Re: feed

Duncan Fletcher (
Sun, 30 Nov 1997 12:20:59 -0800

The other thing to be aware of, is that while the numbers for the fiber,
protein, fat (which in the NRC is listed as ether extract, which is how it
is determined), Ca and P (and I believe K) remain relatively constant for a
given feed (assuming you know how to judge stage of growth), Se, Mg and
others can vary substantially depending on where the feed is grown. In
addition, you will find blanks for many of the vitamins and microminerals in
the table. That means no one has measured them, not that they are zero. Once
you get beyond the major constituents, the whole thing becomes a crap shoot.

I am also amazed at the small number of samples the tables are based on. I
use them, because they are the only game in town, but I am aware of the
shortcomings. If you buy hay in sufficient quantity, you can have it
analyzed for a reasonable cost (at least for the major constituents).

Nicco's program is great, but be prepared to do some english to metric
conversion if you use NRC's tables or programs for the nutrient

Duncan Fletcher

-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Evans Garlinghouse <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Date: Saturday, November 29, 1997 3:39 PM
Subject: Re: feed

>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