Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. It is the process by which an organism uses food to support its life, just as feeding is very important, the in-take of appropriate nutrients is essential to the growth and continued health of any living organism, and the catfish is no exception.
For catfish farmers to make the most profit out of the fish they produce, they have to ensure that the fishes are well-fed and nurtured as the price of a catfish is calculated per kilogram weight of the fish. Therefore, the formulation of catfish feed is a very important aspect of the business and this will also help the farmer to cut down on their expenses as imported feed always tends to be expensive owing to the cost of importation.
There are some essential nutrient requirements that a catfish needs to help it grow properly and robustly giving the farmer maximum yield in profits, and catfish feed is considered to be of good quality only when it can provide the catfish with these nutrients. There is no single ingredient that contains all the nutrients that the catfish will need for maximum growth, therefore, the catfish feed is a composition of different ingredients with the necessary nutrients.
These different ingredients that make up the catfish feed differ in proportions and the factors that are considered when determining their proportions includes;
- the nutrient required by the catfish,
- availability of the ingredient,
- cost of the ingredient,
- and available methods for processing.
It is important to note that the digestive system of the catfish is short therefore, the ingredients that should be used in their feed should be easily digestible else it would not be useful to them. The nutrients that are essential to the growth of the catfish and should be contained in any formulated feed include:
These can help the catfish in building its body tissue and also help it to replace damaged tissues if there be any. Protein for fish feed can come from blood meal, fish meal, chrysalis meal, silkworm, soybean, rapeseed meal, cottonseed, etc. All of which contain 30% and above protein. Others include corn gluten meal, sesame meal, peanut meal, etc.
These provide the catfish with the required energy. It can be gotten from corn, corn screenings, wheat middling, wheat grain, full cream rice bran, fish oil, animal fat, milo, and other grains.
Vitamins and Minerals:
These contain both organic and inorganic such as calcium, iron, iodine, phosphorus, chemicals, and help the catfish grow, remain healthy, and control the body process. They can be gotten from fish meal, calcium phosphate, eggshell powder, shell powder, and bone meal.
One of the major expenses in any fish farming business is that of fish feed. A formulated catfish feed should contain nutrients that will help the catfish gain weight rapidly and should also be highly efficient and contain a high protein gain and low-fat gain. Amongst our core promises at Indigo Africa, we seek to provide optimally produced catfish feed that is 100% organic, and this is all achieved at an indigenous level; produced within Nigeria. Which makes it affordable enough for smallholder farmers.