Beet Pulp: Does Not Soaking Cause Choking?

Horse owners and farm managers who feed beet pulp have been taught to ensure that the feedstuff has been soaked thoroughly before offering it to equines. A common belief is that dry beet pulp can expand in a horse’s stomach and cause colic or rupture; swelling while chewing is thought to cause choke, reports The Chronicle of the Horse.

Though the manufacturer’s label recommends that beet pulp be soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes before feeding, many experts say that soaking isn’t mandatory. Although soaking the beet pulp does provide benefits, mainly adding additional water to the diet, a horse’s digestive tract ensures even large amounts of beet pulp won’t pose a health hazard.

There are several key factors that prevent beet pulp from swelling in a horse’s stomach the way it does in a bucket when water is added; the first is that there’s simply not enough liquid in a horse’s stomach to allow beet pulp to expand to the point it will pose an problem. Secondly, the shape of the equine stomach prevents it from overfilling with beet pulp: It can only hold between two and four gallons of food at a time.

A retrospective study out of the U.K. showed that a horse is no more likely to choke on beet pulp than he is on anything else. Horses can choke for a variety of reasons, but the main factors contributing to choke is if the horse has poor dentition or if he is eating too quickly. Horses that don’t bolt their food and who have proper dental care can easily eat dry beet pulp, but there is no downside to soaking beet pulp.

Read more at The Chronicle of the Horse.

The post Beet Pulp: Does Not Soaking Cause Choking? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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