Sugar Beet Pulp
Sugar Beet Pulp is one of the most popular horse and pony feeds on the market, for good reason. It is very good for a horse’s digestive system and a good energy source with a low startch content making it an excellent alternative to cereal grans. As you may already know, too much startch in a horse’s diet can be detramental to the horses gut funtion. Although starch is well digested in the small intestine, overloading it with too much startch can cause it to proceed into the large intestine where it can ferment, producing unwanted fatty acids and digestive upset. So bearing this in mind, with sugar beet pulp being high in fibre that is easily digested, as well as providing instant and slow releasing energy it is an excellent healthy choice to feed your horse and ponies alongside its main forage supply. Also, if you’re running short of forage, sugar beet can be a partial replacer to help bulk it out. Sugar beet is also a popular farm animal feed for sheep and cows.
What is sugar beet pulp
A question we often get asked is “what is sugar beet pulp” and “where does it come from”? It is the by product of the suger beet plant. Once the sugar has been extracted from the plant, the remainder of the crop is then processed into pellets and bagged for animal feed. Some companies also put the sugar beet through a process of cooking, which enables shorter soaking times before feeding. Standard sugar beet pellets are usualy molassed, which means they have been coated in another residue of the sugar industry – molasses. This gives it more pallatability. There are also unmolassed suagr beet products available on the market such as Speedi Beet.
Feeding sugar beet to your horse
It is important to soak the product before feeding it as it expands to a considerable amount more than its original volume and can be very dangerous to a horse. Each different product has different soaking times depending on how it’s been processed. Regular sugar beet pellets takes 24 hours in cold water where as Speedi Beet can be soaked in just 10 minutes in warm water, so be sure to read the feeding instructions.