EQUUS - - Conversati­ons -

Let’s tackle the big one first: De­spite what you may have heard from other horse folk and the dire warn­ings you may have read on the In­ter­net, equine nu­tri­tion ex­perts are uni­fied in their as­sur­ances that beet pulp---in any form ---does not need to be soaked in wa­ter be­fore it is fed to horses.

Yes, beet pulp is a dried prod­uct and, yes, it will ex­pand as it ab­sorbs liq­uids in a horse’s di­ges­tive tract. But as Penn­syl­va­nia State Univer­sity equine nu­tri­tion­ist Burt Sta­niar, PhD, ex­plains, “that ex­pan­sion is not go­ing to cause your horse’s stom­ach to ex­plode. It’s not even go­ing to cause him to colic. Beet pulp sim­ply doesn’t do that.” Sta­niar says the “ex­pand and ex­plode” myth may be rooted in the warn­ing to avoid feed­ing more than two pounds per day, which ac­tu­ally has more to do with nu­tri­tional im­bal­ances than with the phys­i­cal ex­pan­sion of the beet pulp it­self.

Nor does dried beet pulp in­crease the risk of choke. In horses, choke is a block­age of the esoph­a­gus, not the air­way as in peo­ple, but it can be just as se­ri­ous. Beet pulp, how­ever, has an un­de­served rep­u­ta­tion for caus­ing the con­di­tion. “Choke isn’t re­lated to what’s in the diet,” ex­plains Josie Coverdale, PhD, a pro­fes­sor of equine nu­tri­tion at

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.