Ration Planning Tool and User’s Manual: Poultry and Swine

Resource explained

Formulating feed using calculation software with a view to reducing the cost of feed production and satisfying consumer expectation for traceability of production is a challenge. Feed production software already exists but does not adequately meet the needs of organic animal producers who are focussed on utilising a wider variety of homegrown and regionally produced feedstuffs. This ration planning tool has been developed by the Organic Food and Farming Institute ITAB and FiBL within the framework of the EU Horizon 2020-funded OK-Net Ecofeed project with the objective of helping farmers achieve a 100% organic diet for monogastric animals, reducing the cost of feed production and satisfying consumer expectation for traceability of production. It allows the user to compose rations for pig and poultry farming based on two entries; production objectives (types of animals, age, slaughter weight, laying potential…) and usable organic feedstuffs. From the Organic Farm Knowledge platform page, you can access the user manual and two separate ration planning tools for swine and poultry.

Findings & recommendations

  • The user manual states that the tool is an aid that makes it easier for the user to understand and plan rations but does not guarantee successful ration implementation. Although the tool is easy to use, you will need some technical knowledge in monogastric feeding and ration composition, along with computer skills.
  • The objective of the tool is to enable users to formulate rations and judge whether or not they are species-appropriate; nutritional needs of animals and organically produced raw materials are already listed so that you can formulate your own rations, judge the usefulness of a feedstuff according to its nutritional qualities or price, test compositions, adjust nutritional needs, and use an optimisation tool which allows you to create coherent rations at the lowest cost.
  • Once completed, you can print or save the results as a PDF, and can export them directly to your feed mill to test on the farm. The output format allows you to retrieve the identity of the farm, the feedstuffs used and the results from your ration.

Find out information about OK-Net Ecofeed here.

Summary provided by:

Janie Caldbeck

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