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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Hay and sugar beet

As I described here I have a problem with hay that is high in iron.  1092mg per kilo to be precise.
So as well as pursuing careful supplementation to mitigate some of the problems this causes I thought I'd take a bit more of a look at the other source of iron that Grace eats in any quantity.
Sugar Beet
150g unmolassed sugar beet to be precise.  And it's important to get the unmolassed product which I know can be tricky in some countries such as the US. 
Raw unprocessed beet typically yields between 17% and 22%  sugar, in some circumstances it may peak at 25%.  The processed, unmolassed beet is 5% or less.  But add molasses and you can be looking at much higher levels. 
The breakdown for the umolassed sugar beet I use is this:
Copper 10mg/kg (twice my hay)
Zinc 20 mg/kg
Iron 450 mg/kg (less than half my hay)
Calcium 1%
Sugar 5% (slightly more than half my hay)

So the beet has a better nutritional profile than my hay. 
I know the company I buy it from test their beet at least twice a month.  I have it in writing.  And for completeness I have checked with another company and they check every batch too.

So what am I going to do now?
I knew Grace was getting too much iron and not enough copper.  But until I had continuity of hay supply testing it was pointless.  I always worried it was the beet.  How wrong could I be!
So now I am going to rejig her ration a little.  I won't worry about feedng a bit more beet and a little less hay and I will mineral balance the lot.  It's relatively easy when you know how.
Grace is really looking forward to her new ears.


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

I have JUST been able to find no molasses added Beet pulp, so what I was doing was filling BP with hot water, stir, stir and rinse out the water, and most of the dark water (sugar) came out with it. :) A good back up for those that can't find the correct product so they have a method.

Heather Richardson said...

I'd be really interested in knowing who you get your unmolassed sugar beet from. I also mineral balance as per Dr Kellon but have not been able to find a reliable breakdown of sugar beet before.

Lucy Priory said...

Hi Heather. The lowest in iron i have found to date is Dodson and Horrell. Purabeet (Simple Systems) is c.2.5 times as high.

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