The four basic things you need to grow you catfish are good breed, clean water, proper aeration and the most important proper feeding. There are many ways to feed your catfish. Proper feeding reduces the growth time increases your profit and saves valuable time.
Fish farmers adapt different ways to grow their fish stock for maximum yield. Listed below are different techniques fish farmers can use to feed their stock.
Type of fish food
The type and quality of fish food dictates the pace your fish grows. The quality of the feed is usually evident from the color, texture and composition.
Well blended fish food is either light brownish/brown and has a fine texture. The composition of the feed is clearly written on a label on the bag.
Fish feed that float and contain no feed debris are usually fine quality. In Nigeria there are about two local producers that meet this criteria.
Most fish vendors import feed from China, Europe and Israel which are all good quality feed.
Local fish feeds
Local fish feeds although not properly blended have some value. Fish farmers have discovered that feeding their stock local feed works best when the fish are almost fully grown.
The feed are formulated by individual fish food makers and add weight to the fish. Feeding your fish exclusively on local feed will not give you your desired result.
Local feed are heavy and sink and they dirty the water quickly. Therefore, feed your stock moderate amounts and use better feed concentrates to grow them.
You can also use addition sources of feed like organ meat which should be processed well before introducing such meals to the fish.
Duration of feeding
The duration of feeding your catfish is very important to get the best results. Feed you catfish only what they can eat and not more. This reduces wastage, and dirty water while lowering you overhead costs.
When feeding your stock don’t pour the feed arbitrarily but observe their behavior. Catfish can binge eat or pick their food depending on their constitution.
After harvesting your fish those that remain lose appetite but regain them in a couple of days. Some eat and circle back to the food, while feeding watch until every bit is consumed before you stop.
It is better to feed them twice daily in the morning and evening. Some fish farmers try to feed thrice but this is unnecessary and would not have any additional impact.
There are two ways to feed your catfish either by mechanized feeding or hand feeding. Mechanized feeding uses an auto feeder set to dispense feed and certain times of the day.
Hand feed is the main way most farmers use to feed their stock. The reason is it allows stricter control and allows the farmer observe the health and behavior of his stock
Two techniques used to feed the fish by hand are spay-feeding and point feeding. Spay feeding is when the fish farmer spreads the fish food over the surface of the pond.
Spay feeding works so-long the farmer does not over feed and waste food. My favorite and most effective method is point feeding.
Point feeding is when you feed your stock at a particular point in the pond. The catfish becomes attuned to eating at that point and they all converge to eat any time there is food.
Only feed them what they want to eat when they stop feed that’s a signal to stop the process.
How to maximize your yield through feeding
1 Feed your catfish well formulated feed
2 Add substitute feeds occasionally
3 Get the duration between feeding right
4 Avoid over feeding
5 Use either point feeding or spay feeding.