Linseed (Linum usitatissimum) meal is the by-product of extracting the seed for oil. The meal contains 350-380 g/kg CP that is low in protein quality, being deficient in lysine. It has been a favourite protein source for horses and ruminants in the past.
Today, soya meal is preferred as it is cheaper and of higher protein quality. The meal fed in large amounts is laxative, and excess amounts in rations have undesirable softening effects on butterfat and give milk a rancid taste. The recommended maximum intake for cattle is 3 kg per day. Because of this softening property of the oil, linseed cake is unsatisfactory as a main ingredient in pig feeds. Up to 1 kg per day has been used with good results, but not more than 8 percent linseed meal is commonly included in rations.
For young pigs and brood sows a maximum of 5 percent linseed meal in the ration is usually recommended. Linseed meal is toxic to poultry except in very small proportions (under 3 percent). Larger amounts depress growth. The toxicity can largely be eliminated by soaking the meal in water for twenty-four hours or by adding pyridoxin, one of the B-vitamins to the diet