Re: feed

Susan Evans Garlinghouse (
Sat, 29 Nov 1997 15:33:39 -0800

Daniel E. Hofford wrote:
> A few questions about feed.
> 1. I've seen people use corn oil and cotton seed oil as supplements.
> Will horses heat Canola or Olive oil?

Heat, no <g>. Eat, yes.
> 2. Is there any software available that will calculate a feed program
> by allowing the user to imput various mixtures and acitivity levels?

There are a few around---Equine Research has one available, I think it
runs several hundred dollars. I think UC Davis also has a program
available called Pegasus, but can't remember the details---it might be
free. Nicco Murphy also has some freeware available on is website that
does some number crunching as well. All of the programs I've seen are
nothing more than glorified spreadsheets (which is all that's required
for most folks, really), so if you have a weekend to input data and are
even semi-literate in some VERY basic spreadsheet skills (anyone that
has managed to puzzle out how to log onto e-mail can certainly manage a
simple spreadsheet), it's alot cheaper to input your own data and just
crunch the numbers. For example, medium grade alfalfa is 15% protein so
feeding 10 kgs of alfalfa yields 1.5 kgs of crude protein, or 1500
grams. Expand from there. Also include cells that give you a sum of
different nutrients, so you know what the total intake is for each
nutrient, and what nutrients needed to be fiddled with or otherwise

The trick with crunching numbers, however, is to know what you're
looking at. Be aware of things like calcium-phosphorus ratios, total
dry matter intake, lysine levels, overall fat content, etc.

> 3. Is there some source on the web that would give nutritional
> breakdown of various feeds? e.g. beetpulp, tec.

My suggestion would be to obtain a copy of the Nat'l Research Council's
Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 5th ediition. It's published by
National Academy Press, 2101 Consitution Ave, NW, Washington DC 20418.
It's a book that contains most of the nutrient breakdowns of the most
commonly fed horse feeds, although none of the "complete" feeds, like
Purine Equine Senior, etc. The book is around $19 and comes with a
simple software program that calculates an individual horse's nutrient
requirements. If you input the data into a spreadsheet (or just use
Nicco's, where it's already done), you can happily crunch numbers to
your heart's content and get probably 90% of the information you need to
calculate a ration.

Hope this helps.

Susan Garlinghouse