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The effects of every-other-day feeding on the growth performance of yearling stellate sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus

Lane, Christian, Livengood, Elisa J., Miles, Richard D., Chapman, Frank A.
Journal of applied aquaculture 2018 v.30 no.1 pp. 39-46
Acipenser stellatus, body weight, fish meal, growth performance, intestines, natural resources, sturgeon, surface water, yearlings
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a skip-a-day feeding regime on the growth of one-year-old sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus. Sturgeons possess a spiral valve intestine, which slows down the passage of food to longer than 24 hours, providing a scientific justification for the experiment. The experiment had a duration of 12 weeks and consisted of two treatments groups with four replicates each. One group of sturgeons (n = 120) was offered feed every day, on a continuous basis, at 2% of their body weight daily; while a second group of sturgeons (n = 120) were fed every other day, also at 2% of their body weight daily. The sturgeons had an average initial body weight of 178 ± 32 g and measured 44.6 ± 2.9 cm in total length. At the end of the experimental period, all sturgeons were alive, in good health, and no statistically significant differences (P > 0.05) on growth performance indices were detected between sturgeons fed every day and every other day. The average weights and lengths of sturgeons at the end of the trial were 406 ± 96 g and 55.4 ± 4.4 cm. The results of this study suggest that yearling sturgeon may be fed every other day rather than daily. A skip-a-day feeding regime can result in feed savings for a commercial operation, help protect the natural resources such as those for making fish meal, and lessen the impact of excess nutrients in natural bodies of water.