Floating Catfish Feed Pellet Production in Nigeria

Nigeria is among the largest fish consumers in the world. Fish farming in Nigeria is increasingly becoming a very lucrative business. There are two kinds of fish being commonly cultured: Tilapia and Catfish. The article of Tilapia Pellet Processing have been updated last week, and today catfish farming in Nigeria will show you in detail.



In Nigeria, because of the relative ease of catfish farming, the readily stable markets for catfish, especially as catfish is a treasured delicacy in Nigerian cultures, catfish farming has built a huge followers-base. The market price of African catfish is usually gauged per kg-weight of fish. This price is different in Nigerian different areas. On the average catfish can be sold for N500/kg in Lagos, N650/kg in Makurdi and 750/kg in Abuja. The market for catfish however is not lacking, regardless of geographical location, difference hardly occur in catfish price: which is dependent on the dynamics of demand and supply.

Catfish grown at high densities requires a nutritionally complete feed to produce good growth and maintain good health. Fish feed is the major expense in fish framing. In order to minimize the cost of input, it is wise to produce fish feed instead of buying from the market and a farmer can formulate feed in a very cheaper rate than buying from the market. Quality fish feed can be formulated from the local raw materials, but the problem of instability or non-floatability of these locally produced feed caused farmers to depend on foreign pelleted feeds. Here we will give your the professional knowledge of making local floating catfish feed pellets in Nigeria.

I. Ingredients of Fish Feed


There are main ingredients for producing fish food. For some ingredient not available in the local, you can use the close alternative of equally good nutritional value.
♦ Rice bran
The bran layer and germ of the rice. It is high in fat, which limits its use in catfish feeds.
♦Fish meal
Thought to be the best ingredients, due to its compatibility using the protein requirement of fish. It is produced by cooking fish, rolling and pressing to remove water and oil, and then drying.
♦Soyabean meal
It is a major protein source for commercial catfish feeds in Nigeria, which contains 48% protein. It is high in essential amino acids and it is both digestible and palatable. Please note that it is not the same as the ones consumed by the human beings.
Notice that groundnut cake is cheaper, which can be used to replace a small portion of the soyabean in feed. However, it has low lysine content (an essential amino acid) and is also vulnerable to contamination with the mould Aspergilus flavus which produces aflatoxins. Therefore never use mouldy groundnut cake or other mouldy foods.
♦ Cottonseed meal
It generally contains 41% protein but must not contain less than 36% protein. It is highly palatable to catfish but is deficient in lysine. Cottonseed meal can replace about half the soybean meal in catfish feeds.
♦ Maize
It can be used as the major energy source in feed, forming up to 30% of the total diet. During the extrusion process maize can be cooked, which contributes to the improvement of digestibility.
♦ Groundnut cake
Containing 40% crude protein. Due to the fat content, use no more than 25% in total together with full fat soybean meal.
Other ingredients can also be added for making fish feed, such as wheat offal, vitamins, growth boosters.

II. Simple Feed Formulations for Catfish

Inclusion level (kg/t)
Fry (to 1mm)
Fingerling(to 3mm)
Juvenile(to 5mm)
Grower (to 8mm)
Brood stock (8or 9mm)
Fishmeal (72%)
Soybean meal
Groundnut cake
Total CP(%)
Please note that the premix is assumed to have an inclusion level of 5kg/t.

III. Priority of Extrusion in Fish Feed Production

Fish feed is usually processed by two ways: pelleting or extrusion. To get premium fish feed pellet, extrusion is more popular than pelleting. Here are comparisons between extrusion and pelleting.
● Pellets produced by pelleting sink rapidly when thrown in pond or tank, any raw starch in the diet is left uncooked, pollutes the water in the pond and tendency to crumble, produce much dust and gets wasted due to inability to detect when the fishes are satisfied with feeding.
● Food extrusion is a process in which food ingredients are forced to flow, under conditions of mixing, heating and shear, through a die that forms the ingredients. Extruded floating feeds are favored by farmers in Nigeria because they allow observation of the feeding processing thereby preventing wasteful feeding, facilitates the inactivation and destruction of heat labile anti-nutritional factors and other contaminants and they are extremely stable in water.
Also higher temperatures employed during extrusion cooking facilitate the rupture of the cellulose membrane surrounding the plant cell and individual starch granules of cereal and oilseeds, with consequent starch gelatinization and increased carbohydrate and calorific bioavailability.


IV. Floating Feed Pellet Making
The main process of floating fish feed contains: fish feed grinding→feed mixing→feed extrusion→pellet drying→oil spraying process→pellet cooling and packing.
1. Grinding
Generally mix raw materials together before grinding.
The most common machine for grinding is the hammer mill. The particle size directly effects the efficiency of pellet making. Once feeding into the crushing chamber, materials are smashed under the high-speed rotation of hammers. With the high pressure and rapid-moving of airflow, the smashed raw materials are further reduced into particle size or very small pieces for further processing. There are different capacities of hammer mills for your demands.
Screen sizes recommended are as follows: for 2mm pellets, 0.75mm; for 3-5mm pellets, 1.0mm; for bigger pellets, 1.0-1.25mm.
2. Mixing
Powdery feed materials need to be mixed thoroughly in the mixer to ensure a high-quality of nutritional feed. Meanwhile premixes and other micro ingredients are added and mixed.
We provide feed mixer with a single-shaft and twin-ribbon. It reinforces convection, shearing, and mixing effects and is an essential parts of the whole line.
3. Extrusion



Dry Extrusion                                                Wet Extrusion

Extrusion, including dry extrusion and wet extrusion, is the only known way to make water stable slow sinking or floating feed pellets. The general extrusion process involves a high temperature over a short time. At the same time the material also undergoes relatively high pressure. The pressure difference in the interior of extruder and the external environment will cause the extrusion of the aquatic feed.
Notice: Dry type feed extruder for dry extrusion and wet type feed extruder for wet extrusion.
4. Drying
Fish feed pellets from pellet making machine need to lower high moisture and temperature. So dryer should be equipped in the production line. The best and most gentle drying is obtained with a low temperature dryer, <80℃, and long drying time. Here the multi-layer dryer is recommended for best drying quality.
5. Oil Spraying Process
For acquiring better smell and taste, the oil spraying machine can be used to spraying oil to the surface of fish feed pellets coming out of the dryer. It sprays atomized oil with high speed on the up and down surface of pellets, and the excessive oil can be recycled through filter.
6. Cooling and bagging
By cooling pellets can be harden. Counter flow cooler is cooling type that commonly used in pellet industry currently with the direction of the air and product of pellets in opposing directions.
The fish feed pellets are packaged in bags for further transporting and storage. Here you can opt pellet packing machine which is suitable for weighing and bagging pellets.
The above processes, the main steps of making fish feed pellets, are suitable for other fish feed production. With quality fish feed extruder and right feed formulation, you can make feed pellets your wanted depending on the production procedure.

IV. Conclusion
Catfish farming expansion are held back as private sector fish farmers have faced major constraints including lack of good fingerlings and quality feed. Challenges in making feeds in Nigeria are not in sourcing the ingredient but on the techniques involved in formulation and processing.
For fish formulation, we are glad to help you because we can provide free formula after you make an order. We have help customers successfully formulated a local floating fish feed with local fish feed stuffs found in Nigeria.
Fish feed processed by extrusion are found to exhibit floating characteristics. Extruded feed pellets are more cost efficient, improve quality of ratio and increase profitability for farmers. Great demand for fish feed in fish farming Increased the availability of indigenous feed production.