Yes, they are. Cushing’s Syndrome is associated with hyperglycaemia (too much glucose circulating in the blood) and abnormal patterns in plasma insulin. It is due to aberrations in the pituitary gland. The glucose levels in Speedi-Beet & Fibre-Beet are low and will be largely used in the gut wall to help protein absorption. Levels absorbed will not affect the syndrome.
Both Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet (Baileys' prefered beet products) are suitable for the veteran horse. Once soaked they are palatable and easy to eat, even if your horse has missing teeth. As horses get older their digestive efficiency declines and so a readily digestible feedstuff, like Speedi-Beet/Fibre-Beet, is ideal.
Over-feeding Speedi-Beet is unlikely to cause any problems in terms of gut function and integrity. We would recommend, as a general daily guideline, 100g of Speedi-Beet (dry weight) for every 100 kg of horse weight e.g. 0.25 kg for a 250-300 kg pony, 0.5 kg for a 500-600 kg horse. However, depending upon the rest of the diet fed and level of horse activity, this rate can be increased to 500g of Speedi-Beet per 100 kg horse weight each day. New feeds should always be introduced gradually and horse condition monitored.
The patented process that produces Speedi-Beet means the product is extremely friable (crumbly when dry!) and allows complete water penetration on soaking. As such it is of the same consistency as the rest of the gut contents (chyme) and so should not cause any form of impaction colic. Fibre-Beet, when soaked, has a similar consistency.
The fermentation products of both these products do not produce any significant amounts of gas and the presence of cellulose fibre bulks the gut and helps avoid torsion.
Speedi-Beet has been processed to be a quick soaking flake. This results in the flake being extremely friable and this means it will not compact in the gut. So if a horse does eat Speedi-Beet dry – and we have had reports of horses eating up to a whole bag! – the best thing is to give it small amounts to drink at frequent intervals and to walk him.
This will help the gut transit of Speedi-Beet. Because micronization affects the Water Binding Capacity of the beet there is no occurrence of it drawing water from the horse itself. Controlled water absorption will avoid any gut discomfort.
Speedi Beet is unmolassed (95% sugar free) sugar beet that soaks in 10 minutes. Fibre-Beet is a combination of Speedi Beet, alfalfa, oat fibre and Biotin and takes 45 minutes to soak in cold water/15 minutes in warm water.
Both products are ideal for horses and ponies prone to laminitis as both are low sugar/high fibre products. The principle difference between Fibre-Beet and Speedi-Beet is that Fibre-Beet is designed to be used as a “super forage”, whilst Speedi-Beet is suited to replace a portion of the hard feed.
Nutritional laminitis can be caused by the hindgut microbes producing lactic in high quantities, causing disruption to the microflora and stimulating toxin production. One of the major sources is undigested starch. Both Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet allow you to reduce starchy feeds in the diet – so there’s less undigested starch. In addition the fermentation of the fibre in Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet produces lower levels of lactic acid than grass or hay.
Find out more about laminitis in the following article:
Laminitis - What it is and How to Avoid it
The manufacturing process of Speedi-Beet forces the fibres apart and also disrupts them. This releases non-fibrous nutrients rendering them available to digestive enzymes and increasing the surface area for gut bacteria to attack and ferment them. As fermentation is time dependent (the time it takes to pass through the hindgut) improving accessibility to the microbes allows more slow release energy to be generated. The Effective Degradability of Speedi-Beet is close on 100%.
1 part of Fibre-Beet, to 3 parts of water by weight. Soaking time is 45 minutes in cold water soaking and 15 minutes in warm water (to fully absorb into the alfalfa and oat component).
The recommended proportion is one part of Speedi-Beet to five parts of water by weight. For example 250g of Speedi-Beet should be soaked in 1.25kg (or 1.25litres). The amounts aren’t too critical. When first using Speedi-Beet, weigh out the amounts and judge the amount to scoop for subsequent feeds.