Nutrition

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Scottish seaweed to improve bird performance

A new feed additive which uses seaweed from the Outer Hebrides has hit the market.

Ekogea UK says its product, BCxF, has successfully undergone trials on more than 20 broiler farms in the UK and has improved bird performance.

Administered via water lines, it is comprised of Ascophyllum Nodosum, a EU-approved feed ingredient which the firm says can improve gut health.

Photo: Wikimedia
Photo: Wikimedia

Cornish broiler farmer James Hatch says its use on his farms has reduced mortality, improved feed conversion and overall bird health.

The firm says average weight gain is 4% higher, while ammonia emissions, hock burn, pododermatitis and campylobacter levels are lower.

Philip Hughes, Ekogea’s Agricultural Director, said: “The broiler production industry in the UK faces a number of significant challenges including the need to lower ammonia emissions, reduce the dependency upon antibiotics and provide a roadmap for farms to become more resilient and commercially viable.”

Ekogea UK, which has offices in North Wales and Devon, is also developing a range of other seaweed-derived products for use in other agricultural sectors including pigs and cattle as well as the anaerobic digestion industry.

The company has been selected by the Welsh Government for its Accelerated Growth Programme, a scheme aimed at supporting fast-growth businesses. It has also been working closely with the Department for International Trade as its products have significant export potential.