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  • This is a Way of Life You Have to Live to Truly Understand
     
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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
    Is there a certain type of chicken feed I should use?
    A
    It is important to select a complete feed that gives your chicks all the nutrition they need. Layer chicks should receive a feed designed to help them grow at the appropriate rate into healthy and productive laying hens. Broiler chicks need a higher-powered feed designed to help support the growth that will get them to market weight in 8 to 10 weeks. Turkey chicks have much higher nutrient requirements and must have a feed that meets their exacting needs.
    Q
    Why are U.S. cow-calf operators embracing new research-backed herd breeding management tools?
    A
    Spurred by advances in cattle genetics and nutrition knowledge, cow-calf operators are using them to trim labor costs, upgrade herd performance, optimize profitability and establish solid herd-breeding programs.
    Q
    Why is it important to sanitize calf navel-dipping equipment on a regular basis?
    A
    The navel acts as a “highway” to the bloodstream, so it’s important to stop pathogens from being passed on to the calf. Dipping a navel with dirty disinfectant defeats the purpose of disinfecting. If present in high quantities, organic matter can overcome the disinfectant. Regularly change out disinfectant and clean navel dippers. If navels are being clipped, sanitize scissors between uses with Nolvasan®.
    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 are urinary calculi in goats?
    A
    Urinary calculi are crystals or “stones” that cause a very painful and potentially fatal condition by blocking the ureter (or urethra), the tube going from the bladder to the outside of the body.
    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 should I do if one or more of my rabbits become ill?
    A
    Immediately remove and isolate any rabbits displaying disease symptoms. The isolation room should be in a separate building, preferably downwind of your rabbitry. Simply putting animals displaying disease symptoms at one end of your existing rabbitry is NOT adequate to prevent disease transmission. Also isolate/quarantine any new rabbits or rabbits that have left the rabbitry and are returning. Quarantine should last a minimum of 30 days. It is not uncommon for there to be a rash of disease outbreaks after a large show, primarily due to the stress of traveling and the lack of post-show quarantine.
    Q
    What are some guidelines for vaccinating show pigs?
    A
    Vaccination is the first line of defense to prevent a variety of diseases. Young pigs originating from herds with an average health status, or that will eventually be exposed to pigs of an average or unknown health status, should be vaccinated for a minimum of mycoplasmal pneumonia, erysipelas and atrophic rhinitis. Another disease causing problems at an alarming rate is circovirus. These immunizations usually require an initial vaccination with a second booster injection approximately two weeks later. At the time of purchase, the buyer should ask the breeder if the pigs have been vaccinated, how many times and against what diseases. If the breeder has not vaccinated the pigs, then the purchaser should do so. The purchaser should also medicate the pigs during this process, because it could take a few weeks for full protection from vaccination to be effective. This medication should be delivered in the form of drinking water and medicated feed for pigs consuming feed and water normally. The use of electrolytes during this time is also advisable.
    Q
    How are alfalfa and timothy hay different?
    A
    Alfalfa and timothy are both forage sources commonly used in rabbit and guinea pig diets. Nutritionally speaking, however, they are very different. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay. When alfalfa or timothy is used in a complete rabbit feed, the nutrients of the hay source used is taken into account and mixed with other appropriate ingredients to obtain a final diet formula that meets the needs of rabbits or guinea pigs. For example, while calcium is much higher in alfalfa than in timothy, in a complete feed, the amount of additional calcium sources (such as calcium carbonate) would be lower in an alfalfa-based diet compared to a timothy-based formula.
    Q
    What is the impact of increased use of DDGS in terms of storage pits?
    A
    Swine manure storage pits may start to fill up faster. In general, a 1,000-head barn manure storage pit holds approximately 420,000 gallons. A common practice is to empty the pit completely in the fall, and half in the spring. This would add approximately 630,000 gallons of manure per 1,000-head finishing barn. An increase of 20 percent in manure volume could imply an extra 126,000 gallons of manure to pump out per year and the added cost of removing that manure from the pit (McManus, 2011). 2 2McManus, Daniel. 2011. Personal communication. D.V.M. Young Animal Specialist - Swine. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC.
    Q
    What is the best feed to use for deer?
    A
    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.