How To Make Hay Stretch

Anonymouse

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@Anonymouse buy beet pulp. Both horses & goats can eat, usually like it. It can extend the hay by supplementing as a portion of the hay. Also pellets or cubes....you should moisten cubes as too hard most of the time. Just in case you haven't had time to read entire thread. ;)

Thanks! I've bought beet pulp in the past for my horses. Gotta be careful with that stuff because they (horses) can choke rather easily on it. I never thought about using it for the goats but it makes sense....

I do have alfalfa cubes and compressed alfalfa. My weird *** goats doesn't seem to care for it though, go figure. They love baled alfalfa....just not pellets or the processed stuff.
 

thistlebloom

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For your horses, soak the pulp. I found the shreds don't need as long a soak as the beet pellets. I've seen 12 hours as a recommended soak time, but I find I don't need nearly that long before they are soft and easily squished between thumb and forefinger. Just have to check them until you find the right length of time.
 

farmerjan

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Many dairy farmers feed beet shreds that are soaked to calves and any cow that is needing a little TLC. Soaked 15-30 min will soften them up enough for most of the calves to readily eat. Good extender for bulk in their gut tract so I would think that goats would do well on them too as they also chew a cud like cattle.
 

Mini Horses

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Soaking makes the pellets swell up. An older horse can have issues with choke with pellets mainly because they don't chew them well enough -- less jaw teeth -- and the pieces swell with any fluid. So shreds work better if mixed with grains for them. If not fully into stomach, it can close their throat. The pellets are shreds that are compressed. Soaking them releases the shreds. You start with a scoop of pellets and if you add hot water, you will have bucket with what becomes 4x what was there. My minis love warm shreds on a cold morning. :). I often throw some alfalfa pellets into the wet shreds for taste and nutrition. I have also put cubes in at start of soak, softening both. A couple hrs works well.

It is a way to stretch hay....or go completely without it. My old stallion never gets hay now. At 37 he's fat and sassy on sr feed, which is made with BP. A goat does better with some long stem, so some hay each day is better....but mine gobble wet shreds!
 

Anonymouse

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I have two old mares. I currently pour water in their food every day because they have rice bran and other powder supplements in their feed. Adding a cup of water helps keep them from choking and makes it easier for them to lick up the scraps.

I do not currently use beet pulp with any of my horses. Perhaps some of you misunderstood that comment. I *have* used it in the past with several different horses. I've always used shredded beet pulp (as opposed to pellets) and ALWAYS added water prior to feeding it because I have seen horses choke on it (not mine).

I don't think I will have a problem making my hay last to spring. I'm lucky to live in the south. The pastures usually come out of dormancy by mid-March. I currently have about 75 bales to get me through until then.... I'm still going to try to pick up another 40 bales, but I was interested in this thread on the chance that they sell out before I can get back that direction to buy more AND on the chance that the hay I already have doesn't last. I may see if one of my horsey friends has some shredded beet pulp already. I'd like to mix up a cup or two and see if my goats will even eat it before I buy a bag.
 

rachels.haven

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They may like the pellets or shreds best dry. Mine wouldn't touch it wet at first but liked it dry. No choking occurred, and I was able to acclimate them to mash eventually which gets more water into them. I only stopped it because I didn't want my bred does getting too many carbs too early (...especially the already borderline obese ones who become blimps on air). We'll be starting it up again soon. Moving slowly may help yours eat it and the alfalfa pellets eventually too.
 

Nao57

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Thanks! I've bought beet pulp in the past for my horses. Gotta be careful with that stuff because they (horses) can choke rather easily on it. I never thought about using it for the goats but it makes sense....

I do have alfalfa cubes and compressed alfalfa. My weird *** goats doesn't seem to care for it though, go figure. They love baled alfalfa....just not pellets or the processed stuff.

Wow, I didn't know this!

Does that mean there are other animals that can choke on beet pulp mix stuff also? I see this stuff for sale all the time at Cal Ranch.
 

Nao57

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Soaking makes the pellets swell up. An older horse can have issues with choke with pellets mainly because they don't chew them well enough -- less jaw teeth -- and the pieces swell with any fluid. So shreds work better if mixed with grains for them. If not fully into stomach, it can close their throat. The pellets are shreds that are compressed. Soaking them releases the shreds. You start with a scoop of pellets and if you add hot water, you will have bucket with what becomes 4x what was there. My minis love warm shreds on a cold morning. :). I often throw some alfalfa pellets into the wet shreds for taste and nutrition. I have also put cubes in at start of soak, softening both. A couple hrs works well.

It is a way to stretch hay....or go completely without it. My old stallion never gets hay now. At 37 he's fat and sassy on sr feed, which is made with BP. A goat does better with some long stem, so some hay each day is better....but mine gobble wet shreds!

I also wanted to ask if there's more danger or less with beet pulp, leftovers etc from beets for animals that have history of colic?
 

Anonymouse

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Wow, I didn't know this!

Does that mean there are other animals that can choke on beet pulp mix stuff also? I see this stuff for sale all the time at Cal Ranch.

Unfortunately, I can't answer your question in regards to other animals. My daughters have been showing horses with a competition barn for about 17 years. There are dozens of riders and horses with the show barn. I've personally seen maybe 4 or 5 horses, all different ages & breeds, who have choked on beet pulp in their feed. The trainer who runs the barn is always very adamant that beet pulp MUST be thoroughly soaked before feeding it. I can't say for certain if the horses choked because they were eating too fast or maybe the beet pulp didn't have enough water in it or maybe some other completely unrelated reason... I just know that the general consensus was that the horses had choked on the beet pulp.

I've had two horses who choked on their dinners in the past. It is a very scary situation because you can't exactly give a 1500# animal the Heimlich Maneuver..ha ha. I don't feed beet pulp to my horses because they are pigs and would probably choke as I've seen other horses choke on it. No need to tempt fate....
 

rachels.haven

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I'm sure it's possible for a goat to choke on beet pulp pellets. I'm not sure it's common, if you know what I mean. Their system and eating habits are a little different than horses.
 

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