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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.
    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.

    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
    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
    When should I start weaning my calves?
    A
    Most producers start to wean their calves around 6 months of age. This can vary depending on forage conditions and when the calves are going to be marketed. In many cases the calves are weaned 45 – 60 days prior to marketing to get them off to a good start so they look their best for sale day.
    Q
    What are some potential consequences of colder temperatures on calves?
    A
    Lack of weight gain, more susceptibility to diseases, delayed age at first calving and decreased milk production potential.
    Q
    What does it mean if my fish quit eating?
    A
    The first sign of a problem is often a sudden decrease in appetite. If a group of fish suddenly quits eating, the cause is usually either an adverse water quality condition or disease. First, check water quality. If a water quality problem exists, rectify the problem. If fish appear unhealthy in any way (improper or erratic behavior, sores, etc.), they may be diseased. Send unhealthy-appearing fish to a pathologist for evaluation.
    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
    Why is it important to measure horse feed by weight, not volume?
    A
    A 3-lb coffee can of oats is not the same amount of feed as a 3-lb coffee can of corn! The can may hold 2–3 lbs. of oats, while the can of corn may be 4–5 lbs. Further, since corn is more calorie rich than oats, the can of corn may contain 2–3 times the energy as the can of oats. Any time a horse owner changes feed, he or she must weigh the can of feed to make sure the horse gets fed the same amount of feed every meal. Plus, every different batch of corn or oats may be a different weight. A specific volume of Strategy® Professional Formula GX Horse Feed or Omolene #200® horse feed will weigh the same each time. Another option is to use a pre-measured Purina scoop, available through local Purina horse feed dealers.
    Q
    I’ve noticed some unusual behavior on the part of my doe with her newborns — is this normal?
    A
    Occasionally, incidents happen that are often blamed on “bad mothering skills,” but are often the result of stress and/or inexperience. A first-time mother may accidentally bite into the belly of a kit while removing the umbilical cord, or cause other damage trying to pull the kit from her vagina using her teeth. These incidents usually do not happen after the first litter. Stomping on kits is often a result of the doe jumping at an unusual sound, and she may “thump” to warn others, which can be dangerous for her kits within the confines of the nest box. A doe may also urinate on her kits to camouflage them if she thinks a predator is lurking. Does exhibiting such behavior should be moved to a quieter, more secure location where they will not be stressed into dangerous behavior. Does may also become aggressive toward their caretaker at this time, as they are in a very protective mode. Simply perform any necessary tasks quickly and quietly and leave the doe to do her job.
    Q
    Why are my lambs chewing their wool?
    A
    The leading cause of wool chewing or wool pulling in lambs is inadequate fiber length, resulting in insufficient effective neutral detergent fiber (NDF), which is needed for rumen health. Feeding a roughage source with 1½ to 2 inches of fiber length usually prevents wool biting, chewing or pulling. However, once a lamb begins to pull wool, it usually will not stop. It quickly becomes a habit, and you will need to keep your lambs covered or separated to stop this activity.
    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 can happen when a piglet is weaned?
    A
    During the first week of weaning, pigs may (or “commonly” if this does not occur every time) have a reduced growth rate, which is related in part to low and variable water and feed intake. Additionally, the newly weaned pig’s immune and digestive systems are still maturing, making the piglet more susceptible to enteric antigenic challenges (nutritional or microbial), which can also cause a reduction in feed intake.
    Q
    How do deer and elk intake levels impact a nutrition plan?
    A
    Their daily intake levels change from winter to autumn. Daily dry matter intakes range from 1.5 percent of body weight in midwinter to more than 3.0 percent in summer and autumn. A key factor in this intake change is a shift in the metabolic rate. Deer, for example, have a high metabolic rate in the late spring to fall and a low metabolic rate in the winter. This is especially noticeable in the northern US.