Animal feed resources information system

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is it valuable to you? Feedipedia is encountering funding shortage. We need your help to keep providing reference-based feeding recommendations for your animals.
Would you consider donating? If yes, please click on the button Donate.

Any amount is the welcome. Even one cent is helpful to us!

Sugar beet roots

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Betterave, beet, remolacha. For sugar production : sugar beet
Fodder beets : mangold, mangel

Related feed(s) 

Biennial plant with thick roots of different sizes, forms and colours. In the second year a stem up to 1 m high is produced from the top of the tuber. It is cultivated in cooler climates, but it cannot withstand frost and must be harvested before the beginning of cold weather. There is an intermediate range of fodder beets between mangolds and sugar beets; these are mainly used in northern Europe.

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Although fresh sugar beets are not often fed to animals, they are well liked by cattle and pigs and may be included in their diets.

Potential constraints 

It is recommended to cut or mash the sugar beets to eliminate the possibility of one lodging in the esophagus and causing bloat. This is likely more of a problem with small rather than large sugar beets. Crushing the sugar beets by driving over them with a tractor may be sufficient (Rust et al., 2008).


Sugar beets have a nutrient profile similar to corn silage. They may be more suited for use in cow and backgrounding/growing diets. The high sugar content may limit the use in backgrounding/growing diets to 20% of the DM. Up to 50% of ration DM could be used in cow diets (Rust et al., 2008).


Pig diets can beneficially include up to 20% sugar beet. The feed value of sugar beet is about twice that of mangold. It has a reputation for adversely affecting breeding capacity if fed to male stock (Göhl, 1982).


Fresh sugar beets are useful feeds for pet rabbits. Because of their high sugar content, the amount given should be limited. They should never be fed frozen or thawed, mouldy or rotten (Lowe, 2010).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 18.8 4.2 14.5 24.1 4
Crude protein % DM 7.8 1.5 6.2 9.9 5
Crude fibre % DM 8.1 4.4 5.6 14.7 4
NDF % DM 20.4 10.8 30.0 2
ADF % DM 12.7 5.5 19.8 2
Lignin % DM 1.9 1
Ether extract % DM 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.6 3
Ash % DM 6.9 4.2 3.5 13.0 4
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 16.9 *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.5 2.4 2.6 2
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.3 2.1 2.4 2
Potassium g/kg DM 15.2 1
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Cystine % protein 0.7 1
Glycine % protein 2.3 1
Histidine % protein 0.7 1
Leucine % protein 3.2 1
Lysine % protein 0.3 1
Methionine % protein 2.4 1
Phenylalanine % protein 2.2 1
Threonine % protein 0.6 1
Tryptophan % protein 4.4 1
Tyrosine % protein 1.2 1
Valine % protein 2.7 1
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 91.9 90.2 93.7 2
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 87.6 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 14.8 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.5 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 89.2 86.3 92.0 2
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 77.4 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 13.1 *
Nitrogen digestibility, growing pig % 35.9 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Alibes et al., 1990; Aufrère et al., 1988; Drozdenko, 1965; Jentsch et al., 1989; Rust et al., 2008; Vargas et al., 1965

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:45

Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/535 Last updated on March 16, 2012, 1:22

Image credits