Feed: Algae as a sustainable and nutrient-rich ingredient

„The change of mind in livestock farming towards more animal welfare and less emissions has already begun. For innovative and natural feed solutions, the recipe is adapted to the species and the desired result. Micro-algae and seaweed make an important contribution here.“

— Michael Hofmann, Founder & Head of Development Algros and Algenladen GmbH

What will the nutrition of domestic and farm animals actually look like in the future? Animal health and near-natural production are in the foreground. We offer versatile raw materials and extracts from micro-algae and seaweed to meet this challenge. Find out everything about feed, algae and their many benefits here.

Algae for livestock and pets – which animals can use algae in their feed?

When it comes to algae feed, the first thought quickly turns to fish and other animals that live in or near water. But what about dogs, cats, pigs or cows? Do they tolerate the unusual feed at all? In the following we show you some animal species for which algae feed is optimally suited.

Algae feed for farm animals:

  • Poultry:
    Whether laying hens, broilers or turkeys, poultry can be provided with vitamins, minerals and high-quality protein through algae. However, the animals have different dietary requirements. The diet of broilers, for example, should be fatty. The advantage of oils from microalgae: They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These can be found in the end product. In addition, the administration of antibiotics can be reduced.
  • Pigs:
    As omnivores, pigs also accept algae in their diet. Compared to conventional feed, pigs tolerate seaweed particularly well. Also in pigs, the anti-microbial effect of brown algae helps to reduce the use of antibiotics.
  • Fish and crustaceans:
    Many species of fish naturally eat seaweed. In aquaculture, the vegetable part of the feed can be replaced by algae. This contributes to sustainable farming.
  • Bees:
    Beekeepers supplement feed to their bees under certain conditions. Various types of algae can be considered as pollen substitutes. They are nutritious and the bees metabolize the food easily.
  • Cattle:
    Both dairy cows and beef cattle can be fed algae. In both cases this has an impact on the final product. The content of omega-3 fats increases in the milk and in the meat. Reduction of antibiotics. Feeding Asparagopsis causes a reduction in methane emissions.

Feed with algae not only for cattle and lifestock:

  • Pets: Feeding dogs, cats, hamsters and more is possible with algae. Whenever a vegetable source of protein is sought, the alternative from the sea can be considered. Some products containing certain types of algae have also proven successful in the area of oral hygiene.
  • Horses: They benefit from the mineral-rich addition to the feed. Especially in winter, when horses cannot go to a paddock, algae feed offers an optimal supplement.

There are hardly any limits to the use of algae in animal feed. The most common farm and domestic animals tolerate the sustainable raw material very well. Is the animal species for which you are developing feed not mentioned? Then contact us. Together we can find a suitable type of algae that ideally suits the needs of your customers.

What are the advantages of feed with algae?

Why are more and more producers of animal feed choosing algae? The answer to this question is manifold, because the raw material offers several advantages. For the producers as well as for the animal owners or farmers, the animals themselves and the end consumers.


More and more consumers are attaching importance to sustainable products. This applies both to products they consume themselves and to feed for their pets. Algae food offers a great way to realise this. Because it is a substitute for animal or vegetable protein and more sustainable at the same time. Soy is often used in conventional animal feed. The production of soy is linked to the clearing of rainforests and intensive agriculture. With algae it is different. No agricultural land is needed for its production. This is because the aquatic plants mostly grow in cane systems. Moreover, they fix CO2. The consequences of this climate-damaging gas are widely known and are called global warming. Another climate-damaging gas is methane, which is emitted by cows, among others. Therefore, another approach against climate heating is to reduce the methane emissions of cattle. Their diet plays a major role in this. A study from California shows that cattle fed feed containing red algae (Asparagopsis taxiformis) produced about 80 percent less methane.

Health benefits for the end consumer

Algae feed increases meat quality as well as the amount of healthy fatty acids in milk. Algae are able to produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids belong to the omega-3 fatty acids and have some health benefits for humans. A high content in the diet is therefore desirable.

Economic efficiency

The many benefits are only feasible for farms if the addition of algae to feed is economically viable. Algae feed is cost-effective because it increases growth and fertility. For example, adding algae to fish feed can increase the growth rate of fish because they are less susceptible to disease.It also improves water quality.

Health benefits for the animal

Farm animals need to be ideally supplied with nutrients. This enables them to produce milk, eggs or meat in large quantities and in the best quality. The influence of seaweed on animal health has been investigated in several studies. For example, a seaweed feed has a positive effect on the immune system in broiler chickens. This makes the use of antibiotics partly unnecessary. Pet owners desire feed that ensures a long and healthy life for their pet. Algae pet food offers the best conditions for this. It contains plenty of antioxidants. These protect the body’s cells and thus help to prevent cancer. Other ingredients are: Protein, vitamins such as B12, B6, B3, vitamin D and vitamin A, dietary fibre, minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and iron, and fatty acids. The nutrient composition of some types of algae has a beneficial effect on the oral flora. For example, dental plaque in dogs can be softened. For horses, spirulina is considered a real superfood in animal feed. Since it is said to strengthen the defence function, digestion and musculature.

Which algae are suitable for the production of animal feed?

There is a great variety in animal feeds. Different animals have different demands on their feed. Young animals receive a different feed supplement than adult animals. So it is also clear that not every alga should be added to every feed. We present the most popular types of algae with a possible use.

Algae / Algae product Advantages
Spirulina This micro layer is an all-rounder and can be added to many feeds. It is especially popular for feed. Suitable for horses, dogs, cats, bees, laying hens, dairy cows, pigs.
Chlorella This microalga is also suitable as a supplement in many feeds. Suitable for horses, dogs, cats, bees, laying hens, dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs.
Nannochloropsis Another microalga used especially for dairy cows, as it can increase the content of healthy fatty acids in the milk. Suitable for dairy cows, fish farming, shrimp farming.
Schizochytrium This microalga also contains omega-3 fatty acids and is therefore recommended when animals need more healthy fats. Suitable for horses, cattle for fattening.
Ascophyllum An iodine-rich brown alga that can have an influence on the oral flora and end products enriched with iodine. Suitable for dogs, cats, laying hens, pigs.
Fucus A brown alga that is found in the Baltic Sea, among other places. It is also a source of iodine in feed. Dogs, cats, lobster farming.

Algae, feed, B2B – what you should know about us

If you would like more information about animal feed production with algae, please contact us.We will advise you on your specific feed production and give you tips on which algae are recommended in which dosages. We are your contact for algae raw materials in the B2B sector. We are happy to offer you competent advice on questions regarding the selection of algae for your recipes. From our extensive range of quality-tested raw materials, you are guaranteed to be able to offer your customers harmless products that are free of harmful substances. We offer all types of seaweed whole, cut, powder, oleoresin, dried, frozen, salted or fresh.If your desired form is not included in our catalogue, then (and not only then) feel free to contact us.

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