FAQ

Why is there a change in the color/smell of my fish feed?

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 poultry cannibalism be controlled?

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.

Do I need to feed grit to my chickens?

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.

Why is corn added to your rabbit diets?

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 won’t my rabbits breed?

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

Age 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.

Weight 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.

Temperature 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.

Frequency 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.

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

Treatment 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.

How do I prepare my rabbit for winter?

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!

Do I need to feed my chickens oyster shell?

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.

At what age do hens begin laying eggs?

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.

Is Purina feed “least cost formulated”?

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.

What is the shelf life of Purina fish feed?

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.