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Beef cattle producers can use the following BCRC Winter Feeding Cost Comparison Calculator to calculate and compare the costs of main feed ingredients in different rations.
Winter Feeding Cost Comparison Calculator
This calculator compares EXAMPLE RATIONS using general feed ingredients for cost comparison purposes.
Producers can formulate an appropriate ration for their cattle in consultation with a qualified nutritionist,
ag extension staff or through a software program like CowBytes. When considering alternative feed sources,
feed testing is important to test for nutritive value and ensure a balanced ration that meets the cattle’s nutritional needs and quality (e.g. mycotoxins).
Evaluate feed test results HERE.
Other costs such as yardage or labour are excluded.
Step 1: Enter local price and relevant
units in the green cells (choose unit from the drop-down list).
Step 2: Enter herd information in
Step 3: Enter ration information in
yellow cells (pounds of each ration ingredient on an as-fed basis. Numbers already included are EXAMPLE RATIONS only).
Step 4: Compare costs per head per
day and total herd costs of alternative rations in
Example Rations (pounds as fed)
Rations 1-6 are presented as pounds per cow per day on an as fed basis
Other (i.e. Mineral)
Other (i.e. Protein Supplement)
Total Intake (lbs as
Total Days on Feed
Estimated Feed Cost Per Head Per Day
Total Winter Feed Costs (for Herd)
* Total lbs of dry matter intake should be between 2-2.5% of body
Note: this is lbs "as fed" and not on a dry matter
** 1 ton = 0.907 tonne
*** Moisture content of silage is typically high, hence total intake
as fed is higher compared to hay-based ration.
Alternative Winter Feeding Ration Cost Per Head Per Day
Alternative Winter Feeding Ration Cost for the Total Herd
The Winter Feed Cost Calculator was based upon the following resources: