How to Feed Catfish-Feeding Strategy for Catfish Farming

Feed management strategies can be improved to optimize catfish weight gain or minimize the cost per catfish weight. Each catfish producer can determine which target is most important when they raise catfish in ponds and provide feed. However, the goal most producers choose is to minimize the unit cost of catfish weight gain. Achieving this goal is much more difficult than buying the cheapest feed. The relationship between feed cost and quality must be carefully considered, combined with good feeding habits, in order to obtain the maximum benefit from feed cost.

Producers should consider that catfish require a different feed at each stage of growth. It is best to feed 38% of the protein feed to the smallest species in the form of crumbs. Fish about 3 inches long can take advantage of 3/16 inch floating particles with a protein content of 35 to 36 percent. When a catfish species is placed in a pond, there are more options for feed quality. One of the more recent options was to feed a lower protein diet of about 28 percent or the more common diet of 32 percent. Studies of catfish raised in ponds reported that the protein content dropped to 24 percent as much as catfish produced on a diet of 32 percent protein.

Feeding time affects the weight gain of catfish, but weight gain is generally less important than the labor and logistics of large catfish farms. For example, it has been reported that feeding twice a day produces more weight gain than feeding once a day. However, it has also been reported that feeding is not recommended when the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the pool water is low. As a result, dissolved oxygen levels are low in the morning most of the year and it is difficult to feed twice a day, morning and evening. Aeration can increase dissolved oxygen, but the use of aerators will increase the cost of electricity. For most producers, the species stage catfish is fed twice a day and the food stage catfish is fed once a day.

Interference can seriously affect feeding behavior and lead to weight gain and loss. Some sources of disturbance include hyperventilation, marked changes in pond levels, Seine nets, fish and poultry activity, sudden drops in dissolved oxygen, sudden drops or increases in water temperature, changes in feed types and changes in feeding times. The list is long because feeding catfish is a complex task. Satiety feeding is the traditional method of providing feed, since it assumes that catfish will respond to any disturbance that may occur to regulate their intake. Using feeding schedules or computer-generated feed allocations is a noble endeavor, but it must be combined with daily observations and judgments along the pond shore based on catfish feeding behavior.

The method of limiting feed can be adopted to maximize the utilization rate of catfish feed. However, the type of restriction must be carefully evaluated, and the catfish must eventually be compensated in a satiated manner after the restriction for a period of time, in order to obtain compensatory benefits. If the feed is reduced enough to be full during the growing season, the fish will not gain weight and the opportunity cost will be lost.
Nutrient concentrations in commercial fish feed are being reassessed. It is important for catfish to have a complete diet when raised at a high density in a commercial pond. Past recommendations for up to 13 vitamins in catfish feed could change. Under the study conditions, the catfish diet could be stripped of certain vitamins without causing weight gain. However, restricted feeding due to planned limitations or unplanned limitations due to water temperature limits or disease may require more nutrient-intensive feed. The pressure to prepare a low-cost feed may reduce the nutrient density of the catfish feed formula.

Finally, accurate records must be maintained to verify that the appropriate amount of feed was provided and consumed. The feeder should be equipped with a scale to record the daily feed amount for each pond. Careful stocking records should be kept, as well as the number and weight of fish. Any loss of disease or predation should be noted. Should track catfish pond “feed off” the number of days, in order to timely disease investigation. Regular catch should account for the number and weight of catfish caught. Feed replacement should be carried out immediately after harvest or stocking date.

Making Your Own Fish Feed

The machines are used to make floating and sinking fish feed pellets.