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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
When will hens begin laying eggs?
A
Healthy hens will begin laying eggs at about 18 to 20 weeks of age. Hens will be at peak production at about 30 weeks. Eighty to 90 percent is considered excellent egg production (100 percent = 1 egg per hen, per day), but breed, housing, weather, management, parasite load and nutrition can all affect the rate of lay of your hens.
Q
How much milk should my cows produce during lactation for their calves to be healthy?
A
Each cow will produce different amounts of milk. I don’t know that there is a minimum amount of milk that needs to be produced in order to keep calves healthy. More important is that the cows are on a good health program, with adequate protein, energy and minerals to maximize colostrum quality. A good dose of high quality colostrum at birth will help the calf get off to a healthy start.
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 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
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
Can horses eat snow during the winter to stay hydrated?
A
Snow is not a sufficient substitute for water, as the horse cannot physically eat enough snow to meet its water requirement. Ideally, the temperature of the available water should be between 45F and 65F. If the water is too cold, the horse may drink less, thereby decreasing water and lubrication in the gut and increasing the chance of impaction-induced colic. If the horse drinks less water, it may also eat less feed, resulting in loss of body weight and condition. Finally, if a horse is forced to drink very cold water, its energy requirement will increase, because more calories are required to warm the water to body temperature inside the digestive tract.
Q
Is it mostly respiratory diseases that can affect rabbits, or are there others?
A
Enteritis — or inflammation of the intestinal tract — is the primary disease that affects rabbits. There are many forms and causes. Mucoid enteritis, primarily a disease of young rabbits 7 to 14 weeks of age (although it can also occur in adults), disrupts the developing microflora population in the gut. This disease is often accompanied by pneumonia and has a high mortality rate. Non-mucoid enteritis, characterized by watery diarrhea, can be caused by infection with any number of bacteria or parasites, a diet that is too high in starch/sugar and/or too low in fiber, lack of water, rapid diet change or consumption of feed the rabbit is not used to, or stress.
Q
Can isolation of incoming pigs be used to reduce exposure and spread of disease in pigs?
A
If a customer has the facilities, he might consider keeping incoming pigs separated from the rest of the pigs for 14 to 21 days after arrival. Usually, in commercial practice a longer period is required, but from a practical standpoint, 14 to 21 days will incubate most pathogens and allow symptoms to appear. If symptoms do appear, the pigs should be isolated for an additional 30 days until the disease has been treated and the pigs have recovered. This should reduce the number of pigs affected and the need for additional pigs to be treated in most cases.
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
How does heat stress affect sows?
A
Sows that suffer from heat stress have a greater potential to experience seasonal infertility, smaller litter sizes, decreased embryo survival rates and death losses. These issues may be a result of decreased feed consumption, commonly resulting from heat stress.
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.