Re: [RC] Equine ration balancing software - Susan Garlinghouse
> Maureen A. Fager trottin27@xxxxxxxxxxx
> Hi Folks,
> I found this listing for software for balancing equine rations. This
company is out of Cananda. Any comments on this would be welcome.
Spreadsheets are great things for balancing rations, I use them all the time
and I guarantee Lisa does too with her cattle work. However, you have to
just be aware that a lot of these programs (though not all, by any means)
are still using 1989 NRC recommendations, which have been updated quite a
bit in various areas (ie, copper, zinc, calcium, assorted vitamins) but not
published in one place---you just sortof have to pick up the new values here
and there in the journals as they're presented. Two, be aware that alot of
the NRC values aren't actually conclusions from studies done in horses.
Many are extrapolated from other species, and so are rough estimates at
best. Most spreadsheets will give you minimum values, but don't account for
possible benefits derived by increased levels (and you have to be careful
which are potentially beneficial when increased, which benign and which
potentially harmful). And finally, you have to be aware of wide ranges of
nutrient values in different feeds grown in different areas and under
different conditions---ie, bermuda grown as an afterthought in Florida is a
fur cry from bermuda grown in say, Kentucky. So unless you get your feed
analyzed and know the exact values (which even then are just representative
averages for that batch), just remember that NRC book values are rough
estimates as well.
Having said all that, spreadsheets are really handy things to have around,
and a bunch of fun to play with. And eighty bucks is a good price,
reasonable for someone that just wants to keep an eye on their own ration
and look for glaring problems.
Have fun with it! :-)
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