You truly are what you eat, or what your food eats. A recent study in the Journal of Animal Feed Science wanted to see if feeding goats algae would affect their milk production or quality. In the study, the researchers used the marine microalga Schizochytrium limacinum because of it’s known high fatty acid content of DHA.
Forty dairy goats were tested with varying diets for 31 days, and some groups were supplemented with the algae. The researchers concluded the algae feeding had no negative effect on milk yield and milk composition. However, the microalgae inclusion considerably increased DHA concentration in milk. Additionally, the n-6/n-3 ratio was also more favorable in the microalgae supplemented groups. The 6:3 ratio was reduced from 2.3 to 1.25 indicating higher levels of omega-3’s.
While this study used microalgae, there is considerable research currently on feeding cattle seaweeds for methane reduction. An interesting additional benefit may be more nutritious milk as seaweeds are also rich in omega-3’s.