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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 breed or breeds of chickens should I choose for my backyard flock?
A
It depends on what you are looking for. Eggs? Meat? Both? Or are you looking to raise show chickens? Here are some chicken breed recommendations. • Egg production: White Leghorn hybrids, Rhode Island Reds, Andalusians or Ameraucana chickens. • Meat production: Cornish Cross chickens • Dual-purpose production: Plymouth Rock, Sussex, Buff Orpingtons or sex-linked hybrids • Show or pets: Silkie, White Crested Polish, Japanese or Bantam chickens
Q
How much feed should I provide my cows during calving season?
A
This would depend on your cow body condition and forage quality. During the calving season the cow’s nutrient requirements are going to double soon after calving. You will need to have a feeding program designed to meet this increased demand so your cows do not lose condition. Remember that cows need to rebreed around 90 days after calving in order to maintain a yearly calving cycle. In order to rebreed the cows will need to have a body condition score of 5 or 6.
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 are forage fish?
A
Forage fish are smaller fish, such as minnows, bluegill and small catfish. A sufficient population of these fish will provide the food that larger fish such as bass and trout need to prey upon to thrive.
Q
What can be done to help address urinary calculi in goats?
A
Delay castration until your goat is at least 4 months old, if possible; control phosphorous intake; provide plenty of water; make salt available; and feed a product that contains a urinary acidifier such as ammonium chloride. These steps will not guarantee that your goat will never have a stone incident, but they will go a long way toward trying to prevent one.
Q
Can equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) be successfully managed and/or treated?
A
Management modifications such as feeding smaller, more frequent meals and including some alfalfa in the diet can help reduce the occurrence of EGUS. Since the buffering effect may last only six hours, horses at risk for EGUS should be fed at least three to four times a day and fed a maximum of 5 to 6 pounds of grain per meal. Some researchers recommend feeding a small meal, 2 to 3 pounds of alfalfa hay, a couple of hours before starting exercise to reduce the acid splash and effect on stomach pH during exercise. Reducing stress and providing turn-out time with pasture grazing can also help. When gastric ulcers are found, treatment with prescribed medication is the only proven method for healing them. Changes in diet and management can help reduce the chances of recurrence, but such modifications alone will not heal an existing condition.
Q
How do I keep my rabbit warm?
A
Make sure that while your rabbit has adequate ventilation, it is not exposed to drafts. Rabbits should have a house to go into, and if you have wire flooring in the cage, it is advisable to set a small plank or other solid item for the rabbit to sit on to avoid the cold wind coming up under its belly. With these environmental adjustments and plenty of food, your rabbit will sail through the winter with flying colors.
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
Why can’t I just switch right away?
A
Species such as guinea pigs and rabbits have very delicate digestive systems that rely on a consistent diet. Changing a diet immediately, or providing too many treats at one time, can cause a disruption to the ecosystem of microbes in the GI tract and lead to GI upset. Pets such as birds and guinea pigs are very finicky eaters. Birds especially are very attuned to the shape, size and color of their food. Switching a bird’s diet abruptly may lead to digestive upset, or worse, your bird will stop eating completely. You can change your pet’s diet, you just need to do it slowly.
Q
Has anything been shown to reduce water usage and manure volume in pigs fed DDGS?
A
The Oklahoma research also showed that when pigs were fed diets with similar DDGS inclusion and Purina® EcoCare® Feed Technology, water usage and manure volume were numerically reduced. The advantages of feeding EcoCare® Feed to retain manure storage capacity cannot be overlooked. 1 1 Need citation
Q
How do deer and elk intake levels impact a nutrition plan?
A
Their daily intake levels change from winter to autumn. Daily dry matter intakes range from 1.5 percent of body weight in midwinter to more than 3.0 percent in summer and autumn. A key factor in this intake change is a shift in the metabolic rate. Deer, for example, have a high metabolic rate in the late spring to fall and a low metabolic rate in the winter. This is especially noticeable in the northern US.