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Those of you Feeding Beet Pulp Dry - Imperative that You Read This

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  • Those of you Feeding Beet Pulp Dry - Imperative that You Read This

    I am a newbie at feeding beet pulp. I just put five broodmares on a mix of 1 and a half cups beet pulp, 2 cups alfalfa pellets, 1 and a half cups sweet feed, and karo syrup. I soaked the first batch thoroughly and they all refused it. I read some very expert sounding advice on the internet about how it really didn't need to be soaked so today I tried it unsoaked and five out of five horses are choking. These horses are in various stages of choke but two of them are severe and I have called my vet and am awaiting a call back from them. I know I saw on this board a few people who posted that they fed it dry. Please be warned that five out of five horses is much too strong of a coincidence and the experts are dead wrong - my horses just proved it.

    Please jingle for me that my mares are going to be okay - the two that are really bad have me extremely worried.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

  • #2
    I hope people take your message to heart...

    Sending a prayer your way that the vet can resolve the chokes easily.

    I lost a beautiful yearling to complications from choke--not from the choke itself, but he flipped over during tubing, and fractured his skull.

    The SHREDS can be fed dry. Many feeds incorporate the shreds. The PELLETS are choke waiting to happen. I try to chime in every time I see a thread regarding feeding them dry. The Susan Garlinghouse website even says you can... Once you've lived through choke, you'll not even CONSDIER it.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


    • Original Poster

      Unfortunately, this was the shreds that I fed, not the pelleted. I have just spoken to my vet who advised that I administer 5cc's of Ace to the ones that are severe to relax them in hopes they can work the choke thru. If that doesn't work, he will be coming out.
      Susan N.

      Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


      • #4
        Yikes!! Many jingles coming your way Susan!!
        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


        • #5

          Jingles for your babies!!! I hope they all come out of this OK! I always feed BP pellets and always feed them soaked and very soupy!

          3 water :1 Beet Pulp ratio

          Good Luck!!
          Proud to be owned by Just Walter
          and member of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*


          • #6
            First off, Jungles for your girls!

            I have been feeding beet pulp for five years now and have never had a case of choke(knock on wood).BUT I always soak it. I have found that different brands have different ingredients to either bind the pulp or add to it. Ash is used a lot in "ground" or "Shredded" types as a filler, the percentage is what you have to look for. Sometimes its up to 25%! So labels should be read!

            Personally I feed the Pelleted, bond with Molassas with no ash for filler and soaked with hot water for two hours then mix it with what ever feed to which ever animal I'm feeding it too. I use a local state made one since I find the outside brands are the culprits with the fillers. The size of the pulp in pellet form is also larger and horses and other livestock will chew it rather then gulp it.

            Soaking it not only helps prevent choke (they can also choke on a dry feed pellet just as easy) but aids in hydrating the animal you are feeding it too. Beet pulp is a good thing in my book. I use it with my sheep feed, hog feed , and horse feed.



            • #7
              I always soak too. I had a horse choke once on a half-scoop of alfalfa pellets (these were very hard and, I thought, large) that the BO gave him, thinking she was doing a nice thing. I found the horse choking and I called the vet who also recommended the shot of Ace until he could get there. The horse came out of it fine, other than a sore throat for a few days, after the vet visit and I hope your horses will be fine too. Now I use alfalfa cubes and I SOAK them along with the beet pulp (shredded). I just can never bring myself to buy alfalfa pellets again, EVER. Jingles to your horses!
              She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


              • #8
                Yikes! Thank you for the warning, and jingles to your ponies.
                Taco Blog
                *T3DE 2010 Pact*


                • #9
                  Choke is never fun regardless of the cause.

                  Sending ***JINGLES*** from Texas for your girls.

                  I have fed the shreds for over three years now with no ill effects. I always soak them and advise others to do the same even though the bag says differently.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks so much for your jingles. This has been a very stressful afternoon. The vet has come and gone and it took lots of water to wash the backed up beet pulp mixture out of the two mares who were really bad off. Both the vet and I got covered in the mess by the time it was all over with. The other three came thru it okay and are now back to normal. I have to keep the two serious ones on Banamine for a few days, and SMZ's for 10 days. My one pregnant mare was one of the worst ones and I'm praying she doesn't lose her baby through this. She would be about two and a half months pregnant. She had a severe choke once before due to gulping down pelleted feed and my vet said she may have some scar tissue that didn't help this situation.

                    I asked him what he recommended for feeding beet pulp. He said he and his wife regularly soak their shreds for 12 hours even in hot weather. He told me to place it in shade and just let it sit. Then add in the rest of my mixture when I get ready to feed.

                    pintopiaffe - you are so right about choke being something you never forget. It's been about three years since I had one choke and I had forgotten just how ugly it can be. A mild choke is one thing but a serious choke where they spew the drainage out of their nose and mouth and look like they're having convulsions is a whole 'nuther story.
                    Susan N.

                    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                    • #11
                      I'm glad your horses got through this OK, ALWAYS feed it well soaked - it is a wonderful feed. But I do have a question. Why on earth are you adding Karo syrup to sweetfeed?????
                      Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                      Now apparently completely invisible!


                      • Original Poster

                        Hi Tiki - I eventually want to remove the sweet feed from the mixture and the Karo syrup will still keep it sweet tasting. These horses were offered the mix without the syrup and the sweet feed (when it was soaked thoroughly) and they turned it down cold. Wouldn't even take a second bite of it, so I had to add some enticement. I thought about using molasses but it is so much gooier and stickier that I felt the Karo syrup would be easier to mix in and that proved to be true.
                        Susan N.

                        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                        • #13
                          Glad your horses seem to be OK.

                          I happen to soak my beet pulp because one of the things I like about it is the fact that it makes them take in more water. I only soak it for a few minutes, though.

                          Like everything else with horses, it's probably best to add ANY new feed very gradually. 1.5 cups doesn't seem like very much, though!
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            I find it absolutely gob smacking that some say not to bother soaking beet pulp!

                            Its an excellent way to choke or colic a horse ! grrrr


                            • #15
                              Is the alfalfa pelleted or cubed?

                              I *am* kind of surprized the shreds were the culprit... but as someone said, they can be processed very differently. I *have* had choke on alfalfa pellets though, and remember a HORRIBLE choke on a 'cube' of it from when I was a kid.

                              I take back what I said about shreds I guess.... Personally, I too feed beep partly for the extra hydration. (and for a couple of other reasons which make it WORTH the soaking--and, quite frankly, the *risk* of just having it on the property--my stallion choked on a pellet when one of the neighborhood children was feeding them dry out of the bucket left to be filled with h20 later... so yes, I've thought about just not having it on the PROPERTY.)

                              Glad they were resolved. I'm sure the vet told you what to look out for re: aspiration.

                              Hoping your pg gal wasn't too stressed.
                              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                              • #16
                                American and English beetpulp are different. Having said that the US is a big country with a lot of feedmills so I usually soak beetpulp to see how much it swells up over about 24 hours before I decide how long to soak it for feeding.

                                I AM surprised that only 1.5 cups would casue such a problem. I suspect it combined with the Karo Syrup and saliva to form a sticky cement.


                                • #17
                                  Shredded beet pulp filler

                                  Wow, everything you wanted to know about beet pulp but were afraid to ask. . .

                                  One of our TB mares has had choke 2 or three times after eating her soaked shredded beet pulp. We started second-guessing ourselves on why, but in the end it just seems she eats too fast. In any case, we've been okay for more than a year.

                                  But one of the posts that had me drop my jaw was the one about the fillers. We had been buying shredded beet pulp from the same place for well over a year (plain, not molasses, Con-Agra, I think). In the past couple of months, the horses have stopped eating it and the amount of "fines," which I now realize is filler of some kind, has been amazing. Basically, the impression is that the beet pulp is dusty. I've switched to molasses (same mfr, different feed store), and this seems better, even though we'd like to bypass the molasses. Apart from Speedi-beet, does anyone have any recommendations for alternative mfrs of beet pulp? Also, would the percentage of filler vary from run to run and be reflected in the bag for that particular run?


                                  • Original Poster

                                    It was alfalfa pellets, not cubes. When my vet tubed them to flush out the mess, literally everything was in their throats. When he finally was able to push the tube down into their stomach, there was nothing there. So obviously the whole mixture backfired on me terribly and I solemnly swear to never feed beet pulp without soaking it first. Both mares are now in a paddock by themselves which meant I had to leave my old horse in the big pasture tonight since they are in his night paddock. It's a PITA to have to give these mares SMZ's for the next 10 days because I'll have to keep them separated from the others. These horses don't eat in stalls - they stay out in a pasture 24/7. So this whole fiasco has cost me a weekend vet bill of who knows how much, which also includes a whole bottle of SMZ's and Banamine, stress out the wazoo and I have to admit I'll be a bit paranoid when I feed the three left out in the big pasture tomorrow with their SOAKED beet pulp mixture.

                                    Sorry to sound so down and out in this post but it was been one heck of a bad day.
                                    Susan N.

                                    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                                    • #19
                                      There is something you also have to remember when you do soak it, never leave it over night in a warm area. It does ferment. To much can cause gas which can lead to colic or colic symtoms. I like to make it up and serve it within four hours for the horses to prevent this. Even at our summer temps of 50 to 70 degrees, it can start the fermentation process within 6 hours.

                                      I remember the Land O Lakes shredded as being high in Ash. The one I buy is Alaska Mill and Feed Pelleted/molasses based binder. No fillers of questionable nature. A gallon scoop of dry Pelleted soaked in a 5 gallon bucket gives you a full five gallons of soaked product. We make eight buckets of the stuff daily around here.

                                      Glad to hear your plumbing problem is fixed! Still jimgling for their full recovery and for you to get some rest!



                                      • #20
                                        To the OP - THANK YOU for this timely message, and I am sending tons of jingles for your choking ponies.

                                        Our vet had told us once to NEVER EVER even consider feeding beet pulp dry. He said he had treated several severe chokes and colics from feeding dry beet pulp. But he did think that people were feeding too much - and not just a couple of cup fulls. But still, he strongly advised against ever feeding it dry. He said just soak it good and eliminate all possibility of problems.

                                        But I hear you - I've read several convincing sounding arguments on this board about dry beet pulp being fine.