How to know which Feed to use for your Catfish.

Catfish farming is here to stay in Nigeria. More and more people keep plugging in every day. A crucial decision to be made is knowing the best fish feed to rear your catfish.

Fish feed in this business takes up over 70 percent on a well-planned catfish fish farm. I use well planned because some fish farms in Nigeria spend much more on their production expense. Thereby increasing unnecessarily the costs of power, staffing and other activities on the farm.

Check here for things you should look out for before you start your fish farm. After then you must make decisions on the type of fish feed you want to use on your farm.

After many people do their accounting and find out that the bulk of their production expense go into the feed for the catfish, the realisation that one has to keep his Feed budget as low as possible dawns.

Questions then start flying, which feed is the best for me to use? Which catfish feed do you use? How can I get it? Which feed is the best? This one is expensive etc. but are those the questions they should be asking?

 

Some ground rules…

1. Garbage in, garbage out

Yes, fish eat anything, but they don’t eat anything to grow the way you expect them to grow in your business. If you feed them rubbish, expect rubbish as a result.

2. F.c.r

F.c.r is an acronym for feed conversion ratio. It is actually the underlying mark of profitability of a Farm. It is the signal of the efficiency of fish.  What quantity of feed do you need to give the fish to give you a certain weight? It is important that you understand this squarely and keep the records. Here is a more comprehensive article on how to calculate the fcr of fish on your farm.

3. Price of fish feed

Some are more expensive than others. Do they offer the same results? Is there a comparative advantage? For instance, if I use a feed of 900n per kg with a result of 1.2 f.c.r that means it costs 1.2 of 900n that is 1080n to get 1 kg of fish. What if I use a feed of 400n per kg with an f.c.r of 2? That means I would use 2 of 400n which is 800n to get 1kg of fish, though with a little more time. Now, which one is really better or more profitable? The 1080 or the 800? Which would you choose?

Types of Feed in Nigeria

Currently, In Nigeria, there are different options for fish feed available. I would group these into 3 classes. Most of the feeds are in 15kg bags.

1. Imported fish feed

knowing the best fish feed to use to rear your catfish 1
knowing the best fish feed to use to rear your catfish 2

These are the likes of Skretting (Durante) fish feed, Coppens fish feed, Aller Aqua fish feed.

2. Nigerian Made

Nationwide popular brands e.g Bluecrown, Ecofloat, Vital fish feed, Top fish feed, Aqualis fish feed, Blue Crown fish feed, Skretting sinking feed (25kg bag), Ace feed, Mogbams feed and Vision Fish feed.

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best fish feed

3. Indigenous and self-formulated fish feeds in local feed mills

These are feeds made by the end users themselves by going to a local feed mill to have them formulated with their formula’s.

knowing the best fish feed to rear your catfish 4
knowing the best fish feed to rear your catfish 5

 

 

CURRENT FISH FEED PRICES

As of 10th of Jan 2022, the prices of these feeds were obtained from a local shop nearby. Note that all these prices are for the same 15kg bag of feed.

Skretting 2mm-14,000 (933 per kg)

Coppens 2mm-15600 (1040 per kg)

Chi 2mm- 13800 (920 per kg)

Vital Feed 2mm-12500 (833 per Kg)

Aqualis 2mm-NA

BlueCrown 2mm-10500 (703 per Kg)

Indigenous and self-made feeds are made based on the individual’s formulas or combination of feed materials. They range from an average of 400n/kg to 500/kg. Most of the local feed made sink when introduced to water. Some indigenous feed mills now make local floating feeds though.

4 Steps to the Decision

Some questions you must ask yourself are-

1. How much is the price of fish right now? How much is fish being sold in my area right now? Let us assume a year-round average price of a kg of fish as N900.

2. The world acknowledged f.c.r of fish is 1:1 (I haven’t seen that in my several years of fish farming in Nigeria). A more realistic f.c.r that takes into account for mortality and other factors is 1.2-1.3. That means you feed the fishes 1.3 kg of feed to have them grow to 1 kg of flesh. (You must understand the concept of f.c.r to make this decision- click here for a better explanation on f.c.r).

3. So if the price of fish is N900 as we postulated and you aim to have a profit of 20% on your fish business ( I know consultants have told you how profitable fish farm is and how you can make millions off just 1000 fishes but just stick with my ‘low’ markup for now), that means the total cost of your feed, fish (juvenile or fingerling purchase- check here on how to stock the best fingerlings) and other expense must not be more than N780 per 1kg fish so that N120 would be your profit per fish.

4. You then have to multiply all those feed prices per kg quoted earlier by the f.c.r that you think you would get on your farm. This would help you to know the actual price per kg it would cost you to raise fish on your farm using each of the feeds.

It is Ultimately your Decision!

Which one of them do you think you can make a decent profit with?

Now you see why people are keeping off imported feeds? It is not just a patriotic concept, but also the only profitable concept.

All the best with your choice of feeds. Let me give you this free tip. Watch this video that I did to help you make this choice. How to make your feed choice.

Note this article represents Akinfish’s personal opinion and is not targeted at marketing or downgrading any product or feed brand- you can speak to me for ideas or counsel on 08161385163.

On youtube, I share helpful tips from my farm on how to make your fish farm more successful, click here 

Please leave your thoughts, comments or questions in the comment section, I would love to respond!

I wish us all profits on our fish farms!

Showemimo Akinbowale,

@akinfish

52 thoughts on “How to know which Feed to use for your Catfish.”

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  3. Mohammed Konneh

    Hi Mr. Akinbowale,
    I am a prospective catfish farmer who is about to start a fish farming with my friend who is presently into the business as my mentor has been encouraging me to start off immediately despite my meager amount.
    I do not know which type of feeds you think I can begin with since I haven’t started because I do not want to buy the poor quality type and thereby to begin to regret. Though my friend is truly set to give me the moral support in coaching me regarding the juvenile type to buy and how and when to change the water. I am really starting at a very low scale regarding finance which is forcing me to start with renting ponds since I do not have one of my own.

  4. Hi, nice analysis , you have really throw more light on things people should know.what are the parameter of calculating the guantity of feed the fish need to consume in a day?

  5. thanks for your super write up. I really appreciate it.

    But then … I noticed that all the click here has been deactivated.

  6. I am a complete novice and about to venture into fish business. A deep insight in both the kind of fingerlings and best feed in growth and cost wise will be greatly appreciated please.07037695884 is my number and am based in Minna Niger State at the moment, don’t mind relocating though for my business to trough. l equally would love it you through more light on one that’s more profitable as regards sales whether export or saling locally and the best method for either of them.Thanks as l await your reply sir.

  7. Good day!
    I am currently operating two ponds using two different feeds on them.
    Pond 1, using Aller Aqua (3mm)
    Pond 2, Skretting (3mm), now i would like to switch to local feeds i need an advise on which to go for.
    Thnx and God bless
    Tony.

  8. Good day!
    I am currently operating two ponds using two different feeds on them.
    Pond 1, using Aller Aqua (3mm)
    Pond 2, Skretting (3mm), now i would like to switch to local feeds i need an advise on which to go for.
    Thnx and God bless
    Tony.

  9. Balogun Olayinka

    I’m a beginner in catfish business, based in Agbara, Lagos State. I’m hoping to start at the end of the Month May. So I’ve been reading through your articles and following your page on IG and it has been really helpful.

        1. That is interesting. Decide which of the feeds you want to be a distributor of, look for their address in your state, go and visit and find out their terms. I wish you all the best.

      1. Great. I came to start a farm in Agbaara just last week. We came to a place called Medina Trailer Park. I wish you all the best in your fish farming endeavour.

  10. Nurudeen Mohammed Dahiru

    I’m into fish farming but will want to grow it to become a standard farm, just bought a 4 hectares of land, I want to build a 100,000 thousand capacity of ponds, how do I go about it, if you can help let’s talk, my number 08033609184

  11. Ecofloat and Bluecrown have the same manufacturer, but the prices of the same size vary. How will using Ecofloiat, the one with low price affect the growth of my fish.

    1. Good question ! I think seeing the price difference, if the results are good, one would afffect the profitability of your farm. Or what do you think ?

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  16. Ogunbodede Samuel

    Hi,i just want to venture into fish farming,catfish to be precise.But i want to know the price of fingerlings.

  17. Thank you sir for your wonderful advice on the fish feeds. I have 500 catfish and the rate at which the eat is alarming, am a beginner, I don’t know if am overfeeding them because they just keep on eating leaving nothing on the surface. Which feed should I use for them because of cost, I started with Skretting, changed to Ecofloat and now am on Topfeed, just concerned about the growth of the fishes and my profit too. Thank you

    1. Well done Taiwo. You are on the right path already. The made in NIgeria feeds you are already using are one of the best in the indusrty. I highly recommend that you contine using them, looking for something cheaper might cost you more in the long run.

  18. Hello Mr Akinbowale, I’m actually new into this catfish farming business and have started feeding the fishes since about 5month ago, funny enough the fishes are not growing to my expectations despite how much they eat. I’ll be glad if you can setup a appointment for advice on that and also a good food recommendation. Hope to hear back from you as soon as possible. Thanks

    1. Hello, call me on 08161385163, however my best advice would be to dispose of that batch of fish, either eat them or something and start afresh. They have lost the best time for them to grow.

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