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Harnessing the power of Linseed

Sector News Sector News10-10-2019

Good herd fertility is essential in order to develop a successful and sustainable dairy business. Omega-3 fatty acids have long been recognised as having an important role in helping to support cow fertility, and traditionally farmers have relied on grass to provide the bulk of omega-3 intake that their cows require. However, at certain times of the year, or depending on a farm’s specific feeding system, grass alone will not provide the level of omega-3 needed in a cow’s diet to ensure optimal fertility performance.  

Lintec is a linseed feed supplement, high in omega-3 fatty acids, that has been proven to aid fertility in dairy herds, as well as improve cow health and milk production.

Using a specific strain of linseed that has been thermo-extruded, Lintec provides a unique dairy feed that benefits not only the fertility, but also the overall performance of your cows. 

Boosting fertility

Linseed research

There is scope for significant gains in fertility performance across many UK herds and Lintec can play an important role in helping to achieve these improvements.

Recent research has highlighted that the average calving interval for a Holstein-Friesian based herd is 402 days; 32 days higher than the optimal target of 370 days. Average days to first service also stand at 81 days, compared to a target of 71, and conception rates are 5% lower than desired level of 34%.

Poor fertility performance will significantly hold back the performance of a dairy herd and have a big financial impact.

Our research has shown that as a ‘rule of thumb’, for every day over the calving interval target of 370 days, the cost to a dairy herd will be £4 per day, per cow. For a 200 strong milking herd, with a potential to produce an average of 8,000 litres, if the calving interval stood at 402 days the cumulative cost would come to £200 per cow, per year. 

Lintec and fertility

Whilst a high percentage of cow services do result in fertilisation, around 75% of developing embryos are lost within the first 21 days of pregnancy. Due to hormonal imbalance in the cow, insufficient signals are transmitted from the embryo to make a cow aware that she is pregnant, resulting in the frequent embryo loss.

The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in Lintec have been shown to rebalance cow hormones, boost progesterone levels and suppress prostaglandin levels; all of which help a cow to maintain her pregnancy once in calf. 

Heat detection is also made easier, as cows supplemented with Lintec display stronger signs of heat, that last longer, due to changes that Lintec has on their behaviour during their oestrus cycle; helping to improve the number of successful services and conception rates. 

Improving milk production

Lintec and milk production

As well as boosting fertility performance, Lintec can also play a significant role in improving the quality and quantity of milk that a cow produces. 

The high levels of omega-3 in Lintec help to improve milk quality by reducing a cow’s intake of saturated fatty acids.

With lower levels of saturated fatty acids, efficiency in a cow’s rumen and udder are improved and subsequently there is a greater level of energy available for milk production. This is achieved by Lintec helping to reduce the energy wasted in the rumen as methane and in the udder as saturated fat. 

A helping hand with health

Cows that are fed a diet that contains high levels of starch and sugars can suffer from impaired rumen performance due to a build-up of lactic acid and volatile fatty acids (VFAs). This build-up causes rumen pH levels to drop, as the rumen environment becomes more acidic, and cows then suffer from acidosis. Acidosis damages cow health and productivity by negatively impacting on levels of feed intakes and feed utilisation.  

Lintec aids the removal of VFAs from the rumen and therefore works to increase rumen pH, stabilise the rumen environment and ensure optimal rumen performance; all of which will improve fibre digestion, feed efficiency, cow performance and health. 

Lintec is a unique feed for dairy cows available through ForFarmers. To maximise product benefits, Lintec should be used with Visiolac, it3 and Dietplan. This will allow a range of forage and concentrate to be carefully selected in order to improve milk production, milk quality, health, fertility and feed efficiency. 

Ask your ForFarmers Account Manager for more information about Lintec or call 0330 67 80 982.