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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 

     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 safety measures do I need to be aware of before I purchase chicks?
    A
    Any chicks you purchase should be from a U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean hatchery to enhance livability and decrease potential disease problems. Chicks should be vaccinated against Marek’s disease soon after hatching. Consult your veterinarian.
    Q
    What are the benefits of Wind and Rain® Storm™ Cattle Minerals?
    A
    Wind and Rain® Storm™ Cattle Minerals are enhanced to resist moisture even better than Wind and Rain® Cattle Minerals. Wind and Rain® Storm™ minerals shed moisture, so water finds its way through the minerals rather than sitting on top and causing clumping and spoilage, which makes feed unpalatable to cattle.
    Q
    How can I help ensure good biosecurity policies for my calf operation?
    A
    Employees and visitors can be unsuspecting sources of calf disease. Anyone who works directly with animals should use latex gloves, as this can limit the transfer of harmful pathogens. Shoes and clothes must also be clean and disinfected before and after people enter a calf facility to minimize the spread of bacteria. Having sanitation protocols in place and holding employees accountable for their cleaning practices can help calf operations raise healthy calves that develop into cows with more profit potential.
    Q
    What does it mean if my fish quit eating?
    A
    The first sign of a problem is often a sudden decrease in appetite. If a group of fish suddenly quits eating, the cause is usually either an adverse water quality condition or disease. First, check water quality. If a water quality problem exists, rectify the problem. If fish appear unhealthy in any way (improper or erratic behavior, sores, etc.), they may be diseased. Send unhealthy-appearing fish to a pathologist for evaluation.
    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
    What is a senior horse?
    A
    We typically think of a senior horse as one that is in its teens, but individual horses become seniors at different ages. The age at which a horse’s nutritional needs shift from those of a mature adult horse to those of a geriatric horse is determined by genetics and the way that horse was managed throughout its life. Basically, the horse itself determines when it becomes a senior. Some common indications of changing nutritional needs can help determine when to start addressing the needs of a geriatric horse. For instance, it becomes more difficult to maintain body weight on a senior horse with a traditional diet of hay or grass and feed. A senior horse may also start dropping wads of partially chewed hay on the ground (quidding).
    Q
    What should I do if one or more of my rabbits become ill?
    A
    Immediately remove and isolate any rabbits displaying disease symptoms. The isolation room should be in a separate building, preferably downwind of your rabbitry. Simply putting animals displaying disease symptoms at one end of your existing rabbitry is NOT adequate to prevent disease transmission. Also isolate/quarantine any new rabbits or rabbits that have left the rabbitry and are returning. Quarantine should last a minimum of 30 days. It is not uncommon for there to be a rash of disease outbreaks after a large show, primarily due to the stress of traveling and the lack of post-show quarantine.
    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
    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
    How do deer and elk intake levels impact a nutrition plan?
    A
    Their daily intake levels change from winter to autumn. Daily dry matter intakes range from 1.5 percent of body weight in midwinter to more than 3.0 percent in summer and autumn. A key factor in this intake change is a shift in the metabolic rate. Deer, for example, have a high metabolic rate in the late spring to fall and a low metabolic rate in the winter. This is especially noticeable in the northern US.