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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.

    Effect of Feeding Pigs DDGS and Purina® EcoCare® ...

    Karen E. Davison, Ph.D. - S...

    Winter Means Increased Respiratory Problems for S...

    Purina Animal Nutrition Exp...

    Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

    Feeding Show Lambs: Basic Show Lamb Nutrition

    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
    How many times a day should eggs be gathered?
    A
    Eggs should be gathered three times daily, and even more often in hot weather.
    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 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
    How can supplemental feeding potentially increase the number of trophy fish in my pond?
    A
    Predator fish, such as bass, walleye and larger catfish, eat the bluegills, minnows, small catfish and other forage fish that have been supplied with supplemental feed. By feeding the forage fish, you’ve not only provided yourself with a better catch when you hook a bluegill, you’ve also provided a better meal for your bass. As an added bonus, supplemental feeding also makes the forage fish population more plentiful, because the larger size brought on by feeding encourages earlier breeding — sometimes as early as the first year. In the end, the result is an increase in the capacity of your pond to grow and maintain a greater number of trophy fish.
    Q
    Can goat milk fever be prevented?
    A
    You can help address milk fever by not feeding too much high-calcium feed, such as alfalfa, during late pregnancy. Grass hay or pasture is a much better choice during your goat’s dry period.
    Q
    Can anything help alleviate polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) in my horse?
    A
    PSSM horses can remain asymptomatic for years (average age of first appearance of symptoms is 6 years) until there is some change in their schedule, such as being laid off due to injury or not getting regular exercise due to weather. Regular daily exercise for horses with PSSM has been shown to produce a dramatic decrease in serum CK following exercise. Adjusting to a lower-starch, higher-fat diet will further support these efforts. For some horses, improvement may be evident within a few days of the new diet and exercise program. Others will take longer to metabolically adjust and show a change for the better.
    Q
    Will my rabbit eat more during the cold winter months?
    A
    Intense winter weather will increase energy expenditure and have an impact on growth, weight maintenance and productivity if feeding rates are not adjusted accordingly. Outdoor rabbits will eat more — sometimes a LOT more — during the winter to stay warm. Do not assume that your rabbit that does fine on 5 ounces of feed in the summer will continue to need only 5 ounces in the winter. Feel your rabbits often to make sure they are not losing weight, and observe them for evidence of being cold.
    Q
    When can I expect to see a difference in my show pigs after starting to feed Paylean®?
    A
    All pigs are different and will respond a little differently in terms of side effects. However, most pigs with average muscling will respond about the same in terms of days until you see visible effects from feeding Paylean®. Usually, in about 7 days you can see a difference in pigs fed 9 grams/ton. Legal levels of Paylean® range from 4.5 to 9 grams/ton of complete feed.
    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
    How can adequate feed consumption in sows be encouraged?
    A
    One way is to supplement sow rations with a highly digestible summer feed additive, such as True Appetizer® feed from Purina Animal Nutrition. Research indicates that True Appetizer® feed significantly increases feed intake and litter weight gain and reduces pre-weaning mortality during warm environmental conditions (80° F). Additional research shows that replacing 50 lbs. per ton of corn with True Appetizer® feed can have benefits in lactating sows when temperatures exceed 72° F, with sows consuming 1.01 lbs. of feed per day more from days 1 to 20 in lactation (P = 0.03). This added consumption resulted in 3.4 percent heavier litter weights at weaning and 3.6 percent greater litter weight gain from 24 hours after farrowing through weaning.
    Q
    Should I not feed corn to deer, then?
    A
    In addition to being low in protein and minerals, corn is very high in starch, and the rapid consumption of 2 to 3 pounds by a deer not used to it is enough to cause serious problems. If you must feed corn, it is best to use a spin feeder, which will minimize the amount provided and the speed with which the deer can consume it. Small amounts of starch do provide valuable energy and can actually improve the digestion of forages by optimizing the microbe population in the rumen.