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  • This is a Way of Life You Have to Live to Truly Understand
     
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     FEATURED NUTRITION ARTICLES 

     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 

     FIND ANSWERS 

    Information From Our Experts

    Animal experts from the Purina Animal Nutrition Center share their knowledge.

    Q
    What type of housing do I need to provide for my flock?
    A
    Be sure to thoroughly research the needs of individual poultry breeds before purchasing them. Some have very specific environmental needs and may not mix well with the average backyard flock. Chicks need adequate space and warmth. Some of the equipment and supplies you’ll need for raising chicks are heat lamps and/or brooder stove, feeders, waterers and a thermometer. All necessary equipment and supplies can be obtained from your local Purina dealer.
    Q
    What are some of the post-natal benefits of supplementation for pregnant cattle?
    A
    Data indicate that high-quality cattle feed, supplemented at critical points during gestation, trigger postnatal benefits such as higher birth weight, faster weight gains, diminished susceptibility to health challenges, earlier sexual maturity and higher-quality meat at harvest. In addition, research revealed that well-nourished dams produced higher-quality colostrum, as evidenced by higher IgG levels. Those higher IgG levels translate into better immunity against health challenges for the calf.
    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 is the most common cause of fish kill?
    A
    The most common cause of fish kill is probably depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO). Depletion of dissolved oxygen may occur due to several factors and is often predictable. Emergency aeration should always be available for intensive fish culture systems. Common causes of oxygen depletion include sudden die-offs (crashes) of dense phytoplankton blooms, insufficient or no supplemental aeration at times of high oxygen demands, pond turnover, and aeration system failure.
    Q
    What are the signs of goat milk fever?
    A
    Moderate milk fever will make the goat lethargic, with poor appetite and poor milk production. Acute cases of milk fever can leave the goat in a coma; she will need immediate veterinary attention.
    Q
    What determines how much a horse should be fed?
    A
    In order to feed the correct amount to a horse, the owner must know the horse's body weight. To determine body weight, one can use a livestock scale, a weight tape (such as those available through Purina Dealers) or an equation, such as: BW (lbs.) = Heartgirth (in.) x Heartgirth (in.) x Body length (in.) divided by 330. (The heartgirth is measured as the circumference over the withers and around the barrel; the body length is measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks.) Once the horse's body weight is determined, then the owner should use the guidelines on the bag of feed or the feeding calculator found on the Purina website (http://horse.purinamills.com) to calculate how many pounds of feed and hay to feed each horse.
    Q
    Is it mostly respiratory diseases that can affect rabbits, or are there others?
    A
    Enteritis — or inflammation of the intestinal tract — is the primary disease that affects rabbits. There are many forms and causes. Mucoid enteritis, primarily a disease of young rabbits 7 to 14 weeks of age (although it can also occur in adults), disrupts the developing microflora population in the gut. This disease is often accompanied by pneumonia and has a high mortality rate. Non-mucoid enteritis, characterized by watery diarrhea, can be caused by infection with any number of bacteria or parasites, a diet that is too high in starch/sugar and/or too low in fiber, lack of water, rapid diet change or consumption of feed the rabbit is not used to, or stress.
    Q
    What type of forage should I feed my show lambs?
    A
    At minimum, each lamb should receive a double handful, or about ¼ lb. (4 ounces) of a good-quality alfalfa hay per day. Although progressive judges are selecting lambs with more base width, rib shape and deeper fore rib, we still want lambs that are relatively tubular in their design. That means a lamb with an excessive middle usually will not be placed high in class. Poor-quality forage passes slowly through the digestive tract of the lamb. So, feeding a low- or moderate-quality roughage source tends to put some middle or a belly on lambs. The higher-quality alfalfa passes through much faster, maintaining the tubular appearance of the lamb, yet meeting the lamb’s fiber requirement.
    Q
    What species require ascorbic acid (vitamin C)?
    A
    Along with humans, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, bats, and some fish and bird species are unable to produce vitamin C themselves. Therefore, they must consume vitamin C in the foods they eat to meet this requirement. These species lack the enzyme (L-gulonolactone oxidase) that converts glucose and galactose into ascorbic acid. For those species that can synthesize vitamin C, this enzyme is normally present in the liver of mammals and in the liver or kidneys of other species.
    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 is the best feed to use for deer?
    A
    If you want big, healthy deer that can achieve their genetic potential for antler growth, you need a high-quality feed designed specifically for deer. Anything less will give you just that: less.