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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 to wash the eggs after gathering them?
    A
    Eggs are laid with a protective coating, which helps keep bacteria out. It is best if this is not disturbed. Excessive washing can force bacteria through pores in the shell and into the egg, greatly reducing its chance for successful incubation and hatching. If washing is necessary, it should be gentle and quick, using water only. This water should be warmer than the egg, and the eggs should be dried and cooled as quickly as possible.
    Q
    How often should I check my mineral feeders?
    A
    Mineral feeders should be checked at least once per week. If you have not fed minerals for a while, you will need to check and fill more frequently until the cows have settled in to a stable mineral intake. Once mineral intakes are stabilized checking mineral feeders on a weekly basis should be sufficient.
    Q
    Does amino acid balancing of rations help boost cow milk production?
    A
    Research at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center has repeatedly shown improvements in cow milk production of 6 to 7 pounds when balancing rations for metabolizable protein and subsequently, the amino acids lysine and methionine. Additionally, component yields of 0.3 pounds of fat and protein accompany this production improvement. These results have been shown to be highly repeatable in the field. This notable increase in lactation performance costs 36 cents per cow per day on average, yielding a 3-to-1 return on investment (ROI).
    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 is goat pregnancy toxemia and goat ketosis?
    A
    Late-term pregnancy (when pregnancy toxemia can occur) and especially the onset of lactation (when ketosis commonly occurs) require considerable energy, often more than can be derived from the goat’s feed. Consequently, the goat must call on body reserves of fat for energy. The breakdown of large amounts of body fat results in compounds called ketones floating around in the blood. In large concentrations, these ketones have a toxic effect.
    Q
    What are the symptoms of Cushing’s disease in horses?
    A
    An older horse with a long haircoat that sheds late in the year or incompletely may be suffering from Pituitary Pars Intermedia Disease (PPID), commonly referred to as Cushing’s disease or syndrome. PPID is caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland in the horse’s brain. Symptoms include a long haircoat, loss of muscle mass, and excessive drinking and urination. If you feel that your horse is exhibiting these symptoms, consult your veterinarian. Horses with PPID may also exhibit insulin resistance and can benefit from diets lower in starch and sugars and higher in fat and fiber. Purina® Equine Senior® horse feed has been fed very successfully to horses with PPID and was designed to help manage the condition. However, veterinary care is essential in proper care of horses suffering from PPID.
    Q
    How is biosecurity accomplished?
    A
    Simple things such as providing protective clothing for visitors; making sure visitors wash their hands and wear gloves before handling animals; keeping the rabbitry very clean; and keeping rodents, birds, insects and any other animals out can go a long way toward reducing the incidence of disease in your rabbitry.
    Q
    What are some of the factors that influence how a pig is fitted for show?
    A
    There are many, but some of the most important ones are the pig’s genetic road map, environment, management level, health status, gender (barrow or gilt) and age.
    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
    What conditions can cause heat stress in sows?
    A
    Sows can begin to feel heat stressed as temperatures surpass 70° F, depending upon humidity. Sows are most comfortable between 45 and 70° F; the range of 60 to 65° F is optimal for lactating sows. As temperatures increase outside of this range of comfort and humidity levels exceed 40 percent relative humidity, feed consumption can begin to decrease.
    Q
    What are the potential dangers to deer if they consume too much starch?
    A
    Like all ruminants, deer need a proper rumen environment to maintain the populations of microbes that digest the plants they eat. Normal rumen pH is very mildly acidic. However, too much starch, especially if consumed in a short time, results in a great deal of lactic acid being produced in the rumen. This drops the pH, making the rumen much more acidic and killing off the vital microbes. This can result in founder, acidosis and even death.