Feeding Beet Pulp For Horses Gain Weight

Jessica McDaniel
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What is Beet Pulp?

Beet pulp is a by-product of sugar beet production and contains fiber, sugar, and protein. It is given to horses to help prevent and control a variety of issues including colic, and digestive problems, to helping them gain weight.

The main challenge horses face, particularly in mid-summer, is maintaining their weight during the grazing season. Feeding beet pulp will help them to get the necessary nutrients even though they may be out on the fields grazing.

High sugar content and the high appeal of this food makes beet pulp a very great choice for horses that prefer to have crunchy, easy to eat snacks.

What Does Beet Pulp Provide?

Beet pulp gives your horse plenty of vital nutrients, including fiber, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, “live” enzymes, and prebiotics. It is made from dried beet pulp, which is processed from the sugar beet.

The sugar beet is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, thiamin, copper, potassium, and manganese. It also contains lots of soluble fiber, a type of carbohydrate. Beet pulp can be stored for months after harvest and is used as a natural sweetening agent, as well as an easily digestible source of soluble fiber.

Beet pulp is a great supplement for any horse owners that are running low on feed. After a hard workout or harsh conditions, your horse may need extra food to help keep them in good condition. Mixing a few cups of beet pulp in with your horse’s normal feed on occasion can help restore any electrolyte and energy deficits your horse might have.

Beet pulp is a key ingredient and an important addition to horse feeds with low quality forage such as hay. Making up as much as a third of the feed, beet pulp gives the horse extra calories for muscle maintenance. It also helps to maintain healthy energy levels and a positive attitude.

Nutritional Value

Beet pulp is the fibrous portion of vegetables that is produced during the sugar beet processing. It’s a great energy source for horses that are under a lot of extra stress.

The main function of beet pulp in your horse’s diet is to provide extra calories, especially for those horses that are overworked or stressed and need to gain body weight. Horse owners who are just trying to maintain weight for their horses may also add beet pulp to their horses’ diets.

Generally, beet pulp is the least expensive among the sources of fiber and energy for horses. In a horse’s diet, however, it should not exceed 50 per cent. When feeding beet pulp to horses, formulate their diets with around 24 to 30 per cent of the daily rations.

Gut Health

Fiber is indigestible material found in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Fiber helps improve gut health and in turn helps reduce weight. It also relieves constipation, prevents colon cancer and keeps things flowing. Fiber also helps you feel full longer and reduces overeating.

Wheat straw, beet pulp and most other high-fiber products move through the digestive tract unchanged. This makes them an ideal ingredient to add to diets for weight gain, especially for horses with poor gut health. Choosing beet pulp is often the preferred high-fiber choice for fat and weight gain, over other high-fiber ingredients such as wheat straw.


Healthy horses require a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein, energy, and nutrients. Horses are creatures of habit, and if one minor thing is off in their feeding routine, then they can easily lose weight.

Due to the natural cycle of day and night, horses tend to graze at various times during the day.
Feeding beet pulp helps maintain the balance. Fiber in the beet pulp helps maintain a healthy normal digestive system for your horse. The fiber will also help promote a strong healthy gut.

Beet pulp as a horse feed supplement is also very inexpensive and comes highly recommended. It also contains chemicals that help support and maintain the normal body functions of a horse. It has more energy than hay.

The beet pulp that is used in horse food is ground into a fine powder that is easy to digest. It helps seal and protect the inside of the intestine, which reduces the risk of infection.

This horse supplement is a rich source of nutrients and vitamins that helps your horse to maintain a healthy diet. It contains minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, selenium, manganese, fluoride, iron, and phosphorous. And It is also a great source of carbohydrates that is easy to digest.

Is Beet Pulp Safe for My Horse?

Beet pulp is not a common horse feed, but it is a very healthy forage. It is often included in horse feeds to provide bulk, fiber, and nutrients. Beets are a legume crop of the Fabaceae family and provide many nutritional benefits.

Beet pulp is high in carbohydrates and fiber. The fiber content of beet pulp varies and can be as high as 32%. This fiber provides the structure and texture of the insoluble fiber.

Beet pulp has a high moisture content and most of the time is the majority of the chicken-based mixture. This great deal of moisture keeps the horse from being dehydrated or requiring additional water.

As beet pulp is high in carbohydrates it is a great energy source for horses that are heavy or out of condition. The carbohydrates are not rapidly absorbed, but digested slowly and over time, to provide stamina and endurance.

Beet pulp is a common ingredient in horse feeds, usually being a mixture of 50% beet pulp and 50% other pulp sources.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Beet Pulp for Horses

Feeding beet pulp for adult horses can be a great thing if done properly. Here are the pros and cons of its consumption.


Carbs for energy: Beet pulp is a great source of energy for horses. It provides them with slow-burning carbohydrates for energy.

Fiber: A good amount of beet pulp for a horse is also fiber. This is because once it is eaten by the horse, it passes through his system undigested yet fills it and adds bulk. Hence, it gets rid of a lot of waste. If your horse is a little constipated, eating a decent amount of beet pulp will help.

Vitamins: Beet pulp is rich in energy-giving and bone-building vitamin A. However, this vitamin is destroyed if the beet pulp is cooked prior to giving it to horses.

Mineral: The minerals found in beets provide a wide array of benefits to horses especially for pregnant and lactating mares. With minerals coming from beet pulp, horses get a good foundation for strong bones, healthy teeth, high fertility, and good hooves.

Residual sugar: Even though the sugar found in beets is low, the small amount is not a cause for concern.

Fiber and energy: Another advantage is the fact that it has fiber. It also provides a good amount of carbohydrates that provide a good source of energy for horses.


Beet pulp is a common horse feed supplement though not all horse owners agree it is the best horse food. Feeding it is one way of providing extra fiber and a cheap way of feeding energy and nutrients to a horse.

It’s most commonly fed to horse that are too thin due to illness, lack of appetite, stress, or long periods of work. Some horse owners feed it as a regular diet in the hopes of creating a fast, hard-muscled animal.

A common concern is the messy consistency, though some horse owners prefer it to other feeds available. Others complain of the messy aftermath made when it's wet.

Beet pulp is a finely chopped dried beet pulp. It’s alse sometimes called beet molasses or soybean pulp. For horses, beet pulp contains energy and minerals, dietary fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. The fiber it contains aids a horse that isn’t feeling well or needs extra energy.

A downside to feeding beet pulp is because it is used to aid digestion, this means it’s not a good choice of horse feed when feeding hay. In this case it may cause he horse to become constipated.


How often you feed your horse and how much you feed your horse take second priority to the consistency of the food that you feed your horse. The best and healthiest way to feed your horse is to feed him consistently with the same type and amount of food at each mealtime.

If he is grazing, then the grass you provide at each mealtime should be the same grass as he was given the previous mealtime. For horses that are fed hay, grain, or alfalfa pellets, then those hay, grain, or pellets should be the same every day.

Variety is also important, but do not confuse that with swapping out the same type of food for a food that has a different label.

The best way to explain this would be that if you have been feeding your horse 100-percent alfalfa hay, then feed him 100 percent alfalfa hay every day instead of feeding him one day alfalfa and one day grass hay. He may not like the new grass hay, so be sure to mix it in with his usual alfalfa hay.

After he gets use to that change, then you can slowly start introducing new hay, grain, or any other food item, at this point the type of food that you provide him every day should stay the same.