleted BP I get here. They take, in cold water, at least 5 hours to fluff completely. In hot water, I can shorten that to 1 hourish. I bring my BP bucket into the house in very cold and very warm weather to avoid freezing or fermentation. I've done an experiment of feeding dry, pelleted BP (small amount) to my horse...yeah...he didn't much care for it in that form.

                                  Shreds are nearly impossible to find here in the PNW, and are twice as much as pellets, so soaking pellets is the way I go!
                                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Our barn feeds quite a lot of BP - most of the horses get 2-4 quarts of soaked BP once per day (mixed with their other grain - LMF super supp and rice bran). The BP we get is pellets, and it gets soaked usually for at least 5 hours in cold water (less if warm). It takes that long for the pellets to soften and break down. In my experience you need to add water at almost 2:1 ratio to get fluffy broken down BP in the end, so the pellets we get are probably denser than what is available in some other areas.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                                      OK...I'm confuzzled Those of you NOT soaking--shreds? yes? I cannot imagine not soaking the pelleted BP I get here. They take, in cold water, at least 5 hours to fluff completely. In hot water, I can shorten that to 1 hourish. I bring my BP bucket into the house in very cold and very warm weather to avoid freezing or fermentation. I've done an experiment of feeding dry, pelleted BP (small amount) to my horse...yeah...he didn't much care for it in that form.

                                      Shreds are nearly impossible to find here in the PNW, and are twice as much as pellets, so soaking pellets is the way I go!

                                      pellets expand to four times there original size so you soak those for 24hours
                                      shreds are 12 hours speedy beat is 15mins as its already been process

                                      and yes horse can die- if fed a dry pellet from beet pulp as slaiva moistens the nut when swallowed - and can block the intestine and or choke the horse
                                      well know fact here in uk

                                      so those that dont think -
                                      a large 2lb scoop in a normal size bucket will make one bucket full of beet pulp
                                      you fill the water to about one inch below the top

                                      in 24 hours you will have a bucket full of feed which will be right at the top of the bucket

                                      we do this every day and use it the next day

                                      op little and often meals 3/4 small meals a day if she under weight
                                      dont overface her with one huge meal it will do nothing but bloat her and gas her up
                                      and think
                                      are you doing to much work and running her weight of 3.5 times a week

                                      you need to asses her workload and put into her what you take out with work
                                      and feed her by type , work, and size
                                      barley is god for putting wieght on and so is good quality hay feed that ab lib

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                                        pellets expand to four times there original size so you soak those for 24hours
                                        shreds are 12 hours speedy beat is 15mins as its already been process
                                        You cannot leave beet pulp to soak for even 12 hours in the heat that is covering most of this continent, in fact, it starts fermenting within 4 hours and a good stir will tell you something is wrong. If it is left for longer, you can smell the stench of fermentation and in 24 hours the neighbours 3 miles away would be able to smell the stuff.

                                        There is no need for 24 hour soaking, not even in winter. There was no need for soaking for that length of time 40 years ago, and there still is no need. When I feed it in winter, it gets whatever time is convenient for me, and that can be 30 minutes to 5 hours and the addition of 4.5 hours does not make a huge amount of difference in the expansion.
                                        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                                        Member: Incredible Invisbles

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