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

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

    Winter Means Increased Respiratory Problems for S...

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

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

    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 do hens’ diets affect egg quality?
    A
    Hens are very good at incorporating what they eat into the developing egg. Hens fed ground flaxseed will produce eggs with a much higher level of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an important omega-3 fatty acid, while those fed algae meal will lay eggs with higher amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), another very valuable omega-3 fatty acid.
    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 the most common cause of fish kill?
    A
    The most common cause of fish kill is probably depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO). Depletion of dissolved oxygen may occur due to several factors and is often predictable. Emergency aeration should always be available for intensive fish culture systems. Common causes of oxygen depletion include sudden die-offs (crashes) of dense phytoplankton blooms, insufficient or no supplemental aeration at times of high oxygen demands, pond turnover, and aeration system failure.
    Q
    What should I do if my goat has bloat?
    A
    If your goat has swallowed an object, you may be able to feel the obstruction in the throat. If you cannot gently work it down the esophagus, get a veterinarian’s help. Under no circumstances should you ever try to push the obstruction down the throat using any kind of instrument. Never try to manipulate an object that feels hard, as you can cause serious damage to the goat’s esophagus. A veterinarian can administer a surfactant to your goat to decrease the foam, allowing your goat to belch away the problem.
    Q
    Why is it important to feed horses adequate roughage?
    A
    Horses require at least 1–1.5 percent of their body weight per day of roughage in their diets. Feeding adequate amounts of high-quality roughage can prevent many digestive disturbances as well as behavior problems. When providing a feed such as Equine Junior®, Equine Senior® or Equine Adult® horse feeds, the roughage is included in the pellet, so all the horse's nutritional requirements are met when these complete feeds are fed as recommended. However, it may be beneficial to supply some roughage to decrease the risk of horses developing boredom vices, especially when exercise is limited.
    Q
    What does “rabbitry biosecurity” mean?
    A
    Many pathogens and parasites lurk everywhere, just waiting for the opportunity to infect your rabbits, often from sources you might never consider. Introducing biosecurity measures — preventative steps designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases — into your rabbitry can help reduce incidence of disease. The goal of a good biosecurity program is to keep out pathogens the animals have not been exposed to, and to minimize the impact of widespread pathogens.
    Q
    Is Paylean® a steroid? Can it be used on animals other than swine?
    A
    Paylean® is not a steroid; however, it is classified as a drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is regulated as such. Due to the rapid metabolism in Paylean®, there is no withdrawal time required. Paylean® is approved for use only in swine. Ractopamine HCl is approved for use in both swine and cattle. The cattle product is called Optiflexx® and is not approved to be fed to swine.
    Q
    Why can’t I just switch right away?
    A
    Species such as guinea pigs and rabbits have very delicate digestive systems that rely on a consistent diet. Changing a diet immediately, or providing too many treats at one time, can cause a disruption to the ecosystem of microbes in the GI tract and lead to GI upset. Pets such as birds and guinea pigs are very finicky eaters. Birds especially are very attuned to the shape, size and color of their food. Switching a bird’s diet abruptly may lead to digestive upset, or worse, your bird will stop eating completely. You can change your pet’s diet, you just need to do it slowly.
    Q
    How can diet help ease the weaning process for piglets?
    A
    The weaning process and development of the gastrointestinal tract of the pig have a profound effect on nutrient absorption and protection from pathogenic challenges, thus impacting growth. Diets constructed for young pigs should take into account these changes that are occurring at weaning and utilize ingredients that the young pig can better absorb and that support intestinal health.
    Q
    What is the Purina Game Bird Life Cycle Feeding Program?
    A
    The Purina Game Bird Life Cycle Feeding Program has been developed and tested at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Missouri. The program is designed to meet specific nutritional requirements of game birds at various stages of growth and production. Purina feeding programs stress efficiency based on research conducted exclusively with game birds.