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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® EcoCa...

    Karen E. Davison, Ph.D.

    Winter Means Increased Respiratory Problems for S...

    Purina Animal Nutrition Expert

    Will Great Nutrition Guarantee Trophy Bucks?

    Feeding Show Lambs: Basic Show Lamb Nutrition

    Three Benchmarks for Breeding Heifers by Size

    Purina Animal Nutrition Expert

    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
    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
    Do my cows need different minerals during calving season?
    A
    This is one of the most important times of the production cycle to provide a good balanced mineral program. Minerals are very important for problem free calving and the initiation of reproduction after calving. A good balanced mineral program will help the start of estrus cycles prior to the breeding season.
    Q
    How can I help meet my calves’ increased energy demands in colder weather?
    A
    Added energy can be provided by adding a third feeding of milk replacer, preferably late in the evening; and increasing the amount of starter offered. Seasonal formulations of both milk replacer and calf starter are now available and are designed specifically to meet the needs of calves during inclement weather.
    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
    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 I feed my horse a forage-only diet?
    A
    When you look at the horses that Mother Nature supports with a forage-only, continuous grazing program, you find they are usually smaller framed, are lighter muscled, mature at a later age and don’t have the life span we currently see in domesticated horses. Mother Nature’s program just isn’t designed to support the physical demands we place on domestic horses.
    Q
    I’ve noticed some unusual behavior on the part of my doe with her newborns — is this normal?
    A
    Occasionally, incidents happen that are often blamed on “bad mothering skills,” but are often the result of stress and/or inexperience. A first-time mother may accidentally bite into the belly of a kit while removing the umbilical cord, or cause other damage trying to pull the kit from her vagina using her teeth. These incidents usually do not happen after the first litter. Stomping on kits is often a result of the doe jumping at an unusual sound, and she may “thump” to warn others, which can be dangerous for her kits within the confines of the nest box. A doe may also urinate on her kits to camouflage them if she thinks a predator is lurking. Does exhibiting such behavior should be moved to a quieter, more secure location where they will not be stressed into dangerous behavior. Does may also become aggressive toward their caretaker at this time, as they are in a very protective mode. Simply perform any necessary tasks quickly and quietly and leave the doe to do her job.
    Q
    What are some guidelines for vaccinating show pigs?
    A
    Vaccination is the first line of defense to prevent a variety of diseases. Young pigs originating from herds with an average health status, or that will eventually be exposed to pigs of an average or unknown health status, should be vaccinated for a minimum of mycoplasmal pneumonia, erysipelas and atrophic rhinitis. Another disease causing problems at an alarming rate is circovirus. These immunizations usually require an initial vaccination with a second booster injection approximately two weeks later. At the time of purchase, the buyer should ask the breeder if the pigs have been vaccinated, how many times and against what diseases. If the breeder has not vaccinated the pigs, then the purchaser should do so. The purchaser should also medicate the pigs during this process, because it could take a few weeks for full protection from vaccination to be effective. This medication should be delivered in the form of drinking water and medicated feed for pigs consuming feed and water normally. The use of electrolytes during this time is also advisable.
    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 types of parameters should swine producers use or not use to evaluate their feeding programs?
    A
    Today’s highly fluctuating ingredient prices are encouraging producers to evaluate their feeding programs. The worst parameter that can be used in feeding program evaluation is feed cost per ton, which does not account for the effects on pig growth performance. A good parameter that can be used in the evaluation is the cost of feed per pound of gain. Therefore, any improvement in feed conversion can be considered as an opportunity to fight the increasing feed prices.
    Q
    What makes Purina® Game Bird Chow® products different than other brands?
    A
    Purina® Game Bird Chows® products are manufactured according to strict specifications. Purina® Game Bird Chows® products are not commercial turkey or poultry rations, they are unique products for unique species grown for unique reasons. This is important because game birds eat such a relatively small quantity of feed. A quail chick, for example, eats only a thimbleful of feed in four days. Every bit of Purina® Game Bird Chow® products are Micro-Mixed® with Purina’s proprietary process. Every bite brings your birds complete, wholesome nutrition. Purina’s Life Cycle Program can help you efficiently raise all types of game birds from hatch to release or finish.