Flaxseed contains high levels of protein (26%) and oil (41%). It is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly linolenic acid. Flax is currently used in poultry feeds to alter the fatty acid composition of eggs (i.e., omega-3 enriched eggs). High levels of flaxseed (>10%) result in a decrease in overall egg acceptability as assessed by aroma and flavor.
Current practice in feed formulation is to stabilize flaxseed with the addition of a-tocopherol/vitamin E antioxidant at the level of 10 mg/100g of feed. The flavor quality of vitamin E/omega-3 fatty acids enriched eggs has been found to be superior to eggs solely containing enhanced omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed has also been shown to be successful in the production of omega-3 enriched chicken meat, although the use of full-fat flaxseed resulted in lower live weights and smaller carcasses.
Flax seeds are very small so adding grit to the diet increases it utilization.