Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gassy Lassie

After a few days of trial and error I've concluded that a breakfast of beet pulp followed by rich pasture grass was probably responsible for Raven's colic on Saturday. Since then I've observed that beet pulp alone makes Raven gassy. This stuff is the byproduct of sucrose extraction from sugar beets. Of course they can't extract 100% of the sugar, so the pulp remains slightly sweet. Because most horses don't process sugar very well (Tonka being an extreme example) I suspect it as the root cause of Raven's gas. While I could stop feeding it entirely, beet pulp has several benefits that I'm not ready to relinquish, so I have started soaking and rinsing it as suggested here. The drained water is surprisingly sweet and we've had no funny faces, no flared nostrils and no excessive farting for the past three days. I'm not ready to write it up for publication yet, but I think we're onto something!

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