Dried beet pulp is the byproduct produced by removing sugar from sugar beets. After processing, it has high water content and is prone to mold, so it is dried for storage. Dried beet pulp is available in shredded or pelleted form. It can be added to horse's diets as an additional source of feed or it is often used as a component in mixed concentrated commercial feeds. When provided as an additional source of feed, beet pulp is usually fed to horses after being soaked in a bucket of water prior to feeding.
Advantages: Beet pulp is good source of digestible fiber and is very low in starch and sugar. It is a good feed source for horses that are hard keepers to aid in weight gain, older horses with problems chewing, horses which require low starch diets, and for horses with respiratory problems.
Disadvantages: Beet pulp has an unbalanced Ca:P ratio, as it has a high calcium content but is low in phosphorus. Therefore, care should be taken when adding to a horse's diet to ensure that additional phosphorus is provided elsewhere to offset the high amount of calcium in beet pulp.
To soak beet pulp properly, place one feeding's worth of dry beet pulp in a large bucket and add twice as much water as beet pulp per volume. |If you use cold water, it should soak for 60 minutes. If warm water is used, let it soak for 30 minutes. | Caution: If you let the beet pulp soak for too long, especially in warmer climates, it might start to ferment and smell a bit off. Once it starts to smell, do not feed it to your horse. Throw it away and start another batch, being more mindful of the time. | If your horse requires a low sugar diet due to metabolic problems, drain or rinse the excess water after soaking for another hour prior to feeding to the horse.