Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Veterinarians increasingly play a major contributory role in dairy practice and management. With increasing importance of economical pressures, bioenvironmental limits and increasing demand for higher quality products, veterinarians are more involved in nutrition management and advice, both from an economical view of productivity and preventive aspects of veterinary medicine. The concept of food animal production medicine is the hallmark of such a change from purely diagnosis and treating sick cows to design strategies for disease prevention and economical profitability. One of the essential parts of the new role is to have a good command of nutritional concepts and acquaintance with ration formulation procedures and also softwares. It appears that the available ration formulation softwares are insufficient in view of estimating necessary criteria for dairy practitioners. Moreover, the release of new edition of NRC and subsequent modification of software programs for ration formulation always lag behind the generation of new knowledge in dairy nutrition. This article describes the basic nutritional concepts, as well as a practical approach to design a ration evaluation program based on Microsoft® Excel. The program can be designed in a profession-oriented approach.