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How to encourage a horse to eat beet pulp

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  • How to encourage a horse to eat beet pulp

    OK, so my BO doesn't do beet pulp but I've started going out every day to give him ulcer meds, so I'm adding a 3d feeding to his schedule. He's getting a rice bran supp and beet pulp... or that was the plan. Until I bought a bag and now he won't eat it. He eats the bran off the top, but won't really eat the beet pulp.

    What can I put in it? I bought the healthy kind, so adding molasses seems like it would not be a great idea with the ulcers, etc. I tried applesauce today and he liked it even less, if that's possible. I've buried his carrots in there and he just fishes them out. Any other ideas?? Thanks - I'm stumped!

  • #2
    Assuming you are soaking the beet pulp, the first easy thing to try is playing with the consistency (and if you are feeding it dry, try soaking). Some horses may prefer it soupy, some will only eat it when fluffy.... For my gelding he would eat the pellets no matter how much water was in it. But when I switched to shreds, he wouldn't eat it until I got the "recipe" right.

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    • #3
      Mix in some alfalfa pellets?
      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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      • #4
        I sprinkle cinnamon in all my horses BP and they gobble it right up. I stir it up real good so there's no eating off the top.

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        • #5
          Stir in a handful of his regular grain, plain oats, shredded carrots (stronger smell), anything he likes to bribe him to eat. Once they get the idea, they will eat it straight up.
          Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

          Member: Incredible Invisbles

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          • #6
            My guys like their shreds to by fluffy, not soupy. Also, are you soaking it in hot water? I've heard if the water is too hot it can actually cook the beet pulp and make it taste nasty.

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            • #7
              I would try soaked alfalfa pellets or cubes (we used timothy/alf mix cubes). The alfalfa is great for ulcers so if you can sneak some in while you give the meds, all the better. Some horses just don't like BP at all!

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              • #8
                Ditto the cinnamon!
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                • #9
                  Cinnamon or crush up some peppermints and mix WELL. They will disolve, so he won't be able to fish them out.

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                  • #10
                    My recipes vary depending on the degree of sweet tooth the horse has. I have added honey, pancake syrup, apple flavored electrolytes, peppermints or butterscotch discs into the mix. Ration Plus mixed in after it cools also does the trick. If you need sugarless flavorings, www.uckele.com sells them.

                    My current recipe is:
                    1 cup of beet pulp, soaked
                    2 T. ground flax
                    1T. wildflower honey or 1 T. Vermont Maid maple syrup
                    Mix together, and serve.
                    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dwblover View Post
                      My guys like their shreds to by fluffy, not soupy. Also, are you soaking it in hot water? I've heard if the water is too hot it can actually cook the beet pulp and make it taste nasty.

                      This I did not know. In the winter we soak it in very hot water (steaming!!)and our horses love it. I never have any problem getting ours to eat it, but they also get their grain ration as well.

                      I asked the manager of the feed store about the BP w/ Molasses, as the really close one was going to longer carry it. I was informed that the molasses is sprayed on, and in the end is fairly minimal. I have not asked the company, and nor do I have a a horse I need to be concerned about sugars.

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                      • #12
                        I've been feeding beet pulp for many years to my retirees and it is definitely an "aquired taste" for some.

                        When I'm feeding it to a new horse I start with a small amount and mix well with his current grain/pellets.

                        Slowly up the amount, mixing really well.

                        Some like it fluffy, some soupy. I feed it warm in the winter and everyone gobbles it up.

                        Adding any "flavor" your horse likes, i.e. carrots, peppermint, Karos syrup, etc may help get him started on liking beet pulp.

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                        • #13
                          Try starting out with a small amount, wet and fluffy, gradually increase if he eats it. I would not add anything new to the mix, just add the beetpulp to his regular meal.
                          I have had a couple that did not care for it at first, but learn to like it if I start them off slow.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks everyone! Those are awesome suggestions. I am soaking it, and it's kindof an oatmeal consistency when I feed - not fluffy like rice, but not soupy.

                            I will definitely try the peppermints thing - I wonder if I could just buy peppermint extract - he LOVES peppermints. Anyone ever tried that?

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                            • #15
                              Peppermint extract can be bitter, stick to candy!

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                              • #16
                                I've always made mine into a mash with hot water and my horses love it! My little filly ends up with it all over her head!

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Last night I made sure to mix the feed in with the beet pulp realllly well, as well as putting in less beet pulp. He didn't eat the entire thing, but I guess that's a good thing because it means he was full? I've never known this horse to turn down feed before, but his entire attitude toward feed has also changed since he started omeprazole. No more aggression, etc. So... I'm taking it as a good thing Hopefully he'll work up to the entire thing!

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