2020 Penn State Dairy Cattle Workshop ~ An Omega-3 Feeding Strategy

November 2020

The 2020 Penn State Dairy Cattle Workshop featured Dr. Troy Ott explaining the benefits of an Omega-3 feeding strategy for transition cows.

Dr. Troy Otts November 12, 2020 presentation details Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and the effects on reproduction and immune functions.  The premise of the first part of the presentation is that fats are not all equal when discussing dairy rations during the transition period.  The transition period is stressful and negative energy and immunity are key criteria that need to be considered.  Parametric costs of fat are further explored to understand the imbalance between O6:O3 fat sources in dairy diets.  The fact that most fat sources are inflammatory is discussed at length and then digs into how to balance inflammatory and anti-inflamatory fat sources.  The presentation is an in-depth analysis of the various unsaturated and saturated fat sources and specifically the anti-inflammatory Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their benefits during the stressful transition period.  

Alpha-linolenic (ALA) Omega-3 fats are reviewed and explained; as essential fat sources because they cannot be synthesized by the cow/mammal and must be part of their dietary intake.  Further discussion goes on to identify flaxseed as one of the richest sources of essential ALA Omega-3 fats. Flaxseed as a polyunstatureated fat source when left unprotected and introduced to the rumen will cause biohydrogenation, however this is not discussed in the presentation.  The biohydrogenation issue caused by raw flaxseed oil is ultimately one of the key benefits of LinPRO-R in dairy rations.  The LinPRO-R manufacturing process (dry-extrusion), creates a unique protein/fat matrix, providing neccessary fat protection in the rumen with no biohydrogenation.

Molly Fetter ~ Research Associate on the Omega-3 study  

Topics included during the presentation and specifically around the transition period:

  1. Negative energy balance
  2. Immunity issues during pregnancy
  3. Chronic inflammation 
  4. Resolution of inflammation
  5. Uterine infections postpartum – leading to Metritis

Dr.Troy Ott and the research team presented this Omega-3s fatty acid supplementation during the transition period based on collaborative work that O&T Farms and Penn State have done. Over the course of 2015-2019 a series of studies on immunity, conception and production have shown the results of implementing LinPRO-R into transition period dairy rations.

Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop
November 12, 2020

Presentation: Omega 3 Fatty Acid Supplementation,
Effects on Immune Function and Reproduction

By: Dr. Troy Ott
Professor, Department of Animal Science, Penn State

Dr. Ott is a reproductive biologist that studies establishment and maintenance in pregnancies and particularly how the immune system is involved in that process.

Research & Technical Update

Targeted Omega-3 Fat Feeding: Effects on Reproduction and Immune Function