Chickens on weed. The potential of seaweed for broiler nutrition
Development of novel protein sources for animals is essential to achieve the protein transition. This thesis describes studies into the nutritional value of various seaweed species (an alternative protein source), with a focus on nutritional composition, digestibility and health in broiler chickens. The high mineral content of intact seaweed provides a challenge and although washing does reduce the content, it does not yet make seaweed suitable for broiler nutrition. Enzyme treatment of seaweed to break down protein before inclusion in feed does not increase nutrient digestibility of the seaweed. The feeding of one of the studied seaweed co-products to broilers, however, did improve growth performance and measured health characteristics. The effects of seaweed co-products on broilers appears to be dependent on the diet type fed. This research indicates that a biorefinery approach can be a way forward, making the best use of all nutrients in seaweed in different industries.