FISH FEED FORMULATION SECRETS AND PRODUCTION METHODS
Do you know how to make fish feed using the necessary ingredients and balanced formula? What Catfish nutrition plan do you use on your fish farm? What do you know about local fish feed formulation and what ingredient is responsible for floating in fish feeds?
INGREDIENTS OF MAKING FISH FEED AND FEED PREPARATION
According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, the global per capita consumption of fish has risen to 20 kilograms per for the first time. And for the first time ever, people are now consuming more farmed fish than wild caught fish.
Catfish Feed Formula: How to Formulate Feed that Will Enhance Your Fish Weight Gain
The reason for this high demand for fish is because fish is highly nutritious and because a lot of people are becoming more and more conscious of their health, they are now becoming more intentional about eating more of healthy and nutritious foods like fish.
As the demand for fish is increasing more and more, the wild caught fish is no longer sufficient to meet this high demand. In order to meet this demand, a lot of business savvy people have started embracing fish farming.
Though fish farming is profitable, a lot of fish farmers do not make high profits. The reason is because during the fish farming process, fish farmers spend heavily on fish feed. The cost of fish feed amount to more than 60% of the whole cost of production. And most of the commercial fish feed are highly expensive.
The effect of this is that fish farmers end up spending a lot of money feeding their fish without gaining much from it. So, in a bid to minimize the high cost of feeding fish and make more profits, fish farmers have begun to explore another cheaper alternative which is fish feed formulation. They are have started ditching the expensive commercial feed and are now making the feed for their fish by themselves.
However, fish feed formulation also has its own challenges. One of the major challenge fish farmers are facing with their fish feed formulation is the formulation of poor quality fish feed.
Many farmers do not have the right knowledge on how to formulate standard fish feed that is of good quality. So they end up formulating and feeding their fish with substandard fish feeds that is of low quality. The result of this is that their fish end up having stunted growth.
This article was written to address that challenge. So if you are a fish farmer who want to know how the formulation of quality fish feed, then you should read this article.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE THE FORMULATION OF FISH FEED
- The Amount of Nutrients Needed
When it comes to fish feed formulation, there is no one size fits all approach. The approach is different stroke for different folks. The nutritional composition for fish A will be different from the nutritional composition for fish B. So, there is a need for you to know the amount of nutrients require for the type of fish you are rearing.
- The Cost of Production
Fish feed formulation can be very tricky. It is very easy to assume that because you are producing your fish feed by yourself, the cost of producing your fish feed is cheaper than that of the commercial feed. But many at times, that is not always the case. There have been a lot of incident where the cost of locally made feeds was higher than that of the commercial made one. So, before your fish feed formulation, make sure you count your cost and know if a DIY feed formulation will be favorable for you on the long run.
- The Availability of Fish Feed Ingredients
Imagine after buying most of the ingredients for your fish feed formulation, you discovered that the remaining required ingredients are not available. That will be a big waste of resources right? In order to avoid this, always make sure that you find out if all the ingredients needed for fish feed formulation is available.
THE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS REQUIRED FOR FISH FEED FORMULATION
Protein is a very essential nutrient needed for fish feed formulation. This is because protein is the main source of energy for fish. Compare to other animals, fish require twice or three times amount of protein as a source of energy.
Minerals is another essential nutrient for fish feed formulation. It is a necessary requirement for the skeletal development in fish. So, minerals like Zinc, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese and Calcium must be included when producing fish feed.
Fish is very susceptible to bacterial attack. Because of this, fish needs the intake of vitamins so as to build a strong immune system. It should be noted that the amount of vitamins to be included in fish feed formula should be minimal.
- Other nutrients required for fish feed formulation include water, fat and carbohydrates.
BASIC INGREDIENTS FOR FISH FEED FORMULATION
- Fish meal
- Rice bran
- Shrimp bran
- Wheat bran
- Soybeans cake
- Cotton seed cake
- Dried potatoes etc.
FISH FEED FORMULATION PROCESS
- Grinding of Ingredients
The first thing you will do during the process of fish feed formulation is to measure all the required ingredients according to the specified ratio and grind them one after the other.
- Mixing of Ingredients
The next step is to take all the dry ingredients that you have grounded and mix them together. You will need a fish feed mixing machine to do it well. Alternatively, you can also use a cake mixer or a cement mixer. After mixing the dry ingredients, you should then mix vitamin and mineral with them.
- Add Water and Oil to the Mixture
Warm your oil, add it to the mixture and mix everything together for at least five minutes. Then add water a little per time. Mix it with the mixture until it form a mash.
- Process the Feed Mash in a Pellet Machine
Put the mixture of the fish feed mash into a pellet machine so that it can be processed into a pellet. The size of the pellets will be determined by the size of the fish that wants to eat the feed.
- Dry the Fish Feed Pellets
After the feed mash has been formed into pellets, the next thing is to dry it in a fish feed dryer to reduce the moisture content. The pellets should be dried under a lower temperature that is less than 60 degree. This is because high temperature can destroy the micronutrients present in the feed.
- Package the Fish Feed Pellets
The last step after drying the pellets is to package them into a bag or container for further storage. You shouldn’t use plastic bag to package your fish feed. This is because plastic bags generate heat which can cause mould to grow inside the feed.