Horses who are easy keepers rarely need much more than their regular ration of hay and perhaps a little grain.? However, if your horse is a hard keeper, you will know the frustration of trying to get as much nutrition into your horse as possible, without upsetting his delicate digestive tract.? For these horses who can eat and eat but not put on weight, beet pulp can be a safe and economic dietary additive.
Beet pulp is made during the process of making beet sugar from sugar beets.? Since it is such a fibrous material, it can often be fed to horses in place of hay and still give them the dietary fiber they need.? Additionally, beet pulp has approximately the same amount of calories as horse oats but has the added benefit of providing these calories as fiber instead of starch.? This can make it a safer feed for preventing bouts of colic or laminitis.? It is also higher in calcium than most grains, and the protein levels are similar to many good quality grass hays.
Contrary to popular opinion, beet pulp does not need to be soaked overnight before feeding to it to your horse.? Most horses do not have any problem eating dry beet pulp unless they gobble down their food, putting them at risk of choking, or don?t have access to fresh water, as this can cause stomach damage.? However, soaking your beet pulp prior to feeding can have some advantages, including increasing your horse?s water consumption and making it easier for senior horses to chew and digest.? As with any diet change, consult with your veterinarian first if you are considering adding beet pulp to your horse?s intake.