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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 do I need to do to prepare for the arrival of my chicks?
A
Several days before you bring them home, thoroughly clean and disinfect the brooder house and any equipment the chicks will use. Doing this in advance will allow everything to dry completely. Dampness is a mortal enemy to chicks, resulting in chilling and encouraging disease. When the premises are dry, place 4 to 6 inches of dry litter material (wood shavings or a commercial litter) on the floor. Also be sure to have plenty of fresh feed on hand — at least two 1-quart or one 1-gallon waterer for every 25 to 50 chicks.
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 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
How does this condition impact goats?
A
Urinary calculi occur primarily in male goats, as the female ureter is short and straight, while the male ureter is much longer and has a bend in it that provides a perfect place for a stone to lodge. When the ureter is blocked the goat cannot urinate — an extremely painful and distressing condition. If not immediately treated, the goat’s bladder can rupture, and the goat will die. Pygmy goats and castrated males whose urinary tracts are underdeveloped are particularly prone to urinary calculi, as are many breeds of meat goats.
Q
Why is it important to measure horse feed by weight, not volume?
A
A 3-lb coffee can of oats is not the same amount of feed as a 3-lb coffee can of corn! The can may hold 2–3 lbs. of oats, while the can of corn may be 4–5 lbs. Further, since corn is more calorie rich than oats, the can of corn may contain 2–3 times the energy as the can of oats. Any time a horse owner changes feed, he or she must weigh the can of feed to make sure the horse gets fed the same amount of feed every meal. Plus, every different batch of corn or oats may be a different weight. A specific volume of Strategy® Professional Formula GX Horse Feed or Omolene #200® horse feed will weigh the same each time. Another option is to use a pre-measured Purina scoop, available through local Purina horse feed dealers.
Q
I’ve noticed some unusual behavior on the part of my doe with her newborns — is this normal?
A
Occasionally, incidents happen that are often blamed on “bad mothering skills,” but are often the result of stress and/or inexperience. A first-time mother may accidentally bite into the belly of a kit while removing the umbilical cord, or cause other damage trying to pull the kit from her vagina using her teeth. These incidents usually do not happen after the first litter. Stomping on kits is often a result of the doe jumping at an unusual sound, and she may “thump” to warn others, which can be dangerous for her kits within the confines of the nest box. A doe may also urinate on her kits to camouflage them if she thinks a predator is lurking. Does exhibiting such behavior should be moved to a quieter, more secure location where they will not be stressed into dangerous behavior. Does may also become aggressive toward their caretaker at this time, as they are in a very protective mode. Simply perform any necessary tasks quickly and quietly and leave the doe to do her job.
Q
Should I hand-feed my show pig or use a self-feeder?
A
Whether you hand-feed or self-feed at the beginning of the feeding period, it is merely a feed delivery process. However, hand-feeding usually results in the pig becoming gentle more quickly. When the pig associates you with feed, it begins to trust you. Pigs are like most creatures, they need to learn that you are not going to do them harm. Self-feeding can also be effective. The important thing is to spend time with your pig, regardless of how you plan to deliver the feed. There is no substitute for time spent building a bond and trust between pig and exhibitor. Regardless of how you deliver the feed at the onset of your project, you will need to begin hand-feeding at some point in the feeding period to allow your pig to look its best on show day.
Q
Should I feed my rabbit alfalfa or timothy hay has a supplemental hay?
A
Calcium metabolism in rabbits is unique compared to other species. Rabbits are efficient calcium absorbers and excrete excess calcium in their urine. Because of this unique metabolic system, rabbits are prone to urinary stones if fed too much calcium. Therefore, when feeding an adult rabbit supplemental hay in addition to a complete diet, it is preferable to provide timothy hay to minimize excess calcium.
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
What is the Purina Game Bird Life Cycle Feeding Program?
A
The Purina Game Bird Life Cycle Feeding Program has been developed and tested at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Missouri. The program is designed to meet specific nutritional requirements of game birds at various stages of growth and production. Purina feeding programs stress efficiency based on research conducted exclusively with game birds.