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Fodder beet - Horses [Skip to Content]
Illinois Livestock Trail by UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION


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Illinois Livestock Trail

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QUESTION
Here we have a lot of fodder beet crops. Can I feed my horses with this product ? My preocupation is related with the high sugar content of the whole plant. Regards Jaime Henriquez


ANSWER

Sugar beets contain less than one teaspoon of pure sugar per pound of raw beets. Considering the high moisture and fiber content, this amount of sugar should not pose a health problem for horses consuming beets on an as-fed basis, even at fairly high levels. On a dry matter basis, sugar beets contain about 18% sugar, and if this were fed as a dried product before the sugar was extracted, you should limit the intake to a pound or two per day.

The more commonly fed beet pulp is a by-product of sugar extraction from beets, and actually has a very low sugar content on a dry matter basis. Horses have successfully utilized beet pulp as a portion of their diets for many years, and recently more feed companies have incorporated beet pulp into their commercial feeds due to its high soluble and fermentable fiber content that is thought to aid in hind gut fermentation.







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