Skip to main content

Unlocking the potential health and growth benefits of macroscopic algae for poultry

  • S. HABERECHT (a1) (a2) (a3), S. WILKINSON (a4), J. ROBERTS (a2), S. WU (a2) and R. SWICK (a4)...

Macroscopic algae can be found in large open ponds or harvested from the sea. Macro algae includes three distinct groups based on colour: green, brown and red. They are unique in containing secondary metabolites that can be extracted and used for various purposes. This review examines the antimicrobial properties (bacteria, viruses and fungi) of macro algae and its extracts to improve poultry health and performance. This includes body weight gain, feed conversion efficiency and carcass yield improvements in broilers and egg weight and shell quality in layers. As an example, in one study, 35-day body weight of broilers was increased 7.6% with the inclusion of 0.5% Undaria pinnatifida (brown macroalgae) to the diet. The investigations discussed show the diversity of the species available and broad scope where research has been done and the potential for the future.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author:
Hide All
ABBASPOUR, B., DAVOOD, S.S. and MOHAMMADI-SANGCHESHMEH, A. (2015) Dietary supplementation of Gracilariopsis persica is associated with some quality related sera and egg yolk parameters in laying quails. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 95: 643-648.
ABUDABOS, A.M., OKAB, A.B., ALJUMAAH, R.S., SAMARA, E.M., ABDOUN, K.A. and AL-HAIDARY, A.A. (2013) Nutritional value of green seaweed (Ulva lactuca) for broiler chickens. Italian Journal of Animal Science 12: 177-181.
AGUILAR-BRISEÑO, J.A., CRUZ-SUAREZ, L.E., SASSI, J.-F., RICQUE-MARIE, D., ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, P., MENDOZA-GAMBOA, E., RODRÍGUEZ-PADILLA, C. and TREJO-AVILA, L.M. (2015) Sulphated Polysaccharides from Ulva clathrata and Cladosiphon okamuranus Seaweeds both Inhibit Viral Attachment/Entry and Cell-Cell Fusion, in NDV Infection. Marine Drugs 13: 697-712.
AHMADI, A., SOHEIL ZOROFCHIAN, M., ABUBAKAR, S. and ZANDI, K. (2015) Antiviral Potential of Algae Polysaccharides Isolated from Marine Sources: A Review. BioMed Research International: Article ID 825203.
BRADBURY, E.J., WILKINSON, S.J., CRONIN, G.M., THOMSON, P., WALK, C.L. and COWIESON, A.J. (2016) Evaluation of the effect of a highly soluble calcium source in broiler diets supplemented with phytase on performance, nutrient digestibility, foot ash, mobility and leg weakness. Animal Production Science 57 (10):
CHAPMAN, R.L. (2013) Algae: the world's most important "plants"--an introduction. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 18: 5-12.
CHOI, Y.J., LEE, S.R. and OH, J.W. (2014) Effects of dietary fermented seaweed and seaweed fusiforme on growth performance, carcass parameters and immunoglobulin concentration in broiler chicks. Asian - Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 27: 862-870.
EL-DEEK, A.A. and BRIKAA, M.A. (2009) Nutritional and Biological Evaluation of Marine Seaweed as a Feedstuff and as a Pellet Binder in Poultry Diet. International Journal of Poultry Science 8: 875-881.
ELIZONDO-GONZALEZ, R., CRUZ-SUAREZ, L.E., RICQUE-MARIE, D., MENDOZA-GAMBOA, E., RODRIGUEZ-PADILLA, C. and TREJO-AVILA, L.M. (2012) In vitro characterization of the antiviral activity of fucoidan from Cladosiphon okamuranus against Newcastle Disease Virus.(Research). Virology Journal 9: 307-316.
GUIRY, M.D. (2012) How many species of algae are there? Journal of Phycology 48: 1057-1063.
IBRAHEEM, I.B.M., ABDEL-RAOUF, N., ABDEL-HAMEED, M.S. and EL-YAMANY, K. (2012) Antimicrobial and antiviral activities against Newcastle disease virus (NDV) from marine algae isolated from Qusier and Marsa-Alam Seashore (Red Sea), Egypt. African Journal of Biotechnology 11: 8332-8340.
JONES, W.E. (1964) A key to the genera of the British seaweeds, Headley.
KULSHRESHTHA, G., RATHGEBER, B., STRATTON, G., THOMAS, N., EVANS, F., CRITCHLEY, A., HAFTING, J. and PRITHIVIRAJ, B. (2014) Feed supplementation with red seaweeds, Chondrus crispus and Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii, affects performance, egg quality, and gut microbiota of layer hens. Poultry Science 93: 2991-3001.
LAHAYE, M. and ROBIC, A. (2007) Structure and Functional Properties of Ulvan, a Polysaccharide from Green Seaweeds. Biomacromolecules 8: 1765-1774.
LEWIS, L.A. and MCCOURT, R.M. (2004) Green Algae and the Origin of Land Plants. American Journal of Botany 91: 1535-1556.
MAKKAR, H.P.S., TRAN, G., HEUZÉ, V., GIGER-REVERDIN, S., LESSIRE, M., LEBAS, F. and ANKERS, P. (2016) Seaweeds for livestock diets: A review. Animal Feed Science and Technology 212: 1-17.
MCCOURT, R.M., DELWICHE, C.F. and KAROL, K.G. (2004) Charophyte algae and land plant origins. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 19: 661-666.
MICHALAK, I., CHOJNACKA, K., DOBRZAŃSKI, Z., GÓRECKI, H., ZIELIŃSKA, A., KORCZYŃSKI, M. and OPALIŃSKI, S. (2011) Effect of macroalgae enriched with microelements on egg quality parameters and mineral content of eggs, eggshell, blood, feathers and droppings. Journal of Animal Physiology & Animal Nutrition 95: 374-387.
MICHEL, G., TONON, T., SCORNET, D., COCK, J.M. and KLOAREG, B. (2010) Central and storage carbon metabolism of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus : insights into the origin and evolution of storage carbohydrates in Eukaryotes. New Phytologist 188: 67-81.
NGO, D.-H. and KIM, S.-K. (2013) Sulfated polysaccharides as bioactive agents from marine algae. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 62: 70-75.
O'DOHERTY, J.V., DILLON, S., FIGAT, S., CALLAN, J.J. and SWEENEY, T. (2010) The effects of lactose inclusion and seaweed extract derived from Laminaria spp. on performance, digestibility of diet components and microbial populations in newly weaned pigs. Animal Feed Science and Technology 157: 173-180.
PATEL, S. (2012) Therapeutic importance of sulfated polysaccharides from seaweeds: updating the recent findings. 3 Biotech 2: 171-185.
ŚWIATKIEWICZ, S., ARCZEWSKA-WLOSEK, A. and JOZEFIAK, D. (2015) Application of microalgae biomass in poultry nutrition. World's Poultry Science Journal 71: 663-672.
VENTURA, M.R., CASTAÑON, J.I.R. and MCNAB, J.M. (1994) Nutritional value of seaweed (Ulva rigida) for poultry. Animal Feed Science and Technology 49: 87-92.
WALK, C.L., ADDO-CHIDIE, E.K., BEDFORD, M.R. and ADEOLA, O. (2012) Evaluation of a highly soluble calcium source and phytase in the diets of broiler chickens. Poultry Science 91: 2255-2263.
WANG, W., WANG, S.-X. and GUAN, H.-S. (2012) The Antiviral Activities and Mechanisms of Marine Polysaccharides: An Overview. Marine Drugs 10: 2795-2816.
WEEKS, C.A., KNOWLES, T.G., GORDON, R.G., KERR, A.E., PEYTON, S.T. and TILBROOK, N.T. (2002) New method for objectively assessing lameness in broiler chickens. Veterinary Record 151: 762-764.
WIJESEKARA, I., PANGESTUTI, R. and KIM, S.-K. (2011) Biological activities and potential health benefits of sulfated polysaccharides derived from marine algae. Carbohydrate Polymers 84: 14-21.
WONG, W.H. and LEUNG, K.L. (1979) Sewage sludge and seaweed (Ulva sp.) as supplementary feed for chicks. Environmental Pollution 20: 93-101.
YAN, G.L., GUO, Y.M., YUAN, J.M., LIU, D. and ZHANG, B.K. (2011) Sodium alginate oligosaccharides from brown algae inhibit Salmonella Enteritidis colonization in broiler chickens. Poultry Science 90: 1441-1448.
ZHU, W., LI, D., WANG, J., WU, H., XIA, X., BI, W., GUAN, H. and ZHANG, L. (2015) Effects of polymannuronate on performance, antioxidant capacity, immune status, cecal microflora, and volatile fatty acids in broiler chickens. Poultry Science 94: 345-352.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World's Poultry Science Journal
  • ISSN: 0043-9339
  • EISSN: 1743-4777
  • URL: /core/journals/world-s-poultry-science-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 97 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 465 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 21st December 2017 - 21st August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.