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Effects of 28% Protein Diets Differing in Quality on Channel Catfish Performance, Processing Traits, and Production Economics in a Multi-Batch System

Engle, Carole, Kumar, Ganesh, Lochmann, Rebecca, Bosworth, Brian, Thompson, Miles
Journal of applied aquaculture 2013 v.25 no.2 pp. 102-112
Ictalurus punctatus, Pinus echinata, aquaculture, catfish, diet, feed conversion, feeds, fingerlings, ponds, production economics
Three 28% protein feeds (premium, standard, or a low-cost diet) were fed to channel catfish in a pond study to compare growth, production, and costs as a follow up to similar work with 32% protein feeds. Twelve 0.1-ha earthen ponds at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Aquaculture Research Station were stocked with carryover fish (0.39 kg mean weight) at 5,860 fish/ha and fingerling catfish (mean individual weight of 15.4 g) at 12,500 fish/ha. Total yield (gross and net) did not differ between fish fed the premium as compared to the standard diet, but that of the premium diet was significantly higher than that of fish fed the low-cost diet. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) did not differ between fish fed the premium and standard diets, but was lower than the FCR of fish fed the low-cost diet. There were no differences found in processing yields among treatments. Given the lower cost of the 28% standard diet and yields equivalent to those of the 28% premium diet, the 28% standard diet was economically preferable to the other diets tested.