Back to Math, Reading your Hay or Feed Analysis
Calculating with ppm (parts per million) in two easy steps
Reading a hay analysis or puzzling over the ingredients in feed or supplements can be a chore, yet when considering particular elements””selenium, for example””some minor math can make a major difference to your horse’s health. Feed tags and hay analysis often list ingredients as “ppm” or parts per million. Does this confuse you? You aren’t alone. The best way to think of ppm is as milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of feed (since a mg is a one millionth “part” of a kg). Therefore, when using mg/kg, you have to make sure you’re dealing with kg of feed (instead of lbs) in order to make your calculations.
Consider this example: Let’s say your hay contains 0.2 ppm (mg/kg) of selenium. How many mg of selenium does 10 lbs of hay contain? First, you need to convert the lbs to kg. Since there are 0.454 kg in one lb, make the conversion by multiplying lbs by 0.454. So, 10 lbs multiplied by 0.454 equals 4.54 kg (10 x 0.454 = 4.54). Now you’re ready to calculate mg of selenium. Multiply 4.54 kg of hay by 0.2 ppm (or mg/kg) (4.54 x 0.2 = 0.91). That gives you 0.91 mg of selenium in your 10 lbs of hay.
Formulas to remember:
[Convert lbs to kg: lbs x 0.454 = kg]
[Calculate to find mg: kg X ppm (or mg/kg) = mg]
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