Use of seaweed in diets of goat and sheep's.

 

For a long time, animals such as sheep, cattle and horses that lived in coastal areas have eaten seaweed, especially in those European countries where large brown seaweeds wash ashore. Today the availability of seaweed for animals has been increased with the production of seaweed meal: dried seaweed that has been milled to a fine powder. Kelp and nodosum representing an interesting alternative resource when ruminants

encountered nutritional shortage during winter. It is a good source of carbohydrates, rapidly available minerals, and some essential amino-acids like arginine, tryptophane and phenylalanine. Time has long past when a farmer in Iceland would have to resort to such drastic action to save is stock. At the same time proving use and the possibility of seaweed products and supplement in feed.

The rule of the thumb became: provide seaweed meal free choice to all goats, but especially young kids as it is rich in selenium. The seaweed meal should be placed in such a way that it will not become soiled or contaminated by the elements. Your goats will ingest the seaweed meal as they see fit - they seem to know when they need it.

It is also a common practice to add seaweed meal to custom feed mixes but it should be noted, copper and sulphur are recommended to be added to the mineral supplementation in addition to the seaweed meal. Depending upon your goats specific mineral requirements, a standard mixture of seaweed meal would be:

1 pound per every 50 pounds of typical goat feed.

Goat research in the United States has increased but at a rate less than the growth in number and production. Research on goat meat includes nutritional quality, packaging, colour, sensory characteristics, and pre-slaughter management. Goat skins have value for leather, but quality of goat leather has not been extensively studied. Research in the production, quality, antibiotic residues, and sensory characteristics of goat milk and its products has aided development of the US dairy goat industry. Limited progress has been made in genetic improvement of milk or meat production. There is need to explore applications of genomics and proteomics and improve consistency in texture and functionality of goat cheeses.

New goat meat and milk products are needed to increase demand and meet the diverse tastes of the American public. Despite research progress in control of mohair and cashmere growth, erratic prices and sale of raw materials have contributed to further declines in US production. Innovative and cooperative ventures are needed for profit sharing up to the consumer level. Internal parasites pose the greatest challenge to goat production in humid areas largely because of anthelmintic resistance. Study of alternative controls is required, including immunity enhancement via nutrition, vaccination, pasture management such as co-grazing with cattle, and genetic resistance. Similarly, the importance of health management is increasing related in part to a lack of effective vaccines for many diseases. Nutrition research should address requirements for vitamins and minerals, efficiencies of protein utilization, adjusting energy requirements for nutritional plane, acclimatization, and grazing conditions, feed intake prediction, and management practices for rapid-growth production systems. Moreover, efficient technology transfer methods are needed to disseminate current knowledge and that gained in future research.

 

Microalgae are the original source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) in the marine food chain, and its inclusion in animal feeds has been considered as a means of increasing the DHA level in foods of animal origin.

As such, this published study aimed to investigate the effects of supplementing an algal meal, high in DHA derived from Schizochytrium spp. (DHA-G), in the diet of Canadian Arcott lambs, on growth, carcass characteristics, wool production, and fatty acid (FA) profiles of subcutaneous adipose tissues (SAT), perirenal adipose tissues (PAT), and skirt muscle (SM). Forty-four lambs were randomly assigned to dietary treatments. Diets consisted of a pelleted, barley-based finishing diet with DHA-G supplemented at 0, 1, 2, or 3% DM as a replacement for flax oil and barley grain. Feed deliveries and orts were recorded daily. Lambs were weighed weekly and slaughtered once they reached =45 kg live weight. Carcass characteristics, ruminal pH, and liver weights were determined at slaughter. Wool yield was determined on mid-side patches of 100 cm2 shorn at d 0 and on the day before slaughter (d 105 or 140). Dye bands were used to determine wool growth, fiber diameter, and staple length. Adipose tissues and SM samples were taken at slaughter and analysed for FA profiles. Data were analysed using mixed procedure in SAS with orthogonal contrasts testing for linear, quadratic, or cubic responses to increasing levels of DHA-G. Daily DMI, ADG, and G:F were similar as were wool quality and yield (P > 0.05). Carcass characteristics were generally unaffected (P > 0.05), except for body wall thickness (mm), which showed a quadratic response (P = 0.01) with increasing DHA-G. The concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-6; mg/100 g fresh tissue) linearly increased (P < 0.001) with DHA-G in both adipose tissues and responded quadratic ally in SM (P = 0.05). Similarly, DHA (mg/100 g fresh tissue) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with DHA-G in all tissue types (P < 0.001). Supplementing DHA-G decreased (P < 0.001) the n-6:n-3 ratio in all tissues. No effects (P = 0.05) on PUFA or SFA were observed across the 3 tissues, with no response (P = 0.10) in the SFA:PUFA ratio in either SM or SAT; however, the SFA:PUFA ratio linearly decreased in PAT (P = 0.01) as DHA-G increased. These results indicate that DHA-G can be successfully included in the diets of growing lambs, up to 3% DM, with the potential to improve carcass characteristics and the FA profile of adipose tissue and muscle.

Having a look at the recorded history about use and application of seaweed in the feed, there were different species used, having different properties depending on the locality.

Disruption of the feed chain in Island mainly the result of a longed winter or cold spring, in Africa more like being a drought and vegetation gone. In both cases the farmer would take his livestock to the shores and the goat and sheep, could eat anything they could possible digest. Sargassum is one of them and it float near the surface in tropical and sub-tropical water and no fixed location. In Iceland, Ireland and Scotland it would be brown kelp.

Both an alternative resource when ruminants would encountered nutritional shortage due to season. They can be easily sun-dried. It is a good source of carbohydrates, rapidly available minerals, and some essential amino-acids like arginine, tryptophane and phenylalanine it is also rich in beta-carotene and vitamins.

The difference is the salt content which is no problem in Iceland but problematic during a dry season in the desert in Africa.

The Orkney sheep of North Ronaldsay Islands are famous because of its digested adaptation to the use of brown seaweed (mainly Laminaria) as the main part of its diet.

Its activity pattern depends on the tidal cycle. This sheep eat even at night when the tide is low the rumen microbiology was modified by seaweed diets as no phycomycete fungi or cellulolytic bacteria were found in the seaweed-fed animals, Dasytricha ruminantium and ntodinium spp were the most dominant ciliate populations and Streptococcus bovis, Selenomonas ruminantium, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and lactate-utilizing species, the main bacterial species . The in vitro digestibility of seaweeds is generally higher with rumen fluid from seaweed fed animals compared to grass-fed animals. Seaweed consumption of a mixture of the two preferred algae (Laminaria digitata and L. hyperborea) is high enough to sustain the maintenance requirements of sheep .

With science came the test in vitro;

In vitro effects of phlorotannins on rumen bacterial populations and fermentation are species-dependent: reduction or no effect for cellulolytic bacteria and increase for non-cellulolytic ones. This suggests that the influence of brown seaweed on animal performance will be modulated by the diet and in plain English: the supplementation with seaweeds seemed to increase the slowly degraded crude protein fraction and its extent of degradability, and thus to be more beneficial on forage digestibility in low-quality forage diets.

DHA

Microalgae are the original source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) in the marine food chain, and its inclusion in animal feeds has been considered as a means of increasing the DHA level in foods of animal origin. As such, this study aimed to investigate the effects of supplementing an algal meal, high in DHA derived from Schizochytrium spp. (DHA-G), in the diet of Canadian Arcott lambs, on growth, carcass characteristics, wool production, and fatty acid (FA) profiles of subcutaneous adipose tissues (SAT), perirenal adipose tissues (PAT), and skirt muscle (SM). Forty-four lambs were randomly assigned to dietary treatments. Diets consisted of a pelleted, barley-based finishing diet with DHA-G supplemented at 0, 1, 2, or 3% DM as a replacement for flax oil and barley grain. Feed deliveries and orts were recorded daily. Lambs were weighed weekly and slaughtered once they reached =45 kg live weight. Carcass characteristics, ruminal pH, and liver weights were determined at slaughter. Wool yield was determined on mid-side patches of 100 cm2 shorn at d 0 and on the day before slaughter (d 105 or 140). Dye bands were used to determine wool growth, fiber diameter, and staple length. Adipose tissues and SM samples were taken at slaughter and analysed for FA profiles. Data were analysed using mixed procedure in SAS with orthogonal contrasts testing for linear, quadratic, or cubic responses to increasing levels of DHA-G. Daily DMI, ADG, and G:F were similar as were wool quality and yield (P > 0.05). Carcass characteristics were generally unaffected (P > 0.05), except for body wall thickness (mm), which showed a quadratic response (P = 0.01) with increasing DHA-G. The concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-6; mg/100 g fresh tissue) linearly increased (P < 0.001) with DHA-G in both adipose tissues and responded quadratic ally in SM (P = 0.05). Similarly, DHA (mg/100 g fresh tissue) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with DHA-G in all tissue types (P < 0.001). Supplementing DHA-G decreased (P < 0.001) the n-6:n-3 ratio in all tissues. No effects (P = 0.05) on PUFA or SFA were observed across the 3 tissues, with no response (P = 0.10) in the SFA:PUFA ratio in either SM or SAT; however, the SFA:PUFA ratio linearly decreased in PAT (P = 0.01) as DHA-G increased. These results indicate that DHA-G can be successfully included in the diets of growing lambs, up to 3% DM, with the potential to improve carcass characteristics and the FA profile of adipose tissue and muscle.

 

Different kind of seaweeds are harvested on every continent. By far the largest quantity is consumed as alginates. Ascophyllum nodosum - a brown seaweed commonly known as knotted, knobbed or bladder wrack, or kelp.

Stress

Brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) extract supplementation has been reported to have several beneficial effects in farm animals, but its effects during stressful situations have not been adequately studied. Female Spanish (S) (mean body weight 40.1 5.9 kg) and Boer Spanish (BS) (mean weight 38.5 4.5 kg) goats (8 to 10 months; n = 20/breed) were housed in pens (5 does/pen) and fed an alfalfa pelleted diet plus a pellet supplement (marketed as Tasco) - with or without seaweed extract (treatment) for 3 weeks. The supplement was given at 40% of daily intake to allow for 2% of seaweed extract in the diet. The animals were weighed immediately before and after a 6 h-transportation period, as well as after overnight holding, to assess live weight loss as a percentage of the initial body weight. Blood samples were collected following 0, 2, and 6 h of transportation, and after holding (24 h) to assess the stress responses. The goats were kept on their respective diets for one week following the transportation trial, and rumen fluid samples collected to analyse VFA's, pH and ammonia content. Live weight loss was greater in BS does than in the S does due to transportation (P < 0.05) and transportation plus holding (P < 0.01). Treatment did not influence the plasma urea nitrogen (PUN), non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations and creatine kinase (CK) activity. At the end of the dietary treatment (0 h), the PUN concentrations were 23.1 and 22.9 mg/dl (S.E.M. = 0.7); and the NEFA concentrations were 190.8 and 170.1 mEq/l (S.E.M. = 12.5) in the control and treated group, respectively. Plasma glucose concentrations were 100.9 and 101.6 mg/dl (S.E.M. = 6.6) in the control and treated group, respectively, and were influenced by treatment breed time (P < 0.01). Plasma CK activity also increased due to transportation and peaked at 6 h, but decreased after holding (P < 0.01). The CK activities were 130.2, 173.6, 197.8, and 180.4 IU (S.E.M. = 17.7) at 0, 2, 6, and 24 h, respectively, while the rumen VFA's were not affected by the dietary treatment and the pH was lower (P < 0.05) in the seaweed-supplemented goats compared to the control goats. Rumen fluid pH was lower (P < 0.05; 6.6 versus 6.9) and ammonia higher (P < 0.01; 109.9 versus 103.1) in the Spanish does, compared to the crossbreds. Live weight loss and stress responses significantly differed in the different breeds of goats. This study showed that seaweed extract supplementation does not affect live weight loss or blood metabolite levels during transportation stress in goats.

Macrocystis pyrifera has been studied especially in the western coast of Mexico where it is quite abundant composition is variable, with higher contents of minerals and amino acids in summer even if its protein content remains quite low: around 9-11%. Sodium alginate is also an important constituent of this type of algae: 20-27 %. It can be used as a nutritional supplements for goats up to 30% in the diet). Its in situ digestibility is quite good (77 to 85 %), the inclusion of this algae in the meal increased rumen pH, water intake and urinary excretion.

Sargassum forms large beds in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. This algae is especially abundant along the Gulf of California coast, In these areas, Sargassum represents an interesting alternative resource when ruminants encountered nutritional shortage in the dry season. They can be easily sun-dried. It is a good source of carbohydrates, rapidly available minerals, and some essential amino-acids like arginine, tryptophane and phenylalanine. It is also rich in beta-carotene and vitamins. Furthermore, no ant nutritious elements have been detected in it. But they are poor in nitrogen have with a low in situ degradability, but a high trypsic digestion what means that they are by-pass proteins). Sargassum can be introduced at a level of 30 % in the diets of growing sheep or goats without any decrease in intake, growing performances or digestibility. However an increase in water consumption, probably due to their high ash content (around 30%/DM), and of Na and K contents. This can be a limit for their use in dry periods. Sargassum meal might be used to limit the rumen pH drop with acid genic diets, but its inclusion decreased also the concentration of volatile fatty acids.

Red algae

Red seaweeds species that belong to the Rhodophyta phyllum were less studied than the other phylla of seaweeds, probably because they are less easily accessible than the others to men, as they are mainly found in intertidal and subtidal areas to depths from 40 to 250 m.

Their nutritive value is to be related to their specific chemical composition. It has been extensively described for palmaria palmata by), their major constituent are polysaccharides or water-soluble 1-3 and 1-4 linked D-xylose units with no sulfate ester or methoxyl groups.

These compounds are highly and quickly degradable. It contains also floridean starch which occurs in characteristically shaped granules and contains chains of a1-4 and a1-6 glucose units with some a1-3 linkages and presents a structure close to that of the true amylopectin of higher plants. Their cellwalls is constituted of cellulose, agars and carrageenans. Levels of thiamine or niacin are quite high, but that of vitamin B12, quite low. Palmaria palmata is also rich in some minerals, such as sodium, potassium and chloride, and to a less extent, calcium, iron and magnesium. Lipid content is quite low (0.3 to 3.8 % DM), but is rich of DHA and EPA if high nutritive value.

Some red seaweeds like Porphyra leucosticte are rich in vitamin C (up to 140 mg %) and natural carotenoids .

Chemical composition of red seaweed varies with the season in temperate countries due to the sun exposition, with an increase in protein content at the expense of carbohydrates in winter, and the reverse in summer Red seaweeds (Ceramium rubrum) might concentrate more heavy metals than green (Ulva rigida) or brown algae (Cystoseira barbata) because these plants can not integrate these metals in the geo-biochemical process of photosynthesis. Some species, exhibited an hemagglutinating activity in sheep such as Euchema sp.) or Agardhiella-Tenera.

Some bacteria associated with red seaweeds such as either Jania rubens or Graciliaria corticata exhibited some antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Pausterella multocida and Salmonella pullorum.

Gracilaria cornea has an acaricidal activity: engorged females of the cattle tick (Boophilus microplus) lost weight when they were exposed to algal extract after the oviposition period,the egg decreased weight, the hatching period and the mean larvae survival time.

Lithothamnium calcareum is a coralline algae which secretes calcium carbonate onto the surface of their cells and is at the base of calcified seaweed extract which is also rich in magnesium. This extract (28g kg DM-1Ca) fed at a ratio of 0.5 g kg DM-1 to steers receiving a diet with 70% concentrate had a buffering effect on rumen pH, but did not improve fibre digestion nor modify rumen fermentation.

Algal meal supplementation (Crypthecodinium cohnii) of a corn silage diet increased the content of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in rumen fluid, probably due to the inhibition of the reduction of trans-18:1 to 18:0 by algae extract. Ewes supplemented with Crypthecodinium cohnii gave birth to more vigorous lambs compared to unsupplemented ones and the vigourness is function of the supplementation duration before lambing). After parturition concentrations of DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA) in ewe and lamb plasma and colostrums were proportional to supplementation duration.

A meal derived from Phyllophora, a red alga (seaweed), after agar production contained DM 841, digestible protein 44.5, crude fat 13.2, crude fibre 117, ash 136.5, calcium 42.5, phosphorus 2.5 and nitrogen-free extract 263 g/kg. The protein of the meal was made up mainly with amino acids: glutamine, aspartate, proline, glycine, phenylalanine, lysine and arginine.

In a 194-day feeding trial cows, the supplementation by 100g Phyllophora meal to a basal diet deficient in copper, zinc and cobalt increased milk yield by 4.42% and milk fat content by 0.24 percentage units.

Green algae

Green algae have a dark- to light-green coloration, which comes from having chlorophyll a and b, which they have in the same amounts as "higher plants." Their overall coloration is determined by the amounts of other pigmentations including beta-carotene (which is yellow)and xanthophylls (which are yellowish or brownish.) Food reserves are starch, some fats or oils like higher plants. They are common in areas where light is abundant, such as shallow water and tide pools.

They are less common in the ocean than the brown and red algae.

With a CP content between 20 and 25%DM, Ulva lactuca is considered as a low energy high nitrogen foodstuff; and can be compared to a medium quality forage for ruminants, even if their protein are low rumen degradable ones what means good proteins for ruminants. Moreover, it contains high insoluble dietary fibre (glucans) and soluble fibres (xylorhamno-glycuronans sulphates). It can be fed as high as 20% of the diet without any decrease in dietary palatability.

With a lower CP content (12-15 %DM), Ruppia maritima and phaetomorpha linum could replaced part of barley (20 % of the concentrate part for growing lambs during drought periods and be used as alternative feed resources.

A green seaweed harvested from fish ponds fed at a level of 1 % in the diet had no significant influence on relative growth, on physical and chemical composition of the rib cut in indigenous lambs.

 

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