Dietary Brown Seaweed Extract Supplementation in Small Ruminants

  • Govind KannanEmail author
  • Thomas H. Terrill
  • Brou Kouakou
  • Jung H. Lee


Brown seaweed (BSW; Ascophyllum nodosum) extract supplement has been reported to positively affect antioxidant activity, vitamin E status, immune cell response, and carcass characteristics in farm animals. Preharvest diet containing BSW has also been reported to reduce fecal shedding of E. coli and other enteric bacteria in livestock. This review focuses on the effects of brown seaweed extract supplementation on small ruminants.

In the USA, small ruminants, particularly goats, are transported long distances to abattoirs that accommodate goat processing. Experiments conducted on the performance of goats during stressful situations show that seaweed extract does not differentially influence physiological stress responses. However, antioxidant activities increase with a simultaneous decrease in oxidative stress-induced lipid damage after the beginning of stressful situations, such as transportation, as shown by elevated glutathione peroxidase activity and decreased lipid peroxidation, respectively. Brown seaweed supplementation does not affect live weight shrinkage due to transportation stress in goats, but it increases color stability of meat by minimizing metmyoglobin formation, particularly during the first 24-h postmortem. Small ruminants shed E. coli into the environment through feces without showing any clinical signs. Rumen E. coli counts are significantly lowered due to BSW supplementation in goats. The effects of BSW on rumen pH and volatile fatty acids have not been consistent and need further investigation.

Brown seaweed supplementation may help small ruminants combat the negative effects of stressors through increased antioxidant activity, better disease resistance, and increased color stability and prolonged shelf life of meat, in addition to reduced fecal shedding of bacteria.


Brown seaweed Livestock Dietary supplement Meat color and shelf life 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Govind Kannan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas H. Terrill
    • 1
  • Brou Kouakou
    • 1
  • Jung H. Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research StationFort Valley State UniversityFort ValleyUSA

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