How much beet pulp do I feed my old horse?


He’s a 15.3H 28 year old Quarter Horse gelding, and is in PERFECT health, but I would like him to have a bit more weight on him. Right now he is on alfalfa hay (daily), and gets pellets and chop besides. I now have shreds of beet pulp to go with, but I’ve never fed those to him before. If I’m mixing it…

Well just to add to the variables it depends on what part of the country you live in! LOL. As a horse owner for many many years, beet pulp is a great way to get calories into your horses without adding all that extra protein to make them hot and risk founder. First, I would not feed beet pulp dry. I live in the deep south, and with the amount they sweat, you don’t want them to eat really really dry food and absorb moisture from their gut, which could cause a blockage and hence colic. In the winter, to entice an older horse to eat more, I would soak the beet pulp over night, so by the morning it has the consistency of oatmeal. Try to warm it up any way you can, either adding warm water to it first thing when you get to the barn, or if you have access to a microwave, you can microwave about a cupfull and mix that in to warm up the whole thing. If you are feeding a high quality senior feed, I would guess that you are giving him between 1/2 and 1 scoop twice a day? If that is the case, I wouldn’t feed more than 1 scoop of dry beet pulp per feeding. Obviously this will make more wet. With pellets, it also is good to mix the beetpulp with the pellets, making everything a mash. Sometimes older horses have missing or broken teeth, and it makes it difficult to really chew and breakdown food properly, so making everything a mash ensures that your older guy is getting at least 2 really well broken down meals for his gut to work on every day. I am not a big fan of alfalfa hay as the sole hay for horses, much less for the older guys. I would feed one to two flakes a day, and then give them free choice of a grass hay (here we use Coastal hay or possibly peanut hay). Alfalfa tends to have higher protein and is harder to break down (it also can cause the gut to be more acidic which hinders bacterial growth needed). But it really depends on where you live, what you have access to for hays and grains, and if he’s 28 and doing great you have to be doing something right! LOL. Congrats to that! Hope that helps!

I love old horses.

My 17h Warmblood gets 3 large coffee cans of beet pulp shreds along with my 15.2h appaloosa [she’s an EXTREMELY hard keeper] My 14.3h gets 2 coffee cans [hard keeper]. I can’t remember what I weighed the shreds out as… but I know the can was perfect. I usually toss the shreds in the bucket, wet it down so it’s a soupy mix and then add the grain to that. I’ve had horses choke on the shreds… I guess it sticks in their mouth and just bleh.

I don’t worry about how much beet pulp and hay they’re getting. It’s high fiber and pretty safe to feed. I would just start him out at one scoop for now and see how he progresses. You can also look at a fat supplement to add to his grain. I LOVE Cool Calories 100. It’s pretty economical to feed and it works.

Define “too thin”

You can do a-pellets, or bp, or a combo. I would for sure soak them for a yearling.

You can feed up to 40% of the forage requirements with beet pulp, so, for example, if she’s 700lb, that’s a bit over 5lb (always dry weight). That’s based on 2% of her body weight in forage, with 40% of that being 5.6lb.

Alfalfa pellets can be fed in higher amounts if necessary. But, I highly doubt you’d need even 5lb bp or a-pellets. Probably 2, maybe 3lb a day, maybe. 2-3 flakes of alfalfa (I don’t know how much they weigh), and is on pasture 24/7. (grass quality is decent)
TC 12% until I can get TC 30% – 1.5 lbs

Oh I’m sorry. I thought you were going to beat your horse to a pulp. In this case, never mind, this question is much more boring that I thought it was…

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