FCR means “Feed Conversion Ratio”. And this is the life of any catfish grow-out farm. This is very important for you to manage and monitor. It shows how your fishes manage and convert the feed that you give them.
Remember, that I always stated that a good fish farm uses about 70% of its total expenses on feeding. So, the feed that they get must be well converted into flesh. The fish must grow bigger because you are giving them the feed. So if a bag of feed is 15kg in weight that means there is 15kg of feed inside this bag of feed. If I stock 1000 juveniles, and at purchase, the whole 1000 fishes weigh 1kg, that means one fish at that time of stocking weighed 1gram. After using a 15kg (15000 grams) bag of feed for three weeks and I take the weight again, by that time, I expect that the weight of feed fed to the fishes must have been converted to add weight to the fishes. Thus, the 15kg fed to the fishes should have increased the fish’s weight by a particular amount of (x) kg.
How does this translate to us in Nigeria?
By international food and dietary recommendations, the FCR of fishes is supposed to be 1:1. This means that when one kg of feed is fed, 1kg of flesh should be gained. However, in Nigeria, due to many factors such as overstocking and unclean water, it is more realistic for a farmer to use 1.2kg or 1.4kg feed for a weight gain of 1kg (1.2:1 to 1.4:1 FCR). This can also help calculate profitability. So if I feed 15kg of feed, I am expecting the fishes to have grown to 12kg. When I weigh them after three weeks, they should have grown by 12kg. Thus, if I want to raise my fish to 1000kg (1t), I should be planning to buy about 1300kg (1.3t) of feed using an FCR conversion rate of 1.3:1.
A question to be asked is “How much did I buy the feed at 500 nairas per kg?” That is 7, 500 nairas for a 15 kg bag. So, to raise 1 kg of fish, it will cost me 500 naira times 1.3(FCR) and that is 6, 500 naira. But if I bought the same feed at 300 nairas per kg, then that’s 1.3 of that. Therefore you can know the profitability of your fish business. That is how to calculate the FCR of your fish.
Please feel free to call me for any other questions as you start your farm. I pray your fish farm succeeds. Thank you.