Bran is similar to other byproducts of the milling industry that found their way into livestock diets when manufacturers were searching for a profitable use for the byproducts. When milling wheat the husk is removed before grinding the soft, inner kernel into flour. The husks are then turned into the large reddish-brown flakes known as Bran.
Horses, people discovered, liked the taste of Bran. And millers are more than delighted to sell Bran cheaply to those who want to feed it to their horses.
Beet pulp is a highly digestible fiber source that is a byproduct in the processing of sugar beets for sugar. It’s basically what’s left over after the sugar is extracted from sugar beets.
Since the sugar beet industry is happy to have a way dispose of the pulp, it is one of the more inexpensive feeds available to supplement in your horse’s diet. Beet pulp is similar in energy value to oats but the energy comes from digestible fiber and not from starch making it healthier.
What is the Nutritional Value of Beet Pulp?
Beet pulp has about the same protein as a good grass hay, averaging 8 to 10%, however it is higher in calories than hay. It is a good source of fermentable fiber, is fairly high in calcium, high in crude fiber but basically has no vitamin content.
If you follow my blog you know I am always talking about this. Vets use it, nutritionists use it, animal welfare organizations use it, because a BCS is a universal way of determining the current condition of your horse. Specifically, what is the score on a ratings scale from 1 to 9 of your horse’s current weight.
Have you noticed your usually hearty eater has become grumpy at dinner time? Maybe pinning his ears? Eating slower or not at all?
Has your horse started swishing his tail or moving around when you tighten the girth but you have already ruled out poor saddled fit?
Well you might be dealing with an equine ulcer. Since horses can’t verbally tell us what is wrong, behavior changes are usually the first indicator that something is amiss. Horses associate a negative result with the most recent thing that has happened so they might be associating eating with pain. Cranky behavior around dinner time might be a sign that your horse is getting the pain of a stomach ache after eating.
If you have ever had to deal with an equine ulcer (and since 65% of horses have had them so chances are you have) then you might find this article helpful. Even if you are lucky enough to not have had to treat an ulcer yet, it’s always good to understand all aspects of horse health.
Why Alternatives Treatments?
My journey into alternative treatment for ulcers started with a nutritional consultation for a client in California. She was interested in finding a more natural way to treat her 10 year old Arabian gelding for his reoccurring ulcer issues.
She is a firm believer in a natural and organic lifestyle for herself and her horse. This represented a bit of a challenge, a fun and fascinating one, but still quite a task. My traditional protocol suggests utilizing Omeprazole or another pharmaceutical treatment so to treat and prevent re-occurrence without them required viewing the equine ulcer from a different perspective.
I have decided to re-post on my site the nutrition-related posts from Laura’s blog EcoEquine. She has decided to blog about Farm Sustainability and General Horse Health while I blog about equine nutrition (which only makes sense). Just click the picture below to go to that article.