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  • This is a Way of Life You Have to Live to Truly Understand
     
    That’s why we feed more than 3,000 animals on our 1,200-acre working farm every day. Because a commitment to doing what’s best for animals demands nothing less.
    Visit Our Farm
     

     FEATURED NUTRITION ARTICLES 

    Stories From Our Farm

    For nearly a century at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, we’ve been learning what helps our animals reach their full potential. And we know if it works for us, it’ll work for other people, too.

    Mariela Lachmann, Ph.D. - S...

    Effect of Feeding Pigs DDGS and Purina® EcoCare® ...

    Kathleen Young, Ph.D. - Lea...

    Feeding Options for Senior Horses: Part One

    Purina Animal Nutrition Exp...

    Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

    Kevin Burgoon, Ph.D. - Tech...

    Feeding Show Lambs: Basic Show Lamb Nutrition

    Jason Leonard - Calf and He...

    Three Benchmarks for Breeding Heifers by Size

    Purina Animal Nutrition Exp...

    How to Start Raising Chickens: Start Your Backyar...

     FIND ANSWERS 

    Information From Our Experts

    Animal experts from the Purina Animal Nutrition Center share their knowledge.

    Q
    What are some of the nutritional benefits of eggs?
    A
    Eggs are the most perfect source of protein (legal’s asking what organization supports this) in the world and is the gold standard against which all other proteins are measured. They have the best amino acid profile known — better than meat, milk and soy products. Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient that is essential for fetal brain development and to help prevent birth defects. They provide significant amounts of B vitamins, especially B12; as well as the minerals selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium. Eggs are a naturally occurring and significant sources of vitamin D, and also a source of lutein, a compound shown to be helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
    Q
    How much feed should I provide my cows during calving season?
    A
    This would depend on your cow body condition and forage quality. During the calving season the cow’s nutrient requirements are going to double soon after calving. You will need to have a feeding program designed to meet this increased demand so your cows do not lose condition. Remember that cows need to rebreed around 90 days after calving in order to maintain a yearly calving cycle. In order to rebreed the cows will need to have a body condition score of 5 or 6.
    Q
    How many dairy cow herds in the U.S. have broken the 30,000 pound mark for milk production?
    A
    Of the 19,658 dairy cow herds on test reported by the four records processing centers in the country, 221 herds have broken the 30,000 pound mark. (Progressive Dairyman May 2013.)
    Q
    How can supplemental feeding impact more than the fish it is meant to feed?
    A
    At first glance, supplemental feeding seems to benefit only those fish such as bluegills, sunfish, hybrid striped bass, catfish, minnows and other species that directly consume the feed. However, feeding fish also supplies nutrients to the water, which enable phytoplankton to grow. Since phytoplankton are at the very bottom of the food chain, they affect all the animals above them.
    Q
    What are the signs of goat milk fever?
    A
    Moderate milk fever will make the goat lethargic, with poor appetite and poor milk production. Acute cases of milk fever can leave the goat in a coma; she will need immediate veterinary attention.
    Q
    Are fats important in promoting horse hoof quality?
    A
    Fats are needed by the hoof to create a permeability barrier that assists in cell-to-cell adhesion, helping prevent bacteria and fungi from penetrating the horn. Horse diets containing adequate levels of fat can, therefore, be beneficial to the hoof.
    Q
    How can I help minimize the risk of my rabbit getting enteritis?
    A
    Limit stress as much as possible by restricting entry to the rabbitry and practicing good biosecurity; preventing access by other animals; encouraging children to play quietly when near the rabbits; and protecting the rabbits from drafts, heat and excessive noise. Never switch feeds abruptly or give moldy, insect-infested or feed that smells odd. Treat baby rabbits with care, avoiding excessive handling. Never administer drugs without the direction of a veterinarian, and establish a good working relationship with a veterinarian before you need help.
    Q
    Can isolation of incoming pigs be used to reduce exposure and spread of disease in pigs?
    A
    If a customer has the facilities, he might consider keeping incoming pigs separated from the rest of the pigs for 14 to 21 days after arrival. Usually, in commercial practice a longer period is required, but from a practical standpoint, 14 to 21 days will incubate most pathogens and allow symptoms to appear. If symptoms do appear, the pigs should be isolated for an additional 30 days until the disease has been treated and the pigs have recovered. This should reduce the number of pigs affected and the need for additional pigs to be treated in most cases.
    Q
    How is vitamin C incorporated into the manufacture of small-pet diets, and is nutritional value lost in the process?
    A
    Naturally occurring ascorbic acid is highly sensitive to high temperatures, pH, oxygen, and pressure. Unfortunately, high temperature and pressure also occur during the manufacture of many animal diets. Most small animal and pet bird diets contain at least some pellets or extruded particles. Pelleting and extrusion processes generally involve some heat and pressure, although to different degrees. Because the source of vitamin C within a diet usually comes from the pellets/extruded kibble, finding a heat-and-storage-stable vitamin C source was important to the animal feed industry. Current technology has allowed us to overcome these issues and provide long-lasting diets for species requiring vitamin C.
    Q
    What challenges does weaning present for young pigs?
    A
    Challenges include an abrupt change from a liquid to a solid diet that contains ingredients that may not be easily digestible to the young pig. Immediately after weaning, the digestive system of the pig has to adapt to a new feeding regime with respect to enzyme secretion. In addition, the young pig is presented with a new social structure. Combined, these effects disrupt nutrient intake that is necessary to maintain gut integrity and function.
    Q
    Why does Purina® Gamebird Pheasant Chow® products come in medicated and non-medicated formulas?
    A
    When a health issue arises we have a number of medicated feeds available. Please contact your Purina sales person for more complete information available for each species of game bird.