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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 

    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® ...

    Katie Young, Ph.D. - Lead T...

    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
    Is it necessary to wash the eggs after gathering them?
    A
    Eggs are laid with a protective coating, which helps keep bacteria out. It is best if this is not disturbed. Excessive washing can force bacteria through pores in the shell and into the egg, greatly reducing its chance for successful incubation and hatching. If washing is necessary, it should be gentle and quick, using water only. This water should be warmer than the egg, and the eggs should be dried and cooled as quickly as possible.
    Q
    What makes Purina® Accuration® a good supplemental cattle feed?
    A
    Purina® Accuration® cattle supplements not only provide balanced protein and energy, but also incorporate Intake Modifying Technology®, which enhances digestion and aims to prevent overeating by stimulating cattle to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This self-regulated eating means cattle eat just what they need, so less feed is wasted and less hand feeding is required.
    Q
    What are some potential consequences of colder temperatures on calves?
    A
    Lack of weight gain, more susceptibility to diseases, delayed age at first calving and decreased milk production potential.
    Q
    What is a supplemetal fish feeding program and what are its advantages?
    A
    A supplemental fish feeding program is one in which you provide food to the forage fish in your pond. This will help ensure a consistent food supply for the sport fish in your pond. Supplemental feeding will also attract forage fish to a specific area in a larger body of water such as a lake or river, which, in turn, draws in and holds a larger sport fish population.
    Q
    How does this condition impact goats?
    A
    Urinary calculi occur primarily in male goats, as the female ureter is short and straight, while the male ureter is much longer and has a bend in it that provides a perfect place for a stone to lodge. When the ureter is blocked the goat cannot urinate — an extremely painful and distressing condition. If not immediately treated, the goat’s bladder can rupture, and the goat will die. Pygmy goats and castrated males whose urinary tracts are underdeveloped are particularly prone to urinary calculi, as are many breeds of meat goats.
    Q
    What mechanics contribute to the development of equine OA?
    A
    Horses’ joints act as shock absorbers, providing a lubrication system to reduce the friction between the joint surfaces during movement. The articular surfaces (on the ends of bones within a joint where they meet) are protected by a layer of slippery, spongy cartilage. When properly lubricated, the cartilage allows for near-frictionless movement of the joint along with the ability to absorb the shock being transmitted up the limb from the impact of the foot on the ground. The joint itself is contained within a joint capsule, which attaches to both bones and is stabilized by ligaments. An essential component of normal joint function and health is continued lubrication of the joint, which reduces the damaging effects of friction. If the fluid is absent, the joint will begin to grind itself away, in the same way a car engine without oil will quickly seize up.
    Q
    Will my rabbit eat more during the cold winter months?
    A
    Intense winter weather will increase energy expenditure and have an impact on growth, weight maintenance and productivity if feeding rates are not adjusted accordingly. Outdoor rabbits will eat more — sometimes a LOT more — during the winter to stay warm. Do not assume that your rabbit that does fine on 5 ounces of feed in the summer will continue to need only 5 ounces in the winter. Feel your rabbits often to make sure they are not losing weight, and observe them for evidence of being cold.
    Q
    What are some of the factors that influence how a pig is fitted for show?
    A
    There are many, but some of the most important ones are the pig’s genetic road map, environment, management level, health status, gender (barrow or gilt) and age.
    Q
    How are alfalfa and timothy hay different?
    A
    Alfalfa and timothy are both forage sources commonly used in rabbit and guinea pig diets. Nutritionally speaking, however, they are very different. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay. When alfalfa or timothy is used in a complete rabbit feed, the nutrients of the hay source used is taken into account and mixed with other appropriate ingredients to obtain a final diet formula that meets the needs of rabbits or guinea pigs. For example, while calcium is much higher in alfalfa than in timothy, in a complete feed, the amount of additional calcium sources (such as calcium carbonate) would be lower in an alfalfa-based diet compared to a timothy-based formula.
    Q
    What have been some of the outcomes of feeding pigs DDGS?
    A
    Partial results of our most recent study at Oklahoma State University suggest that swine producers who have adopted the use of DDGS as a cost-saving strategy may also be increasing their pigs’ water intake and manure volume, compared to pigs fed corn-soybean meal diets.1 1 Need citation
    Q
    How can nutritional status manifest physically in deer and elk?
    A
    A buck's or bull's antler growth is directly related to his nutritional status. If nutrition is limited anytime during the year, but especially during January through June, antler growth will not be maximized. In addition, both fawn or calf crop size and survivability is directly related to the nutrition of both the female and her offspring. Supplemental feeding is often used as a part of a management plan to assure that both males and females are better able to achieve their genetic potential, especially during times of nutritional stress.