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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING PRODUCTION STRATEGIES IN CHANNEL CATFISH FARMING

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Effects of feeding rate and frequency on production characteristics of pond raised hybrid catfish

Authors
item Li, Menghe -
item Robinson, Edwin -
item Oberle, Daniel -
item Lucas, Penelope -

Submitted to: North American Journal of Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 18, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Citation: Li, M.H., Robinson, E.H., Oberle, D.F., Lucas, P.M. 2012. Effects of feeding rate and frequency on production characteristics of pond-raised hybrid catfish. North American Journal of Aquaculture. 74:142-147.

Interpretive Summary: The hybrid catfish is becoming the species of choice for culture in the southeastern United States. This is mainly because the hybrid generally performs better than either parent species for several important production traits including survival, growth, disease resistance, and carcass yield. Relatively little is known about the nutrition and feeding of hybrid catfish. With growing interest in hybrid catfish production, knowledge of optimum feeding rates and frequencies would assist hybrid growers in better management of hybrid production, and thus improve production efficiency and profit. A pond study was conducted to examine the effects of various daily feeding rates and feeding every other day (EOD) on the growth, net yield, feed conversion ratio, and size distribution of hybrid catfish. Results show that feeding EOD significantly reduces weight gain and net yield of hybrid catfish, but improves FCR. Based on partial budget analysis, feeding hybrid catfish EOD to satiation is not economical at feed and fish prices of the present and recent years. There were no significant differences in net yield, weight gain, and percentage of market-sized fish among fish fed daily at various rates. Fish fed daily at no more than 112 and no more than 135 kg/ha had significantly lower FCR than fish fed daily to satiation. Simple regression analysis indicated that for fish fed daily, weight gain, net yield, FCR, and percentage of market-sized fish increased linearly as the total amount of feed fed increased. Results also show that the feed restriction used in the present study did not appear to affect the size distribution of hybrid catfish.

Technical Abstract: The present study examined the effects of various daily feeding rates and feeding every other day on the growth, net yield, feed conversion ratio, and size distribution of hybrid catfish (female channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus × male blue catfish I. furcatus) in production ponds. Hybrid catfish fingerlings (average size, 45 g) were stocked into 0.04-ha ponds at a density of 14,826 fish/ha. Initially, all fish were fed to apparent satiation until feed consumption reached predetermined levels. Thereafter, the daily feeding rates for fish in the restricted feeding group were no more than 112, 135, or 168 kg/ha per d. Fish in the every-other-day feeding group were fed to apparent satiation daily until they reached about 0.23 kg and every other day to satiation thereafter. The results from the present study show that feeding every other day significantly reduces the weight gain and net yield of hybrid catfish but improves the feed conversion ratio. Partial budget analysis indicates that feeding hybrid catfish every other day is not economical at recent feed and fish prices. There were no significant differences in net yield, weight gain, and percentage of market size fish among fish fed daily at various rates. Fish fed daily at no more than 112 and 135 kg/ha had significantly lower feed conversion ratios than fish fed daily to satiation. Simple regression analysis indicates that the weight gain, net yield, feed conversion ratio, and percentage of market-size fish increased linearly as the total amount of feed fed increased in fish fed daily. The results also show that the feed restriction used in the present study does not affect the size distribution of hybrid catfish.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014