Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Feeding for Shine

Everyone wants their horse to look so good that he/she turns heads. Good breeding, correct conformation, and a strong topline are important, but the traditional hallmark of a beautiful horse is a shiny coat. Even horses without perfect confirmation are eye-catching when they have a shiny coat. A good example is my own horse Roman pictured below….he is an aged 15.3 OTTB with a club foot and a Roman nose, but in spite of all that I think he looks gorgeous (OK, I may be a tiny bit biased, but he does have a very shiny coat).

My horse Roman (photo credit Eve Wheeler)

Even though we can’t control confirmation flaws, we do have some level of control over the appearance of a horse’s coat. Good nutrition shows on the outside, and feeding a balanced diet that meets nutrient requirements is an essential first step to having a horse with a shiny coat.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Challenge of Spring

Most of us associate the challenges of spring on a horse farm/ranch with all of the seasonal changes that take place.  The challenges many of us face can include; getting foals on the ground safely, getting mares bred back for the foal crop of the coming year, starting back up with cutting grass or making hay, trying to keep a close watch on horses on pasture eating that lush spring grass, the list goes on and on! One of these challenges brought me to realize a strong correlation from a discussion we had the previous week about feeding horses properly. We had an additional challenge last week when a group of severe storms came through our area. Strong winds and a tornado were reported right here at the farm. Luckily no people or horses at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center were hurt, but we did lose some trees and fence. One of the trees was a favorite of mine, it has been in countless advertisements and pictures of the farm. The picture below was from a couple of years ago after a light snow.

A substantial oak that had survived who knows how many storms and from all appearances looked rock solid and healthy. When the wind came last week we were left with the image below.

Monday, April 1, 2013

New from Purina Animal Nutrition!

It’s hard to believe we’ve actually done it! Years and years of research, countless ultrasounds, timely breedings, sleepness nights, foal after foal being born….and we have finally figured out how to feed broodmares and combine our breeding expertise in order to guarantee the sex of a foal. We are proud to present Purina Strategy Colt and Purina Strategy Filly! Start using these feeds now to rebreed your mares and get exactly the number of colts and fillies you want on the ground next year. By using these feeds and timing your breeding precisely as we specify, you will have a 90%+ chance of getting the gender of foal you plan for. No more waiting 11 months to find out, no more trying to sex the embryo at certain dates, no more disappointment when you wished for a colt and a filly pops out (no offense to the fillies), we have a feed for you too!

We have been working on this technology at our Purina Animal Nutrition Center for many years. Our statistics show that if we combine an exact percentage of protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids, and then inseminate mares on a precisely determined date and time via ultrasound, there is a 91.23 ± 4.5% chance of influencing the sex of the foal. This percentage is statistically significant with a P-value of 0.0496. This is a very strong statistical value and we are now preparing all of our data for peer review publication. We will let you know when the final paper is accepted and ready for print.

In the meantime, some additional statistics include:

40.0% percent of people in the US play April Fool’s Day pranks on their friends, family and/or coworkers. When these pranks are played, it makes 7.0% of people feel paranoid and another 11.0% annoyed. I, on the other hand, think they are great fun! Did I get you? I hope so. Happy April Fool’s Day!