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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CATFISH GENETICS, BREEDING, AND PHYSIOLOGY

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Effect of Feeding Frequency on Feed Cconsumption, Growth, and Feed Efficiency in Aquarium-Reared Norris and NWAC103 Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)

Authors
item Peterson, Brian
item Small, Brian

Submitted to: Journal of the World Aquaculture Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2006
Publication Date: December 1, 2006
Citation: Peterson, B.C., Small, B.C. 2006. Effect of Feeding Frequency on Feed Consumption, Growth, and Feed Efficiency in Aquarium-Reared Norris and NWAC103 Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. 37:490-495.

Interpretive Summary: A 6 week feeding study examined the effect of feeding frequency on growth rate of Norris and NWAC103 channel catfish reared under laboratory conditions. Norris and NWAC103 catfish (average weight of 4.0 +/- 0.2 g/fish) were fed at different feeding frequencies (one, two or three times daily). Specific growth rate and feed intake were higher in fish fed three times daily compared to once and twice daily for both strains. Feed efficiency was reduced in NWAC103 fed three times daily compared to fish fed once or twice while feed efficiency was similar among the Norris treatments. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract index [(weight of GI tract/weight of fish) x 100] decreased in NWAC103 catfish as feeding frequency increased while a similar trend was also observed in Norris catfish. The results of this study demonstrate that aquarium reared Norris and NWAC103 catfish fed three times a day consume more feed and gain more weight than catfish fed once or twice a day. In addition, the size of the GI tract increases, relative to body weight, when catfish are fed only once a day. Feeding catfish under laboratory conditions once a day is similar to twice a day for growth and feed efficiency.

Technical Abstract: A 6 week feeding study was conducted to determine the effect of feeding frequency on growth rate of juvenile Norris and NWAC103 channel catfish reared under laboratory conditions. Four replicate groups of Norris and NWAC103 catfish (average weight of 4.0 +/- 0.2 g/fish) were fed to visual satiety at different feeding frequencies (one, two or three times daily). The percent of total daily food consumed for Norris catfish fed three times daily (0800, 1200, and 1600 hours) was 44.4%, 27.7% and 27.9%, respectively, while NWAC103 catfish consumed 42.9%, 26.7% and 30.4%, respectively. Specific growth rate and feed intake were higher in fish fed three times daily compared to once and twice daily for both strains. Feed efficiency was reduced in NWAC103 fed three times daily compared to fish fed once or twice while feed efficiency was similar among the Norris treatments. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract index [(weight of GI tract/weight of fish) x 100] decreased in NWAC103 catfish as feeding frequency increased while a similar nonsignificant trend was also observed in Norris catfish. The results of this study demonstrate that aquarium reared Norris and NWAC103 catfish fed three times a day consume more feed and gain more weight than catfish fed once or twice a day. The observed decrease in the GI index due to feeding more frequently demonstrates that the size of the GI tract increases, relative to body weight, when catfish are fed only once a day. Feeding catfish under laboratory conditions once a day is similar to twice a day for growth and feed efficiency; however, feeding three times daily increased growth rates for both strains of catfish.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014
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