Feeds for Catfish
There are a variety of feeds for catfish. The kind of catfish feed employed at any given moment is dependent on the how large the fish that is fed, whether they feed on the surface or in the depths of the ocean, and also if there is an antibiotic present.
The catfish fry that hatcheries offer are fed finely-ground meal- or flour-based feeds that contain about 45-50% protein. Fines or crumbles made from 28 and 32 percent protein feeds designed for food fish are appropriate for fry that are fed in ponds for nursery fish until they are 1-2 inches of length. Fingerlings with larger sizes should be fed tiny floating pellets (1/8 inch in diameter) with 35 percent protein. The advanced fingerlings (5-6 inches) as well as food fish typically receive floating feeds of around 5/32 to 3/16 inch diameter that contains 28-32 percent protein. Some producers opt for slow-sinking during winter.
Catfish are treated with antibiotics through the incorporation of feeds. Based on the specific antibiotic used the feed could either floating or sinking.
What can I feed catfish?
Despite a lot of research, feeding catfish isn’t an scientifically precise process. This is an extremely personal process that is unique to catfish farmers. The variety in feeding practices is the result of a variety of aspects like the the method of harvesting, size of fish capacity to manage the water quality, experience in working with food, and the difficulty in estimating the amount of fish available.
In general it is recommended that fish be fed daily with as much food as they consume without damaging the water quality. However, based on the water quality parameters as well as the overall health of fish might be beneficial to limit the daily allowance of feed or feed less frequently. The long-term allowance for feed should not exceed 100-125 pounds per day.
The majority of catfish farmers feed their fish daily, seven every day during the warm months. Although eating twice per day could help increase the growth rate of fingerlings, the logistics involved in many feedings on large catfish farms isn’t feasible.
Feed is typically blown on the top of water by mechanical feeders. Feeds must be spread over as much of a surface as is feasible to offer equally feeding opportunities to the largest number of fish. When feeding with the prevailing wind, it lets the feed float across the pond. It also reduces how much feed ends up that is washes in the sand. It is important to avoid overfeeding since the waste of feed can increase production costs.
Feeding Strategy for Catfish Production
Strategies for managing feed are able to be designed to increase fish’s fat gain, or reduce the cost per pound of weight gain for catfish. Every catfish producer has the ability to determine which objective is most important when providing feed to catfish raised in ponds. But, the majority of producers choose to reduce the cost per kilogram of weight increase. This is more complicated than purchasing the most affordable feed. A careful consideration of the cost of feed in relation to quality has to be coupled with good practices for feeding to get the most value from every dollar spent on feed.
Producers must be aware that catfish require different feeds at every stage of their growth. It is recommended to provide 38% protein in the form of a crumble to tiny fingerlings. Catfish that measure about 3 inches in length can make use of a floating 3/16 inch pellet that has 35-36% protein. After catfish fingerlings have been stocked into ponds for production of food fish the choices for feed quality are more than ever. One of the options that has been recently explored is to feed lower levels of protein, which is about 28 percent protein or the more typical 32 percent protein feed. The research on pond-raised catfish shows that as long as the protein content decreases to 24%, catfish’s production is comparable to that of 32 percent protein feed is fed.
Feeding times affect an increase in weight of the catfish, however weight gain is typically not as significant as logistics and labor in massive catfish farms. It is reported that feeding given twice a every day will result in more pounds than just a single daily meal. However, it has been observed that feeding when the dissolved oxygen levels in ponds are low is not recommended. Thus, feeding twice in a day, or in the in the evening and morning is not recommended during the time when oxygen levels in the dissolved form have dropped in the early morning. Aeration is a method to increase the amount of dissolved oxygen , however at an additional cost, which is the cost of electricity needed to operate the Aerator. Most producers feed catfish in the stage of fingerling are fed twice a day, whereas catfish that are in the food stage are fed only once a day.
A disturbance can have a profound effect on feeding behaviour and cause weight loss. The causes of disturbance are excessive aeration, major changes to the pond’s levels, the activities of birds eating fish and sudden drops in oxygen dissolved, a rapid increase or decrease in temperature, changing types of feed, and changing the timing of feeding. This is a long one since feeding catfish can be a difficult job. Satiation feeding is a traditional method of providing food since it is based on the assumption that catfish are managing their consumption in response to any disruption that may have occured. Utilizing the use of feeding schedules or computer-generated feed allotments can be a beneficial task, but it should be accompanied by daily observations and judgement on the bank of the pond in relation to the feeding habits of catfish.
Methods of restricted feeding are a viable option to increase the utilization of catfish’s feed. But, the method of restriction on feeding must be evaluated carefully and compensatory gain should be permitted by feeding the catfish until full satiation following a period of restriction on feed. If the amount of feed is decreased below the satiation level for the duration of the growing season and the catfish does not gain weight as fast and the opportunity cost is wasted. When the fish are not allowed to eat for a brief period of time because changes in temperature or illness or illness, the weight will be recovered when the catfish are fed until satiated afterward.
The amount of nutrients found of commercial fish feeds are currently being reviewed. It is essential to ensure that fish have a balanced food intake when kept in the large quantities typical of commercial ponds. Previous recommendations to add up to 13 vitamins in the diet of catfish could be altered. In research conditions certain vitamins could be removed from the catfish diet , without leading to any loss of weight increase. However, feeding restrictions due to restrictions that are planned or unplanned restrictions triggered by extreme temperatures in the water or diseases may necessitate the use of a more nutritious feed. The pressure to develop lower-cost feeds is likely to cause catfish formulas to be less nutritional density.
In addition, accurate records should be kept to ensure that the correct amount of food is provided and consumed. Feeders should be fitted with a scale that allows the amount of food consumed per day per pond to be documented. A careful record of the stocking process should be kept , with numbers of fish as well as weight of the fish reported. Losses due to disease or predation should be documented. The amount of time an pond with catfish had been “off-feed” should be tracked so that an investigation into disease can be conducted promptly. The periodic harvests of fish should be recorded in relation to the weight and number of catfish taken. The changes to feeds should be done immediately after the harvest or date of stocking.
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