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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.
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     FEATURED NUTRITION ARTICLES 

     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 

     FIND ANSWERS 

    Information From Our Experts

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

    Q
    What breed or breeds of chickens should I choose for my backyard flock?
    A
    It depends on what you are looking for. Eggs? Meat? Both? Or are you looking to raise show chickens? Here are some chicken breed recommendations. • Egg production: White Leghorn hybrids, Rhode Island Reds, Andalusians or Ameraucana chickens. • Meat production: Cornish Cross chickens • Dual-purpose production: Plymouth Rock, Sussex, Buff Orpingtons or sex-linked hybrids • Show or pets: Silkie, White Crested Polish, Japanese or Bantam chickens
    Q
    Why should cattle producers avoid “rushing to grass” in the spring?
    A
    Early spring grass is so nutrient-dense that it passes through cows rapidly, making it difficult for them to absorb all the nutrients. This can also have a negative impact on rebreeding.
    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
    What is the most common cause of fish kill?
    A
    The most common cause of fish kill is probably depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO). Depletion of dissolved oxygen may occur due to several factors and is often predictable. Emergency aeration should always be available for intensive fish culture systems. Common causes of oxygen depletion include sudden die-offs (crashes) of dense phytoplankton blooms, insufficient or no supplemental aeration at times of high oxygen demands, pond turnover, and aeration system failure.
    Q
    Can goat milk fever be prevented?
    A
    You can help address milk fever by not feeding too much high-calcium feed, such as alfalfa, during late pregnancy. Grass hay or pasture is a much better choice during your goat’s dry period.
    Q
    What are the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in horses?
    A
    An older horse with a long haircoat that sheds late in the year or incompletely may be suffering from Pituitary Pars Intermedia Disease (PPID), commonly referred to as Cushing’s disease or syndrome. PPID is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland in the horse’s brain. Symptoms include a long haircoat, loss of muscle mass, and excessive drinking and urination. If you feel that your horse is exhibiting these symptoms, consult your veterinarian. Horses with PPID may also exhibit insulin resistance and can benefit from diets lower in starch and sugars and higher in fat and fiber. Purina® Equine Senior® horse feed has been fed very successfully to horses with PPID and was designed to help manage the condition. However, veterinary care is essential in proper care of horses suffering from PPID.
    Q
    What should I do if one or more of my rabbits become ill?
    A
    Immediately remove and isolate any rabbits displaying disease symptoms. The isolation room should be in a separate building, preferably downwind of your rabbitry. Simply putting animals displaying disease symptoms at one end of your existing rabbitry is NOT adequate to prevent disease transmission. Also isolate/quarantine any new rabbits or rabbits that have left the rabbitry and are returning. Quarantine should last a minimum of 30 days. It is not uncommon for there to be a rash of disease outbreaks after a large show, primarily due to the stress of traveling and the lack of post-show quarantine.
    Q
    What will a feed formulated for show pigs not do?
    A
    There are things that even the greatest of all feeds cannot accomplish. Even the best feeds will not increase body length, base width or bone. Feed will not make the pig tall at the point of the shoulder. Nor will the best feed turn an unsound pig into a sound one. You will need to select animals that already express these features. Nutrition unlocks the genetic potential of your show pig project. A great feed will do only so much for poor genetic potential. However, a poor-quality feed can ruin great genetics.
    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 can swine producers do to help improve F/G?
    A
    Efficient feeder management and biosecurity practices can have dramatic effects on improving feed conversion. This includes rodent control. Manipulation of nutrient levels in the diet need to be oriented to match pig nutrient requirements and to improve pig nutrient utilization.
    Q
    How can I help ensure the deer I feed aren’t getting too much starch?
    A
    Properly formulated commercial feeds provide the correct ratio of all nutrients and make it easy to properly feed your deer. It is very difficult to provide the optimal nutrient balance without a thorough knowledge of the composition of the feed ingredients and the nutrient needs of the animal. A thoroughly balanced, high-quality feed is the fastest route to healthy deer and trophy antlers.