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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.

    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
    Is it necessary to wash the eggs after gathering them?
    A
    Eggs are laid with a protective coating, which helps keep bacteria out. It is best if this is not disturbed. Excessive washing can force bacteria through pores in the shell and into the egg, greatly reducing its chance for successful incubation and hatching. If washing is necessary, it should be gentle and quick, using water only. This water should be warmer than the egg, and the eggs should be dried and cooled as quickly as possible.
    Q
    How often should I check my mineral feeders?
    A
    Mineral feeders should be checked at least once per week. If you have not fed minerals for a while, you will need to check and fill more frequently until the cows have settled in to a stable mineral intake. Once mineral intakes are stabilized checking mineral feeders on a weekly basis should be sufficient.
    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
    What are some of the problems common to older horses?
    A
    These may include worn or missing teeth, decreasing digestive efficiency, respiratory problems, difficulty maintaining body weight, poor haircoat and chronic lameness. Working with your veterinarian will help determine when to begin addressing concerns of the aging horse, to ensure its continued good health and longevity.
    Q
    What is rabbit enteritis and what is its cause?
    A
    Enteritis, or digestive tract inflammation, is one of the most common disease conditions in rabbits. Unfortunately, enteritis itself is usually a symptom and has many potential causes. There are several diseases that result in enteritis, but there are also many management mistakes that can lead to this potentially deadly condition.
    Q
    What is Paylean® and what does it do for show pigs?
    A
    Paylean® is the trade name for Elanco’s ractopamine hydrochloride. Simply put, Paylean® shifts nutrients into synthesizing lean or muscle in show pigs, and away from fat deposition. Paylean® does not increase the number of muscle fibers, but rather increases the size of existing muscle fibers.
    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
    What types of parameters should swine producers use or not use to evaluate their feeding programs?
    A
    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.
    Q
    What are some of the primary factors that influence antler growth in deer?
    A
    General health, habitat, hydration, genetics, population density and other stressors can greatly influence antler growth. Good deer management must go hand-in-hand with nutrition to get optimum results.