Evaluation of Various Feeding Regimens in a Multiple-Batch Cropping System of Channel Catfish Production
North American Journal of Aquaculture
A 4-year pond study was conducted to compare net production, feed conversion, processing yield, and body composition of channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus that were fed once daily, fed every other day (EOD) to satiation, or fed an amount not exceeding 110 kg ha À1 d À1 in a multiple-batch cropping system. The greatest amount of feed administered was observed for the daily satiation group, followed by the 110-kg ha À1 d À1 group and the EOD group (P 0.05). Net production of fish fed daily to
... iation did not significantly differ from that of fish fed up to 110 kg ha À1 d À1 , but that of fish fed daily (satiation or 110 kg/ha) was significantly higher than that of fish fed EOD to satiation. Feed conversion ratio was significantly lower in fish fed up to 110 kg ha À1 d À1 or EOD to satiation than that of fish fed daily to satiation. Carcass, fillet, and total meat yields did not differ among feeding regimens. Fish fed EOD to satiation had lower fillet fat and higher fillet moisture than fish fed daily to satiation. Feed restriction to no more than 110 kg ha À1 d À1 did not significantly affect fillet composition of channel catfish compared with fish fed daily to satiation. It appears that limiting the feeding rate to 110 kg ha À1 d À1 at a stocking density of 14,830 fish/ha would improve feed efficiency without causing significant reduction in weight gain, net production, or processing yield and would thus increase farm profits. Feeding channel catfish EOD to satiation may be acceptable as a short-term strategy when economic conditions justify it. However, it may not be economical for the long term because of lower production, increased length of the production cycle, and reduced processing yield.