A project assessing the best cultivation methods for growing seaweed to feed egg producing hens has received new support and funding.
The research, funded by CIEL, one of the UK’s four agri-tech centres, aims to use seaweed to create a link between aquatic and terrestrial food production.
It will explore different cultivation methods for different species of seaweed, while also assessing the palatability for feeding the seaweed to egg laying hens.
The project will test the first prototype of a unique cultivation system using two different high protein species of seaweeds.
Nutrient analysis of the content of the seaweeds will be undertaken by University of Stirling and prepared dried seaweeds will be fed to egg laying hens to test their response to the addition of it in their diet.
The nutritional data and outcomes from the feed trials will then be prepared for public dissemination.
CIEL chief executive, Lyndsay Chapman said the innovative project would help drive a sustainable and productive future for the sector.
“CIEL works collaboratively across the agrifood sector, encouraging knowledge exchange while utilising the academic expertise that underpins the centre’s network," she said.
“Agriculture and aquaculture face many similar challenges that require world-leading science-based solutions and innovative technologies and systems.
"This must be embraced if we are to capitalise on the opportunities that lay ahead.”
The project is due to be completed during 2023.