Hey again Wayne!
Great question on balancing local diets for dairy goats! I have heard this need repeatedly from the network. There are a lot of feed balancing calculators out there (some free, some cost money), but most of them focus on meals and/or don’t focus on forages which is what most of our network depends on. If you only have a few ingredients, or are meal-focused, here’s a link to a list of resources to filter through to see what is appropriate for your feed! If you are mostly feeding forage - see below.
Here’s an intro article about feed options for ruminants in the tropics by Keith Mikkelson who has a lot of experience in on-farm feed generation and works in the Philippines. He included some nutritional tables, interesting tips, and ideas.
I’ve been slowly working alongside a partner at our East Africa office to gathering nutritional data from primary literature to create a forage-based feed calculator. It is by no means ready yet, but I can absolutely try to use it to balance your feed for you to get you a place to start from. I would need the following information:
- number of animals
- type of animal (I’m going to assume dairy goat)
- feed ingredients (both meals/grains and forages you often feed. I have a list of over 100, but will quickly try to find any that you feed that I don’t have)
- how long one batch of feed lasts (or what you want it to last). Do you forage and feed daily? or do you want to calculate on a weekly basis?
Feel free to email me if that’s easier. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
If someone already knows of a tropical-foraged, tropical-breed based feed calculator, please share it! You will save me a lot of time and effort