Growth Response of Cage-Cultured Channel Catfish Fed Two Commercial Diets

Six cages (1 m3 each) suspended in a Virginia pond were each stocked with 100 channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) fingerlings (127 mm TL, average) to evaluate 2 commercial fish feeds, each replicated 3 times. Both commercial diets were nutritionally complete and expanded 4-mm diameter pellets of comparable texture, color, and water stability. The daily feeding rate was 3% of biomass during the 124-day feeding period. Growth, net production, and feed utilization efficiencies with commercial trout feed were significantly greater than with commercial catfish cage feed. Survival was not influenced by diet type. The observed differences in catfish growth, production, and feed utilization efficiencies were primarily attributed to the higher levels of methionine, lysine, and metabolizable energy in the commercial trout feed.

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