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...
Information From Our Experts
Animal experts from the Purina Animal Nutrition Center share their knowledge.
How quickly can I get fresh eggs?
For instant egg production, purchase started pullets at 18 to 22 weeks of age — more expensive, but almost immediately productive. You may also purchase older hens that are past their most productive stage, but still have another year of reasonable production in them. You will need to rest (molt) these birds for 7 to 8 weeks before allowing them to resume production. If you raise your own layers from hatch, expect them to begin laying at 18 to 20 weeks of age.
Won’t increasing feeding during the last trimester of pregnancy increase the risk of dystocia in cows?
That is a myth. In fact, a number of studies have concluded the opposite is true. Cows that lost weight during the last trimester did have smaller calves, but also had more problems calving because they did not have sufficient energy stores in their bodies to calve rapidly and easily on their own. Cows that maintained or gained weight had a lower incidence of calving problems — even though their calves weighed slightly more. Body condition also affects fertility, rebreeding and pregnancy, all of which can have a direct impact on herd profitability.
What are some key size benchmarks to consider with heifers?
Measure the average weight on the mature (third plus lactation) animals in your herd. Heifers can be bred when they weigh 55 percent of the mature herd size.
Wither height of Holstein heifers should be at least 49 inches tall to ensure proper frame. Holstein heifers should weigh around 85 percent of mature herd size after they deliver a calf and reach at least 53 to 54 inches tall at the withers.
What is a supplemetal fish feeding program and what are its advantages?
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.
What can be done to help address urinary calculi in goats?
Delay castration until your goat is at least 4 months old, if possible; control phosphorous intake; provide plenty of water; make salt available; and feed a product that contains a urinary acidifier such as ammonium chloride. These steps will not guarantee that your goat will never have a stone incident, but they will go a long way toward trying to prevent one.
How much feed and pasture should I allow my horse?
Most formulated feeds are designed to be fed at a minimum of 3.5 to 4 pounds per day in order to meet all protein, vitamin and mineral requirements when fed with hay or pasture. There are situations today where horse owners have very well-managed, improved pastures or top-quality harvested forage, like alfalfa hay. These forages contain more calories and are available to the horse in greater quantities than what Mother Nature usually provides. When horses have access to free-choice top-quality pasture or hay, they will easily eat 3 percent of their body weight or more, which will provide more calories than needed for a maintenance or low-activity lifestyle.
What are the symptoms of enteritis in rabbits?
Enteritis is characterized by watery diarrhea, but is usually preceded by symptoms that may not be noticed, including decreased feed intake and constipation. This is generally followed by moderate diarrhea and mild dehydration, which do not sound particularly dangerous, but rabbits can die at this stage. Symptoms soon progress to acute diarrhea, complete cessation of food and water intake, and often tooth grinding by the rabbit in response to abdominal pain. The rabbit may even go into a coma. Mortality at this stage is very high.
What are some of the factors that influence how a pig is fitted for show?
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.
What kind of timetable should I use to switch my small pet to a Purina® diet?
Follow the guidelines below to help slowly transition your pet to its new feed. If your pet backs off or stops eating completely, go back a step and allow it more time to adjust to the new diet. Each animal is different; these recommendations are just a guide.
Day 1: 100% old diet
Day 2: 90% old diet / 10% Purina® Diet
Day 3: 80% old diet / 20% Purina® Diet
Day 4: 70% old diet / 30% Purina® Diet
Day 5: 60% old diet / 40% Purina® Diet
Day 6: 50% old diet/ 50% Purina® Diet
Day 7: 40% old diet / 60% Purina® Diet
Day 8: 30% old diet / 70% Purina® Diet
Day 9: 20% old diet / 80% Purina® Diet
Day 10: 10% old diet / 90% Purina® Diet
Day 11: 100% Purina® Diet
What types of parameters should swine producers use or not use to evaluate their feeding programs?
Today’s highly fluctuating ingredient prices are encouraging producers to evaluate their feeding programs. The worst parameter that can be used in feeding program evaluation is feed cost per ton, which does not account for the effects on pig growth performance. A good parameter that can be used in the evaluation is the cost of feed per pound of gain. Therefore, any improvement in feed conversion can be considered as an opportunity to fight the increasing feed prices.
What is the best feed to use for deer?
If you want big, healthy deer that can achieve their genetic potential for antler growth, you need a high-quality feed designed specifically for deer. Anything less will give you just that: less.