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Which Feed is Best for Catfish in Nigeria?


More and more people are choosing to catfish fish farming in Nigeria, as Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of African catfish. Compared to other types of fish farming, catfish farming is not difficult. This is because the fish reproduces easily, is resistant to many diseases, and adapts quickly to new environments and food. While catfish can be considered a good fish to feed, farmers still need to pay attention to feed nutrition and feed catfish with the right food to keep them healthy and grow bigger in less time.


Fish feed nutrition


Protein supplements are feed ingredients with 20 percent or greater crude protein. Animal or plant proteins are both acceptable categories for protein supplements. Animal tissues from packing or rendering factories, milk products, and marine sources are used as sources of inedible animal proteins for animal diets. Marine fish meals, catfish offal meal, meat, bone/blood meal, and chicken by-product meal are among those utilized in catfish feed. Proteins from animals are typically thought to be of greater quality than those from plants. Fry and small fingerling catfish must consume animal protein to survive. Compared to other animal proteins, the fish meal made from whole fish seems to be a better protein supplement. But after catfish grow to a size of 6 to 7 inches, the fish meal does not seem to be a necessary part of their diet. Fish diets for catfish can substitute plant proteins for animal proteins without impacting growth and feed effectiveness.

Oilseed meals, including soybean meal, cottonseed meal, and peanut meal, are the primary plant protein sources utilized in catfish feeds. Some alternative oilseed meals could be employed, but they are rarely timely and reasonably priced per unit of protein. Some beginners could make fish feed based on book that provides a brief summary of the various animal and plant protein sources that can be utilized in catfish meals. Feedstuffs that have less than 20% crude protein are energy supplements. The contain grain, grain derivatives, and vegetable or animal fat. Nonprotein energy sources should be a part of catfish feeds since they are the most affordable and prevent the use of food protein as an energy source. Commercial catfish feeds frequently contain maize, corn screenings, wheat grain, wheat middlings, rice bran, milo, animal fats, and fish oil as energy sources.


Types of catfish fish feed


Beginners in fish farming frequently have questions about what catfish feeds are healthful and what foods catfish should eat. Instead of only feeding fish at the same time and in the same amount, fish require a diversity of foods to ensure they get all the nutrients they require. To maintain your catfish developing healthily, fish feed should have adequate protein and be aware of the various types of catfish diet options. Catfish feed comes in four major different types.

1) Flies maggot

Catfish can be fed fly maggots by fish farmers, which can lower the cost of feeding the fish. Maggots can be added as a supplement to produce fish feed and poultry feed since they are extremely high in protein (40 percent of their weight is protein). Fish can grow more quickly when fed maggots because of the high protein content of these insects. Maggot formation is simple, and if you drop dead animals or animal waste, maggots will quickly form and grow. But the amount of maggots created in this manner is either insufficient or challenging to collect. You need to learn how to harvest maggots in large quantities from a professional.

2) Floating fish feed

Catfish are usually fed on the floating fish feed. Feed is made by extruding and pelleting food formulations. Catfish pellets typically contain 32-40% protein, which is introduced by adding ingredients such as fish meal or soy protein. Floating feed pellets are recommended for feeding catfish because these pellets stay on the surface and fish farmers can see how much food is left to monitor the fish’s health. However, floating fish feed pellets are more expensive compared to regular fish feeds.

3) Worm

Worms are well known for having a very high protein content. It can reach up to 76 percent, which is far greater than the protein content of fish (50 percent) and the meat of animals (about 76 percent). Worms can make the ideal catfish food due to their high protein content. Even though all worms normally contain a significant level of protein, try using silkworms instead if they are readily available in your local area. Silkworms may have a higher protein content than other worm species, they are smoother in texture. The catfish can process the food more effectively and quickly thanks to this texture’s ease of digestion. Although worms may be great for your catfishes’ health, they can make the pool water gets really dirty faster. You may need to clean the water frequently if you feed catfish with worms.

4) Duckweed

Additionally, fish farmers can give catfish more natural feeds like duckweed, which is well-known for its high nutritional value and contains significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and lysine, which are good for catfish growth. In order to lower the cost of catfish production, duckweed is frequently used as an additional meal. Every fish farmer needs to understand proper catfish feeding techniques and how to select the best fish feed for their specific circumstances. This will result in good production outcomes and, ultimately, profitable operations for catfish farmers.


Factors to consider before choosing a type of fish feed


After learning about the types of fish feeds and different fish species in Nigeria, there are a few factors you need to consider before choosing which fish feed to use.

1) Availability

The first thing you need to consider before choosing the right fish feed is the availability of the feed on the market. You don’t want to choose a product that is no longer on the market after your fish run out of them.

2) Price

The cost should be taken into account when selecting fish food. You should think about your budget before selecting a feed. Depending on whether it matches your budget, the price of the feed will increase with its quality.

3) Quality

The third thing to consider is the quality of the feed. Yes, the aforementioned raw materials and feeds are of high quality, but this does not mean that these feeds are necessarily the most suitable. Before purchasing any feed, make sure you understand whether the quality, protein content and other elements of the feed are acceptable to your fish. If you buy in large quantities, you can easily find the factory of the manufacturer, go there to buy it, and if they don’t sell, they will recommend their designated dealer, where you will buy the original feed.




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