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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 are some of the nutritional benefits of eggs?
A
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and the gold standard against which all other proteins are measured. They have the best amino acid profile known — better than meat, milk and soy products. Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient that is essential for fetal brain development and to help prevent birth defects. They provide significant amounts of B vitamins, especially B12; as well as the minerals selenium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and calcium. Eggs are a naturally occurring and significant sources of vitamin D, and also a source of lutein, a compound shown to be helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Q
What can happen if producers don’t make short-term investments in feed supplementation for their cattle?
A
High feed costs can make producers think they can’t afford to spend money on supplementation up front. However, if they don’t make the expenditure, they end up paying the price because their cows may have a reduced ability to conceive and conceive early, plus have a lower overall reproduction rate.
Q
What are some problems associated with late cow breeding?
A
Heifers bred late are often associated with increased metabolic problems at calving, such as ketosis, lower milk production and wasted feed dollars. Breeding based on the size of the heifer could help address these types of problems.
Q
How can supplemental feeding potentially increase the number of trophy fish in my pond?
A
Predator fish, such as bass, walleye and larger catfish, eat the bluegills, minnows, small catfish and other forage fish that have been supplied with supplemental feed. By feeding the forage fish, you’ve not only provided yourself with a better catch when you hook a bluegill, you’ve also provided a better meal for your bass. As an added bonus, supplemental feeding also makes the forage fish population more plentiful, because the larger size brought on by feeding encourages earlier breeding — sometimes as early as the first year. In the end, the result is an increase in the capacity of your pond to grow and maintain a greater number of trophy fish.
Q
What causes milk fever in goats?
A
With the onset of milk production after giving birth, your goat must supply a large quantity of calcium with her milk. The goat normally has more than enough calcium reserves in her bones, but if she has been on a diet high in calcium during her dry period, her body may have “forgotten” how to mobilize those calcium reserves because it hasn’t needed to. Consequently, when she starts lactating, and she needs to deliver calcium to the mammary gland for milk production, her blood calcium levels may fall to a dangerous level, resulting in milk fever.
Q
How do I know that my pastures are providing adequate forage for my horses?
A
For shorter varieties of grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, pasture must grow 3 to 4 inches tall to provide adequate forage for horses. Taller grasses, including Coastal bermudagrass, should sustain a height of 6 to 8 inches. Stocking rates may be improved if pastures can be rotated. Grazing tall forage varieties down to 3 to 4 inches and shorter varieties to 2 inches in height, then rotating to another pasture for four weeks, can help maximize grazing potential of available acreage.
Q
What do I need to provide my pregnant doe to make her comfortable?
A
Does that are soon to kindle (give birth) will need a nest box in their cage. The ideal nest box is one that is built into the floor of the cage and hangs below the floor. If a baby bunny (kit) should bounce out, he will be able to find his way back in very easily — much more so than if he has to navigate the wall of a standing nest box. But regardless of location, the nest box should be large enough to accommodate the doe and her litter, and it should be made of a material that is not easily chewed but is easily sanitized. The doe will also need a form of bedding to mix her own fur with to make a cozy, warm nest. Shavings, especially fine ones, should be used only in the very bottom layer, if at all, as they can clog eyes and noses of delicate kits. It is much better to use some clean straw or hay and let the doe arrange it to her liking. She will pull her own fur to use for additional bedding. This is completely normal, even though it may leave her a bit ratty looking.
Q
Is Paylean® a steroid? Can it be used on animals other than swine?
A
Paylean® is not a steroid; however, it is classified as a drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is regulated as such. Due to the rapid metabolism in Paylean®, there is no withdrawal time required. Paylean® is approved for use only in swine. Ractopamine HCl is approved for use in both swine and cattle. The cattle product is called Optiflexx® and is not approved to be fed to swine.
Q
What species require ascorbic acid (vitamin C)?
A
Along with humans, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, bats, and some fish and bird species are unable to produce vitamin C themselves. Therefore, they must consume vitamin C in the foods they eat to meet this requirement. These species lack the enzyme (L-gulonolactone oxidase) that converts glucose and galactose into ascorbic acid. For those species that can synthesize vitamin C, this enzyme is normally present in the liver of mammals and in the liver or kidneys of other species.
Q
What are some of the factors that can influence pig feed conversion (F/G)?
A
Feed wastage, scours, continuous flow production, pneumonia, mange, multiple source pigs and mixing pigs are among the factors that can have a significant influence on F/G. Factors with less impact include pelleting feed, antibacterial additives and genetics.
Q
How can nutritional status manifest physically in deer and elk?
A
A buck's or bull's antler growth is directly related to his nutritional status. If nutrition is limited anytime during the year, but especially during January through June, antler growth will not be maximized. In addition, both fawn or calf crop size and survivability is directly related to the nutrition of both the female and her offspring. Supplemental feeding is often used as a part of a management plan to assure that both males and females are better able to achieve their genetic potential, especially during times of nutritional stress.