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Last update: May 2021

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Linseed boosts cow performance

A demonstration made possible by a major national epidemiological study in dairy farming.

Flaxseed extruded under the TRADILIN® brand name has been used in dairy farms for over 20 years, with positive customer feedback on dairy and reproductive performance, which is often disputed in trials conducted on experimental farms. The originality of this work lies in the mobilisation of animal epidemiology methods to highlight these effects under the current conditions of their use. The mobilization of 22 French feed companies made it possible to collect data from 1,300 herds and 200,000 Holstein cows.

The more the cow eats linseed, the more it produces, with an average effect of +0.14 kg of milk/day per 100 g of this feed, but with a small effect of degradation of the milk fat content (0.13 g/kg). At the same time, the cows are more fertile. Thus, on average, they are inseminated 3.7 days before cows that do not receive it and fertilised 6.6 days before, as soon as the cows receive 25 g of linseed per day.

Farmers now have evidence that flaxseed in modest doses improves the performance of dairy cows. Moreover, this study shows that epidemiology can also change the methods of studying animal nutrition in order to limit the use of animal experimentation.


Partners : This study was carried out as part of a research collaboration with the companies Valorex and Terrena. It also received funding from the ANRT.


Related publications :

  • Ariza, J. M., Meignan, T., Madouasse, A., Beaudeau, F., & Bareille, N. (2019). Effects on milk quantity and composition associated with extruded linseed supplementation to dairy cow diets. Scientific Reports, 9. 
  • Meignan T, Madouasse A, Beaudeau F, Ariza JM, Lechartier C, Bareille N. (2019). Does feeding extruded linseed to dairy cows improve reproductive performance in dairy herds? An observational study. Theriogenology, 125: 293–301. DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2018.11.020. 


Contact :Nathalie Bareille

Associated INRAE Department : Santé Animale

See also: 

Thomas Meignan's thesis

Assessing the technical and economic interest of the use of extruded linseed in dairy cattle farming - Thomas MEIGNAN

Cow, milk and omega-3s

The use of linseed improves the production of dairy cows (web-agri - le quotidien de l'éleveur)

Milk: flaxseed boosts production (France 3 Bretagne)