The addition of flax in bull rations appears to have a positive effect on reproductive performance as well as feed efficiency. In a recent trial at Kansas State University, 30 yearling bulls were distributed evenly into 2 groups and fed a commercial bull developer with one group receiving the addition of flax, an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. At the end of the 60 day trial period, both groups were weighed and examined for breeding soundness. The group fed a flax supplement showed an 11% increase in sperm motility and a 36% increase in normal sperm.
A second 70 day trial was conducted using 120 yearling angus bulls averaging 1115 lbs. that were randomly sorted into 2 treatment groups of 40 head & tracked using a computerized feed intake monitoring system as well as one control group of 40 head. Both groups were fed a TMR consisting of chopped hay, corn silage, wheat middlings, and 3% supplement fed twice daily. The 2 test groups were also fed a flax supplement. The results showed a 17% increase in feed efficiency, a 5% decrease in feed intake, and a 7% increase in daily gain.
These trials provided a commercial flax product in a low moisture block that contained 14% protein as well as 15% fat (from flaxseed) and a complete vitamin/mineral package.
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