The dairy market rewards herds with optimized reproductive performance and reduced herd turnover rates. Herd structure has become one of the major key performance indicators for evaluating the sustainability and profitability of a dairy farm, with reproductive performance and herd turnover rates playing a key role. Herd turnover rate refers to the number of animals exiting a herd within a defined period. Typically, one-third of the dairy herd is culled annually, with a large portion of those culls being categorized as involuntary.

The primary reasons dairy cattle leave the herd include:

  1. Reproductive inefficiency
  2. Mastitis
  3. Metabolic disease
  4. Injury

When focusing on improving herd pregnancy rates and reducing herd turnover, producers can tailor their culling programs to yield more profit by increasing milk yield and reducing the costs associated with rearing replacement heifers.

One strategy for improving reproductive performance and reducing herd turnover is through nutritional modifications. LinPRO-R is a dry-extruded flaxseed-based feed ingredient that has been specifically designed for dairy cattle. A study from the University of California, Davis, concluded that feeding linPRO-R at a rate of 2.5% DMI to early and mid-late lactating dairy cattle results in reduced involuntary culling due to health incidences, with incidence of mastitis showing the greatest improvement. (Swanepoel and Robinson, 2019)

Furthermore, researchers from Penn State University conducted a trial evaluating the effects of linPRO-R in transition cow diets under commercial conditions. Results from this study showed a 24% increase in first service conception rates for 1st lactation heifer when linPRO-R was included in both the close-up and fresh cow rations.


The Omega-6 to Omega-3 dietary imbalance

The livestock feeding strategies of the preceding 50 years are characterized with high energy, saturated fat, omega-6 fatty acids, trans-fatty acids, and all with a corresponding low amount of omega-3 fatty acid intake. This feeding strategy provides a ω-6: ω-3 ratio, that is approximately 12:1 for livestock. The dietary fatty acid imbalance has harmful effects on livestock performance (immune depression, loss of productivity and compromised reproduction).


A small change in feed formulation using a protected omega-3 ingredient can have a positive impact on the health of cattle leading to measurable gain in productivity for the producer. LinPRO-R is a natural energy source for dairy cows made by dry-extruding several ingredients including flaxseed, alfalfa, vitamin E and dried peas. What makes linPRO-R unique is that it is an easy-to-use, stable source of land-based omega-3s that can be added to a dairy cow’s diet to provide a rumen protected source of essential fatty acids.

The polyunsaturated fatty acids in linPRO-R are primarily omega-3s and are rumen protected and created through O&T Farms dry-extrusion process, leading to the creation of a unique protein/fat matrix. A picture of that protein/fat matrix is shown below. This matrix mitigates the biohydrogenation of the softer PUFA within the rumen and brings healthy benefits to dairy cows: positive immunity response, reduction of mastitis, improved conception rates and improved milk performance.

Key Nutritional Information on linPRO-R

Fat %
(% Dry Matter)
By-pass rate
(% of Fat)
Energy (NEL)
Omega-3 Fat
(% Dry Matter)
Protein % 
(% Dry Matter)
RUP, % CP 
(% Dry Matter)

The Protein / Fat Matrix

LinPRO-R is a protected polyunsaturated fat source, providing energy plus added immunity benefits originating from its flaxseed ingredient source. Flaxseed is an energy-rich omega-3 polyunsaturated fat that is softer because of their carbon chain. Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and are a healthier energy source for the cow. LinPRO-R will pass through the cow’s rumen and into the lower intestine, and ultimately into the blood flow of the dairy cow supporting health, immunity and conception.

A sustainable source

LinPRO-R is made from land-based ingredients; flaxseed, alfalfa and dried peas. These are sustainable ingredients that provide a low environmental footprint and in fact support reduction of methane gas enteric emissions for cows.


A targeted fat feeding program that incorporates linPRO-R into the cow’s diet increases the omega-3 energy density, reduces negative energy balance during their transition period and increases fertility and milk production. There are alternative energy sources available, and O&T Farms linPRO-R is the land-based sustainable choice.