As is known to all, catfish has quite high nutritional value due to its good taste, delicate meat quality and its better dietary therapy function for those ill nourished people. With the sweet flavor and warm in property, catfish is in favor of urinating and treating edema, becoming good item to promote lactation and essential food material for women to nourishing after childbirth. In general, each 100g fish meat contains 64.1g water content, 14.4g protein and various mineral elements and micro elements, all of which make catfish specially suitable for the weak people to eat. In addition, because of its artificial breeding property, catfish has amazing market potential. Among the cost of aquaculture, catfish feed makes up a large proportion due to the high price of fish feed, so we suggest fish farmers to produce catfish by own through nutritious catfish feed production formulation, advanced catfish feed production technology and high performance fish feed machine.
Main Ingredients in Catfish Feed
Catfish feed, in commercially, refers to mixing feed ingredients, vitamins and minerals, and fat together so as to provide obligate nutrition for the healthy and fast growth of catfish. For each good fish feed formula, feed ingredients should mainly include a certain amount of protein and the energy always existing in carbohydrate. The former can be divided into animal protein and plant protein, respectively used for the feed of fingerling catfish and the feed of 6-7 inches catfish, that is to say, plant protein can take the place of animal protein but only under the precondition of without influencing catfish growth. While the latter commonly used as catfish feed ingredients contains wheat, wheat bran, corn, corn residue, rice bran, fish oil and so on. By the way, the quantity of each part ingredient of catfish feed should consider the following elements: nutritional needs, feed stuff cost, effectiveness and of each ingredient and processing features.
Catfish Feed Formulation
From the countless experience, if catfish farmers want to get more profits, they must attach great importance to catfish feed quality, not only focusing on feed price because high quality feed can greatly increasing economic benefits much higher than feed cost. There are lots of fish farmers realizing that it’s more profitable to choose produce fish feed by own rather than purchasing feed from market because making feed by own can not only save cost but also control what fish eat. Then, it is very significant for those making their own feed to learn about catfish feed formulation knowledge and master the scientific and nutritional formula.
When choosing catfish feed formulation, fish farmers should follow the below principles:
- Nutrient requirements of catfish: as a catfish farmer who wants to make catfish feed by own, you need to grasp enough knowledge of catfish feed ingredients, and know about the nutrient requirements of your catfish at different growth phases.
- Effectiveness of preferential ingredients: among all feed stuffs, there are some ingredients are always more preferential than others, but are not often available. For example, fish farmers should be aware of choosing which similar ingredients to supplement energy if the dough is unavailable.
- Tastiness of available feed ingredients: catfish also like feed with good palatability as much as people like delicious food, so fish farmers should choose those available ingredients fitting with catfish taste. For example, both groundnut cake and soya meal have better flavor than their substitute ingredients Bernseed and cotton seed.
- Cost and profit: as a fish farmer, you need to take cost and profit factors seriously when choosing catfish feed formulation because everything should surround one point – to gain income.
- Catfish feed processing technology or machine: catfish feed processing technology, obviously difference with livestock feed production, can directly affect the quality of fish feed, such as affecting feed uniformity, settle-ability, pulverization rate, surface glossiness and water resistance, etc. Using the advanced processing technology, suitable fish feed machine and advisable catfish feed formulation can dramatically enhance the digestibility of fish feed, increase feed stability in water, reduce water pollution caused by feed and prolong the eating time of catfish.
Catfish Feed Production Technology & Equipment
Other than livestock feed, aquatic feed has much higher requirements on feed formulation, raw material grinding particle size, pelleting temperature, water resisting property and percentage of powered pellets. Everyone knows that experience is the best teacher, so it’s better to learn catfish feed production technology and equipment from practice. Taking the below test for example:
Catfish feed ingredients with percentage by weight in this formulation:
1. All feed stuffs should be cleaned before grinding, if not, impurities of feed stuffs would lower catfish feed quality and even damage the fish feed machine.
2. Operate the grinding machine under the instructions and check each shift of machine before starting. After entering crushing chamber, all feed raw materials would be ground into small particle size for next processing.
3. If any noise or vibrancy exists when machine running, please turn off the machine immediately to inspect. Remember to prepare container under the outlet of the machine so as to place materials after discharged from outlet.
4. For feed pellet granulating, we recommend high performance fish feed extruder machine (including dry type and wet type extruder) that can be used to produce both floating and sinking pellets. Dry type fish feed extruder is very appropriate for small scale fish farm, much cheaper than the wet one, so choose the suitable machine based on your fish farm scale.
Feeding conditions of this catfish feed:
Feeding amount should be adjusted according to fish eating situation. Generally speaking, daily feeding ratio is 1~3% of catfish weight, and that can be added on the basis of catfish eating conditions. Feeding three times per day, and feeding time is respectively 9:00am, 12:00am and 18:00pm.
Using this catfish feed makes catfish death rate less than 3%, and catfish weight gain rate is up to 149% after 30 days feeding.
Useful guidance for catfish farming in Nigeria