Often, estimating how much supplement your livestock are consuming daily is a guessing game at best and a shot in the dark at worst. Now there’s an app for that.
Ridley Block Operations has released a new app for livestock producers called LICS; Livestock Intake Calculator for Supplements. The new LICS app is supported by RBO’s brands; CRYSTALYX®, SWEETLIX®, STOCKADE® and ULTRALYX® livestock supplements. It is designed to be a useful calculator with minimal, intuitive inputs that make free-choice supplement performance easier to monitor and manage. The FREE LICS app is available on the IOS (iPhone) and Android platforms and can be downloaded at your app stores or by scanning the following QR codes with your smartphone.
The app has several features, but it is primarily designed to be easy to use and flexible and robust enough for those who may want to incorporate more detail when calculating free-choice supplement intake. The LICS app is targeted for beef producers, but because of the flexibility built in, it can easily be used for any species of animal that is consuming a free-choice supplement.
Common free-choice supplements can include low-moisture blocks such as CRYSTALYX®, smaller square pressed blocks such as those found under the SWEETLIX®, STOCKADE® and ULTRALYX® brands, poured blocks like STOCKADE® tubs and SWEETLIX® EnProAl® tubs, compressed blocks like those under the ULTRALYX® brand and liquid feed supplements or loose vitamin/mineral supplements offered on pasture to name a few. The LICS app calculations are applicable to any free-choice supplement form used by animal owners.
Because these supplements are available on a free-choice basis to groups of livestock, it can be challenging to accurately estimate what they are consuming on average per animal per day and therefore unclear of what supplemental nutrient levels are actually being provided. The LICS app helps gather required information for making an intake estimate, like the number of animals in the group/pasture, the days that the animals consumed the supplement and also an estimate of how much supplement was consumed for a given period.
An estimated consumption for the supplement is then calculated by the LICS app. Depending upon how much supplement is remaining, the app can also project when additional supplement should be provided so you don’t run out. If you know the amount that you paid for the supplement per ton of feed, LICS will also calculate your cost on a per animal per day basis.
One feature that is particularly useful for beef cow-calf producers is an option of including calves in the supplement intake calculation. Many supplements are offered to cow-calf pairs where both have access to the supplement. The LICS app has the ability to include calves into the intake calculation once they reach 400 pounds or more as their individual consumption is more impacting.
Regardless if you are raising livestock or have companion animals such as horses, the LICS app can help you better manage your nutritional program when offering free-choice supplements in grazing or non-confined type conditions. The few inputs required will provide an easy way to estimate the actual intake of your supplement when spread across the group of animals.