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Old 10-18-2012, 10:40 PM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9

Your filly is young and most likely still growing. Maturity age varies between breeds and even bloodlines. I wouldn't be overly concerned, she most likely is going through an upward growth spurt, pretty soon she will level out with an outward one and you will think she is getting over fed.

Beet pulp is actually not high in sugar, and it has been deemed fairly safe for horses with sensitive stomachs. With the the latest trend of a low sugar and starch diet for horses it has been one of the heros for weight gain along with fortified rice bran.

In your case I would suggest waiting before trying to supplement her feed or maybe try a ration balancer specific to her hay and see what happens.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #12
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Posts: 26

I am on the line for beet pulp. I work at a feedmill. I cringe when horse folks come in and say they want to feed beet pulp to their horse so they gain weight. Beet pulp is good for something to burn in the winter, or for a working horse - but MUST be soaked! I fed it to my old mare years ago once in a while, mainly as a treat to keep her digestion moving a bit, and to give her body something to burn for heat in the dead of winter. Feeding molasses and beet pulp to gain weight can be tricky. It's like us eating chocolate bars - empty calories, and spike in sugar. Need to get your energy from fat, not carbs. Happy trails!
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:30 PM   #13
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 148

As an update on this, I have experimented a little with it on this particular horse. I don't feed it regularly because I don't always remember to soak it before I go ride. So she gets 2 lbs or less 2-3 times a week in addition to her regular feeding of grass/alfalfa hay. I bought it in pellet form because it was cheaper, I usually pour one scoop in a feed bucket and then add two scoops of water. I then go ride the horse, after riding I drain off the excess water and pour the soaked pellets over the horses regular feed. This horse is holding weight and has added a few pounds. I wouldn't necessarily give all the credit to the beet pulp. After my month of limited experience I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend it to anyone. I did my research and found a reputable brand, and consider it a cheap alternative to hay. It is annoying at times to have to soak it, but overall it's really not a big deal. With hay prices going up I could see this as a way to extend your feed if necessary. But as has been stated, it isn't a high nutrient feed. Which is probably ok for a lot of horses that aren't used as much as others.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:16 AM   #14
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 36

Another good alternative to beet pulp is alfalfa pellets, and they arent too expensive. I don't soak the pellets like you would the cubes. The rice bran is also a sure way to add weight. I have never been a huge fan of beet pulp, simply because there really isn't anything but fiber and sugar to it. Sugar isn't going to add weight, just energy. Though if you use a high fiber forage in conjunction with a high fat supplement your horse will have a happier gut and can get the most out of the feed. Another cheap fix is to pour corn oil or soy oil over their hay or in their normal grain ration. I've also used whole roasted soybeans to help gain weight and add "bloom" to their coat, skin, hooves, etc it is so high in fat and protein in such a small amount. You feed about half a cup to a cup per day and a 50 lb bag could last you months.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:55 AM   #15
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 14

I'm glad you are having luck with the beet pulp, it can be a good way to add soluble calories to your horse's diet and asside from alfalfa is probably the most common ingredient found in the majority of our pelleted sacked feeds.

I'm sure you've come across the warnings before, but I would feel remisss if I didn't mention the high risk of choke associated with the feeding of beet pulp. Before we had so many horses on pelleted hay and feed supplements, beet pulp was the number one cause of choke in horses and is still likely the number one cause of fatal choke. Even with thorough soaking and mixing all it takes is one slightly dry clump in the middle to cause the problem. It swells so much once wet and like the pelleted bedding it sucks whatever moisture it can find, often sucking the moisture out of the esophagus and causing swelling and stickiness on it's way down. It's incredibly difficult to shirt out once it's become lodged in the esophagus.

So, extremely conscientious feeding of beet pulp can be a very good thing, but all it takes is being in a hurry one day during feeding to experience the nasty side of beet pulp. Just wanted to pass that on to folks that may not be familiar with that risk factor. I've lost 3 or 4 patients to beet pulp chokes over the past 10 years in practice.

Oh, and one other weird side effect I had from beet pulp. I had a family with a very old horse on beet pulp that went away for the an extended weekend during the middle of the summer. They presoaked all the beet pulp feedings to be sure the pet sitter didn't have any trouble with it. Unfortunatlely the stuff fermented in the high heat and by the time they came home their horse could barely walk. They thought he'd had a stroke but when I got there he smelled like a brewery! He recovered completely but that was the first and hopefully only time I've had to treat a drunk horse!
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:39 PM   #16
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 87

Good post. I guess one beer won't get your horse tipsy . . . ?
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:24 PM   #17
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cottonwood, CA
Posts: 2
Default Vet Tech

I recently did some research on Beet Pulp. The stories that you hear about soaking are old wives tales. It's not necessary, your horse will not explode if you don't soak your pellets. Some horses do prefer it that way though and that's okay. It's an acquired taste so whatever you can do to get them to eat it...

Beet pulp is one the cheapest source of fat that you can feed. It is less than half the cost of rice bran. The pellets are lower in sugar than shreds (7% vs 10%). Diets high in sugar are known to lead to laminitis.

Beet pulp is extremely easy to digest, making it good for any horse and very easy to feed.
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