Program Helps Give Calves A Healthy Edge


Purina Animal Nutrition introduces Purina® Plus, an innovative feeder calf program, which aims to help cattle producers supply high-value, low-risk feeder calves to the marketplace. Purina® Plus calves receive quality nutrition, vaccinations and dewormers – indicators of a well-raised, healthy calf with strong potential to perform through to the feedlot.

“With the Purina® Plus program, producers have the opportunity to capture more value throughout the beef production chain,” says Brady Klatt, beef cattle nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “Cow/calf producers benefit when buyers are willing to invest in calves that are ready to go, and buyers benefit when calves perform.”

Nutrition is the cornerstone of Purina® Plus. See why:

Nutrition sets the foundation for calf health

Weaning disrupts a calf’s life and resets its basic needs – starting with nutrition and intake.

“Producers have long trusted Purina’s knowledge in weaning and receiving cattle nutrition starting with the gold standard, Purina® Precon® Complete,” says N.T. Cosby, Ph.D., beef cattle nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “We know how to get calves eating palatable, nutrient-dense starter feeds, which is the first step to healthy and profitable calves. The Purina® Plus program leverages that knowledge to support producers in marketing their calf crop.”

Giving calves the best chance for success in the weaning phase often starts with getting them eating right away. Providing their bodies with the quality nutrition resources they need for bodily functions, including creating a robust immune response, is paramount to establishing a foundation for lifetime performance. 

“Weaning is often the first time a calf is exposed to multiple stressors, all of which can compromise a calf’s immune system,” says Cosby. “Purina has continued to research weaning and starting programs and innovative natural additives to support calf health. Purina® Plus offers producers a great package of solid nutrition combined with appropriate health protocols and management strategies.”

Program protocols, backed by industry leaders

Purina worked with other industry leaders, including Zinpro, Elanco, Merck, Zoetis and Boehringer Ingelheim, to establish the requirements for Purina® Plus. The end goal was to set parameters that truly add value to cattle while giving cow/calf producers the flexibility to use strategies that best fit their operation. The result is a program built around a portfolio of products that work to optimize weaning performance and help create a sale day advantage for the calves in it.

Purina® Plus calves must be:

  • Fed Purina® starters at weaning initiation
  • Transitioned to a balanced nutrition program after starter feed
  • Weaned and on feed for a minimum of 45 days prior to sale
  • Fed the appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals through starters or supplements
  • Vaccinated and appropriately boosted for:
  • Strains of Clostridium chauvoei, Clostridium septicum, Clostridium novyi, Clostridium sordellii, Clostridium perfringens (Types C & D)
  • Strains of IBR, PI3, BRSV and BVD (Type 1 and 2) through a Modified Live Vaccine
  • Mannheimia haemolytica/Pasteurella multocida
  • Dewormed of internal and external parasites with program approved products 
  • All males must be castrated, all horned cattle must be dehorned
  • Calves must be healed from management procedures at the time of sale

“With basic nutrition needs met, health protocols and other management strategies are primed to be most effective,” says Klatt. “The Purina® Plus program is rounded out with a strong health protocol which helps give calves the best chance for success as they transition to the next feeding phase.”

Selling Purina® Plus-tagged cattle is a small part of the program working for producers. The industry leaders outlined above are teaming up to work for producers trusting their products, creating new marketing opportunities through networking, specialized sale events, advertising and more. Local Purina dealers are also working to collaborate with regional livestock auction markets to establish a reputation for Purina® Plus and facilitate calf sales.

How to get started

“If you’re interested in enrolling calves or finding program calves to purchase, start by reaching out to your local Purina dealer,” says Klatt. “Purina dealers are ready to help set up a plan to implement Purina® Plus during your next weaning period.”

Purina® Plus has no enrollment fee.

Find your local Purina dealer to discuss the Purina® Plus program today.

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC ( is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Arden Hills, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.


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