I’m moving to a new barn and am unsure if they’ll be able to soak feeds for me. I can’t get out everyday, so I’m wondering about the safety/feasibility of him getting his usual grain/supplements 2x/day (made up ahead of time) with soaked beet pulp 3-4x/week when I can go make it. I have heard some people make 2 servings worth of soaked beet pulp at a time, as long as the temps are low enough (it can ferment in warm weather), so I might be able to do this method over the colder months.
I just want to be careful given grains affect the bacteria in the hindgut and too rapid of a change can upset the balance and produce gas+ that can lead to colic. I tried weaning him off the 12#! of grain (plus soaked beet pulp) our last barn loaded him up on but he’s lost weight, so I’ve had to go back up on some and feel I should add beet pulp back in.
I am waiting on new hay so I can test it and have Dr Kellon analyze the results to determine an ideal forage-based diet.
When I travel over the weekend I make beet pulp in containers and store in a cooler. No issues with fermentation and it stays good for at least 3 days. I don’t trust my kids, mainly husband to soak it as long as needed.
Great! Thank you.
Do you add ice or freezable packs to it? Or the cooler alone?
since it takes about 14 days, give or take, to adjust to feedstuffs, having something only 3-4 days a week shouldn’t be any problem as long as he’s already used to it
Cooler alone. I wouldn’t add ice packs unless you are somewhere extremely hot like desert.
Even in the 90 degree heat I didn’t have issues. I kept the cooler in a shaded area in my barn aisle.
I agree, I don’t think it will do him any harm to have it only 3/4 days a week, if your barn is not able to provide it daily.
I do feed it twice daily, starting to soak the dinner time beet pulp in the morning, and soaking the breakfast bp overnight.
I do use a large Coleman cooler with ice packs to keep it cool during the warm months.
I use pelleted BP, but the shredded takes much less time to soak properly, would your new BO be willing to do this?,
I’m definitely going to ask, but until I can (he’s OOT), I wanted to see if there were any alternatives (just how my brain works). Happy to see I should be able to work it out either way, even in the heat of summer.
Thank you all!
Mine get beet pulp 4-5 times a week because the other days I don’t get to the barn.
I use beet pulp shreds, not pellets, they soak up really fast. Can you add them to your supplement bag and have someone add a cup or two of water? How much beet pulp?
I’ll be the wrench in the works. I wouldn’t. I’d use hay cubes. My horse got very gassy on BP and it took me forever (and cost me a bunch in Sucralfate) to figure out what was not agreeing with her because BP is supposed to be great and problem free, etc. For me, BP wouldn’t be something I’d choose to feed intermittently. I’d choose something I knew was fairly close to the hay they were eating.
Pleased to say that a couple weeks post BP removal my non-farting horse (she’s a LADY!) went back to discrete, nearly imperceptible lady farting from the gas bag she became for the months she was on BP.
Get the biggest ziploc bags you can find and make the beet pulp in that. Make them flat and freeze.
They can pull one out for each feeding and break it up and dump
If you’re horse is used to having beet pulp than it likely won’t be an issue. My gelding lives out 24/7 so for almost 10 years he only gets a meal 4-6 times per week. He’s an easy keeper so it consists of some soaked beet pulp shreds, his vit/min supplement and his omega 3 oil.
but that’s like saying “my horse gets all wiggy on alfalfa so I wouldn’t suggest using alfafla at all”
MOST horses are very ok with beet pulp.
Yup, but the OP expressed concerns about gas so I added in my experience with BP for them to consider, and added another option (hay cubes) if they decide BP is not the right choice for their horse.
The concern about gas was in the context of abrupt changes in diet.
The horse is already eating beet pulp, it’s not being added. Going forward, he’ll get it 3-4 days a week instead of 7.
We know it’s a gas-producing feed (that many horses seem fine on). I personally would rather choose a less potentially problematic feed to give a few times per week even to a horse that is seemingly fine on it on a daily basis … but I recognize that my horse has put me through the wringer with feed stuffs and everyone’s mileage may vary and my post was given from my experience as something OP or others who may read this later may wish to consider.
I appreciate all the advice.
Let me expand on what I mentioned above: he was on beet pulp at a prior barn, getting it daily with his other grain/supplements for a couple years, and did great on it (not noticeably more gassy than without it). My concern is specifically the bacterial byproducts (primarily gas) produced by sudden changes in graining that can lead to colic, not him being gassy per-se.
If the new BO isn’t willing/able to soak feed, I plan to use a small cooler and the ziplock bag ideas so it’s prepped ahead of time and he just has to dump and swirl a bit.
I’d ask BO if they were agreeable to the extra step.
It might not seem much to you, but if you’re feeding multiple horses - either 1 person or more - adding a step adds up.
IIWM, I’d probably go the 3D/Wk route rather than the cooler & expecting barn staff to “do more”.
I know everyone says beet pulp does not cause colic, however when I introduced it to my horses’ feed, two had colic resulting in surgery, One survived to resume a successful show career, the other had to be euthanized. I will never feed beet pulp again.
I don’t think anyone said that. It is one ingredient that absolutely does, for some reason, cause some horses to be gassy, but it’s so uncommon. I can’t imagine it being the cause of requiring surgery unless the gas was so severe that it caused intestines to float and flip/get entrapped.
I’m curious if you also avoid every feed that contains beet pulp?