Well this depends on how busy you are if you are the one feeding the catfishes yourself. However, feeding them three times in a day is ideal. Create a feeding time for them and adhere to it. In any case, if it will be anything less, feeding them less than 2 times a day will not bring out the best in them.
So, in a nutshell, feed them for a minimum of 2-3 times per day and expect a better result but be careful not to overfeed or polute their water along the process.
That is why it is very important for you to know at what point to stop feeding your catfishes to avoid feed wastage or water pollution which will inturn harm your fishes.
How to Know When to Stop Feeding Your Catfishes
Knowing when to stop feeding is something the inexperienced catfish farmer has to deal with; it took me months to know when my catfishes are well-fed, and I only truly mastered this after around a year.
Knowing when your catfishes are okay becomes a bit tricky once you switch to spot feeding, but you don’t have much to worry about.
If using floating feed, try to avoid having excess feed on the surface of the water; carefully observe your fishes to see what will satiate them.
If floating feed must remain on the water, it should be something that the fishes can finish within 5 minutes of you stopping their feeding; anything more is potentially a waste.
For sinking feed, carefully observe the response of your fishes; they will eat excitedly while their reaction reduces as they start to get satiated, but it’s safe to stop if you can barely see them pop their heads out of the water to eat.
If you stocked 1,000 fishes into a pond and can only see 5 – 10 fishes eating after awhile, it is safe to stop; with sinking feed, anything more could be a waste.
Catfish feed requires certain nutrients that will help the farmer optimize the growth as well as increase the profit on their catfish farming business. Below are the 4 classes of nutrients, in order of importance, essential in any feed formulation:
- Protein: This class of nutrient is required for building body tissue and replacement of damaged tissue. It contains physiological molecules such as hormones and enzymes. It can be obtained from plants and animals.
- Energy (Carbohydrate): This nutrition provides the energy needed for catfishes. Grains of cereals and cassavas are the major source of this nutrient.
- Vitamins and minerals: Growth, health, and body process are controlled by this class of nutrition. For example, organic and inorganic chemicals are found in vitamin and minerals.
- Fat: Fat contains vital fatty acids and also enhances energy delivery in feed.
There is a need to understand nutritional contents of available feed ingredients so as to understand and select appropriately ingredients that will meet the nutritional needs of your catfish. Each class of nutrition is analyzed separately below:
Nutritional Level of Animal Proteins
|Animal Protein||Energy Level (mj/kg)||Crude Protein (%)||Fats (%)||Calcium/Phosphorus (%)||Methionine (%)||Lysine (%)|
|Meat meal||11.2||50 – 51||10||8||0.7||2.6|
|Blood meal||15.2||88 – 90||1||0.4||0.6||7.1|
|Feather meal||13.7||80 – 85||7||0.4||0.6||2.3|
|Poultry meal||13.1||60 – 64||13||2.0||1||3.1|
|Fish meal||5||55 – 75||3||1.0||1.5||2|
Nutritional Level of Plant Proteins
|Plant Protein||Protein (%)||Energy (cal/kg)||Calcium (%)||Lysine (%)||Methionine (%)|
|Soybeans meal||44 – 48||2557||0.20||3.2||1.4|
|Cottonseed meal||40 – 41||2350||0.66||4.2||1.4|
|Sunflower Meal||46 – 47||2205||0.30||3.5||2.3|
|GNC||45.6 – 61.8||3860||1.7||3.2||1.0|
Nutritional Level of Energy Base Ingredients
|Ingredients||Protein (%)||Energy (cal/kg)||Calcium (%)||Lysine (%)|
|Maize||8 – 11||3200||0.5||0.27|
From the nutritional table of certain feed ingredients, a sample of simple catfish feed formula can be generated thus:
|Maize/Wheat/Cassava Flour (any of the three)||25kg|
|Soya/Sunflower/Cotton seed (Soya preferred)||30kg|
|GNC/Benseed (either of the two)||20kg|
|Fish meal (72%)||10|
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