Why is corn added to your rabbit diets?2017-03-22T21:51:35+00:00

Corn is a natural, wholesome ingredient which has been used in animal and human nutrition for centuries. Corn is a rich source of carbohydrates and essential oils that provide for a good source of energy and helps to maintain a healthy immune system.

Formulation of a well-balanced rabbit ration requires the use of several different ingredients. Purina complete rabbit diets are alfalfa based for fiber, with corn added as a carbohydrate source. The addition of corn to our diets supplies necessary energy for your rabbit. Corn is a safe ingredient for rabbits when used properly in combination with a variety of other feed ingredients.

Why is my rabbit losing condition?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Condition refers to the amount of flesh or the degree of fatness of your rabbit and is also referred to as “body condition.” To determine the condition of your rabbit, give your rabbit a gentle squeeze. A rabbit in top condition will be firm to the touch and muscular without excess flesh.

If your bunny is less than buff, he may not be getting enough feed. Feed intake should be adjusted according to life stages and production. Growing rabbits need more nutrients than adults. Breeding rabbits need more nutrients, too. You may even need to increase your rabbit’s intake during cold weather to maintain his body weight.

But don’t go too far. Rabbits fed more nutrients than what is required to maintain a desired condition will become overweight and soft to the touch.

Adjustments in intake should always be made slowly over a period of 7-10 days to prevent digestive disturbances. All rabbits, except lactating does and young growing rabbits should be limit fed.

Purina Rabbit Chow Complete Blend and Complete Plus are recommended for all stages of life and is balanced to contain all the nutrients required for growth, maintenance and reproduction.

For more rapid growth and a superior coat, pick Purina Show Formula. The additional amino acids and vegetable oil in this highly nutritious diet give your rabbit a strong body and luxurious coat so that it can reach its’ genetic potential.

When you’re interested in maximum growth and reproductive potential, Purina Professional Formula is the perfect choice. Purina research has shown that this higher protein feed results in optimum growth and reproduction as well as excellent coat quality.

All Purina rabbit diets are complete, so there is no need for dietary supplements. Purina Mills research has shown, feeding additional vitamins and minerals can cause a harmful dietary imbalance.

What can I do about hairballs?2017-03-22T21:50:32+00:00

Hair shed from your rabbit’s coat can lodge in its’ digestive tract. Some rabbits may develop a habit of eating their own hair or may even pull hair from other rabbits. If hairballs are a problem, rabbits may become listless, and fecal pellets may decrease in size and number, due to a reduction in feed intake. Your rabbit’s belly may appear to be full, but upon closer examination, you may notice that is has lost weight and that it may actually be suffering from malnutrition.

Regular brushing can help to remove much of your rabbit’s loose hair. A high fiber diet will also help to maintain good digestive function and aide in the passage of ingested hair. Be sure to limit feed intake based on the breed size, and production goal of your rabbit. Feeding a limited amount of diet can improve functioning of the digestive tract and reduce the potential for hairballs.

Purina Show Formula and Rabbit Chow Gourmet are designed to produce rabbits with superior coat quality and contain papaya. Papaya contains the enzyme papain. Papain enzymes do not breakdown the hair itself, but may help breakdown the mucous which holds the hairball together. You can also add small amounts of grass hay to your rabbit’s diet to keep him from getting bored and playing with his hair.

What is the shelf life of Purina rabbit feed?2017-03-22T21:50:04+00:00

Purina rabbit feed will stay fresh for up to 12 months, providing you store it properly. Be sure to store your feed in a cool, dry area that has good ventilation to prevent mold, vitamin loss and contamination by disease carrying insects or rodents. When properly stored, the vitamin availability in Purina feeds is guaranteed for 12 months.

However, we recognize that high relative humidity in certain regions of the country may reduce the shelf life of the rabbit feed. When it is not possible to store feed in a dry and cool area, the shelf life may be reduced and should be taken into consideration.

Is Purina feed “least cost formulated”?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

No. Our goal is to consistently provide you with the highest quality rabbit feed; not the least expensive. Your rabbit’s sensitive digestive system requires a diet that is stable and nutritionally constant, not a diet which is formulated based on the cheapest ingredients available at a given time.

Ingredients used in manufacturing Purina rabbit diets are the highest quality in order to maintain consistent nutrition from bag to bag. Our feed may cost more per bag than other brands, however because it is higher in nutrients, you actually have to feed less to your rabbits – which makes Purina rabbit feeds a better value per bag.

Does alfalfa in rabbit diets result in high calcium levels?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Purina Rabbit diets are formulated to meet the daily dietary requirement for calcium.

Our rabbit feeds contain high levels of alfalfa, which is highly palatable to rabbits and provides an excellent source of fiber. All diets are carefully formulated to contain a specific and constant amount of calcium.

Basically, it makes no difference whether alfalfa or other grass hay is used in the diet. We need to supplement the rabbit’s diet with calcium in the form of calcium carbonate because neither alfalfa nor grass hay contains sufficient calcium to meet the rabbit’s daily needs.

For example, when hay such as timothy is used in the diet, more calcium carbonate would need to be added to the ration to meet your rabbit’s requirement for calcium. Using alfalfa “which has a greater calcium content” means less calcium carbonate is added to meet the needs of your rabbit. Purina rabbit diets are formulated to maintain a constant level of calcium in the diet.

Do not feed alfalfa supplements or other vitamin and/or mineral supplements to rabbits eating Purina’s complete rabbit diets since this could cause a nutritional imbalance that might make your rabbit sick.

What is the chalky white film on the bottom of my rabbit’s cage?2017-03-22T21:48:24+00:00

It is calcium carbonate. Rabbits are unique. Their bodies do not regulate blood calcium levels as well as other animals. As a result, calcium is absorbed readily and may reach very high levels in the blood.

Calcium is removed from the blood and excreted as calcium carbonate in the urine. Over time, calcium carbonate builds up and becomes the chalky white film you see.

Rabbits require from 0.6 – 1.3% calcium in the diet, depending on age and life stage. Calcium is the mineral your rabbit needs most to develop teeth and bones. It also has other functions in the body. Purina formulates its’ rabbit diets to contain a constant amount of calcium in the diet to insure proper development of strong bones and teeth.

Why is there a change in the color/smell of my rabbits feed?2017-03-22T21:47:42+00:00

Ingredients used to manufacture Purina rabbit diets change in physical characteristics due to varying growing conditions, climate changes and the maturity of crops when they are harvested. This can cause a slight change in feed color or smell from bag to bag; but no need to worry.

Ingredients used in all Purina feeds are routinely tested to determine their nutrient content. Small adjustments in diet formulations are sometimes made to insure your rabbit receives constant nutrition. So even though your rabbit’s feed may look or smell a little different from bag to bag, you can be sure he’s getting the exact same amount of nutrition every time.

What causes ammonia odor and how can I control it?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Normal metabolic processes protein into amino acids that are used by the body for the development of muscle, bone and fur. Protein (amino acids) not needed by the body are converted to urea for excretion in the urine. Urea is converted to ammonia by an enzyme called “urease” (pronouced Ur E ase).

The longer urine stays in the environment the more urea is converted to ammonia. If you can smell ammonia, then the ammonia levels are too high. Ammonia can damage the lining of the respiratory tract allowing harmful bacteria to enter the body which may lead to disease. Therefore, the daily removal of urine and waste are important to your rabbit’s health and long life.

Maintain good ventilation in your rabbitry and keep cages clean to prevent any potential health problems.

Purina Show Formula contains additional amino acids that are required for the production of a thicker and shinier coat. Show Formula, Complete Plus and Gourmet all contain Yucca Shidigera, a plant extract that may help to reduce the production of ammonia.

Why won’t my rabbits breed?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Again, there’s no easy answer. Factors that influence breeding include age, weight, temperature, light and the frequency of breeding.

The biological time clock affects bunnies just like humans. Females typically can be bred for the first time at five months. Males usually reach sexual maturity by six months of age. However, these times vary. Larger breeds are slower to reach sexual maturity.

Purina Mills’ research has shown the most common cause of breeding problems occur because does and bucks are under or over weight for their breed specific “target” weight. Underweight rabbits may be physically incapable of breeding successfully. Overweight rabbits may not show any interest in mating and can have a hard time becoming pregnant if mating does occur. Establish a “target” weight prior to breeding according to the specific breed standards of your rabbit for greatest success. Adjust the feed intake of your rabbit to maintain an ideal weight.

Environmental temperatures can affect reproductive performance in bucks. Temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit can cause heat induced sterility. Keep bucks in a cool area when used for breeding purposes.

How much is too much? The active breeding life of a rabbit can range from 4-6 years. Females on a more intensive breeding program (more than five litters per year) will be productive for fewer years than those bred less frequently. Frequency of breeding can also affect the performance of males. When used in an intensive breeding program, keep one buck per 10-20 does. In cool weather, fewer bucks can be used more often. Does that are infrequently bred may become overweight which may lead to breeding difficulties.

Keep the amount of light constant for 14 hours each day to maintain constant breeding throughout the year.

Be sure your rabbits have reached sexual maturity and are the proper weight and condition for their breed prior to mating. Monitor the amount of food your rabbit eats to prevent overeating and excess weight gain.

Gradually increase the feed of underweight rabbits to get them in the ideal condition for breeding. Purina Rabbit Chow Complete Blend and Purina Show Formula contain all the essential nutrients for reproduction and are formulated to support up to 40 bunnies per doe per year (5 litters a year).

If a more intensive breeding schedule is desired, Purina Professional Formula is recommended. Formulated with extra protein and nutrition it enables does to produce up to 64 bunnies per year (8 litters per year).

Keep bucks cool and maintain light exposure at a constant 14 hours per day to achieve the best breeding performance of your rabbits.

Is it okay to only feed hay to rabbits?2017-03-22T21:46:06+00:00

While some hay is desirable in a rabbit’s diet, complete diets based on a high level of hay will not work. Rabbits need some fiber (which hay is high in) to keep their digestive system working properly; without fiber, they will become very ill. However, rabbits have fairly small digestive systems, which means they cannot hold much food, and they are surprisingly inefficient at digesting high-fiber foods, so they don’t get much energy from them. If fed a diet high in a bulky fiber such as hay, they simply will not be able to eat enough or digest it thoroughly enough to obtain enough energy to maintain their bodies, much less be productive (such as having babies, lactating, etc.).

In fact, if you feed alfalfa to a rabbit, you will notice that they tend to avoid the stemmy portion and pick off the little leaves. A fine grass hay is good to have for you rabbit to nibble on, but it will need a complete pelleted feed to meet all its nutritional needs. Our different Rabbit Chow® diets range in fiber from about 17% to 24%, to meet the different production goals of the owners (pet, breeder, show, meat production); they have alfalfa in them, but they also have other ingredients which provide protein, energy, vitamins and minerals rabbits need to thrive.

Why does my rabbit get diarrhea?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Diarrhea can be a symptom of several underlying problems including stress, disease, genetics, diet mismanagement or the use of certain antibiotics. Regardless of its cause, it remains one of the most common causes of death in rabbits, which makes it a serious concern that should not be taken lightly.

Technically, diarrhea is the result of an inflammation of the intestines called Enteritis and is characterized by soft or runny, foul smelling feces.

Diet Management
The rabbit digestive system is unique and depends in part on beneficial bacteria and microorganisms to break down food. This process, called fermentation, takes place in part of the rabbit’s digestive tract called the cecum. The cecum of the rabbit is much larger and more developed than any other domestic animal. The nutrients from cecal fermentation are packaged into soft (or “night”) feces that are consumed by the rabbit in a process called coprophagy.
To keep the digestive system working properly, rabbits require a high fiber diet. Fiber helps to keep the correct balance of nutrients going to the cecum for fermentation and maintains the normal population of “good” bacteria.

A diet low in fiber can throw the fermentation process out of balance resulting in an increase in harmful toxin producing bacteria. These toxins can lead to diarrhea, dehydration and eventually, death.

Newborn and weaning rabbits are at a greater risk of developing diarrhea due to their immature digestive systems and the inability to fight off harmful bacteria.

Rabbits under a great deal of stress are more susceptible to diarrhea. So what could cause your bunnies to become tense, irritable and susceptible to diarrhea? Temperature extremes, either hot or cold, can cause a sudden change in feed intake which upsets the population of bacteria in the cecum. Stressful environmental conditions such as wind, rain, drafts and sun can also throw rabbits off of their feed. And, of course, the presence of other animals such as dogs, cats and other predators can give a rabbit cause for concern.

Did you know that diarrhea can sometimes be brought on by the use of certain antibiotics that alter the population of microorganisms in the cecum? Certain antibiotics destroy beneficial bacteria which allows an increase in the number of harmful toxin producing bacteria. Consult veterinarian for the proper use of antbiotics. Purina rabbit diets DO NOT contain any antibiotics.

Diarrhea is a common sign of disease that can be caused by internal parasites such as Coccidiosis. If you suspect this may be the problem with your rabbit, isolate it immediately to prevent transmission of the disease to other animals, and call your veterinarian.

If your rabbit develops diarrhea, take away its feed for 2-3 days and provide only water and small amounts of hay. After the diarrhea has ended, gradually begin feeding small amounts of feed each day until full feed is resumed within 2-3 days. If the situation doesn’t get better right away, call your veterinarian.

The best way to solve a problem is to make sure it never occurs. Limit feed intake in all of your rabbits, except lactating does and newly weaned bunnies which should be feed free choice.

Always increase the amount of food slowly to prevent diarrhea. Sudden changes in a rabbit diet can upset the digestive tract and lead to diarrhea. Any changes in feed should be made over a 7-10 day period to give your rabbit’s digestive system time to adapt.

During this period, mix the new feed with the old feed, and gradually increase the amount of new feed. Feed your rabbit at the same time each day, ideally in the evening, due to your rabbit’s nocturnal nature.

The importance of fiber in the diet should never be overlooked. Purina Rabbit Feeds provide 100% of the daily requirements for fiber. Purina Show Formula, Rabbit Chow Complete Plus and Rabbit Chow Gourmet all contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus and specific yeast cultures. Research has shown that under certain circumstances, this may improve digestive function and helps to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea.

If antibiotics are necessary due to illness, only use those recommended for rabbits by your veterinarian. Do not use antibiotics continuously as a preventative.

Good sanitation and management practices can also help prevent diarrhea from developing. Be sure your rabbit has proper housing and protection from the elements and predators to keep them healthy and happy.

How do I prepare my rabbit for winter?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Winter brings a variety of situations, including cold temperatures and short days, which affect the well-being of your outdoor rabbit. There are steps you should take to prepare your rabbit(s) to weather the season in optimal health and comfort.

Your rabbit should have a hutch that has solid walls on at least three sides and a slanted, overhanging roof that will allow snow and rain to run off. The hutch should be placed in an area protected from blustery winds and heavy precipitation. Straw or other bedding in the hutch will provide extra warmth, but it must be kept clean and dry. It is very important that you check daily to ensure your rabbit has a dry environment. Damp surroundings, whether from rain, snow, a leaky water bottle, or urine, will contribute to chilling and immune stress, which in winter can easily result in serious illness. While well-protected, the hutch should still have adequate ventilation to reduce odors and keep your pet breathing fresh air.

Water is very important in the winter. It is critical to keep the rabbit’s source of water clean and not frozen. In very cold weather, this may necessitate checking the water several times a day or providing a heated waterer. If you use the latter, be sure to still clean it regularly to inhibit bacterial growth and keep the water appealing to the rabbit. Also be sure that the cord cannot be chewed by the rabbit.

If you are breeding rabbits, you will need to provide 14 to 16 hours of light during these short winter days. The lighting intensity should be 25 lux at the level of the animals. Since no one really knows what a lux is, simply hang one 36-watt fluorescent tube light about 6 feet above the rabbits for every 55 square feet of floor space. In addition, baby rabbits cannot tolerate the cold temperatures that adult rabbits can, so it will be very important to provide extra warmth if needed. If you provide supplemental heat, be sure to monitor the temperature of the nest box daily. There have been instances where the nest box gets too hot and doe’s not nurse the litter. Remember, a little heat goes a long way in a small nest box.

Finally, expect your rabbit to eat more – maybe lots more! The colder it gets, the more the rabbit must eat. Like all animals, rabbits have what is called the “thermoneutral zone”. This is the ambient temperature range at which the rabbit does not need to expend energy to maintain an ideal body temperature. For adult rabbits, this zone is 69 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (young rabbits will be comfortable at higher temperatures). Below 69 degrees, the rabbit must use energy to stay warm. The colder the environment, the more energy the rabbit needs. Energy comes from food, so expect your rabbit to eat as much as three times more in the winter than it does during warmer times of the year. This increase in feed intake even has a fancy name: thermostatic appetite control. The rabbit’s appetite automatically adjusts to meet the energy needs of the rabbit in different temperatures. If your rabbit does not have access to adequate food, it will be hungry, cold, lose weight, and will likely get sick. If the situation becomes dire, the rabbit could die from illness or hypothermia.
The graph shows the relationship between feed intake and decreasing ambient temperature. Note that eventually the rabbit’s intake “maxes out”. This is because even a hungry rabbit in a cold environment can eat only so much food; at this point, housing becomes very important in keeping the rabbit comfortable and healthy.

If you provide your rabbit with warm, dry housing, plenty of food, and lots of fresh, clean water, your rabbit will stay comfortable and healthy through even the longest winter!

What is the shelf life of Purina fish feed?2017-03-22T21:44:13+00:00

Purina fish feed will stay fresh for up to 12 months, providing you store it properly. Be sure to store your feed in a cool, dry area that has good ventilation to prevent mold, vitamin loss and contamination by disease carrying insects or rodents. When properly stored, the vitamin availability in Purina feeds is guaranteed for 12 months.

However, we recognize that high relative humidity in certain regions of the country may reduce the shelf life of the fish feed. When it is not possible to store feed in a dry and cool area, the shelf life may be reduced and should be taken into consideration.

Is Purina feed “least cost formulated”?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

No. Our goal is to consistently provide you with the highest quality fish feed – not the least expensive. The fish digestive system requires a diet that is stable and nutritionally constant, not a diet which is formulated based on the cheapest ingredients available at a given time.

Ingredients used in manufacturing Purina fish diets are the highest quality in order to maintain consistent nutrition from bag to bag. Our feed may cost more per bag than other brands, however because it is higher in nutrients, you actually have to feed less to your fish – which makes Purina fish feeds a tremendous value.

Why is there a change in the color/smell of my fish feed?2017-03-22T21:43:16+00:00

Ingredients used in all Purina feeds are routinely tested to determine their nutrient content. Small adjustments in diet formulations are sometimes made to insure your fish receives constant nutrition, regardless of differences in feed ingredients at a given time. So even though your feed may look or smell a little different from bag to bag, you can be sure they’re getting the exact same amount of nutrition every time.

How can cannibalism be controlled?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

The act in which chickens establish social dominance is called “pecking order”. Pecking order in chickens is a natural behavior in which status determines which birds eat first and have right of way privileges. Excessive pecking can lead to bleeding sores and even death if allowed to get out of control and is referred to as cannibalism. Cannibalism can be difficult to stop once it begins so prevention is the best and most successful treatment. Controlling cannibalism can be achieved by not crowding the birds, keeping light levels reduced, providing adequate feeder space, and insuring proper nutrition through a well balanced ration, such as Purina Mills Family Flock products.

Be sure to maintain good air quality and alleviate other conditions that may be stressful for the bird. It is also important to have adequate nesting space (4-5 hens/nest), with reduced light intensity. Furthermore, be sure to have dry litter; wet litter will damage feather quality, allowing greater damage from pecking. One of the best methods of preventing cannibalism is through beak trimming. Beaks are trimmed during the growing period with a heated blade in which about 2/3 of the upper beak and 1/3 of the lower beak is removed. After this procedure, the chances of injury due to pecking is markedly reduced, but does not impair the birds’ ability to consume feed.

Purina Mills® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe is balanced to contain the proper vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the proper ratios necessary for the production of excellent quality eggs.

What determines egg shell quality?2017-03-22T21:41:59+00:00

Egg shell quality is primarily dependent upon the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in the diet. Calcium and vitamin D3 are the crucial nutrients involved in egg shell formation. Calcium functions in the actual egg shell formation. Egg shells are comprised of 95% calcium carbonate. Vitamin D3 is critical for the absorption of calcium by the hen. Poultry can synthesize a portion of vitamin D3 through exposure to sunlight but additional vitamin D3 is necessary in the diet. An excess of any of these major nutrients involved in shell formation can result in weak or soft eggs shells and reduced egg production.

Do I need to feed grit to my chickens?2017-03-22T21:41:33+00:00

Chickens which are fed a complete diet such as Purina Mills® Start & Grow® SunFresh® Recipe, Layena® SunFresh® Recipe or Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe do not need grit for digestion. If chickens are being fed whole grains such as Purina Mills® Scratch Grains SunFresh® Grains or if they are outside on the range, then grit should be fed to aid in grinding up feed in their crop. In this situation, grit should be fed at 1 pound per 100 chickens twice per week. It can be fed free choice or mixed with the regular feed.

Do I need to feed my chickens oyster shell?2017-03-22T21:41:06+00:00

Oyster shell is sometimes fed to chickens because it is an excellent source of calcium. Purina Mills® complete feeds which include Purina Mills® Start & Grow® SunFresh® Recipe, Layena® SunFresh® Recipe or Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe are formulated to meet calcium requirements so supplemental oyster shell is usually unnecessary. However, for older hens in hot weather, particularly those laying larger eggs, extra calcium may be beneficial. In this instance, a small amount of oyster shell can be fed at 1 pound per 100 hens daily. Over-supplementing with oyster shell should be avoided since too much calcium in the diet can lead to the same symptoms as a calcium deficiency and include weak or soft shells and reduced egg production.

What is the proper way to handle and store eggs after gathering?2017-03-22T21:39:53+00:00

Eggs should be collected three times a day, especially during hot weather. If washing is necessary, eggs should be washed carefully with water. Common household detergents can produce an off odor or flavor in eggs. Eggs should be dried and cooled as quickly as possible. Storage temperature for eggs should be approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit and 70-75% humidity. Care should be taken to store eggs away from other foods since eggs can easily pick up the odors and flavors of nearby foods through their tiny pores.

What should I feed my turkeys, ducks and geese?2017-03-22T21:39:23+00:00

Ducks and geese should be fed Purina Mills® Flock Raiser® SunFresh ®Recipe from hatch on. It is perfectly okay to also feed Purina Mills® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe after 18 weeks of age. Medicated Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe is not FDA approved for use in ducks or geese.

Turkeys can be fed Purina Mills® Gamebird Startena® or Purina Mills® Show Chow® Turkey Starter from hatch to 8 weeks of age. After 8 weeks, turkeys should be fed Purina Mills® Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe. The medicated option of Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe can be fed to turkeys to provide protection against coccidiosis.

At what age do hens begin laying eggs?2017-03-22T21:38:51+00:00

Hens begin laying eggs at the time of sexual maturity, around 18-22 weeks of age. Peak egg production usually occurs at about 28 weeks of age. In a laying flock, excellent peak production would be between 85-95%. This means that on a given day, 85-95% of the flock would produce an egg. After this peak in production, the rate of lay decreases about 1% to 1 1/2% per week. Several factors are involved in how many eggs a hen will produce such as breed, light exposure, housing and nutrition.

Commercial Leghorn strains have the genetic potential to lay 270 eggs per year, with good management and proper nutrition. Meat-type strains and pure lines i.e., Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, etc. are not as prolific.

Purina Mills’ nutritionists recommend Purina Mills® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe for maximum egg production.

How does light affect egg production?2017-03-22T21:38:19+00:00

Chickens have a pineal gland (a gland behind their eye) which functions to control reproduction. Increasing day length in the spring acts to naturally stimulate egg production through the increased length of exposure to light. Furthermore, as the amount of light decreases in the fall and winter due to shorter day length, egg production naturally declines.

The use of artificial light to supplement natural daylight allows egg production to continue throughout the year. To maximize egg production in the hen, Purina Mills’ researchers recommend 14-17 hours of light per day. Providing supplemental lighting in the spring, fall and winter will insure that the number of hours of light remains consistent thereby allowing optimum egg production throughout the year.

What causes double yolked eggs?2017-03-22T21:37:46+00:00

Egg production in the hen is controlled by the release of specific hormones, which in turn stimulate the release of a single egg yolk from the ovary. After the yolk is released from the ovary it continues its journey through the hens reproductive tract where it develops into an egg with a hard outer shell. Usually, only one yolk is released by the ovary in a given day. However, sometimes two egg yolks or on rare occasions, even three yolks may be released at the same time resulting in the formation of a double or triple yolked egg.

This release of more than one yolk at a time is due to an over stimulated ovary which occurs as a direct result of the increased level of reproductive hormones in the hen. This phenomenon appears more commonly in young hens and is also seen more frequently in meat-type strains of hens verses egg-type hens. Genetics may also be a factor involved with some hens naturally producing a higher percentage of double yolked eggs than others.

What SunFresh Recipe products are available and how do they differ?2017-03-22T21:36:37+00:00

Purina Mills® carries three primary SunFresh Recipe® products: Start & Grow®, Flock Raiser®, and Layena®. Purina Mills also carries a whole grain poultry supplement, Purina Mills® Scratch Grains.

Purina Mills® Start & Grow® SunFresh® Recipe is intended for layer chicks and should be fed from the time they hatch until they are ready to lay at about 20 weeks of age. Start & Grow® is a complete feed containing all the proper nutrients to grow healthy chicks and comes in the form of crumbled pellets (etts). Start & Grow® Medicated can be fed to chicks until 8 weeks of age to prevent coccidiosis.

Purina Mills® Layena® SunFresh® Recipe is designed to be fed to pullets from the time they start laying throughout their entire span of production. Layena® is a complete feed and provides all the vitamins and minerals necessary to produce top quality eggs.

Purina Mills® Flock Raiser® SunFresh® Recipe is formulated for broiler chicks, ducks and geese and is fed from hatch until market weight. For turkeys, it can be fed from 6 weeks of age to market. Flock Raiser® is a complete feed and contains all the required nutrients to efficiently and rapidly grow meat birds from hatch to use. Flock Raiser® Medicated is available to provide protection against coccidiosis in broiler chicks and turkey poults. Flock Raiser® Medicated is not FDA approved for use in ducks or geese.

All of the above Purina Mills® SunFresh® Recipe feeds provide a complete and balanced diet for the birds they are intended for. No other supplemental feeds are necessary for birds to receive proper nutrition.

Purina Mills® Scratch Grains SunFresh Grains is a natural all grain supplement and allows natural pecking and scratching instincts to be satisfied. Scratch Grains are not a necessary part of the diet but can be useful to keep poultry busy and content. Purina Mills® offers Scratch Grains for feeding to chickens after 12 weeks of age. Purina Mills’ nutritionists suggest feeding a limited amount of Scratch Grains per day in proportion to the daily feed consumption (i.e., 5-10%).

My chickens are breaking the eggs and eating the inside. Why are they doing this?2017-03-22T21:35:44+00:00

Probably a result of softer shells caused by inadequate nutrition. There are a few very essential minerals that are required for strong shells. Unfortunately most people only think of calcium as being important for strong shells. But there are 5 or 6 that are critical, not only the correct levels, but the rations between each other. Also, if the diet was deficient in these minerals, it may have caused the chicken to become a little nervous and that may cause them to eat their shells.

We recommend feeding Purina Mills® Layena ®SunFresh® Recipe® to avoid this problem. Layena® is formulated with added Vitamin D3, phosphorous and other essential minerals for strong, hard shells.

Now here is the problem, when you switch from your current feed to Layena®, the birds have already developed this habit and may continue to try and break the eggs. They like the taste of the eggs and will purposely try and break them. So what you need to do is to collect the eggs several times a day for a couple of weeks so that no eggs get broken. This should break (no pun intended) the habit and allow you to enjoy your farm, fresh eggs.

What can I do about internal parasites?2017-03-22T21:34:58+00:00

Parasitism is one of the primary causes of death in goats, especially in young animals under six months of age. Treatment depends on the type of infestation.

A common protozoan disease called coccidiosis infects the intestinal tract causing severe weakness, decreased feed intake and diarrhea which is frequently blood tinged. Typically a problem in young kids, it is potentially fatal.

The eggs of internal parasites are passed in the feces of infected goats and develop into infectious larvae which are ingested by other goats where they mature and reproduce. The cycle then repeats. Undernourished goats are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms of internal parasites can include weight loss, dull or rough coat, anemia, decreased milk production, diarrhea, lethargy, and poor feed intake.

A veterinarian can diagnose the presence of internal parasites by examining feces. If internal parasites are present, goats are usually dewormed and then put in safe, parasite-free pastures to avoid reinfection.

Treatment and control of internal parasites cannot be achieved by drugs alone. Good management practices, and proper sanitation and feed management can minimize parasite ingestion. All food and water should be kept clean and away from feces. Adults and kids should graze in different pastures and goats should be put on routine worming schedules.

Kids are usually wormed at 3-4 weeks and again at three months of age and should be kept in well-lighted, clean dry pens since sunlight is known to be one of the most effective coccidiostats. Goats should be dewormed at breeding and 2-3 weeks prior to kidding. Any new goats should be dewormed and separated from other goats for at least a week.

Treatment of coccidiosis includes medicated feed or medicated drinking water — which is usually successful. Prevention requires the use of medicated feeds containing a coccidiostat such as Decoquinateä.

Why does my goat get diarrhea?2017-03-22T21:34:25+00:00

Diarrhea can be a symptom of several underlying problems including stress, disease, internal parasites and diet mismanagement.

Believe it or not, goats are very sensitive to sudden changes in diet. Rations containing a high level of grain and/or insufficient levels of fiber can also cause diarrhea, along with feed that has become spoiled or moldy. In addition, supplemental feeding too much corn or oats without the proper balance of fiber can lead to diarrhea. In some cases diarrhea can be a sign of disease. For example, diarrhea is a primary symptom of thiamine deficiency. Internal parasite infestation can also lead to diarrhea and result in weight loss.

You know it when you see it — unusually soft or watery, foul smelling feces.

Any changes in diet should take place gradually over 7-10 days to give the population of microbes in the rumen time to adjust to the new feed without causing digestive problems. Water should always be available since persistent diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Persistent diarrhea in young kids may lead to death if left untreated. If symptoms do not improve, consult with your veterinarian.

If internal parasites are suspected, a fecal sample can be examined by your vet who can properly treat the infestation. If diarrhea is tinged with blood or if your goat has a fever, contact your vet immediately.

Basic good feeding management will help prevent diarrhea. Purina Mills’ scientists recommend a good quality, balanced ration such as Purina Goat Chow.

What is milk fever?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Milk fever is a noninfectious disease that occurs at or soon after kidding. It is brought on by lactation after birth.

The sudden increase in calcium necessary for milk production after birth can drastically decrease calcium levels in a doe. The goat may fail to mobilize stored calcium reserves in her bones during pregnancy, especially if a diet high in calcium is fed prior to birth.

During the onset of the disease, your goat may appear unsteady and weak as she walks. As milk fever progresses, she may lie down, which can advance to a coma and death.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment involves administration of calcium. However you CAN take preventative measures to lower the incidence of milk fever.

Avoid diets high in calcium during late pregnancy and avoid the use of alfalfa as the only forage source during the dry period. Does usually have a good supply of calcium stored in their bones that can be used when needed. However when a diet high in calcium is fed, the doe may fail to use the stored calcium since it is already abundant in her diet. Then, when milk production begins, her calcium requirement dramatically increases. Since her body has not used the calcium storesfrom her bones, her blood calcium level plunges below normal, resulting in milk fever.

Purina Mills research has shown feeding a highly palatable diet with proper mineral balance such as Purina Goat Chow helps reduce milk fever.

What is pregnancy toxemia?2017-03-22T21:33:07+00:00

Pregnancy toxemia is a form of ketosis that occurs late in pregnancy when your goat is deficient in energy due to a higher energy demand over what is being consumed. Body fat is broken down for use as energy and toxic ketones are released.

Pregnancy toxemia is caused by the increased nutritional stress of developing kid(s) during late pregnancy. Overfed does and those carrying twins or triplets are more susceptible to this very serious condition, which can be fatal. In addition, the rapidly expanding uterus of a goat in late pregnancy takes up more space which limits feed intake.

Pay particular attention and quickly identify does that are listless, have reduced feed intake, apparent blindness or appear to be in a coma.

Unfortunately by the time symptoms of pregnancy toxemia are detected it is often too late to save the animal. Prevention is the best course of action and is easily achieved through proper feed management. Since overweight goats are more prone to developing this problem, limit feed in early pregnancy to prevent your does from becoming fat. Increase feed during late pregnancy to insure sufficient energy is available for the developing fetuses.

Purina Mills’ scientists suggest feeding Purina Goat Chow products for a balanced ration.

What is ketosis?2017-03-22T21:32:36+00:00

Ketosis occurs when an animal’s energy needs are greater than the animal can consume and therefore, the goat must rely on body reserves for fuel. This breakdown of body fats results in an excess of “ketones” that accumulate in the blood and body tissues and has a toxic effect on your goat.

High producing milk goats that cannot eat enough feed to meet the high energy requirements for production. This often happens immediately after birth when there is a rapid rise in milk production.

Goats may decrease feed intake and milk production. They may become lethargic with dull, rough coats. A sweet odor can be detected on their breath, in the urine and in the milk that indicates ketones are being released. If left untreated, this condition can be fatal.

If you suspect ketosis, call your vet immediately. Treatment is usually successful. To meet the energy demands of milk production after birth, be sure your does are fed a high quality diet. Slowly increasing the daily amount of feed before kidding helps insure your does have sufficient energy levels to meet lactation demands when the kids are born. Energy demands will continue to be high as long as does are producing milk. Always feed lactating goats according to production for the duration of lactation.

Research has shown low quality diets tend to increase the incidence of ketosis because the energy levels in the diet are not sufficient to meet the energy needs of the lactating doe.

What is bloat?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Defined as an excessive amount of gas in the first compartment of the ruminant stomach. Left untreated it can decrease feed intake and milk production, and can cause great discomfort and even death in goats.

Bloat can be caused by an obstruction in the esophagus by a solid object that prevents the release of gas produced in the rumen during normal fermentation. More commonly though, bloat occurs when the gas produced by fermentation is greater than the gas expelled through the mouth. This often happens when goats eat different plants in different pastures; graze in damp, lush, legume pastures with forage like alfalfa; eat a large quantity of feed at once; or eat too quickly.

The most obvious sign is swelling on the left side of the animal. Goats will quit eating, become restless and sometimes salivate excessively. Goats in pain will gnash their teeth and kick their legs out. Breathing may become difficult since the rumen presses on the lungs and eventual respiratory failure can follow.

Bloat caused by an obstruction in the esophagus can sometimes be corrected by massaging the foreign object towards the stomach. For other, more complex factors, a defoaming treatment can be given by drenching with vegetable or mineral oil. Contact your veterinarian for proper treatment.

Bloat can be controlled with good management practices. Care should be given to prevent goats from eating too much lush, green pasture, especially legume pasture such as clover and alfalfa, in a short time.

Although alfalfa is a highly palatable roughage and an excellent source of protein and calcium, a little goes a long way. Goats should not have unlimited access to a very palatable feed when hungry. Any change in diet should be made gradually over 7-10 days.

Purina Mills research has shown the potential risk of bloat can be reduced by feeding smaller amounts of feed more frequently during the day. The risk for bloat increases significantly when goats are hungry and are allowed to eat large amounts of good quality feed at one time.

In the event goats are extremely hungry, Purina Mills’ researchers suggest first feeding a poor quality grass hay to reduce appetite before providing small amounts of good quality feed or pasture.

What is Thiamine deficiency?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is naturally produced in the rumen of the goat, by the rumen microorganisms. Thiamine deficiency, or Polioencephalomalacia, occurs when thiamine production is decreased in the rumen. More frequently found in goats kept under intensive management conditions, it results from changes in microbes resulting from diets that are high in energy without sufficient levels of fiber.

Goats with a properly functioning rumen do not require a dietary thiamine supplement.

Frequently seen in goats kept under more intensive management conditions, it most often occurs in 2 to 3-year-olds. Because immature kids do not have a functioning rumen, they are susceptible if they are not fed a thiamine enriched product such as Purina Kid Milk Replacer. Other possible causes include sudden feed changes, moldy hay, dietary weaning stress, deworming with anthelmintics, eating some types of ferns, and overdoses of some anticoccidial medications.

First signs include depression, anorexia and/or diarrhea which may appear suddenly or over a period of several days. Other signs include head elevation while standing, excitability, drowsiness, circling, muscular tremors and apparent loss of vision which causes goats to walk in circles. If symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian immediately. Rigidity and convulsions occur in later stages of the disease.

Adding thiamine to the diet is not a treatment for this condition. Because thiamine is destroyed in the rumen, it is not available to the goat. Therefore, if your goat shows any signs of thiamine deficiency, call your veterinarian immediately. Left untreated, goats will die within 24-72 hours of disease onset. Treatment may consist of thiamine therapy in combination with a lower energy diet and more good quality forage. Animals severely affected by the disease for more than 24 hours usually don’t respond to treatment.

As usual, the best cure for thiamine deficiency is prevention. Always feed your goats sufficient fiber, proper fiber to starch ratio — especially with concentrated feeds intended to stimulate rapid growth and increased production. Changes in diet should be made slowly, usually over 7-10 days, to give the rumen microbes time to adjust.

What are urinary calculi and how does it affect my goat?2017-03-22T21:31:07+00:00

Urolithiasis, commonly referred to as urinary calculi or “water belly” occurs when stones form in the urinary tract and block the urethra, preventing urination. Formation of urinary calculi is more prominent in male goats because of the anatomy of the male urinary tract, making it susceptible to blockage.

Certain individual goats, wethers, immature bucks and some smaller breeds are at a higher risk of blockage. Genetics, diseases and nutritional imbalances may be contributing factors. Poor water intake can also result in concentrated urine which can increase the risk of urinary calculi, especially in winter months and hot weather.

Restlessness, frequent attempts to urinate with no success, a decrease in feed intake and kicking at the abdomen are all signs of urinary calculi. The abdomen may swell if the bladder ruptures and goats may appear to temporarily improve…however urine flowing into nearby tissue usually results in death. If these symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian immediately. Death could occur if left untreated.

The best cure for urinary calculi is prevention. Feeding a balanced diet with the correct calcium to phosphorus ratio, plenty of clean, fresh water to keep urine diluted and regular exercise should keep your goats healthy and happy.

Increase water intake by offering free choice salt to help dilute the urine. Urinary acidifiers such as ammonium chloride can be added to goat diets to help reduce urinary calculi formation.

Nutritionally complete feeds, including PURINA SHOW GOAT RATION and all PURINA MEAT GOAT feeds contain urinary acidifiers and properly balanced calcium to phosphorus ratios.

What should I feed my kids?2018-02-02T17:07:12+00:00

During the first three days of life, newborn kids must receive colostrum…the first milk produced by the doe after birth. It is very rich in nutrients and protective antibodies. After this critical time of colostrum feeding, kids can be fed kid goat milk replacer, however milk replacer is NOT a replacement for colostrum.

PURINA KID MILK REPLACER contains all of the necessary milk proteins balanced with vegetable oils, sugar, vitamins and minerals to produce optimum growth and healthy kids.

Bottle Feeding? To bottle feed you’ll need milk replacer, water, bottles and nipples. Package directions should be strictly followed when preparing milk replacer to avoid diarrhea or malnourishment. Feed milk replacer at room temperature. Be sure to properly clean and disinfect bottles and nipples to prevent bacterial growth from milk residue which can lead to diarrhea.

Kids usually take to the bottle just like the babies they are. If your kid is lethargic, sickly or not sucking, pry its mouth open and work the nipple in. You may need to practice a little before your kid gets the hang of it. Hold your kid’s head higher than its shoulders during feeding so that milk flows directly into its stomach and not its lungs. Milk consumption should gradually be reduced at weaning to prevent digestive disturbances.

PURINA GOAT CHOW rations are formulated specifically for the unique nutritional needs of goats at all life stages and contain the proper nutrients to help your kids grow up strong and healthy. PURINA goat feeds are available as supplemental feeds designed to be fed in combination with a forage diet, or as complete feeds that supply total nutrition in each bite.

PURINA GOAT CHOW can be fed as a creep feed by allowing the nursing kid access to Goat Chow. As the kid matures they will consume small quantities of Purina Goat Chow, which will help develop a properly functioning rumen. This will help the weaning process.

What are the unique nutritional needs of goats?2017-03-22T21:30:05+00:00

Like the cow, goats have a four-compartment stomach: rumen (which is 80% of the total stomach area), reticulum, omasum and abomasum. However goats have unique dietary needs that require specially formulated diets. Feeding diets designed for other species can create nutritional imbalances that can lead to poor health or even be deadly to your goats.

Go to Top