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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
    What do I need to do to prepare for the arrival of my chicks?
    A
    Several days before you bring them home, thoroughly clean and disinfect the brooder house and any equipment the chicks will use. Doing this in advance will allow everything to dry completely. Dampness is a mortal enemy to chicks, resulting in chilling and encouraging disease. When the premises are dry, place 4 to 6 inches of dry litter material (wood shavings or a commercial litter) on the floor. Also be sure to have plenty of fresh feed on hand — at least two 1-quart or one 1-gallon waterer for every 25 to 50 chicks.
    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
    What are some key size benchmarks to consider with heifers?
    A
    Measure the average weight on the mature (third plus lactation) animals in your herd. Heifers can be bred when they weigh 55 percent of the mature herd size. Wither height of Holstein heifers should be at least 49 inches tall to ensure proper frame. Holstein heifers should weigh around 85 percent of mature herd size after they deliver a calf and reach at least 53 to 54 inches tall at the withers.
    Q
    What are the benefits of supplemental feeding of fish?
    A
    Research has shown that ponds stay healthy, fish grow big and fast, and sustainable per-acre populations are large with supplemental feeding. Ponds that naturally sustain a stocking population of 500 bluegills and 50 bass per acre can easily sustain 1,000 bluegills and 100 bass per acre with supplemental feeding. This remarkable difference is due in part to the fact that supplemental feeding affects a pond’s entire food chain.
    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
    Are fats important in promoting horse hoof quality?
    A
    Fats are needed by the hoof to create a permeability barrier that assists in cell-to-cell adhesion, helping prevent bacteria and fungi from penetrating the horn. Horse diets containing adequate levels of fat can, therefore, be beneficial to the hoof.
    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
    What are some scenarios about how show pigs are received?
    A
    Some people purchase pigs from breeders right off the farm and never co-mingle them with other pigs. Other customers purchase several pigs from several different pig sales or breeders, and place them all in the same pen upon arriving home. Other pigs that encounter immune system activation may have been raised at home and placed on medicated pig starters using carbadox, CSP, ASP, CTC and Denagard®, or other medications that controlled pathogens. Then, when these pigs are placed on a show pig feed containing a different antibiotic, it is possible for the pigs to show symptoms of disease, i.e., coughing, scouring, and/or anorexia (off feed). In reality, it has nothing to do with the nutritional content of the feed, but everything to do with the medication.
    Q
    Has this more stable vitamin C source been created and is it being used in small-pet food?
    A
    Modern technology has allowed us to significantly increase the shelf life of vitamin C using a stabilized version, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate. The phosphate is broken off during digestion, making the ascorbic acid completely available to the animal. This ingredient is heat stable and shelf stable, making it the perfect option to ensure your pet is getting all the vitamin C it needs!
    Q
    What are some of the factors that can influence pig feed conversion (F/G)?
    A
    Feed wastage, scours, continuous flow production, pneumonia, mange, multiple source pigs and mixing pigs are among the factors that can have a significant influence on F/G. Factors with less impact include pelleting feed, antibacterial additives and genetics.
    Q
    What makes Purina® Game Bird Chow® products different than other brands?
    A
    Purina® Game Bird Chows® products are manufactured according to strict specifications. Purina® Game Bird Chows® products are not commercial turkey or poultry rations, they are unique products for unique species grown for unique reasons. This is important because game birds eat such a relatively small quantity of feed. A quail chick, for example, eats only a thimbleful of feed in four days. Every bit of Purina® Game Bird Chow® products are Micro-Mixed® with Purina’s proprietary process. Every bite brings your birds complete, wholesome nutrition. Purina’s Life Cycle Program can help you efficiently raise all types of game birds from hatch to release or finish.