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Re: Cotton seeds in beet pulp

Well, it's not ideal, but really not a big deal unless you were feeding tremendous amounts (which I assume you're not).  Unprocessed cottonseed, or to a lesser extent cottonseed meal, contains a substance called gossypol which tends to bind to amino acids, chelate iron, etc.  It would be a bigger problem in a young animal, but usually not a major concern in adults in the amounts your horse would be eating.  The safe upper limit for a healthy adult horse is about 10% or so in the diet---around three pounds or so.
Don't get me wrong, gossypol IS a concern and I would never recommend cottonseed as part of the usual diet, although diets *can* be formulated to use cottonseed meal as the protein source.  If the cottonseed component of your beet pulp is less than 20%, and your not feeding more than ten pounds of beet pulp a day, then I wouldn't lose sleep over it.  But maybe your feed store manager could find a supplier that sweeps out his bins a little better.  You might also ask if the same mill also manufactures feeds for cattle, especially ones that contain ionophores, Rumensin, Monensin, etc.  If something like *that* got into the food you fed your horse, that CAN cause major, major, life-threatening problems, and it wouldn't be the first time horses died because they were accidentally fed a cattle feed.  There was a big barn back East that lost a couple dozen top show horses because of such an accident---so wouldn't be a bad idea to ask your feed store to check into it, and if the same mill also makes cattle feeds with ionophores...well, I'd probably ask for him to order you a different brans, or skip feeding beet pulp from that source altogether.
Good luck,
Susan G
----- Original Message -----
From: Jeanne Slominski
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2000 4:42 PM
Subject: RC: Cotton seeds in beet pulp

I started finding what looked like the top of a Q-tip in the shredded beet pulp I buy. I always threw them away whenever I saw them. The last bag had so many, I took these things to the feed store. Found out that they are cotton seeds, and probably not very good for the horses.
I took the bag back and was given a replacement bag, of course with profuse apologies. Imagine my surprise when this bag had more cotton seeds in it than the one I returned.
Could any one shed more light on this? I mean, just how bad are cotton seeds for a horse?
Thanks - Jeanne

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