Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ration balancing software

Sheep and goat producers should balance (or evaluate) feed rations to make sure they are meeting the nutritional requirements of their animals. Ration balancing can ensure optimal animal performance, prevent nutritional problems, and manage feed costs.

There are two primary ways to balance rations: by hand (using paper and pencil) or with a computer (with or without the Internet). Computers and the internet can make ration balancing easier. Tedious tasks are automated, arithmetic errors are eliminated, and the programs are preloaded with nutritional requirements and feed libraries. Several software options are available for sheep and goat producers. Programs vary in their cost, user interface, and features.

They key to effective ration balancing is the input data. Regardless of method, you must know the weight, age, physiological status, and performance level of the animals you are feeding. You must know the nutrient composition of the feeds you are feeding. You must know how much feed the animals are eating.

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