Beet pulp

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

choclat dreams

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2008
Reaction score
Loveland Colorado
I was told to give my minis beet pulp to help them so they dont get dehydrated? Is that right? I need to know how much you give them and if you can hurt them by giving to much? One more thing, what else does it do for them ?
I feed soaked beet pulp to my minis in the winter to help with hydration. Most of my minis are B-size, so I feed 1/3# dry weight beet pulp, that is then soaked to them everyday from about September to April or Early May. They really seem to enjoy it, but it does take them a little bit of time to get used to it.

Beet pulp is a good fiber source and can be substituted for upto 40% of the forage portion of their diet; its moderate in protein; it is high in calcium, so needs to be balanced for Ca:p ratio (can be done with oats, regular rice bran, phosphorus supplement). It falls inbetween grain and forages nutrionally as it supplies more energy than hay and has more fiber than grain.
Beet pulp can take on A LOT of water, which is why they are great for hydration.

Start with with a cup of the dry pellets in a bucket. Experiment. Add four cups of water and wait a couple of hours. You'll see how it expands. If you want it soupy, add some extra water next time.
If you soak it in hot water instead of cold, it gets moist a whole lot quicker! You dont have to wait 2 hours for it and they seem to like it warm better too. I also drain off the water. I feed about 1-1/2 cups dry for 5 horses, some dont need as much as otehrs. It really helps put weight on them.

Thank you guys I really appreciate the info
Our minis get anywhere from 1.5 cups to 3 cups per feeding depending on the horse. It helps keep them hydratred and helps keep weight on. Beet pulp is usually about 10% protein, the same as quality hay. We feed the shaved beet pulp, and soaked, rather than the pellets. It is harder to get but if you are measuring it dry it is more accurate to measure than the pellets.
I am a firm believer in beet pulp, in summer on the hot days, I like to add gator aide to it to help keep the horses hydrated - I got this info off of LB some time ago and I keep it in my saved file - hope it helps.

Beet pulp is a regular item in all my horses' diets. I like feeding it for a variety of reasons. As with any other new food, it should be introduced to your horses gradually and slowly. Some horses may like it more than others. It can be fed alone with vitamins (to really fat horses) or in combination with your feed.

Here are some reasons why I feed it:

1) hydration - especially in the winter when they tend to not drink as much. When soaking beet pulp shreds or pellets, make sure to cover the dry product completely with water then wait 15-60 minutes so it soaks up as much water as possible. Some horses will enjoy eating their beet pulp very wet, almost like soup, while some will prefer some of the water drained off. Either way is okay.

2) Calories. Beet pulp contain a good amount of calories. For horses who have a hard time keeping weight on, like older horses or nursing mothers, beet pulp can provide the extra calories without the risks of adding grains which aren't digested as easily. Beet pulp can be fed in amounts that equal up to 40% of the total diet by dry weight -- and that's a lot of beet pulp. Minis should probably be kept to under the 1 lb level (but 1 lb of dry weight beet pulp is a LOT of soaked beet pulp!). Fat horses can benefit from beet pulp, too, when it is fed IN PLACE of grains. Just add vitamins/minerals and some grass hay or grazing, and your horse has a satisfying meal without the addition of grains. Many of my personal maintenance and pet minis are on an all-forage diet like this one.

3) Carbohydrates. Beet pulp contains carbohydrates just like grains, but in a different form (pectins rather than fructans). The carbs from beet pulp provide slow release energy whereas the carbs from grains like oats provide quick bursts of energy. That's one of the reasons race horses eat a lot of oats.

4) Fiber. Horses thrive on high fiber diets. However, in our minis, a lot of hay and grass can sometimes lead to big bellies (via gut fill). Horses need a lot of fiber in their diets to make their guts work properly, so every day they should have at least 1% of their ideal body weight in long stem fiber (hay/grass). Beet pulp can susbtitute for part of that, however, so that's why a lot of show horses are fed beet pulp -- so they can still get the fiber their bodies need, but they don't get the big bellies that a pasture horse might get. Beet pulp is also highly digestible so doesn't sit around in the gut as long as hay. When hay sits around in the gut getting digested, it forms gas and fluid which swells the belly. Beet pulp doesn't do that.

5) Carrier for vitamins. Lots of vitamins and other supplements come in powdery forms which many horses turn their noses up at. Once the beet pulp is wet, the powdery supplements like vitamins, minerals, even medications, will stick to the beet pulp and make it more difficult for the horse to sort out.

As far as when to feed it, beet pulp can be fed year round. Many people will feed more in the winter and less in the summer, especially if they have pasture. Beet pulp contains a good amount of calories so in the winter when the grass is gone, it can keep weight on your horse and in the summer, can be cut back to just enough to carry supplements.

Latest posts