Over time, many catfish farmers have experimented with the use of floating feed to raise their stock from juvenile to maturity. At the end of such experiments, the result is not always encouraging in terms of return on investment. However, farmers using floating feed throughout the feeding period tend to benefit in certain areas such as: convenience, availability, efficient water management, and reduction in waste of feed.
Month: January 2016
This is a continuation of our series on reasons why catfish farmers run at loss. If you want to ensure a profitable catfish farming season, you have to avoid doing these two things:
A pond is overstocked when the carriage capacity of such a pond cannot support healthy growth of certain number of fishes for a period of time between stocking and maturity. Maturity mentioned here is a relative term. For instance, 3 months may be the maturity period for a fish that will be sold in dry fish market (average weight of 600 grams to 900 grams) whereas it could be up to 6 months for fishes that will be sold at Abuja market (average weight of 1kg to 2.5kg). A pond that carries a particular number of fishes successfully for 3 months might not be able to support the same number of fishes for 6 months. Therefore, the concept of overstocking is best explained by making reference to the ultimate carriage capacity of a pond.
A catfish farmer who does not know how to breed for his personal use cannot be said to be prolific in his business. This is due to the fact that no matter how good you are as a catfish farmer in raising for market sizes, your effort and skill can be made useless by catfish breeders. The quality of your seed has a lot to do with your eventual output at the end of each farming season. There are three major factors that usually affect the performance of catfishes: water quality, feed quality, and quality of seed. Among the factors mentioned, seed is the major determinant of success rate in catfish farming business. In fact, it determines up to 70% of success or failure of the business. Many breeders, especially small scale ones, might breed against the principle of breeding, intentionally, due to high demand sometimes at a particular season of the year or due to high cost of quality broodstock. Some of the ways catfish breeders violate the principles of breeding include:
Pond preparation is one of the major activities preceding stocking of fish seed. This stage is so important that the success or failure of each farming season depends largely on how well a pond is prepared. Pond preparation includes de-mudding (removal of mud from ponds) of existing ponds or digging of new ones. Consideration must be given to proper layout of pipes, to ensure adequate inflow and outflow of water in and out of the ponds. Also under this stage, consideration must be given to stability, strength, and thickness of the dike. Failure to observe/comply might lead to run off water entering into the pond.
Planning is an essential aspect of any business venture. This is what some catfish farmers overlook in the course of setting up their farm because they don’t see it as a real business.