How to Make Local Fish Feed for Catfish in Nigeria

How to Make Local Fish Feed for Catfish

With the rise in popularity of fish farming in Nigeria and increased demand for their products, the business has seen a steady increase. Every business strives to provide the best products possible for their customers. Nigeria’s fish farming industry is no exception. A fish farmer must ensure that their fishes are well-fed. This will allow them to maximize their profits and get the most out of their farm. Their fishes’ weight and strength directly affect the price.

The cost of fish feed is a significant expense in fish farming. The right fish feed needs to be purchased and given to the fish. There are many types of fish feed available for raising fish in a pond. They include both natural and supplementary food.

Catfish Feed Production Process

Catfish feed is a mix of feed and additives that can be used to make usable products. Catfish feed production is designed to increase animal production profitability by increasing feed nutritional value or mix of feeds. The catfish feed manufacturing process may vary depending on the species of catfish. It can range from simple particle sizes to steam granulation to extrusion to make feed particles. Catfish feed is different from other food sources. It must be granular and water stable.

Extrusion is the most common method of making commercial catfish feeds. To make sinking particles, if the feed additive is not able to withstand extrusion, they can be pelleted with steam. To reduce feed dust (fine powder), fat is often sprayed onto feed particles before transportation.

1) Grinding Section

The fodder materials must be first crushed using a catfish feed grinding machine.

2) Mixing Section

Mixing catfish feed raw materials thoroughly is essential to improve the quality and efficiency of the pellet production line. We offer six types horizontal fish feed mixers to ensure this capability. The catfish feed mixer machines include the double shaft mixer and ribbon type feed mixer, feed blending mixer, feed blending mixer, dual-shaft paddle mix, etc. The latter is best for mixing powder-related matters, while the former is better in mixing granular, blocky, and powdery materials. These machines can also be equipped with a customized spraying cubicle to allow liquid additions.

3) Pelleting/Extruding Section

There are four types of feed extruder machines. The ring-die fish feed pelleting machine is the most affordable. It is also equipped with a steam boiler. However, its productivity is usually higher than that of the dry-type machine. The dry-type machine is cheaper and is the best option for small-scale aqua/pet food production.

4) Dying Section

Belt dryers are recommended for dry feed extrusion machines. The feed pellets are extruded from an extruder and sent to the wire mesh belt or perforated plate belt. After drying, they will go through the chamber of a drying machine. Gas dryers are recommended if you choose a wet extruder.

5) Packaging Section

Our automated packaging and weighing machines assure proper packing for transport, storage, display, and display. It is easy to use and has low labor costs.

Different types of Catfish Feed Pellets in Nigeria

Natural Food

Natural fish food refers to the various types of fish that are naturally grown in the fish pond. This type of food is dependent on several factors, including the quality and amount of water and current. Liming (when lime is added to the water in the pond it helps to purify and keep the fish healthy and also aids in the production of natural fish food) is another important factor. You can find this type of feed in the form of detritus and worms as well as aquatic plants, insects, plankton, snail, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and phytoplankton. These fish feeds grow because of the fertility that the soil naturally has, but organic fertilization can also help to produce them.

Supplementary Feed

This type of feed is made from materials that are readily and locally available to the feed manufacturer. Supplemental feed is required when a large amount of fish are being raised. This helps to ensure proper growth and balance of their nutrients. Supplemental feed ingredients are usually inexpensive and tasty for fish.

These include both agricultural by-products as well as terrestrial plants. Rice bran, crop grain and fish meal are some examples of supplementary feed. Supplemental feeds should have between 35% and 10% of protein, 4 to 8 percent fat, and vitamins like Vitamins A, B and E, D and K.

Complete Feed

Experts carefully craft this type of fish feed. They are familiar with the correct formula to use at each stage. It usually includes good nutrients.

Experts combine various feed ingredients in different proportions to meet catfish’s predetermined nutritional requirements. The catfish should be able to digest a complete feed that is nutritionally balanced, palatable and water-stable. Feeds should have a dry moisture content of 6-10%, semi-moist content 35-40% water, and wet content 50-70%.

Catfish feeds should be tailored to suit the needs of catfish. To ensure that the feed is water stable and floats on water, the fish should have the same nutritional requirements as the catfish.

Catfish feeds can be divided into energy and protein nutrients produced feedstuffs. Fries contain about 30 to 32 per cent protein, while fingerlings receive about 20 percent. The value of protein nutrients decreases with increasing fish size.

Catfish’s specific nutritional requirements are affected by many factors, including genetics, gender, diet, energy density, digestibility, and nutrient interaction. These factors also affect the performance of the catfish and the environment. Catfish feeds must be easily digestible as once the nutrients have been absorbed, digestion will occur.

Catfish Feed Formula: Nutrient Requirements

Catfish producers today feed a complete nutritional diet, which includes all the nutrients and energy that the fish require in a water-stable, easily digestible form. Because catfish require nutrients that are not naturally available, producers must provide this type of diet.


The diet must include energy. Many animals have energy requirements that are used to determine their feeding standards. Catfish’s food intake may depend on how much feed they are allowed to eat, rather than the energy content of the feed.

Catfish feed intake is not strictly controlled by dietary energy. However, it is crucial to balance dietary energy when formulating catfish food. This is because the catfish will eat more protein if they don’t have enough non-protein energy. Catfish might not consume as much if their dietary energy is too high. This can lead to a decrease in essential nutrients intake. A high dietary energy/protein ratio can lead to increased body fat. This may decrease dressed yield and reduce shelf life for frozen products.

The energy needs of catfish are unknown. The weight gain and protein gain of catfish that have been fed a known amount energy has been used to estimate their energy requirements. The energy requirements for catfish are generally expressed in terms of digestible energy (DE/P) and crude protein (DE/P). These ratios range from 7.4 to 12.4 kilocalories/gram (kcal/g). Current knowledge suggests that commercial catfish feeds can be made with a DE/P ratio between 8.5 and 9.5 kcal/g. Catfish will grow slower if their DE/P ratios are higher than this. Catfish primarily rely on carbohydrates and lipids (fats, oils) for their energy.


Carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy in roots, seeds, and tubers, are the major form. Carbohydrates serve many functions in animals. Animals can make carbohydrates from lipids and proteins, so they don’t need carbohydrates for their normal growth and functions. Catfish don’t need carbohydrates, but catfish feeds are high in starch and contain a lot of carbohydrates from grains or byproducts (such wheat grain, corn grain, and middlings).

Starch is a cheap energy source that can also be used to aid in feed manufacturing. Catfish feed typically contains between 25 and 6 percent soluble (digestible), carbohydrates, plus 3 to 6-percent more carbohydrates that are usually present as crude fiber (primarily cellulose). Crude fiber is not digestible by catfish so it should be kept as low as possible. Catfish feeds are typically less than 5 percent crude fiber.


Lipids (fats, oils) can be easily digested and provide more energy than the same amount of carbohydrates. They are essential for animal metabolism and play a number of important roles, such as supplying essential fat acids (EFA), aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and other important functions. Lipids can also be added to the diet to increase food intake. The flavor of flesh is affected by the lipids in the body’s tissues. EFA requirements, economic constraints, and the quality of catfish flesh are all factors that affect the type and quantity of lipids in catfish diets.

To provide EFA, a small amount of lipid should also be added. Catfish require between 0.25 percent and 0.75 percent of omega-3 fatty acid in their diet. Catfish do not require lipid as a nutrient. However, lipid is a concentrated source for energy and less costly than protein so it should be included in catfish diets. However, too much dietary cholesterol can lead to excess fat being deposited in the body. This can affect the quality and storage of processed products, as well as product yield. High-lipid feeds can be more difficult to pellet. However, you can spray supplemental lipid onto the pellets if necessary.

Commercial feeds for catfish of food size rarely contain more than 5 to 6 percent of the lipids. Natural feed ingredients contain 3 to 4 percent of lipid, while the rest is added to the pellets. Spraying feed pellets with liquid enables you to increase your dietary energy as well as reduce the amount of feed dust (“fines”)

Marine fish oil, such as menhaden oil, can supply essential fatty acids. EFA can also be obtained from natural food organisms like zooplankton found in the pond. Catfish flesh may have “fishy” tastes if it is ingested with high levels of fish oil. Mississippi catfish feeds are usually sprayed with either menhaden oil or catfish oil. Or a mixture of both.

Proteins and Amino acids

70% of dry weight of fish muscles is made up of protein. For growth and maintenance, a steady supply of protein is essential throughout your life. Like other animals, catfish also require nitrogen and certain amino acid (see chart below). Mixtures of proteins in feedstuffs are usually the best source of these elements. Catfish feeds must be balanced in order to provide the correct amount of nonspecific nitrogen, amino acid, and nonprotein energy.

Catfish have had their needs for amino acids and proteins studied for years. However, it is still controversial as to what level of dietary protein catfish should consume. The cost of feed ingredients can affect the amount of protein needed to achieve the best economic gain. It is also difficult to determine the best level of protein for every situation due to the many factors that influence the catfish’s dietary protein requirements. These factors include water temperature, feed allowance and fish size.

To maximize profits, the optimal dietary protein level should change with changes in feed and fish prices. In practice, however, catfish producers tend to feed the same amount of protein all year. Catfish feeds that are used to grow food fish usually contain 28 percent or 32 percent of protein. Lower levels of protein may not be sufficient for maximum growth, but can increase body fat. Small fingerlings and catfish fry require more protein. The hatchery’s fry diet should have 45 to 50% protein. Fingerlings less than 20 lbs/1,000 should get a diet with 35 percent protein.

Catfish feeds are generally made up of a mix of animal and plant proteins. However, catfish can still eat a combination of both plant and animal protein. Catfish feeds are mainly made up of soybean meal, cottonseed meals, meat and bone/blood dinner, fish meal, and meat and bone/blood meal. We do not recommend the use of beef products in catfish feeds. This is because it could be thought to be related to “mad cow diseases.”


Vitamins can vary in their structure and function. These organic compounds are essential for animals’ normal growth, health, reproduction, and maintenance of their fertility. Vitamins that aren’t required by the diet may be produced naturally. In both lab and pond tests, the amounts and quality requirements of vitamins for catfish have been well established. A vitamin premix is usually added to catfish feeds. It contains sufficient vitamins to meet the requirements and compensate for any losses due to storage and processing. Vitamin loss during storage is not a significant factor in the Mississippi Delta or other areas where feed is not kept for longer than 2 to 3 day.


Catfish require the same minerals as other animals for their metabolism and bone development. Catfish also need minerals to maintain a healthy balance between their body fluids, and the environment. Some minerals can be absorbed by catfish from water. Catfish require 14 minerals. Mineral studies with fish can be difficult, but we do know what they need and the signs of mineral deficiency.

Fish feeds require large amounts of phosphorus, which is why phosphate is so important. Fish don’t get enough phosphorus from their pond water, so feedstuffs from plants are not a good source of it. Catfish feeds often contain phosphorous. Catfish feeds often contain phosphorus supplements made from defluorinated and dicalcium phosphates.

Catfish feeds typically contain a trace mineral premix that contains enough essential trace minerals (minerals needed at very low levels) to meet their dietary needs. Catfish feeds containing 4 percent or more animal proteins may not require a trace mineral premix.

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