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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.

    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
    Why should eggs be gathered so frequently?
    A
    Frequent egg gathering helps keep the eggs cleaner and addresses bacterial growth, thus eliminating the need for washing. And it lessens the opportunity for hens to learn the bad habit of eating her own eggs. Frequent gathering is your primary weapon against this behavioral problem.
    Q
    Are supplements more important at certain times during gestation?
    A
    Data reveal the fetus benefits if the dam is given nutritional supplements during early gestation, as well as during the last two months of gestation and following birth. Unfortunately, producers may not think about adequate nutrition during the first half of the gestation period, concentrating instead on the last trimester when 75 percent of fetal development occurs.
    Q
    How can I optimize my nutrition program so my cows produce more milk?
    A
    Apply technology to your ration. Propel® CHO Transition supplement is a technology that allows us to tweak starch feeding to fresh animals by providing an extremely consistent, rapidly available starch source. This is instrumental in driving microbial production, milk and components. Rally® Dairy Feed is a technology that addresses energy dynamics on a whole different level by providing additional energy in a form that the cow can rapidly utilize, while not contributing to the starch load or fat level of the diet. When you combine these technologies, which work very differently in the cow, the result is potential for more milk in the first 30 days of lactation. This translates into more milk for the entire lactation. We strive to change the slope of the lactation curve in this manner.
    Q
    How can supplemental feeding impact more than the fish it is meant to feed?
    A
    At first glance, supplemental feeding seems to benefit only those fish such as bluegills, sunfish, hybrid striped bass, catfish, minnows and other species that directly consume the feed. However, feeding fish also supplies nutrients to the water, which enable phytoplankton to grow. Since phytoplankton are at the very bottom of the food chain, they affect all the animals above them.
    Q
    What causes bloat in goats?
    A
    There are two major causes. One is an obstruction of the esophagus — the goat may have swallowed something large, and it is stuck. The other is that the goat has either gotten into a source of soluble carbohydrates — often a grain that it shouldn’t eat — or someone has changed the goat’s diet too quickly. These situations cause a decrease in pH, resulting in the death of “good” rumen microbes and proliferation of undesirable microbes that produce foam, blocking the entrance to the esophagus and preventing the escape of gas.
    Q
    How can a dietary supplement such as Purina® FreedomFlex™ Joint Health Product help manage equine OA?
    A
    Purina® FreedomFlex™ Joint Health Product contains beneficial levels of chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine, which are central for the effectiveness of joint supplements. It also contains the active ingredients MSM (methylsulphonylmethane) and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which possess anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids are important in the normal synthesis of collagen. As a result of such high levels of premium-grade active ingredients, results can be seen in as little as 14 days.
    Q
    How do I wean the kits away from their mother?
    A
    Unless you are a professional and very experienced rabbit breeder, you should plan on leaving the kits with the doe until 8 weeks of age. During this growth period, the kits have been drinking mother’s milk, but also eating a high-quality rabbit feed, the same provided to their mother. When it comes time to wean them, simply remove the doe from the cage. Leaving the kits in their familiar cage, which still has the doe’s scent, and has their feeder full of familiar food, is the least stressful way to help kits through this very difficult adjustment period. This is a very common time for bunnies to develop enteritis, so the fewer changes that are made, the better. This is NOT the time to be changing their location or their food!
    Q
    What will a feed formulated for show pigs not do?
    A
    There are things that even the greatest of all feeds cannot accomplish. Even the best feeds will not increase body length, base width or bone. Feed will not make the pig tall at the point of the shoulder. Nor will the best feed turn an unsound pig into a sound one. You will need to select animals that already express these features. Nutrition unlocks the genetic potential of your show pig project. A great feed will do only so much for poor genetic potential. However, a poor-quality feed can ruin great genetics.
    Q
    What kind of timetable should I use to switch my small pet to a Purina® diet?
    A
    Follow the guidelines below to help slowly transition your pet to its new feed. If your pet backs off or stops eating completely, go back a step and allow it more time to adjust to the new diet. Each animal is different; these recommendations are just a guide. Day 1: 100% old diet Day 2: 90% old diet / 10% Purina® Diet Day 3: 80% old diet / 20% Purina® Diet Day 4: 70% old diet / 30% Purina® Diet Day 5: 60% old diet / 40% Purina® Diet Day 6: 50% old diet/ 50% Purina® Diet Day 7: 40% old diet / 60% Purina® Diet Day 8: 30% old diet / 70% Purina® Diet Day 9: 20% old diet / 80% Purina® Diet Day 10: 10% old diet / 90% Purina® Diet Day 11: 100% Purina® Diet
    Q
    What is the impact of increased use of DDGS in terms of storage pits?
    A
    Swine manure storage pits may start to fill up faster. In general, a 1,000-head barn manure storage pit holds approximately 420,000 gallons. A common practice is to empty the pit completely in the fall, and half in the spring. This would add approximately 630,000 gallons of manure per 1,000-head finishing barn. An increase of 20 percent in manure volume could imply an extra 126,000 gallons of manure to pump out per year and the added cost of removing that manure from the pit (McManus, 2011). 2 2McManus, Daniel. 2011. Personal communication. D.V.M. Young Animal Specialist - Swine. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC.
    Q
    What are some of the primary factors that influence antler growth in deer?
    A
    General health, habitat, hydration, genetics, population density and other stressors can greatly influence antler growth. Good deer management must go hand-in-hand with nutrition to get optimum results.