Beet Pulp = Pellets vs Shreds

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Barnmother

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Pellets or Shreds - Anyone have feelings one way or the other? We accidently purchased 4 bags of the shreds. I soak them, I think they smell terrible. Have one horse who would prefer not to eat them! (He eats beet pulp pellets with no problem)

I forgot their beet pulp at home at the horse show over the weekend so i got some Beet Pulp pellets and i sure didn't notice the smell from them. All the horses ate them just fine.

Just wondering what others have experienced. Are the shreds more of a bi product than the pellets? Is it perhaps their shape they don't care for?

I like that you don't have to soak the shreds for as long but I really do hate the smell.
 
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JMS Miniatures

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I have no problems with the smell. I think soaking it would give them some water if they are having problems drinking.

Other then that pellets would be much easier to give. I don't think there is really any difference between the two. Either your horse likes the shreds or he doesn't then try the pellets.
 

chandab

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I think it might depend on the brand, despite being the same thing, beet pulp seems to vary from brand to brand and between pellets and shreds.

The first beet pulp I ever bought was pellets from a local store; dirtiest, ickiest feed I have ever bought in my life, and I said I'd never buy beet pulp again... A couple years later, someone suggested beet pulp would be a good idea, so I thought I'd try them again, had to special order them, and they were the cleanest pellets I have ever seen for any feed. I bought some shreds and pellets from a different company when I was out of town, and they smelled nasty, but the horses would eat them, didn't buy them again after I finished the bags I bought to try. Couldn't special order the good pellets any more (that store closed), so tried a different place and they had the cleanest, nicest shreds I have ever seen; easy to soak, had a nice nutty smell. Wouldn't you know it the store dropped that brand; so I found yet another source, and they were loaded with molasses and smelled icky, but did ok once soaked and rinsed, although a big hassle, so I won't buy those again either. I'm currently thinking I don't want to deal with beet pulp ever again, as its a hassle for me to get and work with; but I can order direct from the feed company the really nice clean shreds, so debating ordering a whole pallet for next winter. [Will see if I can get a sample before ordering a pallet, to be certain that they are the really nice, clean shreds.]
 

madmax

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I believe that Midwest Agri to be the best beet pulp shreds. To me Tractor Supply is the worst, such an awful smell, I have had to buy it in a pinch and would not feed it until well rinsed until the water runs clear. I don't think real molasses should smell like that. I have never used the pellets, always shreds, happy with that choice.
 

targetsmom

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I always use the shreds WITHOUT molasses because we have one insulin resistant mare. All the minis eat the plain, soaked shreds just fine.
 

Barnmother

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Well they all ate them this morning. I guess if they get that before their other feed they don't object so much. I still think when these are gone I will make sure we get pellets. We use the Standlee brand and their products always seem nice and clean, it must just be that they prefer the texture of the pellets to the shreds. I will have to see if I can return the unused bags and trade for pellets.
 

JanBKS

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I also use Midwest Agri shreds, I mix them right in there grain, never had a problem doing it that way, I have never fed just Beet Pulp always mixed it.
 

ruffian

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How long did you let them soak and how hot was (Temperature wise)? Beet pulp sours quickly when it's hot. I prefer the pellets because they are less expensive than shreds - same price on the bags, but the pellets are heaveir bags.
 

rubyviewminis

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Standlee pellets are very clean and wonderful for getting more water into them when it is extra hot like now, I use almost lukewarm and it takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. In winter it is a wonderful way to get more water in them here where it gets very cold. I use warm water and it takes 1 hour. That is also the base I use to mix in their balancer, Omega Horseshine, salt, and Metamucil physillium once a month. If I can't get the Standlee because they are out, I have to go to IFA and theirs has added molasses, so after the 1 hour soak, I just strain and rinse it.
 

ohmt

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I prefer shreds-more like hay for the stomach and I've never had a horse turn it down with a little feed mixed in. Since I am right in the heart of sugar beet country, I can get really awesome beet pulp any direction I go. The fleet farm stuff is cheaper and I like it better than the shreds at TSC. I only soak mine for about 20 minutes and we have so much chlorine in our water that even if I let it go a couple hrs longer it'd be just fine. We don't even get growth in our water buckets anymore. Really great until you realize it's because of chemicals.
 

Barnmother

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My husband picked up the 4 bags of shreds, I wanted beet pulp, he didn't realize there were two products (pellets and shreds). As to temperature we soak in cold water, they are in my air conditioned home so it is 72 degrees in here.

How long did you let them soak and how hot was (Temperature wise)? Beet pulp sours quickly when it's hot. I prefer the pellets because they are less expensive than shreds - same price on the bags, but the pellets are heaveir bags.
 

Performancemini

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What is the reason for beet pulp/pellets in feeding? Is it for thin horses or what? I know a number of club members that feed it; even one with just geldings.
 

chandab

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What is the reason for beet pulp/pellets in feeding? Is it for thin horses or what? I know a number of club members that feed it; even one with just geldings.
there are actually quite a few reasons for feeding beet pulp; added hydration, weight gain or loss (depending on how much and if you add it or use it to replace something), some say it fills in the topline (I've not seen that). Beet pulp falls between grain and hay; it has more fiber than grain, and provides more energy than hay. This website has lots of good information about beet pulp, including the famous squirrel story: http://www.shady-acres.com/susan/squirrel.shtml [For some reason I can't open the squirrel story or the myths and realities of beet pulp article. Hopefully, you can.]
 
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Boss Mare

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For about 10 years I fed beet pulp soaked, preferred shreds but would use pellets if shreds were not available.

For the past 5 years I have been feeding beet pulp dry, I actually prefer pellets.. Standlee brand. I still feed shreds when I can't get pellets.

I am feeding minis and a biggie, none bolt their feed and I've never had a choke episode, dehydration, colic, etc.

In the winter, they are soaked and I add electrolytes most of the time.

http://horses.about.com/od/basiccare/tp/Learn-Facts-About-Beet-Pulp-And-How-To-Feed-Beet-Pulp-To-A-Horse.htm
 

paintponylvr

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I have fed beet pulp shreds since we arrived in 1997. I've seen them used for both weight gain and weight loss. I was directed to feed it by the vet when we arrived in NC from MT - the horses and ponies didn't like it at first. The original type that I had I would soak overnight and feed in the morning - even during the summer I had no problems with it. I put a lid on it to keep any critters out of it. Now I feed a type that says you can soak it for only 20 minutes and it's ready.

I started out feeding it once daily - I actually enjoyed it and the vet felt that was enough. For a while, especially during the winter, I have fed it 2x daily. When I'm on the road, I take enough to feed 2x daily. The shreds had Molasses in them, we didn't have any problems. All of the horses and ponies came to love eating them. Even though I switched different feed stores, I always seemed to get the same brand of BP and didn't see any differences, honestly I figured there was only one company making them, LOL. I liked the smell as I made them up and when they'd been sitting overnight unless they'd sat too long once it turned hot in the summer. They always smelled "green" to me... My family couldn't stand the smell when I had buckets in the house over the winter.

Then I moved and eventually seemed to sit in the center of a circle in which there are a dozen feed stores around me - depending on which way I want to go and how far. I found that there were different makers. I found I could get the shreds w/o molasses at only one store (which is where I always get them now) and I learned about the Stand Lee pellets. Only a couple of stores carry the Stand lee Beet Pulp pellets - several horse friends like them better - I don't. Also, I now have lots of acquaintances that don't use Beet Pulp at all and have never had any issues.

I was told to always feed our horses and ponies "soupy" with the beet pulp and even though I later found out that the vet who recommended that doesn't feed her boarding barn horses the same way, I've always done that. Folks who come visit me think I'm crazy - but the only two colics that I have had to treat in all the years here have been due to stress while dealing with severe, traumatic injuries (arab and Shetland/arab x - not to any shetlands). I don't know - as many colics as I've seen my vet (s) treat, I've been happy we've never had to deal with it. People who take care of my shetlands when I leave hate feeding for me and I have had a hard time when sending ponies to outside trainers - they don't always do well when they aren't getting their "soup". However, I have had two arabs that would always drink the extra water out of their feed and they did choke. One time on a mare and once on her 2 yr old, gelded son. The mare also choked again years later, during a drought - an impaction of too fine, tiny stalks of coastal hay at the join of her esophagus and stomach - feed her even soupier than normal for a long time after that! Not had another episode.

In the last few years, I've purchased several ponies from out of state and had them shipped. None had been fed beet pulp previously and all turned their noses up at first. I love beet pulp shreds and our ponies and arabs do too. They "talk" to you any time you leave the house and off/on when working outside - but during the winter they all really "talk" when they know you are dishing up hot, bp mash!
 

disneyhorse

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Since wheat bran is an "outdated" feed... A beet pulp mash is nutritionally better!
 

Margo_C-T

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I bought shreds only once...hated them, as did a couple of my horses! When soaked, they produced numerous large, leathery pieces, that were next to impossible for a couple of mine to masticate....horses who have regular tooth work, BTW. i couldn't blame them; it would have been like trying to chew down large pieces of wet rawhide. Might have just been the mfg, but....NEVER again; Now I stick w/ pellets only.

Margo
 

madmax

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Over-soaking shreds turns them into those tough pieces (I know what you mean, Margo) and the horses don't like them like that way here at my barn too. I use warm water over the shreds in my feeding buckets, add oats and some grain pellets, mix it all up and by the time I have fed the hay within 15 to 20 minutes it is fed to the horses. The shreds are fluffed up but not leathery. I have not used the beet pulp pellets, are they soaked that long? I am hesitant to feed any beet pulp dry, it is too dusty in my opinion, I have a lot of old horses that need their feed very wet..
 
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