WPX 2024: Ocean Harvest Technology is improving swine nutrition using the power of the sea

OceanFeed Swine helps pigs perform better in a sustainable way using functional feed ingredients derived from seaweed
calendar icon 17 June 2024
clock icon 3 minute read

Dr. Ian Hutchinson, Technical Director at Ocean Harvest Technology, recently spoke to The Pig Site’s Sarah Mikesell at World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

Tell us a little bit about Ocean Harvest Technology.

At Ocean Harvest Technology, we select and blend seaweeds from various species, sources and places around the world. Our seaweeds are selected specifically for their beneficial properties. We look at them in terms of their bioactivity and their prebiotic activity. We are also looking at the immune-boosting properties as well and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

We have proprietary manufacturing processes that we blend these different seaweeds specifically for various species of animals into products for the animal feed markets.

How can pork producers incorporate OceanFeed into their diets?

We have a couple of different approaches that we have done our research on so far. The first focus was on the nursery pig diets, specifically looking at the prebiotic effect to support gut health, particularly in systems where they are looking to reduce antibiotics or zinc oxide use.

That showed good improvements in gut health, reductions in incidences of scouring and scouring diseases, and supportive improvements in mortality. We have recently performed applications in sows feeding through gestation and lactation. We are seeing additional improvements in this area of production.

Typically, we would recommend around 10 lbs. per ton inclusion rate in the nursery pigs and about the 5 lbs. per ton inclusion rate in the sow feed.

What are the features and benefits of OceanFeed?

Obviously in nursery pig diets, it is primarily about managing gut health, reducing scours and supporting the reduction of losses and getting those pigs through the nursery phase. The benefit is therefore clearly a higher return on investment and less financial loss.

In the sow diets, we are seeing increasing litter sizes with the sows that have been fed OceanFeed. We are seeing quite a clear return on investment there for producers of over 4:1 when they are feeding the sows and increasing litter sizes. The benefit here is evidently a potential increase in profits for producers.

So, we are finding positive impacts from our OceanFeed products in both nursery pig and sow applications. We see our customers benefitting from reduced losses, improved growth rates and feed efficiency. But above all, they benefit from healthier and more stable animals.

Is OceanFeed available globally?

Ocean Harvest is a global business. Beyond, North America, we have products on the market in Europe, Asia and Latin America and are still looking to explore new opportunities and find new sales partners. We are sourcing seaweeds from all over the world, and we have applications obviously in swine as we are here at World Pork Expo but several other products for poultry, aqua, ruminants, pets and equine too. We have a broad application of products, and we are seeing very positive results in swine.

OceanFeed seems like a highly sustainable product?

A big part of our story is the sustainability aspect. It is not something I have mentioned yet, but obviously with seaweed, we are not using any arable land; we are not using any fresh water or additional energy; and we are not using any fertilizer to grow the product.

It is all harvested wild from the seas. Consequently, we ensure that we do not touch any non-invasive algae/kelp forests, which are endangered worldwide. It's an incredibly positive story about an all-natural product, both in terms of carbon footprint and sustainability, but most importantly because of the benefits our customers obtain. It is something that we are quite happy to talk to producers about in more detail if they are looking to improve the sustainability of their production.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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