Nowadays, an internet search will bring up many feed software options. Most use Excel tables. This solution is basically okay, provided one has a good knowledge of Excel and only wants to calculate a few rations or mixes per year. If this is the case, then it is not worth buying professional feed software. The major problem is often the very idiosyncratic structure of the Excel tables, which makes work and achieving fast results difficult.
Key considerations in feed software selection
If daily recipes need calculating or optimising, then it is worth considering the purchase of professional feed software. It is a waste of time to try to program a good feed software oneself. The effort involved is always underestimated and the problem is always in the detail (HYBRIMIN® feed software contains several million source codes!). (Who builds their own tractor nowadays?)
There are differences in how up-to-date commercially available programs are. Once the software has been created, it often remains on offer and unchanged 10 years later. The science of animal nutrition, however, does not stand still but is constantly undergoing change. If you wish to work as a professional in this field, it makes sense to choose a manufacturer that concentrates its activity in this field and does not make all sorts of other software products. There should also be regular updates.
Once one has decided that one needs to make many calculations on a regular basis, then the choice of a good feed software should be based on whether one needs to be an IT expert to use it, or whether the feed software is so easy to use that one can concentrate on animal nutrition and feed calculations. The available options differ greatly as to learning curve and technical simplicity.