For making more profits in aquaculture and fish farming business, Nigeria fish farmers need to cut down fish feed cost because it occupies a big part in the whole production chain. But fish feed cost should be only reduced on the basis of ensuring fish can get nutritional feed for good growth and health. Today, let’s discuss the way for Nigerian to use local raw materials to make fish feed pellets for lowering feed cost.
Significance of Using Local Fish Feed Raw Material
As the fastest growing food production industry in the world, aquaculture and fish farming industry in Nigeria also plays an important part in delivering high quality proteins to the market, so lowering the feed cost – main cost factor in aquaculture has great significance and value in stimulating the development of aquaculture. Meanwhile, with high price and unstable supply, imported fish feed has always restricted the development of Nigeria fish farming. Furthermore, from the perspective of environment and economy, people should focus on using local feed ingredients to produce nutritional and healthy aquafeed through fish feed extruder and other equipment, reducing feed cost as well as creating an effective value chain and pull whole aquaculture industrial chain.
Available Local Fish Feed Raw Materials
According to countless practical experience, a plenty of high quality feed resources exist in many places, so raw materials and ingredients required to produce high-grade fish feed are readily available in Nigeria. For example, leftovers in the process of livestock husbandry development, such as viscera, blood, bone and fur of pig, cattle, sheep and chicken, can become superior-quality feed after effective collection and proper fish feed production process. For those who want to make fish feed pellets for lowering cost without reducing feed quality and nutrition, it is very crucial to figure out the feasible feed ingredients in local Nigeria and grasp the access to safe, available and economical raw materials.
Similar with other animals, fish also need protein, carbohydrate, lipids, minerals, and vitamins for healthy growth. The main ingredients of fish feed contain protein, fat and mineral substance, and raw materials of these ingredients mainly include straw meal, soybean cake, peanut cake, corn protein powder, rice bran, wheat bran and so forth. To be specific, based on the nutrient requirements of fish, here are some potential local resources that can be used in making fish feed:
- ✧ Raw materials for protein: fish meal(with 62%-66% crude protein), blood meal, silkworm chrysalis meal, shrimp meal, soybean meal(with 45% crude protein), cottonseed meal(with 32%-42% crude protein), rapeseed meal(with 33%-40% crude protein), peanut meal, sesame meal and corn gluten meal, etc. Besides, earthworms, maggots, and insects are also high-quality animal protein feed for fish.
- ✧ Raw materials for energy source: wheat, wheat middling, full cream rice bran, corn and other grain. Among these materials, corn has high carbohydrate that cannot be absorbed easily by fish or shrimp, so in general, corn content should be low when producing aqua feed; wheat has soft texture as starch but wheat has excellent elongation and elasticity, which makes it natural adhesion agent that can promote water stability of fish feed for long-time floating on water; full cream has high content of fat, adding about 6% as raw material can make it easy for pelletizing and save power consumption, but remember to pay attention to oxidative rancidity. Moderate addition of fat content can promote the digestive ability of feed, improve availability of protein so as to achieve the effect of saving feed protein.
- ✧ Mineral substance (like calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and iodine) is an important component of fish feed, and plays a pivotal role in fish growth and nutrition. Common raw materials with minerals contain fish meal, shell powder, egg shell powder, calcium phosphate and bone meal.
Locally available raw materials such as yam, plantain, banana, cowpeas, macona, maize, cassava, millet, sorghum, groundnut, sunnhemp seed, leaf concentrates, kitchen garbage and brewery wastes are considered as potential materials for fish feed.
How to Produce Fish Feed with Local Raw Materials
With such abundant local resources, fish farmers may consider how to produce fish feed by themselves instead of purchasing feed so as to lower their farming cost and gain higher profits. First, choose scientific and nutritional aquafeed formulation; second, master advanced feed processing technology; Third, choose suitable fish feed making machine.
- ▲ When choosing fish feed formulation, there are several principles to follow: according to nutritient requirement of farmed fish and nutritional value of feed because different fish has diverse varieties, ages, weights, habits, physiological conditions and even water quality environment, which makes them have different requirements for nutriment; according to palatability and digestibility of feedstuff (for example, blood meal has about 83% protein but only 19.3% protein is digestible while bone meal has only about 46% protein but its digestibility is 75%); according to the balance bewteen protein and amino acid in order to reach the requirements stipulated by nutritional standards; according to lowering materials cost on the basis of nutrients for maximum economic benefits.
- ▲ As to aquafeed processing technique and equipment, we are pioneer in the manufacturing field of fish feed machine and fish food production line, is able to offer the whole production processing of fish feed and the appropriate equipment – from materials crushing, mixing, extruding and drying/cooling to final feed packaging. For instance, fish farmers can use Fish Feed Crusher machine ZW-60B for grinding raw materials into very small granulars, use high-efficiency fish feed mixing machine 250 to blend feed materials evenly for ensuring high quality compound feed, use Fish Feed Extruder DGP50 to make floating feed and also adjust extrusion degree for floating time on water when extruding pellets, use Fish Feed Dryer to decrease moisture of feed down to 8%-12% for convenient storage, and eventually use Packaging Machine DCS1 for automated weigh and package of finished fish feed pellets.