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Re: mystery beet pulp weight gain (long)

My guess would be that it's related to digestibility and feed
efficiency---feed efficiency is going to decrease when horses wolf down
their meals, and the grain especially probably mostly by-passed the small
intestine and went on to microbial fermentation in the hindgut.  With your
change in feeding program, they're more relaxed about taking their time over
their meal and overall feed efficiency is probably higher, so they're
getting a relatively larger proportion of nutrients from their food.  Might
be lots of other contributing factors as well.  And in any case, the
majority of their caloric intake wasn't/isn't coming from the grain or beet
pulp, it's coming from all that hay.  So the daily intake Mcal *is*
different, but not hugely different.

OTOH, like you said, if they're doing well, happy, in good condition....just
sit back and smile!

Susan G

-----Original Message-----
From: dave & abby bloxsom <>
To: Ridecamp <>
Date: Sunday, January 31, 1999 12:58 PM
Subject: mystery beet pulp weight gain (long)

>So I'm entering this forum to present the results of my 3-rat
>experiment; and to collect a set of possible explanations.
>LAST WINTER, I had 3 idle adult horses of various breeds living together
>in one paddock with a run-in shed. I fed 1/2 bale good Timothy/Orchard
>grass hay per horse per day, split into 2 feedings.  I also fed a 10%
>commercial sweet feed, 2 lg cans per feeding.  Feeding time was a
>frenzy, and they wolfed everything down in a matter of hours.  The
>horses held their weight all winter, although one was borderline & one
>was fat.
>THIS WINTER, I've divided them up.  One horse is in a new paddock (with
>a new friend) with no shelter whatsoever (she's a Welsh Cob, never even
>notices the weather unless it rains).  The other 2 are still in the
>original paddock.  After following this winter's Ridecamp discussions,
>I've revised my feeding plan a bit.  I'm still feeding the same amount
>of the same quality hay - 20-25# per horse per day, but I throw a day's
>worth out at (my) bedtime, once a day.  They're usually done with it in
>about 20 hours.  They snooze, wander, and hoover crumbs for the next
>couple hours.  At the other feeding, 16 hours or so after the hay (hay
>still isn't finished), I give them soaked shredded beet pulp.  I'll
>probably end up adding a vit/min supplement to that based on the results
>of my hay analysis, but for the time being that's it - no oil, no
>grain.  The dry volume of shredded beet pulp is actually about 75% of
>the dry volume of grain I was feeding, and because beet pulp is lighter,
>it's actually MUCH less by weight, dry.  All 3 are in excellent flesh,
>neither fat nor thin.  Feeding time is easy, no rushing, no jamming
>noses in the pails, no pushing, no fighting.
>I presume the attitude changes relate to the fact that there's really no
>"treat" involved - the Salad Phenomenon.  The big question is this - if
>I'm feeding so much less feed by weight, and DE is actually WAY down
>because the beet pulp is less energy dense than grain, why are they
>doing so well?  Water supply/intake hasn't changed, and weather has been
>equivalent.  Keep in mind one horse who used to have shelter is now
>completely exposed to the elements.
>Now I'm not complaining - don't get me wrong - I'm just wondering how
>many different explanations for this can I collect?
>Okay Ridecampers, go to it.
>-Abby B

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