O&T Farms (Regina SK), in collaboration with the University of Guelph, initiated a series of research projects focused on developmental programming in both broiler and pullet breeding stock, starting in 2017. The purpose of the research was to determine the effects of feeding omega-3 fatty acids to breeder birds on reproductive efficiency, embryonic survival, as well as the epigenetic influence on progeny performance, development and overall health.

One stage of this research aimed to evaluate the impacts of maternal and post-hatch feeding of omega-3 fatty acids on skeletal development in pullets. To test this, the University of Guelph designed a trial in which LinPRO, a dry-extruded flaxseed-based omega-3 feed ingredient produced by O&T Farms, was included in either the maternal diet, the post-hatch diet, or both. Reza Akbari, a PhD candidate working on the project, presented preliminary data at the Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada (ANCC) in Niagara Falls, Ontario (May 15th), that suggest the maternal feeding of linPRO can significantly improve skeletal strength in young pullets by nearly 22% compared to the control.

“The results demonstrated effectiveness of maternal and post-hatch feeding of omega-3 fatty acid in support of skeletal strength in young pullets which can greatly reduce poor egg shell quality and skeletal maladies seen in laying hens across all housing types,” said Dr. Elijah Kiarie, Assistant Professor in Poultry Nutrition at the University of Guelph, who led the research. “The potential of omega-3 fatty acids in stimulating bone, brain, and immune cells development at embryonic through to early phases of the chick’s life could significantly improve productivity and welfare.”

O&T Farms manufactures several highly digestible and stable omega-3 animal feed ingredients under the brand name LinPRO; blending flaxseed, and pulses through their patented dry-extrusion process. LinPRO, is non-GMO and also available under certified organic labels.