Catfish Feed Production Process

Catfish feed is mainly plant based, but fry and small fry feed contains some fish meal and other animal protein. The main ingredients used in catfish feed usually include soybean meal, cottonseed meal, corn and by-products, and wheat by-products.
There are various types of catfish feeds. The type used at any given time is a function of the life stage and the size of the fish fed, whether during the growing season or winter, and whether or not antibiotics are added.

Catfish fry in hatcheries are fed finely ground diets or flour-based feeds containing 45-50% protein. Once the fish are in the pond, they are usually fed a diet containing about 40 percent protein. Some producers feed “fish” with 28 or 32 percent protein, and the food fish grow until they grow to 1-2 inches. At this stage, if the pond is properly fertilized, the catfish fry can get most of their nutrients from natural foods such as large zooplankton, small insects, and insect larvae.

The larger species were fed small floating grains (1/8 of an inch in diameter) containing 35 percent protein. Advanced species (5-6 inches) and food fish are usually fed a floating diet of 28-32% protein about 5/32 to 3/16 inches in diameter. Some producers turn to slowly sinking feed during the winter.

Feed formulation

Catfish feeds are usually based on fixed formulations and rarely use the lowest-cost methods used in other animal industries. To prepare a feed using the lowest-cost computer program, the manufacturer must know the cost of feed ingredients, nutrient concentrations in the feed, nutrient requirements and supply in the feed, and nutrient and non-nutrient limitations.

The use of lowest-cost feed formulations is limited because we do not know much about the maximum profit from nutrient levels associated with the levels that lead to optimal weight gain, and our inability to store a large number of different ingredients in feed mills and to obtain a wide variety of feeds in time is a problem. But we can use the simplest cost feed formula to make catfish feed.

Feed manufacturing

Feed production produces a mixture of feed and feed additives into usable forms. The main purpose of making feed is to increase the profitability of animal production by increasing the nutritional value of feed or feed mixtures. Depending on the type of animal, the process can be reduced from simple particle size to steam granulation or extrusion to form feed particles. Catfish feed is unique compared to the diet of land animals used for food, because catfish feed must be granular, water stable, and usually float on the surface of the water.

As a result, most commercial catfish feeds are made by extrusion. If the specific feed additive cannot withstand extrusion, the particles can be pelleted by steam to make sinking particles. Before transportation, fat is usually sprayed on feed particles to reduce feed dust (fine powder).

Catfish feed production processing

Grinding Process: First of all, the fodder materials should be crushed to required size by using hammer mill, crusher or grinder.

Mixing Process: To improve the quality of the fish feed and the efficiency of the pellet extruding process, the raw materials should be thoroughly mixed. To ensure such capability in the material mixing, we offer two categories of mixers. These feed mixers are the double shaft mixer and the ribbon type feed mixer. The latter is useful for powder related matters while the former is the best in both mixings of granular, blocky and powder related materials. The machines also have customized spraying cubicle for liquid additions.

Pellets Extruding Process: We have two types of feed extruder machine: the wet-type and the dry type. The wet-type one is relatively expensive because it is equipped with steam boiler and its productivity is generally higher than the dry-type one. The dry-type one is cheap and it is the best choice for small scale aquatic /pet food production.

Pellets Drying: If you choose dry type feed extrusion machine, belt dryer is suggested. After extruded from the extruder, the feed pellets will be send to the perforated plate belt or wire mesh belt and then go through the chamber of the drying machine and be dried o optimum moisture content. If you select wet type extruder, gas type dryer is recommended.

Packaging Process: Our automated weighing and packaging machines ensure a proper packing for easy transport, display, and storage. With automatic options, it is featured of high efficient and low labor cost.