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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
What about particle size?
A
Conventional mineral particles are so small that they often blow out of the feeder and won’t allow water to pass through them. However, Wind and Rain® Storm™ Cattle Minerals consist of larger particles that stay put and allow the water to easily pass through.
Q
What is the advantage of growing heifer calves faster and more efficiently?
A
Accelerated growth can help maximize performance and the health of the animal over its lifetime. However, these larger heifers need to be bred early enough to take full advantage of this more aggressive calf growth plan. Many heifers are still being bred at the same age as before, even though they could easily be bred two to three months sooner, based on size.
Q
What are the benefits of supplemental feeding of fish?
A
Research has shown that ponds stay healthy, fish grow big and fast, and sustainable per-acre populations are large with supplemental feeding. Ponds that naturally sustain a stocking population of 500 bluegills and 50 bass per acre can easily sustain 1,000 bluegills and 100 bass per acre with supplemental feeding. This remarkable difference is due in part to the fact that supplemental feeding affects a pond’s entire food chain.
Q
Can goat milk fever be prevented?
A
You can help address milk fever by not feeding too much high-calcium feed, such as alfalfa, during late pregnancy. Grass hay or pasture is a much better choice during your goat’s dry period.
Q
What is the minimum daily fiber requirement for a horse?
A
Feeding a minimum of 1 percent body weight in forage per day (dry matter basis) is recommended to supply adequate levels of fiber required for proper gut function. Horses grazing good-quality pasture and/or provided ample access to hay generally have no problem meeting this minimum requirement.
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
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
How can the transition of piglets from milk to solid food be eased?
A
The importance of getting newly weaned pigs to eat and drink water as soon as possible cannot be overemphasized. A successful nutrition program for older weaned pigs is similar to that for younger weaned pigs. Highly digestible, highly palatable, pelleted diets containing plasma protein and lactose are required to achieve maximum feed intake and gain during the first week postweaning. It is important to consider the variability in age at weaning within a weaning group when reviewing feeding budgets to ensure that the youngest, at-risk pigs receive adequate amounts of the proper diet. A phased-feeding program for maximum feed intake is essential to optimize performance and to get pigs to a lower-cost, grain-soybean meal diet as quickly as possible.
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.