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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
How can a poor diet affect the ability of hens to produce quality eggs?
A
A diet of unfortified scratch grains and table scraps will not only make the nutritional value of the egg suffer, but the hen’s production will likely decrease, and her eggshells will be thinner, contributing to increased breakage and waste.
Q
Why are U.S. cow-calf operators embracing new research-backed herd breeding management tools?
A
Spurred by advances in cattle genetics and nutrition knowledge, cow-calf operators are using them to trim labor costs, upgrade herd performance, optimize profitability and establish solid herd-breeding programs.
Q
How do energy levels in the cow diet affect amino acid balance?
A
If the energy levels in the diet are not in balance, the cow will convert amino acids from a protein source to an energy source. Amino acid balancing then becomes extremely costly because the amino acids are being used for something they are not intended for. Meeting the cows’ energy and fiber needs first is key when balancing for amino acids.
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
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 good dental care important for senior horses?
A
As a horse ages, the grinding motion of chewing wears the teeth down, and the teeth then erupt to replace what has worn away. At some point in a horse’s life, there is not enough tooth left to replace the wear, and the horse can no longer chew properly. Further, as the teeth wear, they can develop sharp edges or points that can lacerate the cheeks and tongue. Finally, inadequate chewing can cause lack of salivation, which may result in poor lubrication for swallowing, thus increasing the possibility of choke.
Q
Does rabbit enteritis have other causes?
A
Parasites such as trematodes (flukes), cestodes (tapeworms), nematodes (intestinal worms) and coccidia (protozoa) can also cause enteritis in rabbits. It is wise to establish a health care program with a veterinarian that includes regular checks for various parasites and a comprehensive prevention program. Coccidia are particularly ubiquitous in animal facilities and the environment in general. Outbreaks are common and can be devastating, especially in young animals. Some antibiotics and other compounds can also cause enteritis. Nitrates in drinking water can pose a problem, too.
Q
Should I feed my show pig oat groats?
A
You might have noticed some folks feeding rolled oats (oat groats) along with their regular show pig feed. It might be a good idea to offer a small amount of oat groats (1/2 lb.) each day with the pig’s feed to increase the particle size of the total diet. This is a good idea, as the pig is less likely to suffer from ulcers, although many pigs perform very well and are never fed oat groats. It is a personal decision.
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
Why can weaning be difficult for young pigs?
A
The pig must cope with a variety of factors, including separation from the sow, the transition from highly digestible milk to a less digestible and more complex solid feed, a new environment, movement and separation from littermates, and exposure to unfamiliar pigs.
Q
How does deer habitat impact antler growth?
A
Climate can affect how much time a deer spends eating, moving around and resting, and how much energy it expends just staying warm or cooling down. Stressors such as traffic or roaming dogs can upset deer, raising blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol and negatively impacting feeding behavior and nutrient usage. Even something like an improper feeder design can affect how much a deer will eat.