Last Updated on July 18, 2022
If you’re new to feeding beet pulp, you might be wondering how much beet pulp to feed a horse. Beet pulp is a useful addition to the diet of horses, but we do need to take some factors into consideration when feeding beet pulp to horses. Let’s find out everything you need to know about beet pulp, including how much beet pulp to feed a horse!
What Is Beet Pulp?
Beet pulp is a by-product of the sugar manufacturing industry and is commonly used as a feedstuff for animals. When sugar beet is processed to extract the sugar, the fibrous material left behind is the beet pulp. This is normally dried out and formed into pellets or flakes, which are soaked in water before being fed to horses.
When used as a feed for horses, beet pulp is high in digestible fiber and contains a comparable level of protein to good-quality hay. It is higher in energy than hay, but lower in energy than grains.
Beet pulp is not particularly high in other nutrients, and also has some imbalances that may be detrimental to horses. It is high in calcium and low in phosphorous, and is also low in vitamins A, B, and D. This means that the inclusion of beet pulp in a horse’s diet should be carefully considered to ensure that all its nutritional needs are met.
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What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Beet Pulp To Horses?
The main reason that beet pulp is fed to horses is because it is a highly digestible form of fiber. This is beneficial to many types of horses, particularly those which need to gain weight without excessive energy. Beet pulp is normally fed in addition to hay or good quality forage, and it can be used to substitute a proportion of the daily forage ration.
Beet pulp is soft, and easy to chew and digest, and contains higher levels of energy than good-quality hay. This makes it the ideal feed for horses that need to gain weight, or those that struggle to maintain their weight. It is also a useful feedstuff if you can only obtain poor-quality hay for your horse, with a low nutritional content.
Older horses that have difficulty chewing or digesting normal forage may benefit from being fed sugar beet. It can also be fed to horses that have dental problems, as it is soft and easy to chew. Beet pulp is commonly fed to horses that are convalescing from surgery or long-term illness.
Beet pulp can also be fed warm, making it a nice treat during the colder winter months.
How Much Beet Pulp To Feed A Horse
How much beet pulp to feed a horse depends on several factors such as the workload of the horse and what other feed it is eating. Beet pulp is high in digestible fiber, and contains a comparable level of protein to good-quality hay, but is higher in energy.
Beet pulp can be used to replace some of the forage rations, but a good quality feed balancer must also be fed to ensure the horse receives adequate vitamins and minerals. Equine nutritionists advise that up to half of the daily forage ration can be replaced with beet pulp. So, for an average 1200 pound horse, you would feed 12 pounds of beet pulp and 12 pounds of other forage per day.
The manufacturers of beet pulp recommend feeding up to 2 percent of your horse’s body weight per day, but this is the very top amount you should feed. A good place to start is to give your horse 0.5 percent of his body weight in beet pulp per day – which is 6 pounds for a 1200 pound horse.
If your horse has never had beet pulp before, remember to introduce small amounts gradually to their standard feed over a period of a week or so.
Although soaking beet pulp before feeding is not strictly necessary, this is a great way to get additional water into your horses diet. Soak the pellets for at least 30 minutes in water, and split the sugar beet into at least two meals per day. Some horses will eat beet pulp on its own, but most prefer it mixed with grains and chaff.
Summary – How Much Beet Pulp To Feed A Horse?
So, as we have learned, the question of how much beet pulp to feed a horse depends on several factors such as the workload of the horse and what other feed it is eating. Beet pulp is high in digestible fiber, and contains a comparable level of protein to good-quality hay but is higher in energy. This is beneficial to many types of horses, particularly those which need to gain weight without excessive energy.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on how much beet pulp to feed a horse! Are you a fan of feeding beet pulp to horses? Or maybe you’ve got some questions about whether beet pulp is the right feed for your horse? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Is Beet Pulp Fattening For Horses?
Beet pulp is a by-product of the sugar manufacturing industry, and will help horses gain weight. It is particularly useful for elderly horses or those which struggle to chew food properly. Beet pulp is higher in energy than chaff or hay, so should not be fed to horses that are overweight.
Why Does Beet Pulp Help Horses Gain Weight?
Beet pulp contains around the same levels of protein as good quality hay, but is higher in energy. It is also high in digestible fiber, and will help horses to gain weight when fed as part of the forage rations.
Can A Horse Founder On Beet Pulp?
Beet pulp is very low in sugar and contains high levels of digestible fiber. It can be used as a safe source of energy for horses that are prone to founder, but should not be fed to horses that are overweight or obese.
How Much Beet Pulp Should I Feed My 1000-Pound Horse?
Beet pulp should be fed at a rate of 0.5 to 2 percent of the horse's body weight daily, to replace part of the forage rations. For a 1000 pound horse, this would be 5 to 20 pounds of sugar beet daily.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE