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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
    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
    What are some of the post-natal benefits of supplementation for pregnant cattle?
    A
    Data indicate that high-quality cattle feed, supplemented at critical points during gestation, trigger postnatal benefits such as higher birth weight, faster weight gains, diminished susceptibility to health challenges, earlier sexual maturity and higher-quality meat at harvest. In addition, research revealed that well-nourished dams produced higher-quality colostrum, as evidenced by higher IgG levels. Those higher IgG levels translate into better immunity against health challenges for the calf.
    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 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
    Can goat milk fever be prevented?
    A
    You can help address milk fever by not feeding too much high-calcium feed, such as alfalfa, during late pregnancy. Grass hay or pasture is a much better choice during your goat’s dry period.
    Q
    Why is hay preferable to corn to feed to horses during cold weather?
    A
    Many horse owners believe that when the weather is cold, horses need to be fed rations containing more corn, because they think of corn as a heating feed. However, corn and other cereal grains do not cause the horse to become warmer, they simply provide more energy (calories) to the horse. Hay, which contains more fiber than grain, provides more of a warming effect internally, as more heat is released during the digestion of fiber than of starch from grain. Therefore, horses are more able to maintain body heat if adequate hay is provided in the diet.
    Q
    How can I keep my rabbit comfortable in summer heat and humidity?
    A
    Rabbits are unable to sweat; they can only dissipate heat by panting, but they aren’t very efficient at it, so they can easily become overheated. Rabbits will often reduce feed intake during hot weather to reduce the heat produced by the metabolism of food. Help your rabbit survive the summer by making sure it is always in the shade and has plenty of air movement around it, even using a fan. Plenty of cool, fresh water is a must. In extreme heat, put a sealed plastic bag full of ice in your rabbit’s pen. Switch gradually to a more nutrient-dense feed at the beginning of summer to help maintain production (weight gain or lactation) when rabbits reduce intake due to heat.
    Q
    What is the primary cause for low growth rate in show pigs?
    A
    Poor feed intake is the primary cause for low growth rate in show pigs. Poor feed intake itself may be caused by many reasons. It is important to diagnose exactly what is causing the problem.
    Q
    What species require ascorbic acid (vitamin C)?
    A
    Along with humans, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, bats, and some fish and bird species are unable to produce vitamin C themselves. Therefore, they must consume vitamin C in the foods they eat to meet this requirement. These species lack the enzyme (L-gulonolactone oxidase) that converts glucose and galactose into ascorbic acid. For those species that can synthesize vitamin C, this enzyme is normally present in the liver of mammals and in the liver or kidneys of other species.
    Q
    What can swine producers do to help improve F/G?
    A
    Efficient feeder management and biosecurity practices can have dramatic effects on improving feed conversion. This includes rodent control. Manipulation of nutrient levels in the diet need to be oriented to match pig nutrient requirements and to improve pig nutrient utilization.
    Q
    How can nutritional status manifest physically in deer and elk?
    A
    A buck's or bull's antler growth is directly related to his nutritional status. If nutrition is limited anytime during the year, but especially during January through June, antler growth will not be maximized. In addition, both fawn or calf crop size and survivability is directly related to the nutrition of both the female and her offspring. Supplemental feeding is often used as a part of a management plan to assure that both males and females are better able to achieve their genetic potential, especially during times of nutritional stress.