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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 are some of the nutritional benefits of eggs?
    A
    Eggs are the most perfect source of protein (legal’s asking what organization supports this) in the world and is the gold standard against which all other proteins are measured. They have the best amino acid profile known — better than meat, milk and soy products. Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient that is essential for fetal brain development and to help prevent birth defects. They provide significant amounts of B vitamins, especially B12; as well as the minerals selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium. Eggs are a naturally occurring and significant sources of vitamin D, and also a source of lutein, a compound shown to be helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
    Q
    What is the impact of providing supplemental nutrition to pregnant cattle?
    A
    A study published in the Journal of Animal Science (Oct. 9, 2009) revealed striking differences in newborn calves whose dams either received or were denied supplemental nutrition at “critical points” throughout calf gestation. The study indicated that proper nutrition throughout gestation doesn’t just affect fetal development — it actually can program how the fetus will develop long-term.
    Q
    Does amino acid balancing of rations help boost cow milk production?
    A
    Research at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center has repeatedly shown improvements in cow milk production of 6 to 7 pounds when balancing rations for metabolizable protein and subsequently, the amino acids lysine and methionine. Additionally, component yields of 0.3 pounds of fat and protein accompany this production improvement. These results have been shown to be highly repeatable in the field. This notable increase in lactation performance costs 36 cents per cow per day on average, yielding a 3-to-1 return on investment (ROI).
    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 can I address pregnancy toxemia and ketosis in my goats?
    A
    By getting more energy into your late-term pregnant and early-lactation doe. Gradually increase the concentrate (grain) portion of the diet and reduce the hay portion. Grain is higher in energy and will take up less room in the rumen. Feed a good-quality hay that is not too coarse. Forage pellets are another good fiber option for the late-gestation doe. A small amount of fat (corn oil is most palatable) on the feed will also help increase energy intake. Providing more frequent and smaller meals will also help.
    Q
    What is a senior horse?
    A
    We typically think of a senior horse as one that is in its teens, but individual horses become seniors at different ages. The age at which a horse’s nutritional needs shift from those of a mature adult horse to those of a geriatric horse is determined by genetics and the way that horse was managed throughout its life. Basically, the horse itself determines when it becomes a senior. Some common indications of changing nutritional needs can help determine when to start addressing the needs of a geriatric horse. For instance, it becomes more difficult to maintain body weight on a senior horse with a traditional diet of hay or grass and feed. A senior horse may also start dropping wads of partially chewed hay on the ground (quidding).
    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
    When can I expect to see a difference in my show pigs after starting to feed Paylean®?
    A
    All pigs are different and will respond a little differently in terms of side effects. However, most pigs with average muscling will respond about the same in terms of days until you see visible effects from feeding Paylean®. Usually, in about 7 days you can see a difference in pigs fed 9 grams/ton. Legal levels of Paylean® range from 4.5 to 9 grams/ton of complete feed.
    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
    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.