The approach used was to evaluate Camelina sativa
as the high omega-3 feed grain, testing the resultant omega-3 fatty acid content in the eggs produced. The cold-climate grain is similar to canola, but significantly higher in omega-3 oils, antioxidants and protein. In terms of production costs, camelina seeds have a distinct competitive edge over the alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids in feed including flax, fish oils, fish byproduct and soybean.
Preliminary experiments feeding Camelina sativa to laying hens demonstrated a high palatability of the seeds when fed as whole seeds, however, the observed level of omega-3 in the eggs was small, which is assumed to be due to poor digestion and absorption of the intact seed.
Camelina meal was then used. The eggs produced by the hens fed camelina meal were significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids, with 10 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids compared to feeding whole seeds.