Advice for feeding flaxseed/linseed?

Kneedles

Songster
6 Years
Jul 22, 2014
254
108
186
Wellington, New Zealand
I am interested in getting golden blonde flaxseed/linseed for my chickens, but what I have found online suggests that feeding it to chickens can be risky.
This link says that feeding chickens flaxseed/linseed can delay how long it takes for them to die of ovarian cancer: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504124740.htm
Meanwhile, this link says that feeding chickens flaxseed/linseed for long enough can promote the development of liver haemorrhages?!: https://articles.extension.org/pages/67350/using-flax-in-poultry-diets
So, does anyone have advice for how to feed flaxseed/linseed to chickens? Should I even bother if chickens eating it can have such variable results?
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 13, 2016
3,041
4,924
391
North-Central IL
I would imagine it's safe in certain amounts, and becomes less safe if given too much. Gonna be honest, I simply don't have the mental fortitude to read the studies right now :lauThe egg companies selling Omega 3 eggs almost certainly must be feeding it, unless they happen to be able to get fish oil or a supplement cheaper, which I doubt.

If you decide to feed it, you can most likely feed it whole. I know when I fed it to my horse I ground it in a coffee grinder, but horses don't have gizzards. If you choose to grind it, only do what you're feeding that day, it goes rancid MUCH faster once grown. And if you buy a large bag of it, store it in the freezer, it will last even longer.
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 13, 2016
3,041
4,924
391
North-Central IL
Alright, now that I'm caffeinated, I've read the two articles/studies.
My thoughts:
They both fed chickens a diet comprised of 10% flaxseed.
The positive article only fed it for a year before doing necropsies.
The negative article states "long term."
I have noticed that the livers end up very poor in older laying hens period as I've butchered them.

Personally, I think you could feed your birds some flax safely, just not up to 10% of their diet. Which, when you think of it, is a fair bit. That would be adding a pound to 9 pounds of feed, and a pound of flax is a LOT by volume. I think a scant handful sprinkled over the feed for the day would be fine.
 

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