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Effects of Feeding Diets With and Without Fish Meal on Production of Channel Catfish, Ictalurus Punctatus, Stocked at Varying Densities
- Robinson, Edwin H., Menghe, Li H.
- Journal of applied aquaculture 2009 v.21 pp. 1
- Ictalurus punctatus, mortality, body composition, protein content, liveweight gain, feed conversion, feed intake, fish ponds, experimental diets, plant source protein, protein sources, animal source protein, animal feeding, catfish, animal proteins, crop production, dietary protein, fillets, fingerlings, fish culture, fish feeding, fish feeds, fish meal, fish nets, fish production, growing season, lipids, menhaden, ponds, satiety, stocking rate, visceral fat, weight gain
- Animal protein, generally fish meal, has traditionally been used in the diet of channel catfish. However, our previous research indicates that animal protein is not needed for growing stockersize catfish to food fish when the fish are stocked at densities typical of those used in commercial catfish culture. Whether this holds when fish are stocked at high densities is not known; thus, we conducted an experiment to evaluate the effect of feeding diets with and without fish meal to channel catfish stocked in earthen ponds at different densities. Two 32% protein practical diets containing 0% or 6% menhaden fish meal were compared for pond-raised channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, stocked at densities of 14,820, 29,640, or 44,460 fish/ha. Fingerling channel catfish with average initial weight of 48 g/fish were stocked into 30, 0.04 ha ponds. Five ponds were randomly allotted for each fish meal level ´ stocking density combination. Fish were fed once daily to satiation for two growing seasons. There was a significant interaction between stocking density and fish meal for net production; net production increased in fish fed a diet containing fish meal compared with those fed an all-plant diet at the highest stocking density, but not at the two lower stocking densities. Net production of fish fed diets with and without fish meal increased as stocking density increased. Viewing the main effect means, weight gain decreased and FCR increased for fish stocked at the two highest densities, and survival was significantly lower at the highest stocking density. Visceral fat decreased in fish at the two highest stocking densities. Body composition data were largely unaffected by experimental treatment except for a reduction in percentage of filet fat in fish at the highest stocking density, and fish that were fed diets containing fish meal had a lower percentage of fillet protein and a higher percentage of fillet fat. It appears that at stocking densities two to three times higher than generally used, animal protein (fish meal) may be beneficial in the diet of channel catfish. In regard to stocking densities, high stocking results in higher overall production, but the average fish size decreased as stocking density increases.