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Beet Pulp..."Filler" only or good for weight gain too?

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Mona

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I am in a real bind here. I bought a stallion this Spring, and although he was not thin at the time, he could have stood to be heavier, in my opinion. So what I mean is, he had nothing in "reserves", and has slid downhill fast on his weight!

He is an 8 year old 31.25" breeding stallion, and he paces and worries over his gals almost non-stop. I was putting him in his stall each night as he wouldn't even eat if in his pen as he paced constantly. He will now at least slow down long enough to eat.

I have him maxed out on his Omolene. He gets about 3-3.5 cups in the morning and again in the evening. He also has free choice grazing in his pen. Even with this, he is still getting thinner and thinnner, to the point of looking NEGLECTED! His ribs are beginning to show, his tailhead is sticking out, he is narrow across the hips etc. He looks like a horse that is not cared for! :DOH!

I am wondering of I add beet pulp to his diet, can it be fed without amount restrictions, and yet allow him to maintain a healthy diet without overdoing something? With the complete type feeds, they have a maximum daily amount and they say not to exceed that. I know he needs more but since the Omolene is a completed/balanced feed that you only need to add grass/hay to the diet, I don't know what I can safely add, and how much? Is it just a filler, or will it actually get him to gain weight?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

disneyhorse

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Honestly, you can offer him beet pulp but in this specific instance I'm not sure that is what I would give.

Three cups of Omolene twice daily does NOT sound like a lot to me? Is that really the recommended maximum per the manufacturer? Did you actually weigh it and the horse? I remember giving my minis up to two pounds of Purina Strategy per day for the really hard keepers, and it is mostly grain based.

At any rate, I would try adding soybean oil to his grain. Soybean oil (well any type of oil, really... corn, vegetable,... I just prefer soybean for its digestibility) is basically 100% calories from fat, without messing with the fiber/calcium-phosphorus/mineral balances in the rest of whatever you are feeding. I often put a couple ounces of soybean oil in my horses' feed daily just to give them more calories if they are working. And it's cheap! High fat diets are much better for hard working horses than adding carbs.

You could offer him beet pulp if he'll eat it. It's basically in the "forage" category of feed, it is similar to hay. It's sort of inbetween "filler" and "weight gain" just like hay is. You can feed a lot of hay for weight gain, or you can feed concentrates (grain) for weight gain. Compared to the concentrates, hay and beet pulp are more filling due to their higher fiber contents.

But if it were me, I'd go with the oil and see how it goes. If it's not working, add some rice bran (high in fat) and alfalfa pellets (the calcium will help negate the high phosphorus in the rice bran) to his diet. These two things soak up the soybean oil as an added bonus! This is a high fat diet often recommended for draft horses with EPSM and it usually has the added "benefit" of weight gain and shiny coats.

Good luck,

Andrea
 

Mona

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Disney...I weighed the grain, and what I feed him at each feeding weighs in at about 1 pound. The amount they say to give a breeding stallion of 600 pounds in weight (that is the lowest on their chart) daily is 3.75 pounds of feed. So if I cut the weight of the stallion in half down to 300 pounds (and I know my horse is likely 1/3 less than that at least), then rounding up the feed to 4 pounds daily, and cutting that by half as well would work out to about 2 pounds a day for a 300 pound horse. I am giving about 2 pounds a day to a far smaller than 300 pound horse. It says on the package that it can be increased by 10% if needed, but I am sure I am already over that with what I am feeding.

Thanks for the tip on adding oil. I had forgotten all about that trick! I used to have a 7/8 Arabian mare that was a hard keeper and I had to add a good "dollop" of corn oil to her feed and it worked wonders! I had totally forgotten about that! I guess that is what I will try with this boy next.
 

Becky

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I use beet pulp here for weight gain. It's an excellent fiber source too. You can feed up to 40% of a horses daily fiber as beet pulp.

Most of the feed manufacturers carry some type of fat supplement now and those work really well. Much easier to use and not as messy as liquid oil! Since you are feeding Purina, I just checked their website and they make a high fat supplement called Amplify. It might be worth checking into.
 

Tami

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Good post Mona. I have one of those stallions and I have been thinking about the asking the same thing. Mine paces too, worse while with the mares. I have other pens of mares and he worries about them in additon to his mares.
 

CyndiD

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Hi Mona,

I have one like that as well, and a yearling that is not gaining like I wish he would too...an old "horseman" that I met at the retirement home told me "calf manna"..just throw in a handful with his feed..so I did that and he slowly but surely started to put weight back on. Now he never got "fat" by any means, but the calf manna seemed to really help, it seemed very palatable to him and he enjoyed his supper a lot more with some of that mixed in. I am very generous with the hay as well.

Also, I put him in a corner stall where he could not see the mares and he seemed a bit calmer that way as well and paced a little less.

Its frustrating when you have one like that!!! (Winter he will catch up too...
...when he isn`t thinking of the girls so much)
 

Marty

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Mona I had that problem in the past with my QH race horse and I was freaking out with the way I was over feeding him I was sure I was going to colic him. I finally realized that the way to stop the problem is to stop the problem that is causing it. I'd put a bred mare in with him for companionship and he worried no more. Maybe that is an option for you
 

bingo

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The 6 cups of grain sounds about right in fact on the high end. I would try to use a commerical weight gain product alot of those seem to really work well.
 

Erica

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I use beet pulp as a filler and for weight gain/"filler" along the topline........

But I can tell you I have 12 horses in the show barn, 4 of them are on 4 cups 2x a day, then beet pulp, grass and afafla hay.....4 of them are on 6 cups 2x a day, then beet pulp, and hay......3 of them are on 8 cups 2x a day, beet pulp and grass hay......and I have 1 that is eating 10 cups 2x a day, beet pulp and grass hay.

Of courses these horses are stalled and conditioned/worked......but I have not had one health problem feeding them as above, which is probably more than what the label "calls" for.

I have one stallion here now that just two days ago I pulled from his herd of mares as my breeding season is over July 1 and they go back out with their mares Feb 1...........he's a VERY refined, 34" stallion and stays on the lean side; but right now has been walking the fenceline and watching his mares and is thinner than I would like, but he's not an over agressivley eater; but he's getting 10 cups 2x a day, free choice pasture (he's in a little 3/4 acre pasture now that he's away from his mares) and free choice hay, and beet pulp and alfafa.
 

minie812

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Mona- I had the same problem with Fiesta...moving non-stop. I use the Amplify supplement and he is slowly putting his weight back on. He is also getting some soaked beet pulp and his platform mini feed and 24/7 on the hay and grass to. I was told to expect this every spring during the breeding season but like you, it happened quick with the weight loss. His teeth were done this past winter and regular on the wormings too! I sure do like the supplement though and he is lean but muscled up now too! P.s. also gets soaked alfalfa cubes. I have never had a problem with colic since using soaked beet pulp/alfalfa cubes...lotsa roughage!
 
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HGFarm

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Hey Mona,

What else are you feeding? That much grain would scare me.... What kind of hay are you feeding?

I have used BP a few times, one for weight gain on a full sized mare. I soaked the shredded stuff without molasses, and gave her that with her alfalfa and pellets and wow, in 30 days what a difference! (She also had her teeth done too, she had a bad molar) It really helped her put the weight on. It's a great source of fiber.

Here is a great article on BP, maybe this will help with info on it. Good luck and hope you find the right combo that will work for your poor little guy! How frustrating.

http://shady-acres.com/susan/beetpulp.shtml
 

MyBarakah

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Hi Mona,

I use beet pulp, oats and grain combined on the ones I am needing weight on along with alfalfa & grass hay.... I LOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEe what beet pulp does! Everyone here that is just right on thier weight get only oats & beet pulp along with thier daily vitamins and stuff.... and alfalfa or hay...
 

nootka

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Hm...I had on like this, and the beet pulp seemed to help with my hard keeper.

That said, I fed him 3/4 as much as a full-sized horse would have gotten.

I also added a product called Cool Calories. He, like your horse, also had free choice hay and pasture and was always thin to the point of boniness.

It's tough when they fret so much!

Good luck!

Liz
 

Mona

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Erica, what type of grain are you feeding along with the beet pulp? If I was feeding something that was not a premixed, balanced feed, I would sure feed as much as it would take, but I am new to using this type of feed, and am afraid to increase so much over the amount they say. I am already WAAAY past the recommended portions, so don't want to push my luck and do damage to my horse.

Laurie, I am not feeding anything other than the Omolene and grass. I do not feed hay at this tiome of year, as the horses don't eat it. They are all in grassy pens and graze, and will not even eat the hay once the grass starts to grow. Thanks for posting that link on Beet Pupl...a very informative article!

Marty, no, putting a mare in with him will not solve the problem. Been there, done that, and he will still worry over the rest of the mares.

Becky and mini812...is Amplify just a supplement that needs to be fed in addition to the regular feed? I read the info at the link you provided Becky, and it sounds like it is a feed, and should replace what he is on, rather than giving it in addition to?? Also, if given in addition to regular feed, how much would I feed? I hate the way their site is geared towards large horses only!

Liz, do you have a link to that "Cool Calories" product?
 
L

LisaF.

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Well, I am glad I am not the only one that has a stallion that won't stop long enough to eat during the Spring and part of Summer. Mona...This may sound strange, but the first year my stallion was here he worried me to death..he would not stop to eat. This is the second year I have owned him and he is much better. I have no idea why.

I also, like soaked beet pulp, soaked alfalfa cubes, and calf manna for the hard keepers. I start low and build up. I am not sure if that is the correct way, but that is how I do it.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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I like beat pulp for weight gain as well as a good alfalfa hay (or soaked cubes) but last year my then 4 year old stallion who was in his first year of heavy breeding, lost so much weight he was an embarrassment. I couldn't get his weight up. I finally started him on something I'd been feeding my saddle horses for ages, BOSS and flax. The horses all love them (here at least) The BOSS is basically a dry fat source and between the 2 the coats glow. I fed him the seeds from last August thro until he shed out this spring in late April at which point I realized I had missed noticing he is now FAT. So now he's back to straight grass/hay and I am watching him for a repeat of last years weight loss. If i see even a hint he is getting thin he'll be back on the BOSS asap.
 

Miniv

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Mona........No, you are not alone. We've had the same problem. I've seen others here post about this too.....

3+ cups of grain twice a day isn't a big deal. We've had to feed up to 6 cups of senior complete AND a cup of alfalfa pellets. After a week or two we finally saw some results. (Our fellow didn't like the beet pulp.)

We have also had another fellow who DID accept the beet pulp with alfalfa pellets and 4 cups of the senior grain.......again it took a couple of weeks before we saw improvement.

As you know, every horse is different with their preferences AND their metabolism.
 

rabbitsfizz

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BIG BP fan here...one thing I would say is soak it in LOTS of water (hot or cold) and let the water drain...I have to feed Rabbit loads (like three unsoaked cups, makes up to fifteen cups!!) of BP as he cannot eat hay and his grazing is the same...drops the grass out, never swallows, so lots of bulk needed, but I was concerned about the sugar he was getting..(both my stallions are pacers, Carlos is out with his mares now and still paces. Toby, Rabbits yearling colt, does not yet, and I have hopes!!) so when I use pellets I soak and drain.

Carlos is getting two cups, soaked, BP and four cups Stud Mix (sweet feed) and I add full fat Soy to that, not Soy Oil, and I also give BOSS, ground.

To start with, as Carlos is "picky" I did not mix the feed and I found he ate the BP better when he had a choice.

I also add two cups of barley to both feeds and again, at the moment, I do not mix it up.

In winter Carlos also gets chaff (freeze dried grass in this case) mixed in as he is not a huge fan of hay (comes from buying a horse that has not been touched for the first eighteen months of it's life!!)

So, yes, I would definitely add BP to his diet, in fact I never feed anything unless it has bulk of some kind in it...horses digestive system needs bulk to work properly, so if you only feed grain, pellets without roughage, etc, the digestive system will use part of the protein as bulk, and it will not be digested.
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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I have to jump in as another big fan of BP, I've tried alfalfa pellets, corn oil, fat supplements and my tried and true favorite now is BP.

I use the shreds and soak it. It does make them look good, but it will take some time. I like the BP because it adds calories, but is also a fiber which is what horses are designed to digest. You could add oil to the BP too, I use flax seed (small handful for thin horses), but the beet pulp is overall my favorite and works just as well as fat supplements or alfalfa pellets and I feel it is less likely to cause metabolic problems.

I used it for a young stallion who came thin from running with mares and then long trip in the trailer to get here, this spring he is a muscled machine and cut back his beet pulp to keep his weight where I want it. I also add it for a nursing mare who will drop all her body fat to her milk, she is maintaining very nicely this year!
 

Margo_C-T

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I have become a fan of beet pulp, and have been one of 'Calf Manna' for many years. Beet pulp can definitely be helpful in weight gain, as can Calf Manna(which is very high in protein). Or, good alfalfa or alfalfa pellets. Good alfalfa should be fairly high in protein, also.

I have also used BOSS, and it can be very helpful. What you need to do is review the various nutritional factors supplied by each of these different things, just to be sure you don't create an imbalance.

A horse that is pacing as you describe IS using up a LOT of energy, so should be able to tolerate more calories, I believe.

Good luck!

Margo
 

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