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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.

    Mariela Lachmann, Ph.D. - S...

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

    Katie Young, Ph.D. - Lead T...

    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 

    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 a poor diet affect the ability of hens to produce quality eggs?
    A
    A diet of unfortified scratch grains and table scraps will not only make the nutritional value of the egg suffer, but the hen’s production will likely decrease, and her eggshells will be thinner, contributing to increased breakage and waste.
    Q
    What can happen if producers don’t make short-term investments in feed supplementation for their cattle?
    A
    High feed costs can make producers think they can’t afford to spend money on supplementation up front. However, if they don’t make the expenditure, they end up paying the price because their cows may have a reduced ability to conceive and conceive early, plus have a lower overall reproduction rate.
    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 is pond turnover?
    A
    Pond turnover may occur at any time of the year. However, one of the most common times is in late summer, when the water is very warm and oxygen demand is already high. Turnover is often caused by a sudden cooling of weather or a cold rain that cools the water close to the surface. The cool water on top is more dense than the warmer water below, causing the pond to turn over. Turnover often releases anoxic water from the bottom, which causes a lack of oxygen throughout the pond. This can result in a large die-off of fish. Often, by the time it is discovered, oxygen levels have already returned to normal.
    Q
    How does this condition impact goats?
    A
    Urinary calculi occur primarily in male goats, as the female ureter is short and straight, while the male ureter is much longer and has a bend in it that provides a perfect place for a stone to lodge. When the ureter is blocked the goat cannot urinate — an extremely painful and distressing condition. If not immediately treated, the goat’s bladder can rupture, and the goat will die. Pygmy goats and castrated males whose urinary tracts are underdeveloped are particularly prone to urinary calculi, as are many breeds of meat goats.
    Q
    Can I improve my horse’s hooves with biotin?
    A
    Some studies have found biotin supplementation helps some horses grow better hooves, other studies found no advantage, and one study reported a reduced growth rate with biotin supplementation. For horses with poor hoof quality despite good environment and balanced nutrition, there may be some benefit from a therapeutic dose of biotin supplementation. But for the majority of horses, a diet with naturally occurring biotin, a good amino acid and fatty acid balance, and proper vitamin and mineral fortification will support excellent hoof growth rates and quality of growth.
    Q
    What are the symptoms of enteritis in rabbits?
    A
    Enteritis is characterized by watery diarrhea, but is usually preceded by symptoms that may not be noticed, including decreased feed intake and constipation. This is generally followed by moderate diarrhea and mild dehydration, which do not sound particularly dangerous, but rabbits can die at this stage. Symptoms soon progress to acute diarrhea, complete cessation of food and water intake, and often tooth grinding by the rabbit in response to abdominal pain. The rabbit may even go into a coma. Mortality at this stage is very high.
    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
    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
    Has anything been shown to reduce water usage and manure volume in pigs fed DDGS?
    A
    The Oklahoma research also showed that when pigs were fed diets with similar DDGS inclusion and Purina® EcoCare® Feed Technology, water usage and manure volume were numerically reduced. The advantages of feeding EcoCare® Feed to retain manure storage capacity cannot be overlooked. 1 1 Need citation
    Q
    What factors should wildlife managers consider in making nutrition decisions for deer and elk herds?
    A
    Seasonal forage availability and quality, physiological state and nutritional requirements, number and kinds of animal species, livestock and grazing management practices, and production goals.