We are all aware of the pressures that dairy farmers are under to increase yields, operate more efficiently and reduce the environmental impact of their dairy systems. Lintec is one of the products that can help achieve these objectives, with Omega-3 fatty acids having long been recognised as having an important role in helping to support cow fertility, health and performance.
By utilising a specific strain of linseed that has been thermoextruded, Lintec provides a fast acting source of Omega-3 fatty acids, that are vital to support high performing dairy cows. On many dairy farms Omega-3 provision is not at optimal levels due to feeding grass at variable rates - and of variable quality - throughout the season, or because of the type of feeding system a farm is operating.
Good herd fertility is essential when developing a successful and sustainable dairy business, and Omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in helping improve successful pregnancies and successful heat detection.
While a high percentage of cow services do result in fertilisation, around 75% of developing embryos are lost within the first 21 days of pregnancy. This if often due to hormonal imbalance in the cow, with insufficient signals being transmitted from the embryo to make a cow aware that she is pregnant, resulting in the frequent embryo loss.
However, 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.
Due to the changes that Lintec has on cow behaviour during their oestrus cycle, cows will also display stronger signs of heat, that last longer, which makes heat detection much easier. This in turn helps to improve the number of successful services and boosts conception rates.
As all dairy producers know, a healthy cow is an easy-to-manage cow. Cows with fewer health complaints are also likely to be more productive, profitable and stay within the milking herd for a longer period. So, anything that can be done nutritionally to support cow health is a good idea.
Overall cow health will benefit from Lintec supplementation thanks to the reduction of acid loading within the rumen. 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 in turn can reduce rumen pH, making it more acidic and cows are susceptible to acidosis - with all the associated knock-on ramifications in terms of impaired rumen function, reduced feed intakes and poorer feed utilisation.
As well as supporting better cow fertility, Lintec has also been shown to have a positive impact on both milk yields and milk quality. And this is all thanks to Lintec’s ability to reduce a cow’s intake of saturated fatty acids.
The high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the feed help to increase a cows’ feed efficiency by lowering levels of saturated fatty acids. This in turn reduces the amount of energy wasted in the rumen and the wasted energy that is ‘suppressed’ would usually take the form of methane.
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. It is therefore unsurprising that cows fed high volumes of Lintec, at around 1-1.5kg per day, can experience an uplift in milk yield, of up to three litres per cow, per day.
A report published by the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) in 2021 previously indicated that feeding 1kg of Lintec per cow, per day can help reduce methane emissions by up to 10%.
The EAAP’s research highlighted a direct correlation between the amount of Lintec fed to cows each day and a subsequent reduction in methane emissions. So, when cows were fed higher levels of Lintec, at 1kg per cow, per day, direct methane emissions dropped in terms of grammes of methane produced per kilogramme of milk.
However, the researchers also took into consideration the positive impact that Lintec also has on rumen function and overall productivity of the cow. When these factors are added into the equation, the total reduction in methane emissions increased to 10%.
LIN REARER 18 is a new youngstock product launched to farmers this autumn, which helps improve growth rates and conception rates in heifers. It’s a high energy, high performance heifer rearing diet suitable for feeding with straw or silage.
Bringing the benefits of Lintec, with all its proven fertility improvements, to youngstock feeding, LIN REARER delivers increased bulling activity in maiden heifers and increased conception rate in all heifers.
Improved growth rates mean heifers are more likely to calve down in that crucial 22 to 24 month range, saving semen costs and increasing milk income.