Menu
 
Horses
 
  •  
    Horses
  •  
    Dairy
     
  •  
    Dairy
  •  
    Goats
     
  •  
    Goats
  •  
    Cattle
     
  •  
    Cattle
  •  
    Backyard Poultry
     
  •  
    Backyard Poultry
  •  
    Swine
     
  •  
    Swine
  •  
    Rabbits
     
  •  
    Rabbits
  •  
    Small Animals
     
  •  
    Small Animals
  •  
    Birds
     
  •  
    Birds
  •  
    Wildlife
     
  •  
    Wildlife
  •  
    Fish & Aquatics
     
  •  
    Fish & Aquatics
  •  
    Exotics
     
  •  
    Exotics
  •  
    Show Animals
     
  •  
    Show Animals
  • 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.
    Visit Our Farm
     

     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.

    Effect of Feeding Pigs DDGS and Purina® EcoCare® ...

    Karen E. Davison, Ph.D. - S...

    Winter Means Increased Respiratory Problems for S...

    Purina Animal Nutrition Exp...

    Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

    Feeding Show Lambs: Basic Show Lamb Nutrition

    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
    Are oats a bad thing to feed to performance horses?
    A
    No. Oats provide a good source of calories, starch, fat, some protein and amino acids. However, they lack many important nutrients performance horses need to stay in top form. Through the years, successful horse trainers have often fed high-quality oats, but had to add various supplements to try and meet all the nutritional needs of a top-level performance horse. Horses cannot maintain top performance on oats and hay alone.
    Q
    What safety measures do I need to be aware of before I purchase chicks?
    A
    Any chicks you purchase should be from a U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean hatchery to enhance livability and decrease potential disease problems. Chicks should be vaccinated against Marek’s disease soon after hatching. Consult your veterinarian.
    Q
    How much milk should my cows produce during lacation for their calves to be healthy?
    A
    Each cow will produce different amounts of milk. I don’t know that there is a minimum amount of milk that needs to be produced in order to keep calves healthy. More important is that the cows are on a good health program, with adequate protein, energy and minerals to maximize colostrum quality. A good dose of high quality colostrum at birth will help the calf get off to a healthy start.
    Q
    What is the advantage of growing heifer calves faster and more efficiently?
    A
    Accelerated growth can help maximize performance and the health of the animal over its lifetime. However, these larger heifers need to be bred early enough to take full advantage of this more aggressive calf growth plan. Many heifers are still being bred at the same age as before, even though they could easily be bred two to three months sooner, based on size.
    Q
    What are forage fish?
    A
    Forage fish are smaller fish, such as minnows, bluegill and small catfish. A sufficient population of these fish will provide the food that larger fish such as bass and trout need to prey upon to thrive.
    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
    What can cause joint damage in performance horses?
    A
    Wear and tear on the skeletal system of a performance horse, particularly the cartilage surfaces of joints, may be an inevitable consequence of exercise or simply getting older. Degenerative joint disease (DJD), sometimes referred to as osteoarthritis (OA), is believed to increase with age.
    Q
    How do I keep my rabbit warm?
    A
    Make sure that while your rabbit has adequate ventilation, it is not exposed to drafts. Rabbits should have a house to go into, and if you have wire flooring in the cage, it is advisable to set a small plank or other solid item for the rabbit to sit on to avoid the cold wind coming up under its belly. With these environmental adjustments and plenty of food, your rabbit will sail through the winter with flying colors.
    Q
    How can I determine the immune status of my pig?
    A
    Sick pigs will have very low feed intakes. Pigs that are mounting an immune response divert critical nutrients away from maintenance and growth to fighting infection. So, not only do they not eat well, what they do eat usually is used toward fighting the infection and not for growth. To find out for sure, take the pig’s temperature with a rectal thermometer; it should be about 102.5 degrees F. If the pig’s temperature is above normal, a treatment of antibiotics is warranted. Contact your local veterinarian for the best course of treatment.
    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
    Why have a number of swine producers increased use of Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) in the diets of their herds?
    A
    During recent years, increased availability of DDGS and rising corn prices have supported incremental usage of DDGS in swine diets.
    Q
    Why is water so important to deer well-being?
    A
    Water availability is critical. Research has shown that in many species of ruminants, if water intake is reduced even minimally, food intake drops also. Water must be fresh, clean, available and away from stressors that might inhibit a deer's water intake. Maximizing water intake will help maximize feed intake.