Protein is one of the most important nutrients in animal feed. It is the basis of body structure. It helps in productions of hormones and chemical reactions in the body, and it can also be converted into sugar and fat to compensate for deficiency in other classes of nutrition. Without protein, other feed’s nutrients cannot be used by the body. Most of the time, protein in animal feed is expressed as crude protein.
Crude protein (CP) is the measurement of protein both from protein and non-protein sources in animal feed. It is usually expressed in percentage. Researchers have discovered that catfishes need between 35 and 48 percent crude protein in their feed to grow well. The bigger the catfish, the lower the crude protein needed in its feed.
There is always an analysis label on readymade catfish feeds to indicate the percentage of crude protein and other nutrients in such feed. However, locally pelletized fish feed must be formulated and produced to meet the protein need of the stock per time. This is not achievable without the knowledge of how to calculate crude protein in catfish feed. Therefore it is important for catfish farmers that make use of locally pelletized feed to be sure of nutrients in combination of ingredients used. It is an error to formulate catfish feed without an idea of the nutrients in the feed, most especially crude protein. On the one hand if the crude protein in your feed is higher than necessary, you are wasting money. On the other hand, if crude protein in catfish feed is lower than required, you are limiting the potential of your stock which could lead to poor profit.
I will like to introduce catfish farmers to simplest way of calculating crude protein in catfish feed with reference to one of my article on Catfish Feed Formulation. The specimen formulae 1 in the referenced article is used to demonstrate how to calculate crude protein in catfish feed. However, to make the calculation easier;
- Formulae is made in hundred (you can express your major ingredients in percentage).
- Nutritional table is used to have the rough idea of crude protein in major ingredients.
- A figure is picked within the range of CP for each ingredient.
- Contributions of each ingredient to total crude protein are calculated separately and later summed up.
- Minor ingredients and other mono proteins are not included in the calculation.
- It is assumed that quality and quantity of ingredients used are not compromised.
Specimen Formulae 1
Ingredient Quantity in KG Crude Protein (Nutritional Table)
Maize 25 11
Soya Meal 30 47
GNC 20 48
Fishmeal (72%) 25 72
Vitamin C 0.1
Formulae for calculate Crude Protein (CP)
CP = x/100 multiply by y/1 (x/100 X y/1)
X – % crude Protein of the major ingredient
Y – Quantity used in 100 kg of feed
CP contributions from maize
12/100 x 25/1 = 3%
CP contributions from Soya meal
47/100 x 30/1 = 14.1%
CP contributions from GNC
48/100 x 20/1 = 9.6%
CP contribution from 72% fishmeal
72/100 x 25/1 = 18%
Total Crude Protein in Specimen Formulae A
3+14.1+9.6+18 = 44.7% (Good enough for fishes between 2-3 months of age)
Benefits of Calculating CP in Catfish Feed
- It helps in formulating feed that will meet actual CP need of catfish stock per time.
- It helps in eliminating economic waste in overuse of protein ingredient sources.
- It could help catfish farmer to achieve the full potential of her stock.
- Save extra cost on usage of imported and readymade feeds.
Knowledge is power. Get knowledge and increase in wealth. Catfish farming is never a shortcut to wealth. You either learn the rudiments and remain in the business or move out of the business for lack of knowledge. Catfish farming is ever dynamic. The more you know the better for you.