Ruminant Nutrition System


rns cover

The Ruminant Nutrition System (RNS) software is a comprehensive nutrition model that integrates cattle, sheep and goats into one platform. The RNS predicts the nutrient requirements of cattle, sheep, and goats and the supply of energy and nutrients from the diet that are available to meet their requirements in each unique production situation. The RNS was developed to provide a framework that can be used for incorporating and implementing new scientific knowledge and submodels to more accurately predict nutrient requirements and biological values for ruminants currently used in food production.

The Second edition of the Ruminant Nutrition System book can be purchased at or XanEdu. The Table of Contents can be found from here.

Errata for the First and Second editions are available in the Support section below.

The RNS software uses published equations and model structures as listed below:

  1. Equations published for the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) for cattle and sheep by Fox et al. (2004), Tylutki et al. (2008), Tedeschi et al. (2008), and Cannas et al. (2004, 2005; 2007);
  2. Nutrient requirements of goats (Cannas et al., 2007; Tedeschi et al., 2010);
  3. The body reserves model developed by Tedeschi et al. (2006);
  4. Nitrogen cycling model developed by Lanzas (2006);
  5. Feed carbohydrate and protein fractionation systems developed by Lanzas et al. (2007);
  6. A revised rumen submodel that includes:
  7. Model structures that include:
    • RNS for R, which has an extra capability to execute R scripts that quickly add customized calculations, high-quality graphics, reports, and advanced simulations such as stochastic modeling;
    • Added capability to communicate with ExtendSim® in order to perform dynamic, continuous calculations; and
    • Four levels of solution for predicting supply of energy and protein, as follows:
      • 0 - User-inputted values for total digestible nutrients (TDN) and ruminally-degraded protein (RDP) for each dietary ingredient;
      • 1 - Level 1 supply as described in Fox et al. (2004) with some modifications described in Tylutki et al. (2008);
      • 2 - Level 2 as described in Fox et al. (2004) with some modifications described in Tylutki et al. (2008);
      • 3 - Dynamic prediction of rumen VFA production and pH; and
      • 4 - Stochastic modeling of key variables using R
  8. Future additions will include:
    • Energy spilling and obligated amino acid fermenting bacteria pool (J. B. Russell, personal communication)

The RNS is being designed to meet the needs for the following applications: (1) teaching, (2) research, and (3) decision support system for use by field-oriented, consulting nutritionists.

Click here to start a tutorial on how to use the Ruminant Nutrition System.

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It uses R!

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32 bit and 64 bit

A computer with the following configuration is suggested for satisfactory performance: 2 GHz Intel Core Due (or similar) with at least 2 Gb of RAM. A CD/DVD-ROM for installation from CD media, an IBM-PC compatible printer, and an internet connection for updating and registration are recommended.

The RNS requires 32-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 to be installed in the computer. You may download the appropriate Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable setup (free of charge) that is compatible with your computer (click here to download Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable). See SUPPORT if this does not work.

The RNS is programmed with the Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 using Visual Basic and .NET 4.7.1 framework. Users should download the .NET framework 4.7.1 using the web installer or the offline download. It uses R scripting v. 3.x technology or later (Click here to download R) to perform advanced simulations, customized calculations, and high-quality graphic production. Additional simulations can also be performed through ExtendSim® RunTime.

In order to execute RNS for R the following R packages have to be previously installed: XML and Tcl/Tk. Even though RNS will try to install them automatically (need internet connection), you may install them manually by following these steps:

1. After you have installed R, open R,
2. Click on menu packages, and then select install packages, and
3. Select the provider and then select the following packages (XML and Tcl/Tk) one at a time. The Tcl/Tk may have already been installed with R.

The current BETA version of the Ruminant Nutrition System is 0.7.7174.22420.


PREVIOUS versions of the RNS and RECENT versions of the RNS for R Scripts can be downloaded from here. The RNS for R Scripts have extensions .ZZZ or .ZZX.

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The RNS will expire after 10 trials if not registered by the end of the grace period. You can register your copy by submitting the registration number in the Register webpage. If applicable, registration codes will not be given out until the cost of registering your copy is paid in full at the Purchase webpage.

Purchase Register

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Dr. Luis O. Tedeschi

Dr. Luis O. Tedeschi
Texas A&M University
Department of Animal Science
230 Kleberg Center
2471 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2471

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Dr. Danny G. Fox

Dr. Danny G. Fox
Emeritus Professor
Cornell University

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Dr. Antonello Cannas

Dr. Antonello Cannas
Università degli Studi di Sassari
Dipartimento di Scienze Zootecniche
Sassari, Sardinia, Italy 07100

University of Sassari

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June 24, 2018. First errata for the second edition of "The Ruminant Nutrition System" book. Click here to download it.

June 18, 2018. Adding a short path (a.k.a., short name) to a user name folder in Windows 10. As described on the November 11, 2017 note (below), users may receive an error when the user name folder does not have an equivalent DOS 8.3 short name. Users cannot simply add a short name to a user name folder because it is protected by Windows. Here is an workaround that works.

  • Create a temporary administrator user account using the Control Panel and User Accounts
  • Restart the computer, and login on this temporary user account
  • Restart the computer on minimal safe boot mode, using MSCONFIG
  • Start CMD as administrator, using Win+R
  • Go to the root of the user name folder you want to add the short name, usually "C:\Users\", using "cd c:\users"
  • Type "fsutil 8dot3name set 0" to enable the creation of short names
  • Type "fsutil file setshortname 'USER NAME' USERNA~1" to create the short name to the folder "USER NAME"
  • Type "dir /x" to show the folder and file names in the users root
  • Restart the computer on normal boot mode, using MSCONFIG
  • Login to the old "USER NAME" account, use the visual basic script shown in the November 11, 2017 note (below) to verify if the short name was set correctly
  • Delete the temporary user account, using the Control Panel and Users Account

More information on the use of fsutil can be found at

November 11, 2017. When executing RNS for R, the following error occurs: "'fsutil' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." This problem usually happens when there is no short path (DOS equivalent naming of 8.3) assigned to a folder, usually the username folder in Windows (C:\Users\UserName). This is a problem associated with Windows; the following links describe this problem.

Set fso=CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
If fso.FolderExists(WScript.Arguments(0)) Then 'Folder
Set objFolder = fso.GetFolder(WScript.Arguments(0))
ok = InputBox("Short path:", "SHORT PATH", objFolder.ShortPath)
End If
If fso.FileExists(WScript.Arguments(0)) Then 'File
Set objFile = fso.GetFile(WScript.Arguments(0))
ok = InputBox("Short path:", "SHORT PATH", objFile.ShortPath)
End If

October 22, 2017. Second errata for the first edition of "The Ruminant Nutrition System" book. Click here to download it.

February 25, 2017. First errata for the first edition of "The Ruminant Nutrition System" book. Click here to download it.

March 20, 2017. The CPU Usage crashes.

This is a problem with the registry of the performance counters of your computer (more information here). The RNS provides two Visual Basic Scripts that might fix this problem. Execute the "FixPerfCtrl.VBS" located in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\TAMU\RNS". You must have administrative privileges to execute this VBS.

April 10, 2015. The 'Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0' provider is not registered on the local machine error occurs, as shown below.

On 64-bit Windows and 64-bit Office (2010, 2013) environments, there are many reports on this error. The fix or workaround is a bit strange but seems to work for most people out there. If this error persists, even after installing the Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable, then instead try installing the 2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components (Source1, Source2).

UPDATED (April 2019). Apparently, the link to the 2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components is not working. Click here to download the zipped drives. Unzip the file, firstly install the "1-AccessDatabaseEngine_2007" file and secondly install the "2-accessruntimeanddataconnectivity2007sp3-kb2526310-fullfile-en-us" file, and then restart the computer.

INSTALL 32 bit version of Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable. Uninstall 64 bit version if previously installed. The RNS connection manager is trying to use the ACE OLE DB provider in order to access the Access file when the version is above 2007. Although your computer is 64-bit, you’re using SQL Server Data Tools, which is a 32-bit application. There is no 64-bit version for SSDT. When you design your package within SSDT, you’re using a 32-bit process, which can only use 32-bit providers. When you try to choose the table in the Access file, the connection manager needs to access the 32-bit version of the ACE OLE DB provider, but this provider is not registered on your machine, only the 64-bit version is installed. You should download the 32-bit version of the “Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable”. When you try to install it, you might get an error message. You should first uninstall only the 64-bit version of the “Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable”, which you probably installed previously. The 64-bit version and the 32-bit version can’t live together on the same host, so you’ll have to uninstall (through “Program and Features”) and install the other one if you wish to switch between them. Once you finish uninstalling the 64-bit version and installing the 32-bit version of the provider, the problem is solved, and you can finally choose the table within the RNS feed library file. The RNS connection manager is now able to use the ACE OLE DB provider (32-bit version) in order to access the Access file. (Source3)

Parameter Change. The form below is used to request a code to unlock the parameter values in the Ruminant Nutrition System settings page. After unlocking it, the user is able to change the parameter values. This code is provide under specific conditions only.

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  • The CNCPS manual is a PDF file that contains the description of the model, tutorial, and the equations used to develop the model.

  • The AMTS web page.

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