Ration Book Animal Feeding Software
'Ration Book' is a computer program that calculates least cost diets for sheep and beef cattle. It has recently been updated and re-released by the Coorong Tatiara Local Action Plan in response to the continuing dry conditions and lack of paddock feed in the South East.
Rations can be formulated for stock under drought, maintenance, growth, pregnancy or lactation situations. Supplementary rations can be added to dry pasture or stubble paddocks while fully suppled rations are for growth feedlots or autumn confinement feeding.
The program can also be used for budgeting fodder reserves, both in terms of the quantities of feed stuffs to put in store and when calculating alternative purchasing or selling strategies.
The software comes supplied with a database of common southern Australian feed files and additional feedstuffs can be added if lab test data is available.
Ration Book generates a printout of ration components, quantities, cost and nutrient analysis for a defined group of animals eating a diet selected among a nominated set of feedstuffs.
Ration Book’s simple data entry screens, in built expert systems and precautionary limits means no specialist knowledge is required to run the software. However careful observation of stock should always carried out when animals are fed high grain rations under drought or feedlot conditions.
The program produces rations balanced for energy, protein, fibre and macro elements on a least cost basis while aiming to either maintain live weight and condition score, or maximise growth and feed conversion efficiency.
Proposed rations and projected growth rates can be examined through a gross margins spread sheet to determine the financial feasibility of lot fed mobs.