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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
    How much milk should my cows produce during lacation for their calves to be healthy?
    A
    Each cow will produce different amounts of milk. I don’t know that there is a minimum amount of milk that needs to be produced in order to keep calves healthy. More important is that the cows are on a good health program, with adequate protein, energy and minerals to maximize colostrum quality. A good dose of high quality colostrum at birth will help the calf get off to a healthy start.
    Q
    At what temperature can cold stress impact the growth and health of dairy calves?
    A
    At a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit we may be comfortable, but our calves start to divert energy away from growth and immune function to regulate body temperature. Calves become cold stressed at fairly moderate temperatures because they have a higher surface-area-to-bodyweight ratio than older animals.
    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
    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
    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
    Does rabbit enteritis have other causes?
    A
    Parasites such as trematodes (flukes), cestodes (tapeworms), nematodes (intestinal worms) and coccidia (protozoa) can also cause enteritis in rabbits. It is wise to establish a health care program with a veterinarian that includes regular checks for various parasites and a comprehensive prevention program. Coccidia are particularly ubiquitous in animal facilities and the environment in general. Outbreaks are common and can be devastating, especially in young animals. Some antibiotics and other compounds can also cause enteritis. Nitrates in drinking water can pose a problem, too.
    Q
    What is the primary cause for low growth rate in show pigs?
    A
    Poor feed intake is the primary cause for low growth rate in show pigs. Poor feed intake itself may be caused by many reasons. It is important to diagnose exactly what is causing the problem.
    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 have been some of the outcomes of feeding pigs DDGS?
    A
    Partial results of our most recent study at Oklahoma State University suggest that swine producers who have adopted the use of DDGS as a cost-saving strategy may also be increasing their pigs’ water intake and manure volume, compared to pigs fed corn-soybean meal diets.1 1 Need citation
    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.