Submitted to: Israeli Journal of Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/2004
Publication Date: 12/21/2004
Citation: Riche, M.A., Oetker, M., Haley, D., Smith, T., Garling, D. 2004. Effect of feeding frequency on consumption, growth, and efficiency in juvenile tilapia. Israeli Journal of Aquaculture. 56(4):247-255. Interpretive Summary: Feed and labor are generally the two highest variable costs at aquaculture facilities in the United States. Understanding nutrient requirements and implementing appropriate feeding strategies can reduce waste and increase profits. From a management standpoint frequent feeding of fish may not be economical due to increased labor costs. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of different feeding frequencies on growth and animal efficiency in tilapia. Nile tilapia were fed to satiation at 2, 5, 9 or 24 hour intervals for 29 days. The amount consumed, growth, and animal efficiency were evaluated. The data suggest maximum consumption, growth, and efficiency was attained when the fish were fed at 5 hour intervals.
Technical Abstract: Triplicate groups of Oreochromis niloticus (34.4 g) were fed a commercial diet to satiation over a 29 d period at one, two, three, or five times/d. Consumption, growth, and feed utilization were evaluated. No significant differences were detected among fish fed two, three, or five times daily in growth, feed efficiency, or protein utilization. Fish fed three daily meals had significantly higher gross energy and lipid, and lower crude protein than the other treatments (P<0.05). Energy retention in fish fed three times daily (84.7 %) was significantly higher than in fish fed 5 times daily (49.4 %). Feeding juvenile tilapia nutrient dense pelleted feeds obviates the need for frequent feedings.