[BLOG] Reducing Catfish Feeding Costs (A Secret Weapon) – Part 2 of 2
By Tayo K. Solagbade
3. Cassava Meal: To Replace Maize
Cassava meal (with its potentially toxis cyanogenic acid content made safe) has been tested and found usable at 30–40% in nutritionally balanced, pelleted diets. It’s high in starch and energy, but low in protein and powdery. Details are available in a 2011 research paper published by I.O. Udoh and U.E. Umoren, both of the University of Calabar. They tested 12 locally available feed as alternatives to traditional carbohydrate, energy and protein sources.
In my opinion however, especially with talk about Cassava bread coming up, I believe Cassava may soon suffer the same fate as Maize.
4. Cultured Daphnia (for catfish fries): To Replace Artemia
Daphnia – commonly called “water fleas” - are tiny high protein crustaceans that proliferate in puddles or stagnant pools. They rarely grow beyond a few millimeters, no matter how well they eat. I once read somewhere that if fish could write, daphnia would be at the top of their grocery list. Based on my personal experience rearing and feeding daphnia to feed my ornamental fish (and also from observing both baby and adult farm catfish feed on them), I could not agree more.
But more seriously, and like I said in my article titled “Producing Good Catfish is Important, But Finding Good Buyers is Imperative!”, catfish farmers can – and should - rear daphnia , especially to SAVE money in feeding their fries. This is better than wasting time and manpower harvesting wild daphnia from roadside gutters - or feeding fries exclusively with expensive Artemia.
I successfully applied what I learnt about rearing daphnia, to the extent that I stopped buying N600 imported fish food twice a month, for ornamental fish I kept in a 2 year old 20 gallon aquarium in 2004. I knew from experience that applying the principles to a larger farm would be a matter of scaling up, and then testing.
When Kenneth, a friend who managed a fish farm visited and saw me siphoning out daphnia from my blooming culturing tanks, he said “Wow, I’m the one who studied Fisheries in the university. I should be doing what you’re doing for my own farm fish!”
That says it all, doesn’t it?
There’s No Need to Re-Invent the Wheel
As a farmer, you must be practical in your thinking, and focus on evolving solutions that work for you. It should be obvious by now that waiting for government can take a while. You can do a lot for yourself in the meantime.
Quite often, you won’t need to re-invent the wheel – there will be ideas you can adapt to suit your needs on offer from others – via research works, website data etc. Click here to browse the resource page which lists URLs of many excellent resources relevant to this article's theme, for different livestock types.
I realize objections will arise about the workability of the ideas advocated here. Indeed, in discussing them in a real life forum with practicing big time farmers, some saw reason, but a few offered experience based arguments against it.
This is why I have written a follow up article subtitled “If Farmers Do Not Have Their Own Laboratories, How Can They Reliably Explore Alternative Feed Ingredients to Use?”
In it, I discuss 2 real-life Nigerian “Success Stories”, and offer suggestions based on them, that you can use to make this “secret weapon” save you REAL money.
To get notified when it’s published online, subscribe to updates on this website.
Self-Development/Performance Enhancement Specialist - Tayo Solagbade - works as a Multipreneur, helping individuals/businesses develop and implement strategies to achieve their goals, faster and more profitably.
As a freelance writer, Tayo’s versatility, and use of in-depth research (on and off the Internet), equip him to quickly produce 100% original - and easy to understand – write-ups. When he's not amazing clients with his superhuman writing skills (wink), Tayo works as the creative force behind the Self-Development Nuggets blog and the Public Speaking IDEAS newsletter.