Is Sugar Beet Pulp Too High in Sugar for Horses?

Is the sugar content in beet pulp too high for some horses? Read an equine nutritionist’s answer.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Mustangs
Sugar beets are a root crop with a high concentration of sucrose sugar (think table sugar) grown commercially for sugar production. | Photo: iStock

Q. Last week in your article about helping horses stay warm in winter you mentioned feeding sugar beet pulp to horses in need of extra calories from a forage source. It doesn’t seem like that would be a good choice for a lot of horses. Isn’t sugar beet pulp high in sugar?

A. The name certainly implies that this common equine feed ingredient is high in sugar. However, you might be surprised to learn that by the time it makes it to your horse’s feed bucket sugar beet pulp, in most cases, is actually very low in sugar.

Sugar beets are a root crop with a high concentration of sucrose sugar (think table sugar) grown commercially for sugar production. According to the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, sugar beets are grown in many Western and Northern states. The sugar beet is about a foot long and weighs between 2 to 5 pounds. With a sucrose content of about 18%, sugar beets make up a little over 50% of the domestically produced sugar

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

Written by:

Clair Thunes, PhD, is an equine nutritionist who owns Clarity Equine Nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona. She works as a consultant with owners/trainers and veterinarians across the United States and globally to take the guesswork out of feeding horses and provides services to select companies. As a nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys and everything in between. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Growing up, she competed in a wide array of disciplines and was an active member of the U.K. Pony Club. Today, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club.

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

When do you begin to prepare/stock up on products/purchase products for these skin issues?
117 votes · 117 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!