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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 safety measures do I need to be aware of before I purchase chicks?
A
Any chicks you purchase should be from a U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean hatchery to enhance livability and decrease potential disease problems. Chicks should be vaccinated against Marek’s disease soon after hatching. Consult your veterinarian.
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
At what temperature can cold stress impact the growth and health of dairy calves?
A
At a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit we may be comfortable, but our calves start to divert energy away from growth and immune function to regulate body temperature. Calves become cold stressed at fairly moderate temperatures because they have a higher surface-area-to-bodyweight ratio than older animals.
Q
What is pond turnover?
A
Pond turnover may occur at any time of the year. However, one of the most common times is in late summer, when the water is very warm and oxygen demand is already high. Turnover is often caused by a sudden cooling of weather or a cold rain that cools the water close to the surface. The cool water on top is more dense than the warmer water below, causing the pond to turn over. Turnover often releases anoxic water from the bottom, which causes a lack of oxygen throughout the pond. This can result in a large die-off of fish. Often, by the time it is discovered, oxygen levels have already returned to normal.
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 geophagia in horses?
A
Geophagia refers to eating dirt and is reported to be fairly common in feral horses. Geophagia is not simply horses taking in dirt while grazing close to the ground or eating grain off the ground; it is a behavior where horses actively bite into the ground specifically to eat dirt. Anecdotal evidence indicates dirt-eating may be more common in stallions than mares or geldings, but no studies of gender effects on geophagia have been reported.
Q
What are the symptoms of enteritis in rabbits?
A
Enteritis is characterized by watery diarrhea, but is usually preceded by symptoms that may not be noticed, including decreased feed intake and constipation. This is generally followed by moderate diarrhea and mild dehydration, which do not sound particularly dangerous, but rabbits can die at this stage. Symptoms soon progress to acute diarrhea, complete cessation of food and water intake, and often tooth grinding by the rabbit in response to abdominal pain. The rabbit may even go into a coma. Mortality at this stage is very high.
Q
What are some guidelines for vaccinating show pigs?
A
Vaccination is the first line of defense to prevent a variety of diseases. Young pigs originating from herds with an average health status, or that will eventually be exposed to pigs of an average or unknown health status, should be vaccinated for a minimum of mycoplasmal pneumonia, erysipelas and atrophic rhinitis. Another disease causing problems at an alarming rate is circovirus. These immunizations usually require an initial vaccination with a second booster injection approximately two weeks later. At the time of purchase, the buyer should ask the breeder if the pigs have been vaccinated, how many times and against what diseases. If the breeder has not vaccinated the pigs, then the purchaser should do so. The purchaser should also medicate the pigs during this process, because it could take a few weeks for full protection from vaccination to be effective. This medication should be delivered in the form of drinking water and medicated feed for pigs consuming feed and water normally. The use of electrolytes during this time is also advisable.
Q
How are alfalfa and timothy hay different?
A
Alfalfa and timothy are both forage sources commonly used in rabbit and guinea pig diets. Nutritionally speaking, however, they are very different. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay. When alfalfa or timothy is used in a complete rabbit feed, the nutrients of the hay source used is taken into account and mixed with other appropriate ingredients to obtain a final diet formula that meets the needs of rabbits or guinea pigs. For example, while calcium is much higher in alfalfa than in timothy, in a complete feed, the amount of additional calcium sources (such as calcium carbonate) would be lower in an alfalfa-based diet compared to a timothy-based formula.
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
I’ve heard that deer cannot tolerate more than 16 percent dietary protein, and that high-protein diets are wasteful or even toxic. Is this true?
A
No. Research in South Texas has shown that wild deer diets at certain times of the year can be more than 25 percent protein. Many forbs highly utilized by deer are more than 30 percent protein. Obviously, the wild deer are unharmed by consuming these high-protein plants. Indeed, excellent antler growth years were those with superb spring forage conditions. The resulting antler growth suggests that not only were the deer not harmed by their high-protein diet, they actually utilized the protein to grow bigger antlers, indicating that higher protein is necessary for a buck to achieve his genetic potential for antler growth.