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I became interested in beet pulp when some friends were discussing the benefits of feeding it to horses. Beet pulp is not common in our area, so I wanted to know the pros and cons before feeding it to my horses. I researched beet pulp and found that there is some confusion about its pros and cons.
Beet Pulp For Horses To Gain Weight
Beet pulp has advantages and disadvantages for horses, the advantages are: high in fiber and energy, low in sugar, which aids digestion and reduces horse weight. The Bad: Beet pulp is high in calcium and lacks the protein, vitamins, and minerals horses need.
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Beet pulp is not an ideal source of nutrients, but it adds value to horse diets, especially under certain conditions. Some believe it makes the horse hot and muscular, but it also helps heal ulcers and diarrhea. Let’s find out more about how none of these claims are convincing.
It is important to know the nutritional value of everything you feed your horse. If you are planning to make a drastic change in your diet, it is best to consult with a qualified nutritionist or veterinarian.
So we discovered beet pulp. Aside from its protein content, the nutritional value of beet pulp is very similar to that of alfalfa. It is very rich in digestible fiber, about 18-19%, and has a very high calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of more than ten to one.
Horses should consume more calcium than phosphorus in their diet. The recommended ratio is approximately 2:1. Horses are at risk of bone and muscle disorders when they absorb more phosphorus than calcium.
Feeding Beet Pulp For Horses Gain Weight
Too high a calcium/phosphorus ratio in beet pulp makes it a potential source for mixing with forages that are low in calcium or too high in phosphorus.
Beet pulp has a high energy content, similar to horse grain, which is high in calories. It supports bacterial fermentation in the gut, releasing fatty acids and converting them into energy. However, it does not contain all essential amino acids and lacks vitamin A content.
As I said, beet pulp is nutritionally similar to alfalfa, but there is a significant difference in protein content. So let’s see how much protein is in beet pulp.
I always monitor my horse’s protein intake and like to feed him a supplement like beet pulp. Getting the numbers right can prevent digestive and other performance issues.
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Beet pulp generally has a protein content of 7-8%. The average adult horse, especially one that does not exercise heavily, requires at least 12-13% protein in its diet, so beet pulp alone does not provide enough protein for most horses.
In addition, mature horses or horses undergoing regular, strenuous training and performance require up to 20% protein. If so, mixing beet pulp with plenty of alfalfa pellets or cubes may be the solution.
Beet pulp is produced when sugar juice is extracted from sugar beets. Because sugar beets are valued for their high sugar content, people often mistake beet pulp as high in sugar and dangerous for horses.
Horse beet pulp contains the least amount of sugar. It is considered a by-product of sugar cane, and most of the non-structural hydrocarbons are absorbed from it. Most beet pulp samples have a sugar content of 10-12%.
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In addition, it is recommended to soak beet pulp before feeding it to horses. Adding more water to soak and rinse the beet pulp will reduce the sugar content.
Because beet pulp is low in sugar, vendors add molasses to make the feed more palatable. Beet pulp with molasses is slightly higher in sugar and contains about 16% non-structural carbohydrates.
Although, when you look at beet pulp, you could easily mistake it for a concentrate like oats, but don’t be fooled; It is high-calorie food that is absorbed in the stomach. Due to the high starch content in the concentrate, it is absorbed in the horse’s small intestine.
Horses should get their calories from forage whenever possible, and beet pulp is a good source. It is an excellent source of nutrition for horses that have difficulty gaining or maintaining weight without using traditional concentrates.
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Beet pulp is good for horses that cannot chew their food properly or avoid dusty food because of respiratory problems.
It also has a significantly lower potassium content, making it good for horses with low potassium in their diet. When potassium levels are chronically high in horses, muscle tremors and paralysis can occur.
Some horses are genetically predisposed to it, while others produce high amounts of potassium in their diet. Beet pulp is a good feed choice for these horses.
You may come across horses that don’t like beet pulp, but most horses quickly transition to it. Why is this, and does beet pulp have other beneficial properties that are of particular interest to horses?
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I was told to give my horses beet pulp when they needed to put on weight. Of course, beet pulp works like alfalfa when it comes to putting pounds on your horse.
Beetroot puree is high in fiber and low in sugar or non-structural carbohydrates. The energy it produces comes mainly from fermentation in the hindgut and is released in small amounts, so it doesn’t make the horse overactive.
Therefore, when consumed in large quantities, beet pulp is high in energy but does not contain harmful sugars that cause laminitis in horses. Beet pulp is so digestible that some horses will not stop eating it. So mixing your horse’s food with a serving of beet pulp is a surefire way to make him put on more weight.
Beet pulp is often considered a good treatment for horse diarrhea. To reverse the effects of diarrhea, a diet rich in fiber and dry content is needed. In this way, the excess fluid in the stomach, which causes diarrhea, is concentrated.
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Beet pulp primarily helps horses with diarrhea by increasing the time it takes for food to reach the end of the intestine in the mouth. A high amount of fiber is good for absorbing moisture, digesting food properly and keeping it in the stomach for a long time.
I recently looked at different feeding options for horses with ulcers and decided to look into beet pulp. What I discovered surprised me is that in many ways beet pulp is similar to the alfalfa recommended for horses with ulcers.
Beet pulp is good for horses with ulcers. High sources of soluble fiber, such as beetroot puree, are effective in preventing stomach ulcers. A lower amount of starch in the diet, such as beet pulp, is associated with a lower likelihood of ulcers.
Increasing the moisture content of the horse’s feed is often recommended to prevent ulceration. Moisture helps suppress stomach acid. Beetroot puree checks this box and is usually heavily soaked before eating.
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Beet pulp is a healthy food to add to your horse’s winter feed. In cold weather, horses produce more heat and want to eat more food to keep warm. The downside is that protein and sugar imbalances in their bodies can cause all sorts of health problems.
Beet pulp is low in sugar and protein, but high in digestible fiber, making it safe to feed in large quantities during the winter. It is good for the microbiota in the hindgut and improves digestion in horses. However, it should be remembered again that a diet consisting only of beet pulp is harmful to health.
Horses do not like to drink plain water in winter. So, beet pulp soaked in water is an easy way to keep your horse hydrated during the winter. Water horses are also happy to ride in winter and on snowy days.
There is a myth that beet pulp is bad for horses. But in my experience, beet pulp mixed with other grasses has no adverse effect on the horse’s health. It can be considered bad in the sense that it does not provide all the necessary nutrients.
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A diet consisting solely or primarily of beet pulp is not healthy for horses. The more calcium and the less phosphorus in beet pulp, the weaker your horse’s muscles and bones are. Mixing beet pulp with grasses such as Bermuda grass, which has a more reliable calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, can solve this problem.
Beet pulp is also low in vitamin A and protein. Horses that are growing or working hard require a lot of protein in their diet. When mixed with other feeds, beet pulp should not occupy more than half of the total feed. When I use beet pulp, I only add 20-25%
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