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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® ...

    Kathleen Young, Ph.D. - Lea...

    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
    Is it necessary to wash the eggs after gathering them?
    A
    Eggs are laid with a protective coating, which helps keep bacteria out. It is best if this is not disturbed. Excessive washing can force bacteria through pores in the shell and into the egg, greatly reducing its chance for successful incubation and hatching. If washing is necessary, it should be gentle and quick, using water only. This water should be warmer than the egg, and the eggs should be dried and cooled as quickly as possible.
    Q
    Why are U.S. cow-calf operators embracing new research-backed herd breeding management tools?
    A
    Spurred by advances in cattle genetics and nutrition knowledge, cow-calf operators are using them to trim labor costs, upgrade herd performance, optimize profitability and establish solid herd-breeding programs.
    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 can be done to help address urinary calculi in goats?
    A
    Delay castration until your goat is at least 4 months old, if possible; control phosphorous intake; provide plenty of water; make salt available; and feed a product that contains a urinary acidifier such as ammonium chloride. These steps will not guarantee that your goat will never have a stone incident, but they will go a long way toward trying to prevent one.
    Q
    Why is 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
    How is biosecurity accomplished?
    A
    Simple things such as providing protective clothing for visitors; making sure visitors wash their hands and wear gloves before handling animals; keeping the rabbitry very clean; and keeping rodents, birds, insects and any other animals out can go a long way toward reducing the incidence of disease in your rabbitry.
    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
    Should I feed my rabbit alfalfa or timothy hay has a supplemental hay?
    A
    Calcium metabolism in rabbits is unique compared to other species. Rabbits are efficient calcium absorbers and excrete excess calcium in their urine. Because of this unique metabolic system, rabbits are prone to urinary stones if fed too much calcium. Therefore, when feeding an adult rabbit supplemental hay in addition to a complete diet, it is preferable to provide timothy hay to minimize excess calcium.
    Q
    What can swine producers do to help improve F/G?
    A
    Efficient feeder management and biosecurity practices can have dramatic effects on improving feed conversion. This includes rodent control. Manipulation of nutrient levels in the diet need to be oriented to match pig nutrient requirements and to improve pig nutrient utilization.
    Q
    How can I help ensure the deer I feed aren’t getting too much starch?
    A
    Properly formulated commercial feeds provide the correct ratio of all nutrients and make it easy to properly feed your deer. It is very difficult to provide the optimal nutrient balance without a thorough knowledge of the composition of the feed ingredients and the nutrient needs of the animal. A thoroughly balanced, high-quality feed is the fastest route to healthy deer and trophy antlers.