Pelleted, pressed or shredded, beet pulp is a dietary mainstay for many horses these days—it’s available “plain,” or it’s often found as a primary fiber ingredient in several complete feeds and feed supplements. The fiber in beet pulp is highly digestible, which makes it a good non-starch energy source. It’s also highly palatable—even if you have a finicky eater. And it’s not just for horses. It’s found in other livestock feeds and pet foods.
As its name suggests, beet pulp comes from sugar beets (the same root crop that provides “sweetness” to lots of our favorite edibles such as candy, syrups and cereal). Pulp is the high-fiber material that remains after sugars are extracted from the beets—from there the “mush” is squeezed, dried and formed into pellets or shreds.
Like alfalfa hay, beet pulp is relatively high in calcium and very low in phosphorus (about 6:1)—an important consideration when meal planning.