The emphasis on production and high-yielding dairy herds has shifted the focus of cow diets away from their original feed - grass. A new and apparently “revolutionary” ruminant feed product, which mirrors the Omega-3 content of spring grass, has been introduced to the UK.
Producer Bocm Pauls states that the feed improves animal health, milk production and fertility - as well as having spin-off benefits for human health and the environment. Additionally, it is also said to provide opportunities for UK cereal producers.
Lintec, which is derived from linseed, brings health benefits for cows by boosting beneficial Omega 3 levels in the diet. Because Lintec also affects the fatty acid metabolism within the cow, saturated fat levels in milk, cheese and meat are also reduced, with obvious consumer health benefits. Methane output is reportedly cut.
Lintec comes from linseed grown in the UK from specific varieties of seed high in Omega 3 (alpha linolenic acid), from specialist arable business Premium Crops, which has been treated via a new patented thermo extrusion process developed by French company Valorex over the past 18 years. The process releases significantly more oil from the linseed than other processes, says the company, as well as protecting part of the oil, protein and starch from degradation in the rumen.
Lintec is fed either as a straight, or included in compound feeds or blends. It is 26% oil, 18% protein and has an ME of 17.3 MJ/kg. Lintec is thus a concentrated source of energy, with almost 4MJ/kg DM more than wheat. But it differs significantly from starch raw materials because it does not promote significant acid production in the rumen.
The Lintec extrusion process resulted in a high degree of rumen protection, but the product is not completely rumen by-passed, and some is digested in the rumen. It is here where it changes the fatty acid metabolism of the cow and brings about its saturated fat and methane reducing effects, say the producers.