It has been observed that there is a significant relationship between feed size and growth in catfish. In other words, the size of feed given to your catfishes has a lot to do with their growth and general well being.
In catfish feed production, most especially floating feed, it is a common practice that smaller feed must be made richer in nutrition than bigger feed sizes. The reason for this is that smaller fishes that consume feeds of smaller sizes need better nutrition in terms of crude protein to grow well. Catfish farmers are to be guided by the principle of ‘’the smaller the feed the better’’ in selection and formulation of feed for their fishes. Here are more facts on relationship between feed sizes and growth in catfishes that will enhance your proficiency in catfish farming practices.
- Feeds of lower sizes are always richer than feeds of bigger sizes.
- Feeds of lower sizes cost more because they are richer.
- Feed sizes vary to provide adequate nutrition for catfishes of different ages and sizes.
- Feeds of smaller sizes can be used to feed bigger fish. However, feed of bigger sizes should not be used to feed smaller catfish because they might not be able to pick and such feed may not contain enough nutrients needed by small fishes.
- It is better to feed your fishes with feeds of smaller sizes long enough before graduating them to bigger feeds.
- I recommend that 95 percent of your catfishes are big enough to pick feed of higher grade before they are introduced to such feed size.
- One of the reasons for poor growth in catfishes is that farmers do not wait enough before introducing their fishes to feeds of bigger sizes for many reasons:
1. To reduce cost of feed;
2. To reduce feed quantity consumed per meal;
3. To save time used in feeding;
4. To reduce wastage. None of these reasons is tangible enough to rush your catfishes into picking feeds that are bigger for their sizes.
- Feeding your fishes with feeds of smaller sizes make them to feed more and digest better. This means more growth.
- Variation in sizes of catfishes of same stock occurs when you change your feed sizes sooner than necessary. This sometimes encourages cannibalism in catfishes. Never rush to change your catfish feed size until it is obviously necessary.
- When fishes of same stock outgrow one another and there is a need to graduate their feed, please do this by mixing previous feed size with new feed size to provide equal opportunity for all your stock.
- In conclusion, always feed your new stock of fingerlings or juvenile with feeds lower than what is recommended by your suppliers (hatchers).