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Understanding The Basics
Common Equine Ailments
Beet pulp - a true super fibre
Beet pulp is a by-product of the sugar industry. Sugar is extracted from the beet leaving the pulp. The sugar finds its way into snacks designed to appeal to kids, while the pulp is used as an ingredient in animal feeds (>5% sugar). Beet pulp is rich in fibre and is unique in its form as it is soluble fibre and highly digestible. Beet pulp is fermented in the large intestine of the horse similar to hay, pasture and chaff. However, since the fibre in beet pulp is soluble it is more readily digestible than pasture, hay or chaff. In fact, beet pulp provides digestible energy ranging between that of good quality hay and grains sourcing energy from soluble fibre as opposed to energy from starches and sugars. Consequently, it is ideal for all equines, especially for horses where weight gain is desired as it increases the caloric content and energy density in the diet.
When horses need additional calories in the diet, horse owners often fed grain. Grains, such as oats, maize and barley are digested in the small intestine of the horse. If too much grain is fed in a single meal it can result in undigested grain passing into the large intestine. Once in the large intestine, bacteria ferment the undigested grain potentially resulting in digestive and metabolic disorders such as colic and laminitis. Beet pulp avoids these potential digestive and metabolic issues as beet pulp is considered a super fibre – high calorie content and safe to feed. Beet pulp is ideal for horses that suffer from poor dentition due to its soft consistency once soaked, beet pulp provides horses that can’t chew hay or chaff with an adequate fibre source whilst maintaining body condition.
Beet pulp is widely used in the feeding of horses around the world. It has been recommended as a replacement for chaff in performance horse diets to improve the quality of fibre and increasing the energy density of the daily diet. It is also used as a method to assist underweight or thin horses gain additional condition without the use of grains, whilst lowering starch intake and retaining the digestible energy level. Accordingly it is also ideal for endurance and excitable horses, where calm conditioning is required as it provides slow release energy and helps to restore and maintain fluid balance in the body when previously soaked.
Beet pulp has a lower glycaemic index compared to any type of grain, meaning it has a small effect on blood glucose levels. A low glycaemic index feed may have a positive influence on behaviour (less fizz) along with helping to control nutrition levels in horses susceptible to metabolic related disorders such as laminitis, insulin resistance, cushings, grain intolerance, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, PSSM and tying-up.
HYGAIN® MICRBEET®, utilizes the revolutionary cooking process of micronization. By micronizing and rolling the beet pulp, the raw material is converted into a flake, resulting in a larger surface area, which decreases the amount of time necessary to soak the product (in hot water only 5 min.)
If beet pulp is not micronized and fed as an individual ingredient rather than mixed into a commercial feed, it is necessary to soak in water for at least 24 hours prior to feeding.
HYGAIN® MICRBEET® improves feed efficiency and is more convenient at feed time with the soaking time reduced to 5 minutes in hot water or 10 minutes in cold water.
For more information on Super Fibres and Beet Pulp, please contact HY GAIN FEEDS on 1300 HYGAIN (494246) or email us.