Farming 101Instructional MaterialvaMudhumeni

Catfish feed, management, & harvest

Feed

Feeding is the most important work and cost draining factor in catfish farming

Commonly fed a complete diet which typically comprises of soya, maize, wheat, animal meal(blood, bone, poultry, etc), and a vitamin pre-mix. Feed as instructed by agrovet

To reduce cost, some farmers supplement the feed with

  1. Vegetables
  2. Adding Fertilizer or manure (notably cattle, chicken, or pig manure) to the pond, which increases the production of natural food such as zooplankton, insects, planktonic algae among others

  • If the feeding regimen is done properly, they can reach weights of between 3kg and 4kg within 6 months
  • It is also very important to buy feed from REPUTABLE feed suppliers. You can try feed supply stores such as Pro-feeds.

General Management

  • If you want to reduce cost and save your investment, SORT your catfish. Sort according to sizes so that there is equal competition for food in the respective compartments. If not, the usually few big and aggressive ones will chow the food most of the time while the smaller ones eat less.
  • Come harvest time, only those few ones will have grown to a desirable size while the rest are small. Now you will be running around trying to negotiate lower prices when you should be cashing in that money in all its glory!
  • Farmers who document their fish health have a competitive advantage with customers and regulatory boards. Make sure you create and manage healthy ponds for your fish and record disease outbreaks
  • Ensure disease-free produce by making sure there is no contact between your catfish and potential disease carriers
  • Religiously follow disinfection of work equipment, workers’ boots, clothing, etc.

Harvest

  • Ponds are drained to enable catching the fish easily
  • Ponds MUST be cleaned and dried to make sure some did not escape and hide in the mud at the bottom, as they will feed on the next batch of fingerlings if not taken out.
  • Handling is easy because as long as their skin remains wet, they can stay alive for a number of days after being taken out of water

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