How long does it take to rear catfish in Nigeria?

Big catfish

Now when you ask the question: How long does it take catfish to grow in Nigeria? In Nigeria, the question I would ask you is “Who are you selling your fish to ?”

This is what would answer that ‘How long does it take catfish to grow question. Because fish farming ventures raise their fish for different buyers and they all take different time to attain.

Let me list some fish buyers and sellers and how long it takes for catfish to grow to the sizes.

1. Hatchers

The hatchers are people who produce fingerlings and juveniles.

They buy catfish broodstock. A broodstock is a catfish older than one year.

They mates this male and female broodstock artificially and they sell the fingerlings and juveniles to other farmers.

So if you ask a hatcher how long it takes for catfish to grow for his business, it just takes him four or six weeks or at most two months for him to get his juveniles big enough to sell.

2. Melange Rearers

Another person just wants to buy these juveniles and rare them to mélange.

Melange is catfish that is between 200 to 500 grams.

Some people raise their fishes to this sizes and sell. He probably is selling to smoked fish sellers, (chief of whom are the hausas), they do not want their fish to be too big because the heat wont get into the fishes and they wont dry well. They actually want the fishes to dry perfectly.

And so, within three months of him getting the juveniles, his fish is big enough and he has sold his fish as mélange.

smoked fish processing on farm
smoked fish processing on farm

3. Pepper soup joints

Another person wants to sell to pepper soup joints and these ones would appreciate it if the fishes are slightly bigger than the mélange that is used for smoking.

These fishes are usually between three months 2 weeks to four month 2 weeks old. Anything between 500g to 800g is just ripe for peppersoup joints.

The fish must be big enough to look good in their pepper soup bowl but not too big for the peppersoup to be too expensive for their customers. I’ll just add Market women to this category.

Even though I don’t like selling fish to market women (story of another day). They also don’t want their fishes to be too big. Table size is just right for them. Table size is fish that is between 500-800g, that will take about 4-5 months for you to grow catfish to that size.

4. Interstate buyers

People that come interstate to buy fishes do not like buying small fishes. Their small fishes are 1kg and below. They want their fishes to be 2 or 3kg or more. The bigger the better. This takes about eight months to nine months to raise.

Note: This my time estimates is for the smallest fish in the pond to attain that size, before this times you would probably see 1 or 2 or more fishes in the size already, but since all the fishes are not that size, you cant say all your fishes are that size.

So, when you ask for how long it takes to raise catfish in Nigeria, I ask you for who you want to sell it to ?. ( I hope you understand better now). If you want to raise them for smoking size, that will take about three months. For pepper soup joints, that will take about 4 months. And for table size, that will take 5 months. For interstate buyers, that will take 8 months to 1 year. And there! That’s how long does it take to rear catfish in Nigeria.

If you are just starting your fish farms, I think these are tips you want to look at.

If you want to learn how to pick the best juveniles and fingerlings stock, you should read this.

My name is Akinfish. .

You can also watch this video where I explain how to start your fish farm properly.

I wish you all the best in your fish farm venture.


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