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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
Do my cows need different minerals during calving season?
A
This is one of the most important times of the production cycle to provide a good balanced mineral program. Minerals are very important for problem free calving and the initiation of reproduction after calving. A good balanced mineral program will help the start of estrus cycles prior to the breeding season.
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 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 it important to not overfeed grain to a horse?
A
The horse has a very small stomach in relation to its total size, and feeding too much grain in one meal can overload the stomach and cause problems such as colic or laminitis (founder). A general rule of thumb is to feed no more than .5% of the horse's body weight in grain per meal, or no more than 5 pounds of grain per meal for a 1,000-pound horse.
Q
Is it mostly respiratory diseases that can affect rabbits, or are there others?
A
Enteritis — or inflammation of the intestinal tract — is the primary disease that affects rabbits. There are many forms and causes. Mucoid enteritis, primarily a disease of young rabbits 7 to 14 weeks of age (although it can also occur in adults), disrupts the developing microflora population in the gut. This disease is often accompanied by pneumonia and has a high mortality rate. Non-mucoid enteritis, characterized by watery diarrhea, can be caused by infection with any number of bacteria or parasites, a diet that is too high in starch/sugar and/or too low in fiber, lack of water, rapid diet change or consumption of feed the rabbit is not used to, or stress.
Q
What is the primary cause for low growth rate in show pigs?
A
Poor feed intake is the primary cause for low growth rate in show pigs. Poor feed intake itself may be caused by many reasons. It is important to diagnose exactly what is causing the problem.
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
What can swine producers do to help improve F/G?
A
Efficient feeder management and biosecurity practices can have dramatic effects on improving feed conversion. This includes rodent control. Manipulation of nutrient levels in the diet need to be oriented to match pig nutrient requirements and to improve pig nutrient utilization.
Q
How important is protein supplementation for wild deer?
A
Even in a good year, the digestible protein content of major deer browse species often falls well below 10 percent by late summer and will likely remain there until the spring green-up. In a tough year (late winter, drought, etc.), the nutrition supplied by natural forages can be inadequate even in the spring. Without supplemental protein, deer may not be able to maintain optimal body condition, which is essential for maximum antler growth.