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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® ...

    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
    How many times a day should eggs be gathered?
    A
    Eggs should be gathered three times daily, and even more often in hot weather.
    Q
    Why should producers in arid regions or regions with prolonged droughts favor smaller to moderately sized cows with moderate milk production potential?
    A
    It is much easier to maintain smaller cows in regions with limited feed resources. Also, smaller, easier-fleshing cows will breed back more quickly in arid regions. However, if a severe winter or other stressful conditions arise, producers should step up body condition monitoring and provide needed supplemental nutrition and vitamins before cattle become too thin to avoid negative reproduction performance and disease.
    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 are the benefits of supplemental feeding of fish?
    A
    Research has shown that ponds stay healthy, fish grow big and fast, and sustainable per-acre populations are large with supplemental feeding. Ponds that naturally sustain a stocking population of 500 bluegills and 50 bass per acre can easily sustain 1,000 bluegills and 100 bass per acre with supplemental feeding. This remarkable difference is due in part to the fact that supplemental feeding affects a pond’s entire food chain.
    Q
    What is goat pregnancy toxemia and goat ketosis?
    A
    Late-term pregnancy (when pregnancy toxemia can occur) and especially the onset of lactation (when ketosis commonly occurs) require considerable energy, often more than can be derived from the goat’s feed. Consequently, the goat must call on body reserves of fat for energy. The breakdown of large amounts of body fat results in compounds called ketones floating around in the blood. In large concentrations, these ketones have a toxic effect.
    Q
    Why is it important to not dilute balanced horse rations?
    A
    Purina's equine nutritionists formulate Purina® horse feeds with precise, correct nutrient balances to meet the requirements of the various classes of horses. Many horse owners then dilute or cut these balanced feeds with a cereal grain (usually oats), thereby changing the nutrient balance and decreasing the feed's nutritional value for horses. For those horse owners wishing to feed oats, corn or unfortified grain mixes, Enrich Plus™ Ration Balancing Feed is a concentrate pellet that can be used to supplement grains. Strategy® Professional Formula GX Horse Feed, Omolene #100®, #200®, #300® etc. are designed to be fed only with hay or grass.
    Q
    What are some of the diseases that can affect rabbits?
    A
    Whether you have a large rabbitry or just a few pet or show animals, there are many pathogens and parasites that can infect your animals. For example, Pasteurella multocida (P. multocida) is a respiratory disease, commonly known as “snuffles,” that can become widespread in a rabbitry. Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen that can cause mastitis (infection of the mammary glands), pododermatitis (sore feet and hocks), endocarditis (inflammation of the endocardium of the heart), conjunctivitis (pink eye) and subcutaneous abscesses. Mycoplasmas can cause everything from pneumonia to reproductive failure. Learn about the various pathogens and parasites that can impact your rabbit’s health and practice good biosecurity to help keep your rabbitry a clean and healthy environment for your rabbits.
    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
    How can weaning challenges manifest themselves physically in the young pig?
    A
    The reduced feed and water intake that occurs after weaning may contribute to intestinal inflammation. These disruptions in water and feed intake affect growth performance and are further exacerbated by an immature immune system. This creates susceptibility to digestive upsets and/or diarrhea.
    Q
    How do deer and elk intake levels impact a nutrition plan?
    A
    Their daily intake levels change from winter to autumn. Daily dry matter intakes range from 1.5 percent of body weight in midwinter to more than 3.0 percent in summer and autumn. A key factor in this intake change is a shift in the metabolic rate. Deer, for example, have a high metabolic rate in the late spring to fall and a low metabolic rate in the winter. This is especially noticeable in the northern US.