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Beet Pulp?
I have a 14.2hh 3yr old appaloosa gelding that I may try feeding beet pulp to. He is stabled and gets hay and sweet feed twice a day. He is worked about 4 times a week, but if he is not worked that day he is turned into a large pasture for at least a couple hours. He is healthy but doesn't put on weight well. Our other horses are nice and thick and they get the same amount as he does, but they are older. I was wondering if maybe the sweet feed just isn't enough since he is young and growing, and I have heard that beet pulp is good for weight gain. And if so how do I feed it? Soaked or dry? How much? Should I feed it alone or mix it with his sweet feed? Help!
I advise you to stay away from Beet Pulp if you can. It is just a filler for the hhorse. i have experienced choke episodes from Beet pulp and it was soaked very well. NEVER feed it dry EVER! You will be asking for problems as it swells when it hits water and it will swell in his esphogus. Choke can be serious if not caught right away. Your horse becomes suseptible to pneumonia.Etc. Plus it is a very scarey episode. Since horses have no gag reflux when they choke stuff food comes out through the nostrils and they panic. I stongly suggest you try something else first. Something as simple as plain Oats. They are good for the young horse and you should have no problem feeding it. There are also lot's of weight gain supplements on the market. I think a good diet of hay with Sweet feed and oats will do the trick. How much sweet feed are you giving him along with hay?
I would go for the beet pulp,(soaked) as well as adding some WHOLE flax seed, and a good mineral supplement to it, just before feeding it.
For wieght gain, anything above 4 oz of the flax, up to 8 oz max. For maintenance, 2 to 4 oz.
Ground flax, even if stabalized, looses some of the beneficial properties it has. The few whole seeds that make it through the horses digestive system, are inconsequential.

Choke usually occurs when horses either bolt thier feed (eat too fast) or dont grind it up properly. (again eating too fast, or most often, mouth problems, such as needing a float.)
If they eat too fast, you can put large clean rocks in thier feed tub, that they have too push around, to get at the feed.

My horses took a bit to get used to the beet pulp, but after a week, all three started loving it. The gelding waited for the mares to show him it was good! LOL
So dont give up if your horse doesnt eat it right away.
As always, start with just a small amount of anything new, slowly increasing it, to the level you want. Any feed adjustments should be gradual.

I dont like sweet feed.
It is all carbs and sugars. For wieght gain, you need fats. Flax has all the good fats in it, as well as omega 3s.

Side effects of flax are:
nice shiny coat,
joint lubrication,
IMPROVED HOOF GROWTH AND HEALING PROPERTIES, (caps so atrayou sees it!) and.
lubrication for other feeds to slip along the digestive track nicely.

My information comes from an equine nutritionist, with alot of schooling behind her.
PM me if you want to see the articles, (anyone) and I will send along the link.
Ride safe, return safe.

Sorry, I told you my opinons/experiance with beet pulp and flax, but didnt address all the questions.[:I]

He is young and growing, so yes, he may need more, as he is using up more than the other horses. They are so individual, you would know best.

You can feed up to 45% of a horses fiber diet as beet pulp. So how much is your choice. Start small, gradually increasing.

I always soak it, never dry.

You can feed it alone, or mix in any of your other grains, seeds, supliments etc.
If adding flax or minerals, I always mix them in just before feeding, not ahead of time, as the natural coating of the flax, changes with moisture.

Mine get a 2lb margarine tub, of dry beet pulp pellets, soaked in a much larger bucket, (it expands alot) twice a day.

Below is just what I do, because I find it easier.
In the morning, I soak for the evening feed, and vice versa. Cold water. It took a bit of playing around, but I found the right containers, and water measure, that I dont need to use my brain so much![8D]
If you forget, very hot water will soak it in no time. Just feel for any hard bits, to tell if it has enough water. I dont like to make a soupy mess, thats why I figured out the water/pellets formula.

Mine is the 2 lb container, and 1 1/3 jugs water.
Jug is one of those common plastic juice jugs, found everywhere for the last 30 years, straight sides, with the pour or strain lid.
I have since switched to an old brita jug, which is a bit larger, so just one scoop out of the water trough.

I also found these neat little square buckets, they came from a restaurant, had muffin mix in them. Perfect size, with the snap on lids, and they stack. Each is a pre measured meal for each horse.

I have never feed beet pulp shreds, only the pellets, so I have no input for you on them.

Here is a pic of unsoaked pellets, for reference.

[Image: DSC00650.jpg]
Ride safe, return safe.

Here is shyla, when I got her.

[Image: DSC00875.jpg]

Here she is, one month later, still underwieght, but look at the life in her now.

[Image: DSC00939-1.jpg]

She was on beet pulp, flax, mineral supplement, and some complete balanced horse pellets, as well as some hay.
Ride safe, return safe.

Stormy; Your gelding could just be on one heck of a growth spurt, too. I had one Appaloosa gelding that grew so fast that I was afraid someone would turn me in for abusing him. He was getting hay, was on pasture, and getting over 4 pounds of feed(my own mix) twice a day. He looked like a rack of bones and was the same age as your boy. But once, he got his height, he filled out and was just fine[Smile][Wink].

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
mtn Rider....I use Flax seed on Lucky and on Maggie. But I still do not like Beet pulp neither do any of my 3 vets. I guess it is all in opinion. But there are other things and supplements out there for weight gain. My mare that choked on it is not a fast eater. far from it actually. What she choked on was a piece of apple and it caused the beet pulp to sit there. I think with good hay a horse will gain weight. I agree that Beet Pulp does work for some people. BUT this horse may very well experience problems with it.

The Vet already has me using Flax seed. Thanks![Wink]
As always Mtn Rider, great detailed explanation of beet pulp and how to use it. A lot of folks use it very successfully.

The before and after Shots of Shyla (has a nice ring to it I think we need more) says everything. We use whole Flax seed too and think it rounds out the Ration Balancer diet for our crew.

We stopped feeding sweet feed quite few years ago when we became more knowledgeable about how to provide a balanced diet for horses.

Stormy, check out Mrs Hooks Ration Balancer Rationale diet in this topic for our approach.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
I'm sorry but that is so not true that Beet Pulp is nothing but a Filler. It is has a lot of great benefits and ones is that it acts more like a roughage but has a higher KCal then most hays. If it is doing something like upping the KCal in a diet it is far from being a simple filler.

Choke happens. It happens with hay, grass, grain, BP, straw, rocks, apples, carrots anything a horse can pick up and eat. It is not true that it will magicly swell up in the mouth or throat and cause choke. If the horse choked on the apple it choked on the apple not the BP.

If BP was nothing but a filler then why do the top vets in the field use BP as a low NSC feed replacement on IR and Cushings horses? Or as part of a diet when a horse DOES choke? In some cases replacing the whole diet with nothing but BP. The vet that came out for Jazz when she choked(we guess on hay/straw) said to get her Equine Sr, Alfalfa Pellets and BP Pellets(switching over to shreds if I wanted after a week) all soaked and made into a big soupy mess. Do you know what 25 lbs of this stuff soaking in a kitchen looks like? lol Not pretty.

I use BP as a main part of my feeding now. I have to with Jazz. And yes at times I have fed it dry but only the BP crumbles which sadly are hard to get and should be the main form it is sold for horses.

I agree about Sweet Feed it generally is not the best of feeds. But how much is he getting of hay and Sweet Feed? Many times under weight horses are that way because they aren't getting enough KCal in the diet.
Ok I must be a dork but wanted to ask exactly what KCal is......

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