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 FEATURED PURINA NUTRITION ARTICLES 

Learn More About What's Best For Your Animals

Since we were founded, we’ve been working to help our animals reach their full potential. And if it works for us, we know it’ll work for you, too.

Browse Topics By All Species
View More Backyard Poultry articles
Patrick Biggs, Ph.D

Increasing omega-3 in chicken eggs

 
Patrick Biggs, Ph.D

3 steps to a peaceful backyard flock

 
View More Cattle articles
 
Elizabeth Backes, Ph.D.

Why you shouldn’t skip cattle deworming

 
Hank Puch

Rumen microbes in cows 101

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Purina Animal Nutrition Expert

VFD Provides Opportunity to Leverage Nutrition

 
Megan Wildman, Calf & Heife...

Help Calves Get Through the Cold Season

 
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Purina Animal Nutrition Expert

Dairy Calf Nutrition Without Compromise

 
Mikelle Roeder, Ph.D.

Getting Your Kid Off To A Healthy Start

View More Goats articles
Mikelle Roeder, Ph.D.

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis in Goats: A Devast...

 
Karen E. Davison, Ph.D.

Horse hoof health & nutrition: Balance is key

 
View More Horses articles
 

Road to Recovery: Beau the Belgian draft horse

 
Purina Animal Nutrition Expert

Committed to Making the Best Possible Feeds Calcu...

View More Rabbits articles
Mikelle Roeder, Ph.D.

Common Rabbit Diseases

 
Zac Blount

Formula for Show Pig Success Includes Starting Sl...

 
View More Show Animals articles
 
Chad Zehnder, Ph.D.

Start with the End Goal in Mind for Show Cattle N...

 
Dan McManus, DVM

Three ways to reach optimal pig nursery performance

View More Swine articles
Mark Whitney, Ph.D.

Would you drink the water in your pig barn?

 
Gordon Ballam, Ph.D.

Breeding Game Birds

 
View More Wildlife articles
 
Larry Varner

4 Tips to Establish a Healthy Pond

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 FIND ANSWERS 

 FIND ANSWERS 

Information from Our Experts

Animal feed experts at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center share their knowledge. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for here, contact us.

Q
How can feeding Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 affect hen health and egg quality?
A
Purina® Layena® Plus Omega-3 is formulated to result in more omega-3 in the egg than a standard, typical egg, and has a natural vegetarian formula with added vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients and without added antibiotics or hormones. Layena® Plus Omega-3 contains marigold extract for rich golden yolks, key levels of calcium and manganese for strong shells with fewer cracks, and an optimized level of vitamin E to support a healthy immune system.
Q
How much milk should my cows produce during lactation for their calves to be healthy?
A
Each cow will produce different amounts of milk. I don’t know that there is a minimum amount of milk that needs to be produced in order to keep calves healthy. More important is that the cows are on a good health program, with adequate protein, energy and minerals to maximize colostrum quality. A good dose of high quality colostrum at birth will help the calf get off to a healthy start.
Q
Why is it important to sanitize calf navel-dipping equipment on a regular basis?
A
The navel acts as a “highway” to the bloodstream, so it’s important to stop pathogens from being passed on to the calf. Dipping a navel with dirty disinfectant defeats the purpose of disinfecting. If present in high quantities, organic matter can overcome the disinfectant. Regularly change out disinfectant and clean navel dippers. If navels are being clipped, sanitize scissors between uses with Nolvasan®.
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 are some by-products used in horse feeds?
A
Some of the more popular by-products used in horse feeds include molasses, which is very palatable for horses and helps prevent settling out or sorting of ingredients in mixed feeds; and beep pulp, which contains highly digestible fiber that possesses great water-holding capacity. Others include wheat bran and wheat middlings, both of which are high in phosphorus; rice bran, also high in phosphorous and higher in fat than wheat middlings; soybean meal (high-protein and low-fat) and soy hulls (a source of very digestible fiber).
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
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 diet help ease the weaning process for piglets?
A
The weaning process and development of the gastrointestinal tract of the pig have a profound effect on nutrient absorption and protection from pathogenic challenges, thus impacting growth. Diets constructed for young pigs should take into account these changes that are occurring at weaning and utilize ingredients that the young pig can better absorb and that support intestinal health.
Q
What are some of the primary factors that influence antler growth in deer?
A
General health, habitat, hydration, genetics, population density and other stressors can greatly influence antler growth. Good deer management must go hand-in-hand with nutrition to get optimum results.

 ASK AN EXPERT 

Get the Answers You Need

Our experts can answer your questions about
nutrition, management and animal husbandry.

  • Brenda de Rodas, Ph.D. Director of Swine Rese...
  • Katie Young, Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, M...
  • Gawain Willis, Ph.D. Director of Nutrition ...
  • Frank Standaert Ph.D. Livestock Sales Softwa...

 GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

Learn the Language

Find the meaning of common words and
phrases used in animal nutrition and management.

  • ABA
  • Abomasal bloat
  • Abomasum (Cattle)
  • Abomasum (Wildlife)
  • Accuration®
  • Acidosis
  • Acre-foot
  • Ad libitum
  • Adaptation
  • ADG
  • Aeration
  • Air sac mite infection
  • Algaecides
  • Algal bloom
  • All-in, all-out production
  • Ammonia
  • Amnion
  • Anal fin
  • Anestrous
  • Angel-wing
  • Anoxic water
  • Anthelmintics
  • Antibiotic-induced enterotoxemia
  • Antler
  • APA
  • Aquaculture
  • ARBA
  • Asphyxiation
  • Ataxia
  • Average daily gain
  • Babcock test
  • Backgrounding
  • Bacterial decomposition
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Bacterial infection of small intestines
  • Bacterial infection
  • Balanced ration
  • Bankrupt worm
  • Bantam
  • Barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus)
  • Barrel
  • Barring
  • Barrow
  • Bawl
  • Beak and feather disease
  • Beam
  • Bedding area
  • Benthic zone
  • Biodiversity
  • Biosecurity
  • Bird flu
  • Blacktail deer
  • Bloat (Cattle)
  • Bloat (Goat)
  • Bloom
  • Boar
  • Boar effect
  • Body Condition Scoring
  • Body scoring
  • Body-checked egg
  • Bolus
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Breeding herd
  • Breeding objective
  • Breeding soundness examination
  • Breeding value (Cattle)
  • Breeding value (Dairy)
  • Brood Cow
  • Brooder
  • Broody
  • Brow tine
  • Brown stomach worm
  • Buck (Wildlife)
  • Bucks
  • Bugle
  • Calcium precipitates
  • California Mastitis Test (CMT)
  • Calling
  • Candida
  • Candidiasis
  • Candling
  • Cannon Bone
  • Capon
  • Caprine
  • Caprine arthritis encephalitis
  • Carbohydrates
  • Carrying capacity
  • Casein
  • Cast
  • Cecotrope
  • Cecum (Rabbits)
  • Cecum (Small Animals)
  • Chalaza
  • Chestnut
  • Chick
  • Circling
  • Classification
  • Cloaca (Birds)
  • Clostridial bacteria
  • Clutch
  • Cobalt
  • Coccidiosis (Goat)
  • Coccidiosis (Rabbits)
  • Cock
  • Cockerel
  • Coffin Bone
  • Coggins Test
  • Cohort
  • Cold-water species
  • Colibacillosis
  • Colic
  • Colostrum
  • Colt
  • Columbian blacktail
  • Columnaris
  • Comb
  • Complete Feed
  • Complete feed vs. supplement
  • Component Sampling (CS)
  • Concentrate Feed
  • Concentrates
  • Conception rate
  • Conditioning
  • Confidence Range (CR)
  • Conformation (Horse)
  • Contemporaries
  • Contemporary comparison
  • Continuous farrowing
  • Cooked tubs
  • Cool-water species
  • Coop
  • Cooperative Extension Service (CES)
  • Copper
  • Coprophagy (Rabbits)
  • Coprophagy (Small Animals)
  • Cost of gain
  • Cow Index (CI)
  • Crop
  • Crumbles
  • Crypt
  • Cud
  • Culling
  • Cushing's Disease (Syndrome)
  • Cuticle
  • Dairy Beef
  • Dairy cattle breed
  • Dairy cow
  • Dairy goat
  • Dairy goat breed
  • Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI)
  • Dairy Herd Improvement Registry (DHIR)
  • Dam (Rabbits)
  • Daughter-herdmate comparison
  • Days in milk
  • Dead zone
  • Deer yard
  • Demersal fish
  • Demersal zone
  • Depletion
  • DHI records
  • Diarrhea
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Diatoms
  • Disbudding
  • Dispersal
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Does
  • Dominant buck
  • Dominant floater
  • Donor dams
  • Dorsal
  • Down
  • Downwelling
  • Drake
  • Dry cow
  • Dry date
  • Dry matter basis
  • Dry period
  • Dry rolling
  • Dry supplement
  • Dystocia (Cattle)
  • Eartag
  • Easy Keeper
  • Egg binding
  • Egg tooth
  • Electrophoresis
  • Embryo recipient
  • Embryo transfer
  • Endemic
  • Enrichment (Rabbits)
  • Enrichment (Small Animals)
  • Enteritis (Rabbits)
  • Enteritis (Small Animals)
  • Enterotoxemia (Goat)
  • Epididymus
  • Epizootic rabbit enteropathy
  • Eructation
  • Estimated Producing Ability (EPA)
  • Estimated Transmitting Ability (ETA)
  • Estrous
  • Estrus (Dairy)
  • Estrus (Wildlife)
  • Eutrophication
  • Evaporative cooling
  • Extrusion
  • F/G
  • Farmed fisheries
  • Farrier
  • Farrow to finish operation
  • Fats (Fatty Acids)
  • Fawn
  • Feather cysts
  • Feather plucking
  • Fecal pellets
  • Fecundity
  • Feed conversion efficiency (FCE)
  • Feed conversion or efficiency
  • Feed markup
  • Feeder association
  • Fertilized egg
  • Fetlock
  • Fiber
  • Filly
  • Fingerling
  • Finisher pig
  • Finishing
  • Finishing operation
  • Fish
  • Fishery
  • Fishmeal
  • Flaker
  • Flank
  • Floppy kid syndrome
  • Flushing
  • Foal
  • Forage (Dairy)
  • Forage (Horse)
  • Forage (Wildlife)
  • Forage fish
  • Forearm
  • Forehand
  • Forehead gland
  • Forelock
  • Forward contract
  • Foster
  • Founder
  • Fowl pox
  • Free-choice vs. hand-fed
  • Freemartin
  • Free-range
  • Fresh water
  • Freshen
  • Frog
  • Fry
  • fryer
  • Fungal infection
  • Gait
  • Gapeworms
  • Gastric Ulcers
  • Gastric yeast infection
  • Gastrointestinal parasites
  • Genetic appraisal
  • Genetic base
  • Genetic merit
  • Gestation (Dairy)
  • Gestation (Swine)
  • Gilt
  • Girth
  • Gizzard (Birds)
  • Gizzard (Poultry)
  • Glassing
  • Gossypol (gossypol toxicity)
  • Gout
  • Grass cattle
  • Green cattle
  • Grid
  • Grit
  • Grooming
  • Grooming Kit
  • Grower pig
  • Grunt
  • Habitat
  • Hand
  • Hand mating
  • Hard Keeper
  • Hatchery (Fish and Aquatics)
  • Heart and blood vessel disorders
  • Heifer (Cattle)
  • Heifer (Dairy)
  • Heiferettes
  • Hen
  • Herbivore
  • Herd average
  • Herd code
  • Herdmate comparison
  • Heritability
  • Herpesvirus
  • Hind-gut fermenters
  • Hives
  • Hog
  • Home range
  • Hormonal disorder
  • Husbandry
  • Hybrid (Wildlife)
  • Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis or HYPP
  • Hypoxia
  • Imprint
  • Incubation
  • Incubator
  • Induced lactation
  • Instinct
  • Insulin resistance
  • Intake modifying technology (IM technology)
  • Intensive culture
  • Interdigital gland
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Inventory gain/loss
  • Iodine
  • Iodine deficiency
  • Ionophore
  • Iron
  • Iron storage disease
  • IUCN
  • Juvenile
  • Keel
  • Ketosis
  • Kettle
  • Kid
  • Kidding
  • Kidney and urinary tract disorders
  • Kindling
  • Knee
  • Lactation average
  • Lactation record
  • Lameness
  • Laminitis
  • Land runoff
  • Levee
  • Lice
  • Lick
  • Lifetime production totals
  • Limit feeding
  • Limit or programmed feeding
  • Linear score (SCC)
  • Liquid supplement
  • Live sale
  • Liver fluke
  • Livestock broker
  • Loins
  • Long yearlings
  • Longeing
  • Low blood calcium levels
  • Lungworms
  • Maintenance energy requirement
  • Malocclusion (Rabbits)
  • Malocclusion (Small Animals)
  • Manganese
  • Mare
  • Marek's disease
  • Mating
  • Mature Equivalent (ME)
  • Mature Equivalent (ME) lactation average
  • Mealworms
  • Meat breeds
  • Medicated feed
  • Meningeal worm
  • Meristics
  • Microbial protein
  • Milk composition
  • Milk fat
  • Milk fever
  • Milk lactose
  • Milk preservative
  • Milk protein
  • Milk Solids Not Fat (SNF)
  • Milking frequency
  • Minerals
  • Mite
  • Molt (Birds)
  • Molt (Poultry)
  • Molt (Rabbits)
  • Moraxella catarrhalis
  • Morbidity
  • Morphology
  • Mortality (Cattle)
  • Mother breeds
  • Mouth brooder
  • Mucoid enteritis
  • Mule deer
  • Muzzle
  • Mycoplasmas
  • Mycotoxin contamination
  • Navicular Bone
  • Necropsy
  • Nest box
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Nocturnal
  • Non-mucoid enteritis
  • Nonprotein nitrogen (NPN)
  • Nontypical
  • Nursery
  • Nutrient upwelling
  • Odocoileus
  • Oil sac
  • Omasum (Cattle)
  • Omasum (Goat)
  • Omasum (Wildlife)
  • Omphalitis
  • Outcrossing
  • Overfishing
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Oxytocin
  • Oyster shell
  • Paddock
  • Palatability
  • Palpation
  • Panmictic
  • Parameter
  • Parasites
  • Parasitic feather mites
  • Parasitical worms
  • Passerines
  • Pasteurella multocida
  • Pasty butt
  • Paunch
  • Pay weight
  • Pecking order
  • Pedicle
  • Pedigree
  • Pen deads
  • Pen mating
  • Pencil shrink
  • Percent calf crop
  • Perch
  • Performance data
  • Performance pedigree
  • Periodic farrowing
  • Permanent identification
  • Perosis
  • Pheromone
  • Phosphate
  • Photic zone
  • Phytoplankton
  • Phytoplankton bloom
  • Pig
  • Pig constipation
  • Piloerection
  • Pimples
  • Pink-eye
  • Pipping
  • Pizzle-rot
  • Plankton
  • Plumage
  • Polioencephalomalacia
  • Poll
  • Polyestrous
  • Pond turnover
  • Population
  • Population dynamics
  • Pork producer
  • Potassium dichromate
  • Poultry
  • Pre orbital gland
  • Prebiotics (Rabbits)
  • Prebiotics (Small Animals)
  • Predicted Difference (PD)
  • Pregnancy toxemia
  • Preliminary milk
  • Pre-rut
  • Presort sale
  • Primary feather
  • Processing
  • Production and Type Index (PTI)
  • Progeny test
  • Projected 305-day lactation
  • Prolactin
  • Prolapse
  • Protein
  • Proventriculus (Bird)
  • Psittacine
  • PSSM
  • Puberty
  • Pullet
  • Pullorum
  • Purebred
  • Purebred dairy cattle association (PDCA)
  • Rabbitry
  • Raceway
  • Rack
  • Rail grade
  • Rales
  • Ration Balancer
  • Recirculating system
  • Record (2x 305-day, ME)
  • Red urine
  • Registered
  • Repeatability
  • Representative sample
  • Reticulum (Cattle)
  • Reticulum (Wildlife)
  • Ringworm
  • Roaster
  • Rolling Herd Average (RHA)
  • Roost
  • Rooster
  • Roughage
  • Roundworms
  • Rub-off
  • Rumen (Cattle)
  • Rumen (Goat)
  • Rumen (Wildlife)
  • Rumen microbes
  • Ruminant
  • Ruminants
  • Runt
  • Rut
  • Saddle
  • Scrapes
  • Scratch
  • Scurs
  • Scurvy
  • Seedstock breeders
  • Seines
  • Selection intensity
  • Selenium
  • Service
  • Service sire
  • Sexing
  • Shank
  • Shell gland
  • Shoat
  • Short yearlings
  • Short-keep cattle
  • Shrink
  • Signposting
  • Sire (Rabbits)
  • Sire selection
  • Soggy/fleshy cattle
  • Somatic cell count (Dairy)
  • Somatic cell count (Goat)
  • Somatic cells
  • Somatotropin
  • Sore-mouth
  • Sound
  • Sow
  • Sparring
  • Spawning
  • Spent hen
  • Spike
  • Spur
  • Stag (Cattle)
  • Stag (Swine)
  • Stage of lactation
  • Standing heat
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Steam flaking
  • Steer
  • Step-ups
  • Stifle joint
  • Stock
  • Stocker cattle
  • Straight Run
  • Sucker
  • Sudoriferous
  • Supplements
  • Sup-R-Block®
  • Sup-R-Lix®
  • Surfactant
  • Sustainable fishing
  • Sustainable yield
  • Tack
  • Tag and release
  • Tail flag
  • Tapetum
  • Tapeworm
  • Tarsal gland
  • Tattoo
  • Teats
  • Tempering grain
  • Tend
  • Tending
  • Test interval
  • Testicles
  • Tetanus
  • Topline
  • Total digestible nutrients (TDN)
  • Total solids
  • Tractor coop
  • Transition cow
  • Trophic level
  • Turbidity
  • Turnout
  • Typical
  • Upwelling
  • Urolithiasis
  • Uterus
  • Velvet
  • Vent
  • Video sales
  • Villus
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Vitamin D toxicity
  • Vitamins in goat diet
  • Vitelline
  • Volatile fatty acids
  • Vomolfaction
  • Wapiti
  • Warmed-up cattle
  • Warm-water species
  • Waterfowl
  • Watershed
  • Wattle
  • Wet distillers grain
  • Wether
  • White muscle disease
  • Whole Herd Reporting (WHR)
  • Withers
  • Yardage
  • Yearling
  • Yearlings
  • Yolk
  • Zinc
  • Zooplankton