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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
    How can feeding Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 affect hen health and egg quality?
    A
    Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 is formulated to result in more omega-3 in the egg than a standard, typical egg, and has a natural vegetarian formula with added vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients and without added antibiotics or hormones. Layena® Plus Omega-3 contains marigold extract for rich golden yolks, key levels of calcium and manganese for strong shells with fewer cracks, and an optimized level of vitamin E to support a healthy immune system.
    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
    What are some problems associated with late cow breeding?
    A
    Heifers bred late are often associated with increased metabolic problems at calving, such as ketosis, lower milk production and wasted feed dollars. Breeding based on the size of the heifer could help address these types of problems.
    Q
    What is pond turnover?
    A
    Pond turnover may occur at any time of the year. However, one of the most common times is in late summer, when the water is very warm and oxygen demand is already high. Turnover is often caused by a sudden cooling of weather or a cold rain that cools the water close to the surface. The cool water on top is more dense than the warmer water below, causing the pond to turn over. Turnover often releases anoxic water from the bottom, which causes a lack of oxygen throughout the pond. This can result in a large die-off of fish. Often, by the time it is discovered, oxygen levels have already returned to normal.
    Q
    What should I do if my goat has bloat?
    A
    If your goat has swallowed an object, you may be able to feel the obstruction in the throat. If you cannot gently work it down the esophagus, get a veterinarian’s help. Under no circumstances should you ever try to push the obstruction down the throat using any kind of instrument. Never try to manipulate an object that feels hard, as you can cause serious damage to the goat’s esophagus. A veterinarian can administer a surfactant to your goat to decrease the foam, allowing your goat to belch away the problem.
    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
    What do I need to provide my pregnant doe to make her comfortable?
    A
    Does that are soon to kindle (give birth) will need a nest box in their cage. The ideal nest box is one that is built into the floor of the cage and hangs below the floor. If a baby bunny (kit) should bounce out, he will be able to find his way back in very easily — much more so than if he has to navigate the wall of a standing nest box. But regardless of location, the nest box should be large enough to accommodate the doe and her litter, and it should be made of a material that is not easily chewed but is easily sanitized. The doe will also need a form of bedding to mix her own fur with to make a cozy, warm nest. Shavings, especially fine ones, should be used only in the very bottom layer, if at all, as they can clog eyes and noses of delicate kits. It is much better to use some clean straw or hay and let the doe arrange it to her liking. She will pull her own fur to use for additional bedding. This is completely normal, even though it may leave her a bit ratty looking.
    Q
    Should I feed my show pig oat groats?
    A
    You might have noticed some folks feeding rolled oats (oat groats) along with their regular show pig feed. It might be a good idea to offer a small amount of oat groats (1/2 lb.) each day with the pig’s feed to increase the particle size of the total diet. This is a good idea, as the pig is less likely to suffer from ulcers, although many pigs perform very well and are never fed oat groats. It is a personal decision.
    Q
    If I feed my small pet a commercial diet, do I need to feed anything else?
    A
    Most diets manufactured for small pets are sold as complete diets. In other words, this diet is formulated in such a way that it can be the sole source of nutrition for your animal and no supplemental hay, veggies or other treats are needed. Providing treats in small amounts can help you bond with your pet, but overfeeding them may cause nutritional imbalances or lead to obesity. In order to manufacture a complete diet, nutritionists take into account the nutrient requirements of that species. Various ingredients are mixed together so that a diet contains the correct amount of protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals required for optimal health.
    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
    How does deer habitat impact antler growth?
    A
    Climate can affect how much time a deer spends eating, moving around and resting, and how much energy it expends just staying warm or cooling down. Stressors such as traffic or roaming dogs can upset deer, raising blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol and negatively impacting feeding behavior and nutrient usage. Even something like an improper feeder design can affect how much a deer will eat.