The importance of forage (pasture and/or hay) in all horses’ diets is well known by riders. Forage supplies fibre, a dietary component which undergoes microbial fermentation in the hind gut of the horse. This fermentative process produces volatile fatty acids - important sources of energy for horses. Fibre can supply a horse up to 30-70% of its digestible energy requirements.
While forages such as pasture, hay and chaff are well-known sources of fibre, other feedstuffs are considered “super fibres” because they have energy levels much higher than typical forages. Common super fibres including soy bean hulls and beet pulp. The energy levels in super fibres are similar to those found in grains such as oats and barley. Super fibres are, however, safer to feed than cereal grains because they provide cool, slow-release energy, and their fibrous nature reduces the likelihood of grain overload.
One of the most commonly fed super fibres is beet pulp, which is more digestible than traditional fibre sources. For instance, hay is 40-60% digestible, depending on its quality, and beet pulp is 70-80% digestible.
Beet pulp is a by-product of the sugar industry. After the sugar has been extracted from sugar beets, the fibrous portion of the sugar beet is dehydrated. The end result is a high fibre shred that contains little to no sugar. Barastoc customers have been reaping the rewards of feeding feeds containing these superfibres for many years!
A cool energy source for horses, that is fibre rich for continuous and slow release of energy.
Help maintain gastrointestinal health through maintaining digestive motility and the health of the microbes within the hindgut.
Assists with increased water intake, creating a holding tank of water and electrolytes in the hindgut. This reservoir may prevent dehydration and electrolyte depletion during an intense exercise bout.
An alternative concentrated fibre source for horses that are unwilling to eat a large amount of hay, as well as providing the energy content needed for horses that have difficulty maintaining weight.
For horses with compromised dental health, for example, aged horses that have difficulty consuming sufficient hay or pasture, beet pulp is an ideal substitute.