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WinFeed 2.8 Help Documentation

Contents

  1. WinFeed Formulation Modes
  2. Important Note about Supplied Examples
  3. Opening Window
  4. Main Window
  5. Feed Store Window
  6. Standard Deviation Window
  7. Nutrient Ratio Window
  8. Shadow Price Window
  9. Batch Sheet Window

 

WinFeed Formulation Modes

WinFeed prepares least cost formula diets for ruminants and non-ruminants by using following two methods.

To learn more about Linear or Stochastic feed formulation click on the respective link.

WinFeed is very simple and straightforward software. Most of the controls are self explanatory. Anybody familiar with Microsoft Windows and basic terminologies of Animal Nutrition can learn it in few minutes. However, few things are explained here. If you need further help, please visit our web site or send us an email for support and the latest documentation.

Important Note about Supplied Examples

WinFeed comes with few examples of Feed Store and readymade formulae. Please note that these examples are just for understanding of the programme. They should not be used for real life feeding practice. The nutrient composition has been selected to be reasonable but there is no guarantee for their accuracy. It is recommended to prepare your own nutrient composition database and formulas for real life feed formulation.

Opening Window

This window provides the following options.

Open an already saved formula

This option will let you open a previously saved formula. Few example formulas have been provided with WinFeed. These formulas can be open through this option.

Select Animal Requirement Set and an appropriate Feed Store

This is one of the most important functions of this software. WinFeed allows you to save animal's nutrient requirement in one file and the Feed Store (Ingredient Composition Database) in another file. For example, you can have various requirement files like "Nutrient Requirement for Broiler", "Nutrient Requirement for Layer Finisher", Nutrient Requirement for Lamb", Nutrient Requirement for Dairy Cow" etc. in separate files. Similarly you can save various Feed Stores such as "Feed Store for Summer Season", "Feed Store for Poultry", "Feed Store for Region 1", "Feed Store for Cattle Region 2", etc. Once you have these files ready, you can use this option to select one requirement set such as "Nutrient Requirement for Broiler" and an appropriate Feed Store such as "Feed Store for Summer Season", and then start formulation. Few example requirement sets and Feed Store have been provided with WinFeed. Please try them to understand this function.

Start a new formula using an existing Feed Store

By selecting this option you can start a new formula with a selected Feed Store. When you click on this option, you will be asked to select a Feed Store file. After selecting Feed Store, you will be taken to the Main Window where you can select ingredients to be used in formulation. You will also be required to enter nutrient requirements manually in the Main Window.

Start a brand new formula with a new Feed Store

Probably this is the option you will be using very first time. When you select this option a blank Feed Store and a blank formula will be opened. You will have to enter Ingredients and their price and nutrient composition in the Feed Store Window. The Feed Store Window can be accessed from the Main Window. You will also be required to enter nutrient requirement values in the Main Window.

Import Animal Nutrient Requirements from MS Excel file

This function lets you import Animal Requirements from an Excel file into WinFeed. Many organisations publish Feeding Standards in MS Excel format. After changing data order in these files according to WinFeed required pattern, these files can be directly import into WinFeed. Thus this function not only saves your time but also prevents data entry typo errors.

This function is very sensitive. It will not work if any of the instructions given below is not followed. The data must be exactly in a specific order. An example Excel files "Example 28 Requirements.xls" has been provided with WinFeed. This file should be examined thoroughly to understand required format. This example Excel file can be found in "Animal Requirements" folder. Carefully examine this file to understand required format.

The first three rows are for any reference and column heading. The file contains names of nutrients in the first column, nutrients requirements or minimum limits in the second column and maximum limits in the third column. The following instructions must be followed when preparing Excel file.

  1. Only first three columns A, B and C of the Excel worksheet should be used for data entry. All the cells under column D and onward must be deleted. If there is any data under these columns, the file will not be imported into WinFeed. Sometime there are blank spaces under column D or next. These spaces are also interpreted as data and such files are failed when using import function. If this happens, select whole column D and onward and press Delete key. Once everything has been deleted from this area, the file will become importable.
  2. The first two rows under column A, B and C are just for any reference or column headings. The third row is for column headings. These three rows can also be left blank. Please note any reference entered in these cells should be just for the Excel file itself because nothing is imported from these cells.
  3. Nutrient names should be entered in column A starting from the cell A4. Nutrient names should not exceed 25 characters in length including spaces and should not be duplicate. Do not use special characters like [ , ' or " ] in names.
  4. The first nutrient must always be "Dry Matter %age". This is because WinFeed uses values of the first nutrient to convert other As-Fed basis values into dry matter basis values or vice versa.
  5. Column B is reserved for animal's nutrient requirements or lower limits of nutrient requirements. Start entering values from the cell B4.
  6. If there are any maximum limits, enter them in Column C starting from the cell C4.
  7. If any value is not available, leave the respective cell blank.
  8. The file import function is very sensitive. It will not work if any of the above instructions is ignored.

 

Import Feed Store from MS Excel file

This function lets you convert data from an Excel file into WinFeed Feed Store. This function is very sensitive and it will not work if any of the instructions given below is not followed.

If you are importing data for Stochastic Formulation then two Excel files are required to perform this task. If you are importing data for Linear Formulation then only one file containing Mean values is required. These Excel files must be is a specific format. Two example Excel files are provided with WinFeed. These files should be examined thoroughly to understand the required format. The names of these files are

  1. Example 28 for Means.xls
  2. Example 28 for SD.xls

The first file contains names of ingredients, names of nutrients, ingredients' batch number, ingredients' description and mean values of ingredients' nutrient composition. The second Excel file contains similar information except instead of nutrient composition mean values it contains Standard Deviation values corresponding to mean values in the first file. The following instructions must be followed when preparing Excel files to be imported as WinFeed Feed Store.

  1. The first two rows are for any reference or short notes. Nothing is imported from these two rows.
  2. The cell A3 indicates basis for the nutrient composition values. Enter 1 in this cell if values are on As-Fed basis and enter 2 if values are on dry matter basis.
  3. Ingredient names must be entered in column A starting from the cell A4. The ingredient names should not exceed 25 characters in length including spaces.
  4. If there are ingredients' batch numbers, they must be entered in column B starting from the cell B4. The batch numbers should not exceed 50 characters including spaces.
  5. Column C is reserved for ingredients' description. The description should not exceed 50 characters in length including spaces.
  6. Column D is reserved for ingredients' price. The data in this column must be in numeric form. No units should be mentioned along with price values.
  7. Column E is reserved for ingredients' Dry Matter in percentage. The values should be in numeric form without % sign.
  8. Nutrients names must be entered in the third row starting from column F to onward. It means the name of first nutrient should be entered in cell F3, the second in G3, the third in H3 and so on. The nutrient names should not exceed 25 characters in length including spaces.
  9. Obviously, nutrient composition data should be entered starting from the cell F4.
  10. The second Excel file should have exactly similar structure except nutrient composition data which is started from cell F4 should be replaced with Standard Deviation (SD) values corresponding to mean values in the first file. SD values are required only if Stochastic Formulation is intended. Linear Formulation does not use SD values.
  11. Any column or rows that are not being used must be blank. If they contain any values or even spaces, the file will not work in the import function. If that happens, select all unused columns and press Delete key. Similarly, select all unused rows and press Delete key. Then save the file and it will become importable.
  12. The file import function is very sensitive. It will not work if any of the above instructions is ignored.

 

Registering WinFeed as a Full Version

An "Unblocking Key" is required to register and convert the demo version as a full version. This key can be found on the Licence Certificate. If it has been lost a duplicate key can be obtained from WinFeed Sales Department. A proof of purchase will be required.

 

Main Window

This is the main window which contains all the controls for feed formulation. All selected ingredients, their minimum and maximum limits and calculated formula appear on left side. All nutrients, their minimum and maximum limits and nutrient analysis of the calculated formula appear on the right side.

Formulation Method

The formulation method can be selected as "Linear" or "Stochastic". The probability box will be automatically enabled if formulation method is selected as "Stochastic". The valid value of probability of success ranges from 50 to 99.99 %. Do not put "%" with the value. 80% will be written as 80. Please note that Stochastic Formulation at 50% probability of success is exactly same as Linear Formulation. It is because the standard normal deviate of 0.5 is zero.

Formulation Basis

The formulation Basis radio buttons provide options for "As-Fed Basis" or "Dry Matter Basis". These options indicate basis for nutrient requirements. When entering nutrient requirements, you must tell WinFeed the basis for these requirements. This is a very critical point. An improper selection of basis will result in an incorrect formula. In monogastric animals, e.g. poultry, usually nutrient requirements are reported on "As-Fed Basis". However, in ruminants requirements are expressed on "Dry Matter Basis". But this is not always the case. You must always look for basis when collecting nutrient requirement from any source.

The resultant formula will be on same basis as that of nutrient requirements. For example, if nutrient requirements are entered on "As-Fed Basis", the formula will be on "As-Fed Basis" too. The mixing sheet will automatically calculate final formulas on both basis. To prepare a mixing sheet click on the button labeled as "Make Batch".

Formula Price

The price per unit of the calculated formula appears under the Formula Price box. No units for weight or currency are mentioned here. The weight and currency units are same which are used in Feed Store database. For example if ingredient price in the Feed Store is entered in £ /kg, the price of the formula will also be in £ /kg. If ingredient price in the Feed Store is entered in $ /ton, the price of the formula will also be in $ /ton. Because WinFeed does not take currency units in consideration while making formula, it is important that all price values should be entered in the same units throughout the programme

Date and Time

This box shows date and time when actual formulation was done.

Ingredients' Min Max Limits

Feed formulation is done on percentage bases. Therefore, ingredients' minimum and maximum limits should be in percentage but without mentioning any symbol or unit. For example "5.8%" should be entered as "5.8".

If an ingredient has to be set at a fixed level then both minimum and maximum values should be entered as same. For example if you want to keep Mineral Mixture fixed at "1%" then its both min and max values should be "1". See example formulae for further understanding.

Nutrients' Min Max Limits

Nutrient limits are not in any specific units. Any units could used to describe nutrient levels. However, these units should remain same through out the programme. To fix nutrient at a specific level use same values for minimum and maximum limits.

Previous Formula / Recent Formula

This function let you see the last formula. Once this button is clicked the last formula is displayed and the label of the button is changed to "Recent Formula". Again clicking on this button will display the recent formula. WinFeed remembers the last formula temporarily. This information will be lost if any major function such as Feed Store, Formulation Method, Ingredient Selection etc. are used. Once this information is lost, the button will be greyed out.

Nutrient Ratio List Box

This list box shows all the nutrient ratios that have been set in "Nutrient Ratio Window". It also shows calculated values of the respective ratios.

Bag Size and Cost per Bag

These fields show feed bag size and the price of one bag. These values are useful for commercial feed millers. They can have a quick look that if current formula is used, what will be the cost of a bag. Usually feed bags are of 50 Kg, therefore default bag size is 50. If you are using a different size bag or you want to see the price of whole batch, this default value can be changed according to the requirement.

Save Animal's Nutrient Requirements

This function lets you save Animal's Nutrient Requirement Set in a separate file. These files can be used in future for formulation. To find out how to use them please see help section of Opening Window.

Save Formula as a Text File

By selecting this command under File menu you can save a formula and its nutrient analysis in a text file. This text file can be opened in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel for further processing.

Save Formula as CSV file

A CSV file is a "Comma Separated Values" text file. Such files are also known as "Comma Delimited" files. This is a common format to exchange data between different worksheet and database applications. If you intend to transfer your final formula into MS Excel or any other database, you can save your formula as CSV file. In these files each value is separated by a comma. MS Excel puts every value separated by a comma into a separate cell. Once you have opened a CSV file in MS Excel, save it as Excel file (.xls) for further use.

Save Animal Requirements as CSV file

As described above CSV files are special text files in which each value is separated by a comma. Using this function you can save Animal Nutrient Requirements into a CSV file and then that file can be opened in MS Excel or any other database for further manipulation. Once you have opened a CSV file in MS Excel, save it in Excel format (.xls) if you intend to import that file back into WinFeed.

 

Feed Store Window

This window manages a database of all available ingredients and their nutrient composition. Ingredient names are listed on the left side and nutrient details appear on the right side. There is no limit for maximum number of ingredients or nutrients in the database.

Ingredient List

A list of all ingredient in the Feed Store database is displayed on left side of the Feed Store window.

In Stock

WinFeed does not use any ingredient unless it is available or declared as In Stock. Left to Ingredient list in the Feed Store is a series of check boxes. If a box is checked, it shows that ingredient is available and could be used for formulation. If an ingredient is not available or you do not want to include that ingredient in formulation, just un-check its corresponding box by clicking on it. Once the check box is clear, that ingredient will not be used in formulation.

Whenever a new ingredient is added, it corresponding check box will be clear and that ingredient will not be used in formulation until it corresponding check box is crossed by clicking on it.

Search Ingredient

This utility is helpful when looking for a specific ingredient in a large feed Store. "Show All" option shows all the ingredients and the other option shows only those ingredient that match the given criteria entered in the search filed.

Nutrient List

A list of nutrients in the Feed Store is displayed right next to ingredient list. In this list first column shows nutrient names, the second column shows nutrient values and the third column is for SD (Standard Deviation) values. The first nutrient in the nutrient list is always "Dry Matter in percentage".

Dry Matter

The first box in the nutrient list is reserved for Ingredients' Dry Matter. This place cannot be changed or deleted.

Standard Deviation (SD) Column

This column contains standard deviation values of the respective nutrients. These values are required only in Stochastic Feed Formulation. For Linear Feed Formulation these can be left as zeros. A small utility to calculate Mean and SD is provided with WinFeed. This utility can be started by clicking "Calculate Mean and SD" under Tools Menu.

Ingredient Price

This filed is reserved for Ingredient price. You must enter values in this field or otherwise formulation will not work. It is important that units for weight and currency should remain same throughout the database. Also the basis of price should be same as of nutrient composition. For example, if nutrient composition is entered on "Dry Matter Basis", the ingredient price should also be entered on "Dry Matter Basis".

Ingredient Reference and Description

As indicated by names, these fields are reserved for ingredient reference and description. These are optional fields and can be left blank.

Many laboratories and institutes use specific sample numbers or reference numbers to identify various samples of an ingredient. These reference numbers can be entered in the "Reference Field" to quickly identify the source of nutrient analysis entered in the Feed Store. Similarly, the "Description" field is a short description of the corresponding ingredient. For example a description for Soybean could be something like "Dehulled and Solvent Extracted, 48% CP grade" or it could be simply an indication of the source of analytical values like "Analysis taken from NRC FeedStuff Composition Tables 1994".

Sync and Update

This is one of the most important and charismatic feature of WinFeed. This function updates current Feed Store database by synchronizing it with another Feed Store file. For example, you have prepared ten different Feed Store files. Later on you find out that new batch of one ingredient has different nutrient composition than before and this ingredient is present in all previous Feed Store files. Now you will have to open each Feed Store to manually change nutrient composition of this ingredient. If you use Sync and Update function then this task will be accomplished in seconds. To do this open one Feed Store file and enter ingredient's composition manually. Now save and close this Feed Store. Once this has been done, you can synchronize other Feed Store files with this Feed Store by using Sync and Update function. Simply, open other Feed Store files one by one and click Sync and Update button to synchronize them with the manually updated Feed Store file. Do not forget to save changes after using synchronization function.

If you have already prepared formulas and their ingredient composition has been changed since when they were prepared, you can use Sync and Update function to update integrated Feed Store of these formulas in the same way as mentioned above. Do not forget to re-formulate after making any change in the integrated Feed Store of existing formulation.

Nutrient Composition Basis

The Nutrient Composition Basis radio buttons provide options for "As-Fed Basis" or "Dry Matter Basis". It indicates basis for nutrient composition. This is a very critical option. An improper selection of basis will result in incorrect formulation.

As soon as the basis is changed by radio button the composition data is also recalculated on new basis. Basis should not be changed very often because the data is rounded after every recalculation. Changing basis multiple times will accumulate rounding error in the original values. In cases where data values are very small, the values could become inaccurate due to the accumulated rounding error.

Add, Delete, Rename buttons

Either ingredient or nutrient can be added, deleted or renamed. New ingredient or nutrient will be added at current curser position. To add a new ingredient at the end of the list, click just after the last ingredient and then click Add button. To rename an ingredient or nutrient click on their name and then click the respective Rename button.

To delete an ingredient or a nutrient use respective delete function from ingredient or nutrient menu.

Save Feed Store as a Text File

By selecting this command under File menu you can save a Feed Store in a text file. This text file can be opened in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel for further processing.

Save Feed Store as a CSV file

A CSV file is a "Comma Separated Values" text file. These files are also known as "Comma Delimited" files. This is a common format to exchange data between different worksheet and database applications. If you intend to transfer your Feed Store into MS Excel or any other database, you can save your Feed Store as CSV file. In these files each value is separated by a comma. MS Excel puts every value separated by a comma into a separate cell. Once you have opened a CSV file in MS Excel, save it as an Excel file (.xls) for further use or to import back into WinFeed.

Mean and SD Calculation Utility

Mean and corresponding SD (Standard Deviation) values are required for Stochastic Formulation. A small utility is provided in WinFeed to calculate these values. For detail see under Mean and SD Window.

Mean and Standard Deviation (SD) Calculation Window

This window contains a small utility to calculate mean and standard deviation (SD). Enter data values in the middle box separated by space or commas or one value in one row by pressing enter. For example, suppose there are six different values of corn protein as 8.8, 8.6, 8.3, 8.1, 8.4, 8.9. To calculate mean and standard deviation (SD) of this data set, these values can be entered in the data box either in the form

8.8, 8.6, 8.3, 8.1, 8.4, 8.9

or

8.8 8.6 8.3 8.1 8.4 8.9

or

8.8
8.6
8.3
8.1
8.4
8.9

 

Select Ingredient Window

All ingredients entered in the Feed Store do not appear in the main window unless they have been selected through the Select Ingredient Window. This utility helps to keep the main window tidy. It is important to remember that when a new ingredient is added in the Feed Store, it will not appear in the main window automatically unless it has been added to the list of selected ingredients from the Select Ingredient Window.

 

Nutrient Ratio Window

This window contains controls to set a ratio between nutrients. For example, to maintain a constant ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus as 1.5, select Calcium as first nutrient, Phosphorus as second (bottom) nutrient, an equal sign "=" from pop down list and enter 1.5 in the last box. Following it, click on Add button to add this instruction in the programme algorithm. Once entered these ratios can be edited or deleted by clicking on the respective button.

This utility can also be used to maintain a ratio between forage and concentrate for ruminant diets. For this purpose enter two special nutrients named "Forage" and "Concentrate" in the Feed Store. Enter Forage value as 100 and Concentrate value as 0 for all forages. Similarly, enter Forage value as 0 and Concentrate value as 100 for all concentrates. Then in nutrient ratio window add Forage to Concentrate ratio according to your requirement. Please see built in example formulae for Cattle and Sheep for details.

 

Shadow Price Window

Shadow Prices indicate that how much a formula price could potentially be reduced if a particular limit is relaxed up to one unit. It is an over all analysis of the formula. For example, consider a formulation problem in which minimum limit for protein is set at 23%. When this problem is solved the formula price comes as 160 dollars and the shadow price of minimum limit of protein is appears as 5.0. It means if minimum limit of protein is set at 22% and the problem is solved again the formula price will be reduced to 155 dollars. Similarly consider another situation in which maximum limit of inclusion of soybean is set at 40%. When the problem is solved, the formula price comes as 80 dollars and the shadow price of maximum limit of soybean appears as 1.75. It shows that if maximum limit of inclusion of soybean is set at 41% and the problem is solved again the formula price will be reduced to 78.25 dollars.

Remember that shadow price indicates only potential reduction in the formula price. This reduction will only happen if the relaxed unit is actually utilised. For example, in the above situation the formula price will be reduced to 78.25, only if 41% soybean is used in the formula. If for some reason soybean is still being used only 40%, the formula price will not be reduced.

Shadow Price Window also shows competitive prices for those ingredients that have not been included in the formula. A competitive price shows at what price that ingredient could be used in the formula.

 

Batch Sheet Window

This window helps in preparation of different batchs from a calculated formula. You can prepare any batch size. This window also shows formula on Dry matter basis and As-Fed basis separately.

Quantity Required

Enter amount of total batch size here. By default it calculates for 1000 Kg. TO make a batch of different size, change this value to required value and press "Enter" key. A batch for new value will be calculated and displayed immediately.

Rounded Total

This shows the total size of the batch after rounding "As Fed" batch quantities.

Digit

This is the number of decimal digit for rounding. By default all values are rounded up to two decimal digits. The default value can be changed under Digit column. An individual value can be selected for each ingredient.

Date and Time

This box shows date and time when actual batch was prepared.

Cost per Bag

This filed shows price of one feed bag if current formula is used. The bag size is same as selected in Main Window.

Save Batch as a Text File

By selecting this command under File menu you can save a Batch in a text file. This text file can be opened in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel for further processing.

Save Batch as a CSV file

A CSV file is a "Comma Separated Values" text file. These files are also known as "Comma Delimited" files. This is a common format to exchange data between different worksheet and database applications. If you intend to transfer your Batch into MS Excel or any other database, you can save your Batch as a CSV file. In these files each value is separated by a comma. MS Excel puts every value separated by a comma into a separate cell. Once you have opened a CSV file in MS Excel, save it as an Excel file (.xls) for further use.

Print Batch

Print function lets you to print final batch on a paper.

Print Batch Only

This function lets you print only ingredient names and rounded batch values. This function is useful if you give batch sheet to feed mill operator and wish to keep formula analysis and formula price secret.

 

© Copyright 2012. WinFeed (UK) Limited, Cambridge, UK