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Do you "have" to soak beet pulp shreds?

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Leeana

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I always soak mine, i feed beet pulp shreds, but i am curious can you feed them without soaking? My guess is they either way would do the same thing but it seems like soaking would make it easier on the tummy; but if you can feed the shreds straight without causing any problems that would save time. I do not mind soaking them at all, but i am curious.

Thank you ,

Leeana
 

disneyhorse

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Nope, you don't even have to soak the pellets.

I had an old Arab gelding (he was about 25 yrs at the time) who had barely any teeth to chew with so we fed him only alfalfa pellets. He also colicked for just about everything.

Well, we went on vacation and the person feeding horses for us fed him a bucket of BEET PULP pellets twice daily instead of the alfalfa pellets and the horse loved them, didn't colic or anything. If an old colicky horse can eat a 10 quart bucket of them in one sitting and be fine, then I think it won't hurt anything.

Now, those pellets are very hard and tough to chew so of course I would soak them just for the palatability of them.

But the shreds are commonly fed dry, they don't absorb near as much water as the pellets do.

Andrea
 

Becky

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No, you do not have to soak beet pulp. If you need to get more water into a horse, you can certainly soak it. It's an old wives tale that it has to be soaked before feeding. I feed it dry here and the horses love it!
 

ropenride

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We have our feed mill mix the beet pulp shreds in with the grain mix. The horses drink a little extra water, and it seems they ALWAYS get a drink after eating their grain, but we've been doing this for almost a year and haven't had any problems.
 

whimsical

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I am glad others didn't have the trouble I did with dry beet pulp.

I tried it ONCE dry with my TB mare. And it expanded in her throat and she started snorting it out. We had to have her tubed to clear the passage.

It certainly scared me to the point I wouldn't do it again.

Maybe it was just a freak thing.
 

kaykay

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we now feed it dry and they love it. I did find bags of extremely finely shredded beet pulp at the Granville Feed store. I love this stuff as its so fine theres no way they could choke on it.
 

Margaret

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Ive had heard from several feed store attendants that when feeding the beetpulp pellets to the horses, it is important to soak them.. due to the possibility of choke.. But the shreds were ok to feed dry.

I can feed them to my Nigi buck without soaking them, and have had no problems, but have not tried them on the horses, as they dont need the weight boost.
 

Matt73

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I'm pretty sure that you're absolutely supposed to soak beet pulp pellets. Do you see how much they expand? Imagine that expanding in your horses gut.

Not sure about the shreds, but I'd say a definite yes to soaking the pellets.
 
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txminipinto

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I always soak mine. If you have to remember, that they absorb moisture - ANY moisture. So, it's possible to cause choke or even an impaction if your horse isn't drinking enough water to begin with (which is probably why they drink after eating dry BP because they're thirsty).

My purpose for soaking is to increase their hydration (especially when hauling to far away shows). If I haul 8 hours or more, when I get to my destination I give them HALF a bucket of water and then about 1-2lbs of dripping wet beet pulp. I give them half the bucket of water in case they gorge themselves on water and the soaking wet beet pulp in case they WON'T drink they'll at least eat that. On the trip to Congress (18 hours) at every gas stop, we'd offer water with a large amount of beet pulp in it (not so much that the water was complete soaked up but enough to entice them to eat/drink on the trailer) to every horse. I feel that my horses arrived in better condition than other horses in our convoy because of that.

Beet pulp is a great source of fiber and it's a good filler too. I've used it at shows on horses that have drawn up as well to help fill their flanks out. I really feel that a horse that eats beet pulp (WET) at home hauls much better and is easier to regroup when they've drawn up on the trailer than ones that won't or don't eat beet pulp.
 

whitney

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Dr. Sandy my vet said she had the WORST case of choke EVER with dry shredded beet pulp.

That was good enough for me to ALWAYS soak mine.
 

Keri

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My friend feeds the shreds. Takes like 15 minutes for them to soak up. So time wise, they are ideal for getting the feed out fast.

I feed pellets (that's all my farm store carries). But I have all day to soak them. So not a problem.

I would definately soak them no matter what. Better to take them time than have a horse colic.
 

Ashley

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I soak mine, doesnt take that long. By the time I get dressed to head out, mix grain, and move horses around and into their stalls its ready to go.

That said, I know I wouldnt want to eat that stuff dry...........and my step son says it doesnt tast very good either....
 

Reijel's Mom

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I had an older gelding choke twice on beet pulp shreds. The first time I had taken a short cut and fed the beet pulp dry mixed with senior. Now, I'd never seen a choke, and didn't really know what it was, and by the time the vet got there he just treated it as a colic, which it was by then.

The next time the gelding choked I had just wetted the shreds and not soaked them. After that I knew what I was dealing with and won't feed it without soaking it ever again. Choke is not a pretty thing to see.

The old gelding had his teeth taken care of regularly, he could still eat hay and grass fine, and he was not a bolter. He never had a problem again after I made sure the stuff was soaked.

If you can spread the shredded beet pulp very fine, like say in a feeding trough, I think it would be ok. But I think any time they can actually get a mouthful of the stuff it's dangerous.
 

Boinky

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I've had horses choke on both pelleted and shredded. It's a very good idea to wet it down. I do feed one of my big geldings the shreds dry and he's always done fine but it will probably catch up to me one day..but i have had horses choke on both and it is a bit worrysome. When it happens..it REALLY happens. it really gets packed in there and takes a lot of tubing to get out.
 

skanzler

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We have fed pelleted beet pulp for the past 8 years. We always soak it. Although they state that you do not have to soak it, that it is safe to feed dry. There have been horses that have choked on it, as people have stated previously. The cases of impaction are rare, but choke is not.

We always soak it overnight for the morning feed and then soak it during the day for the evening feed. You should throw any leftover beet pulp away, as it will spoil quickly.

The shreds can also cause choke. Although they do not "blow up" like the pelleted form. They will absorb some liquid and are more easily swallowed when wet.

Better to be safe than sorry. Choke is not fun..... saw one horse choke on a treat in a halter class once. The horse had won its championship class and the owner fed it a horse treat, it had it's show halter on and it was not able to chew the large horse cookie. It swallowed it and proceeded to choke. The vet had to be called out and they had to pass a gastroscope down to see it and dislodge it. Caused severe damage to the lining of the esophagus.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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Someone (I think Marty) posted a link to an article on horse feeding myths just this weekend and it covers beet pulp in there. I have fed wet and dry with out a problem. The only horse i ever had choke on me wasgrazing and choked on grass (she's not usually a food gobbler type either) so I think it doesn't matter how careful you are horses do choke just like people do. Some things are just easier to get too much of at a time.
 

Boinky

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in some cases i think that's true (no matter what you do you'll have problems) but i do have one mare i can't feed dry beet pulp to at all..she chokes almost every time. it's definatly the beetpulp and has never choked on regular grain or anything else. I"ve had some other horses that seemed to do the same thing.
 

Katiean

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I would never feed any beet pulp without soaking it. When I soak it I measure for example 1 1/2 cups dry beet pulp I add 3 cups of hot water. I feel that hot water absorbs faster. But if you ate something dry that absorbs 2x's it's measured size in water wouldn't that bother your tummy?

I also never pour off any water after it soaks.
 
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whimsical

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My daughter tried it too and said it didn't taste very good. What kids will do


When my TB choked it was the shredded and I was in a hurry. I usually soak it. But thought well I just won't feed as much just give her a little bit to hold her up. Well I never got to leave because by the time I finished giving the other their hay she had this stuff coming out her nostils.

I am sure there are some that don't have problems. But I have also heard that if your horse doesn't drink enough it can cause dehydration. As the beet pulp soaks up the fluids in the stomach. With our Texas heat, I need as much water in that stomach as I can get.

Just to be on the safe side...........I will soak.
 

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