How to Feed Catfish

Catfish is a fierce carnivorous fish, wild state to prey on various fish and shrimp and aquatic insects for a living, in the process of domestication, food habit can be changed, and artificial formula feed is the main factor. Catfish has cannibalism phenomenon, so farmers should pay attention to the feeding techniques in the different breeding period, to ensure that the increase of economic benefits.

catfish fry

  1. Parent fish breeding is a very important link in artificial breeding, it directly affects the development and reproductive performance of catfish’sex gland. There are two kind of catfish breeding bait, live bait and artificial combination feed. For wild catfish, because their diet is difficult to change in a short time, should be based on live bait, like feeding carp, crucian carp, loach, small fish, livestock and poultry offal and so on, feed once a week. For artificial breeding of catfish, farmers can use a special compound feed, the content of protein in feed should be about 52%. In the parent fish breeding period, it is better to use artificial combination feed and live bait alternately feeding, the effect is better.
  2. During the period of fry culture: the newly hatched fish are entirely dependent on their own yolk, in 2 days or so, the yolk begins to slowly disappear and the larvae are able to swim normally at the lower level. The started feed of fry can be boiled egg yolk or small cladocera and copepods. Cook the eggs well, wrap the egg yolk with gauze, squeeze the egg yolk in the water dish, so as to form a slurry of egg yolk, then splash to full pool. As the fish grow up, the feed can be daphnia, chironomid larvae, tubificidae, maggots and a variety of other small fry, or dried silkworm chrysalis meal, coagulated pig blood used as a food item, man-made fish feed. The best feeding amount should show a small surplus in pond before the next feeding, it is possible to avoid the cannibalism between fish fry because of insufficient feeding. Biological bait should be sterilized strictly before using, after cleaning the biological bait, soaked it in  3% salt solution or 0.5ppm solution for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Fingerling rearing period: catfish change experienced by eating live bait for food to eating artificial diets, in this period catfish cannibalism is most serious, so farmers should feed enough catfish favorite feed. When catfish up to 5cm, it need to be feed artificial food, the basic ingredients are fish meal, dried silkworm chrysalis meal, pig blood powder, yeast powder, cake and wheat, the phagostimulant can be surimi, comminuted shrimp, crab, and animal liver. After 7-12 days, feed twice or three times a day, the feeding amount was 15% – 20% of fish weight. When 70% of the fingerlings were able to feed the artificial diet, the feed do not need live bait, farms can feed artificial diet twice daily. Compound feed ingredients: 42% ~ 48% crude protein, 8% ~ 10% crude fat, 25% ~ 30%sugar, 6% ~ 8% crude fiber, add a certain amount of vitamins and inorganic salts.catfish fingerling
  4. Adult catfish breeding period: the main feed is artificial diets, required 36%~42% crud protein. The particle diameter is 3 mm to 5 mm.
  • Under the conditions of pond culture, adult catfish feed can refer to the following formula: 25% fish meal, 18% peanut powder, 5% yeast powder, 1.1% fish oil, 10.4% corn powder, 2% compound amino acid, 2.5% premix. In the process, attention should be paid that the raw materials are crushed as much as possible, and the adhesive has good quality, to ensure that the feed particles are not loose in water for about 1 hours, and improve feed utilization.
  • In the cage culture conditions, for catfish is demersal fish, do not like to go up and snatch, while like to move around the box and the four box corners, so feed station must be set up. Generally, there is one water table per 10 square meters, hanging in the box for 20 cm to 30 cm from the bottom. When feeding, the feed was sprinkled on the surface of the feed table, and was swallowed by catfish in the process of gradual falling. When catfish length goes 5 cm to 10 cm, the feeding rate is 8%~10% of its weight, daily 3 to 4 times. When the total length is between 10 cm and 13 cm, the feeding rate is 4%~6% of its weight, daily twice to three times. When the total length is more than 23 centimeters, the feeding rate is 1%~3% of its weight, daily once to three times. The last time of daily feeding can be arranged at around 10 p.m..

Catfish in paddy farming conditions, can be fed wild fish or cheap low value fish. These small wild fish can be minced with meat mincing machine, mixed with other plant feed and flour. It is convenient and affordable, as well can meet the nutritional needs of small scale catfish culture. If the rice breeding scale is large, the artificial compound feed should be fed.

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