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     FEATURED PURINA 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.
     

     FIND ANSWERS 

    Information From Our Experts

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

    Q
    Is it necessary for a rooster to be present for egg laying to begin?
    A
    No, but without a rooster, all eggs will be unfertilized.
    Q
    Won’t increasing feeding during the last trimester of pregnancy increase the risk of dystocia in cows?
    A
    That is a myth. In fact, a number of studies have concluded the opposite is true. Cows that lost weight during the last trimester did have smaller calves, but also had more problems calving because they did not have sufficient energy stores in their bodies to calve rapidly and easily on their own. Cows that maintained or gained weight had a lower incidence of calving problems — even though their calves weighed slightly more. Body condition also affects fertility, rebreeding and pregnancy, all of which can have a direct impact on herd profitability.
    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 are forage fish?
    A
    Forage fish are smaller fish, such as minnows, bluegill and small catfish. A sufficient population of these fish will provide the food that larger fish such as bass and trout need to prey upon to thrive.
    Q
    Why is it important for ruminant animals such as goats to be able to burp?
    A
    The rumen produces a lot of gas from the fermentation of food, and ruminant animals normally get rid of this gas and avoid bloat by belching. If something blocks the escape of gas from the rumen, however, the rumen will begin to expand. You will notice a large bulge on the animal’s left side, as if it had swallowed a soccer ball.
    Q
    What are the advantages of feeding a high-quality horse feed such as Purina® Omolene #500® over oats?
    A
    Purina® Omolene #500® provides better and more consistent nutrition, more diverse fuel sources, and less chance of over- or under-supplementation of nutrients when compared to oats. It is an extremely palatable feed, and needs no supplementation to provide adequate nutrition. It’s all the nutrition your horse needs in one bag.
    Q
    What are some of the diseases that can affect rabbits?
    A
    Whether you have a large rabbitry or just a few pet or show animals, there are many pathogens and parasites that can infect your animals. For example, Pasteurella multocida (P. multocida) is a respiratory disease, commonly known as “snuffles,” that can become widespread in a rabbitry. Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen that can cause mastitis (infection of the mammary glands), pododermatitis (sore feet and hocks), endocarditis (inflammation of the endocardium of the heart), conjunctivitis (pink eye) and subcutaneous abscesses. Mycoplasmas can cause everything from pneumonia to reproductive failure. Learn about the various pathogens and parasites that can impact your rabbit’s health and practice good biosecurity to help keep your rabbitry a clean and healthy environment for your rabbits.
    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
    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
    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.