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Animals
speak louder
than words.

Animals
speak louder
than words.

Feed Greatness
Feed Greatness
Message Image to Space Layout Feed Greatness. It's our commitment at Purina.
And when it comes
down to it, words aren't needed. Because if there's greatness on the
inside, it shows on the outside. Animals speak louder than words.
Feed Greatness. It's our commitment at Purina.
And when it comes
down to it, words aren't needed. Because if there's greatness on the
inside, it shows on the outside. Animals speak louder than words.

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.
 

Information From Our Experts

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

Q
What type of housing do I need to provide for my flock?
A
Be sure to thoroughly research the needs of individual poultry breeds before purchasing them. Some have very specific environmental needs and may not mix well with the average backyard flock. Chicks need adequate space and warmth. Some of the equipment and supplies you’ll need for raising chicks are heat lamps and/or brooder stove, feeders, waterers and a thermometer. All necessary equipment and supplies can be obtained from your local Purina dealer.
Q
Why is it important to make weaning as stress-free as possible for calves?
A
Weaning suppresses the immune system and makes calves more susceptible to ailments like bovine respiratory disease, coccidiosis and acidosis, according to an article by Clell V. Bagley, DVM, retired extension veterinarian at Utah State University. Minimizing stress is crucial when it comes to weaning calves. Otherwise, the odds of incurring losses increase dramatically.
Q
What is the advantage of growing heifer calves faster and more efficiently?
A
Accelerated growth can help maximize performance and the health of the animal over its lifetime. However, these larger heifers need to be bred early enough to take full advantage of this more aggressive calf growth plan. Many heifers are still being bred at the same age as before, even though they could easily be bred two to three months sooner, based on size.
Q
How can supplemental feeding impact more than the fish it is meant to feed?
A
At first glance, supplemental feeding seems to benefit only those fish such as bluegills, sunfish, hybrid striped bass, catfish, minnows and other species that directly consume the feed. However, feeding fish also supplies nutrients to the water, which enable phytoplankton to grow. Since phytoplankton are at the very bottom of the food chain, they affect all the animals above them.
Q
What can happen with these conditions? What are the symptoms, and how are they treated?
A
The animal may develop acidosis of the blood (goat blood, like human blood, should be slightly alkaline), and if this becomes severe enough, the goat may go into a coma. Early symptoms include apathy, poor appetite, a decrease in milk production (if the goat is milking), a rough coat and disorientation. You will need a veterinarian to administer glucose and electrolytes to help your goat get well.
Q
Why is it important to feed horses adequate roughage?
A
Horses require at least 1–1.5 percent of their body weight per day of roughage in their diets. Feeding adequate amounts of high-quality roughage can prevent many digestive disturbances as well as behavior problems. When providing a feed such as Equine Junior®, Equine Senior® or Equine Adult® horse feeds, the roughage is included in the pellet, so all the horse's nutritional requirements are met when these complete feeds are fed as recommended. However, it may be beneficial to supply some roughage to decrease the risk of horses developing boredom vices, especially when exercise is limited.
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
What type of forage should I feed my show lambs?
A
At minimum, each lamb should receive a double handful, or about ¼ lb. (4 ounces) of a good-quality alfalfa hay per day. Although progressive judges are selecting lambs with more base width, rib shape and deeper fore rib, we still want lambs that are relatively tubular in their design. That means a lamb with an excessive middle usually will not be placed high in class. Poor-quality forage passes slowly through the digestive tract of the lamb. So, feeding a low- or moderate-quality roughage source tends to put some middle or a belly on lambs. The higher-quality alfalfa passes through much faster, maintaining the tubular appearance of the lamb, yet meeting the lamb’s fiber requirement.
Q
How is vitamin C incorporated into the manufacture of small-pet diets, and is nutritional value lost in the process?
A
Naturally occurring ascorbic acid is highly sensitive to high temperatures, pH, oxygen, and pressure. Unfortunately, high temperature and pressure also occur during the manufacture of many animal diets. Most small animal and pet bird diets contain at least some pellets or extruded particles. Pelleting and extrusion processes generally involve some heat and pressure, although to different degrees. Because the source of vitamin C within a diet usually comes from the pellets/extruded kibble, finding a heat-and-storage-stable vitamin C source was important to the animal feed industry. Current technology has allowed us to overcome these issues and provide long-lasting diets for species requiring vitamin C.
Q
What is the impact of increased use of DDGS in terms of storage pits?
A
Swine manure storage pits may start to fill up faster. In general, a 1,000-head barn manure storage pit holds approximately 420,000 gallons. A common practice is to empty the pit completely in the fall, and half in the spring. This would add approximately 630,000 gallons of manure per 1,000-head finishing barn. An increase of 20 percent in manure volume could imply an extra 126,000 gallons of manure to pump out per year and the added cost of removing that manure from the pit (McManus, 2011). 2 2McManus, Daniel. 2011. Personal communication. D.V.M. Young Animal Specialist - Swine. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC.
Q
I’ve heard that deer cannot tolerate more than 16 percent dietary protein, and that high-protein diets are wasteful or even toxic. Is this true?
A
No. Research in South Texas has shown that wild deer diets at certain times of the year can be more than 25 percent protein. Many forbs highly utilized by deer are more than 30 percent protein. Obviously, the wild deer are unharmed by consuming these high-protein plants. Indeed, excellent antler growth years were those with superb spring forage conditions. The resulting antler growth suggests that not only were the deer not harmed by their high-protein diet, they actually utilized the protein to grow bigger antlers, indicating that higher protein is necessary for a buck to achieve his genetic potential for antler growth.