Aarhus University Seal

Seafood for laying hens

From May until September 2018, researchers from Aarhus University will run an experiment on a commercial organic farm to test replacement of fishmeal with mussel meal fed to laying hens.

A new project in Department of Animal Science and Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, aims to test whether mussel meal with shell and deshelled mussel meal can replace fishmeal in terms of egg production and egg quality.

The two types of mussel meal have been produced using two different processing methods. Deshelled mussel meal is 100% free of shell, and mussel meal with shell has a strongly reduced shell fraction (almost but not 100% shell free). The experiment involves six houses with outside access, each housing 36 hens. There are two replicas per treatment.

The researchers collected zero measurement egg samples before the experiment started, and they will take egg samples several times during the experimental period to analyse egg quality. Feeding of the experimental diets were initiated in mid-May.

The project will involve two other feeding experiments with pigs: one with mussel meal to test growth performance of organic piglets fed deshelled mussel meal, and one where the researchers will look at the feed intake pattern of weaned pigs fed mussel meal or mussel silage.

The experiment is part of the MuMiPro project led by Danish Shell Centre, DTU Aqua. MuMiPro develops a new way of farming mussels with the goal to mitigate negative effects of nutrient overloading in coastal waters. The harvested mussels will be upcycled into feed for monogastrics like e.g. pigs and poultry. 

More information on the project can be found on: http://www.mumipro.dk.

For more information, please contact:

PhD student Marleen van der Heide, Department of Animal Science, email: marleen.vanderheide@anis.au.dk, telephone: +45 8715 8065

Associate professor Jan Værum Nørgaard, Department of Animal Science, email: janvnoergaard@anis.au.dk, telephone: +45 8715 7816

Associate professor Marianne Hammershøj, Department of Food Science, email: marianne.hammershoj@food.au.dk, telephone: +45 8715 7974