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Beet Pulp’s a Prebiotic

Reprinted from Horse Journal



Hard-working horses often need a lot of grain to hold their weight and replenish their muscle stores of glycogen. However, high-grain feeding can result in the overflow of undigested grain into the large intestine, causing pH drops that interfere with efficient fiber digestion and can cause loose manure.

The addition of a pound or so of beet pulp to the diet, divided between meals, can help significantly. Beet pulp slows the rate of stomach emptying, so that the small intestine is not overloaded. It also slows down transit time through the small intestine. The result of both of these effects is better digestion of the grain portion, with less being presented to the hind gut. The fiber in beet pulp is also easily fermentable in the colon and has a prebiotic effect, supporting growth of the appropriate organisms.

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