Dairy cows that are fed flaxseed produced more nutritious milk, according to a new study from Oregon State University.
Ten pregnant cows at the university dairy farm were fed different amounts of flaxseed – up to 7 percent of their daily diet. Researchers attempted to pinpoint the amount of flaxseed that would maximize the amount of omega-3 in milk and dairy products without negatively affecting their production and texture.
Results show that feeding cows up to 6 pounds of extruded flaxseed improved the fat profile without negatively affecting the production and texture of the milk and other dairy products.
At 6 pounds per day, saturated fatty acids in whole milk fat dropped 18 percent, poly-unsaturated fatty acids increased 82 percent, and omega-3 levels rose 70 percent compared to feeding no flaxseed. Similar improvements were observed in butter and cheese.