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    Re: [RC] beet pulp - Susan Garlinghouse

    > How do you determine the amount of beet pulp to feed? Basically what I
    > to know is the ratio to hay by weight, i.e. 1 lb dry beet pulp is
    > to ??? lb hay.
    Equivalent by what parameters---energy, protein, price, or what?  I'm going
    to assume you mean in a general energy and fiber-y sort of way, which would
    mean roughly that a pound of straight commodity beet pulp (dry weight) is
    more or less equivalent to about a pound and a half of alfalfa hay and
    probably two pounds of good quality grass hay.  The vague terms and numbers
    are because to some extent, you're comparing apples and oranges.  The
    soluble/insoluble fiber compositions of each are somewhat different and that
    affects digestibility and feed efficiency and fancy-shmancy stuff like that.
    Don't worry about that part.
    My suggestion is to always feed at least half of the ration in the form of
    long stem hay or pasture.  If your horse has a need for a lot of extra
    calories, then you can eventually feed him the other half of the forage
    ration in the form of beet pulp (again, dry weight prior to soaking).  So if
    your horse normally consumes 20 pounds of hay, you could replace ten pounds
    of that with beet pulp.  I know, that's a lotta beet pulp, but I own(ed)
    three that have no trouble at all vacuuming down all that soaked and a lot
    more.  Pigs. <g>
    Obviously, you don't want to shovel that much in front of them all at once.
    Start out with just a cup or two, soak it, and increase the amount slowly
    until you're wherever you want to be.  Most normally healthy horses that
    just need a few more calories seem to do well on 3-5 pounds of bp (still dry
    weight before soaking) daily.  If soaking isn't feasible for you on a daily
    basis, feed one of the processed beet pulp based feeds instead.
    Susan G
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