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Purchasing Commercial Fish Feed VS Producing Feed Locally
Purchasing Commercial Fish Feed VS Producing Feed Locally

Current Situation of Commercial Fish Feed
The growing fish farming in the world is creating a demand for fish feed. Complete commercial fish feed supply all the ingredients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals) necessary for the optimal growth and health of the fish. New and balanced commercial diets, in the form of granules or pellets, provide the nutrition in a stable and concentrated form, enabling the fish to feed efficiently and grow to their full potential. Meanwhile they meet the energy requirements of fish, and produce little contamination of tank water. It was reported that fish nutrition has advanced dramatically in recent years with the development of balanced commercial diets that promote optimal fish growth and health.
Therefore, most of the worldwide scale fish farms rely much on artificial fish feed to increase their yield: Large fish farms usually purchase commercial fish feed as bulk feed in truckloads and stored in outside bins; Smaller farms also cannot do without the nutrition supply of quality commercial fish feed. In Bangladesh, fish feed consumption reached 1.1 million tonnes, while shrimp feed consumption was recorded at 350,000 tonnes in 2014. It was estimated to grow at 10-15% in 2015.
Commercial fish feed cost :

fish food

Market research shows that ordinary feed is $742 a ton; the extruded feed is $2938 a ton, among which floating feeds cost an average of 20 percent more than sinking feeds. For small-scale fish farmers in developing nations, rising feed and related costs are often too high to be absorbed into already-thin profit margins.

In Africa, aquaculture develops and grows very fast and there have been a lot of innovations, technological advancement and progress in the areas of genetics, seed propagation, pond construction and farm management in general. However, most fish farmers still rely heavily on imported feed ingredients and fish feeds from European countries, which makes fish farming expensive as fish feed represents 40-50% of the production costs. When faced with an increase in feed costs, some poor farmers may have no other choice than to stop feeding their fish. While others are keeping searching effective methods to reduce their feed cost, such as producing their own fish feed to satisfy the nutrition requirement of the fish. While we have to admit that only very few of them have this awareness. Though the lack of locally produced high-quality fish feed is still one of the major hindrances to the development of aquaculture industry in Africa, because of the demand for affordable, safe and quality fish feed increasing, we believe that locally manufactured fish feed will enhance, improve and sustain aquaculture development in Africa, and leads the African fish farmers out of difficulties.
Locally Manufactured Fish Feed, Its Role and Making Method
Aquaculture profit depends on cutting costs of feed, increasing revenue, improving feed to fish conversion and finding cost effective fish feed. In local fish feed making process, approaches, such as product substitutions through alternative sourcing of feed ingredients, increasing the nutritive content of feed to grow healthier fish and improving locally produced, low-cost feeds by the extrusion process, are taken to cut the cost of raw materials.
Taking tilapia feed manufacturing for example:
Identifying locally available ingredients to formulate tilapia feed that is nutritious but cheaper than existing commercial feeds promises productivity, livelihood, health and environmental benefits, especially by enabling local feed manufacturers.
▼ Low-cost tilapia feed formulated from locally available ingredients should be nutritionally comparable with good quality commercial tilapia feed to maintain productivity.
▼ Rapid and participatory appraisal of local farms, agro-industrial activities and rural markets can often yield suitable ingredients for formulating low-cost tilapia feed. In Bangladesh, such an appraisal identified high-protein ingredients such as mustard oil cake, dried duckweed, poultry viscera, dried animal blood and shrimp-head meal.
▼ Feed preparation on small-scale farms is labor intensive, and feed quality can be compromised by deficiencies of amino acids in some ingredients.
▼ Encouraging micro- and small feed making enterprises that process locally available resources like crop and livestock byproducts has potential for ensuring the supply of low cost tilapia feed without compromising its quality and also generating local employment.
Fish feed making process:
The first thing to make feed by own is that you need purchase a set of fish feed extruder. According to different models, the price range of dry type fish feed extruder machine is $2,000 - 12,000/set, and wet type fish feed extruder need an extra price of boiler. And then is raw material, grain materials employed in fish feed pelletizer are such as wheat, soybean, cake, corn and other leftovers and etc., those cost is less. In addition, the feed need to add a lot of additives, which is as Vitamin A\D\E\K\B1\B2\B6\B12, nicotinic acid, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, VC, and inositol. Mineral like copper, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, iodine and cobalt are necessary. Here is how to get these additives from usual life.
The extract of animal and plant: if you want to increase the food ration and feeding frequency of shrimp, then use earthworms as bait. Because the body fluid of earthworm contains high amino acid, especially with the content of lysine, glycine and histidine. Along with the increase of the amount of earthworms in feed, feeding hobby degree of sturgeon, ricefield eel will gradually increase. Viscera of tuna and squid also contain large amounts of amino acids, taurine and nucleotides, all of then are food attractant.

 

Alkaloids: it is also known as glycine sodium salt, a kind of quaternary ammonium alkaloids. For example, there is sweet and fresh taste in betaine, to stimulate the taste buds of fish. As long as you add 0.1% to 0.3% betaine in feed for fish and shrimp, of all the fish, shrimp and other crustaceans smell and taste have a strong stimulating effect, it is the ideal attractants. In addition, the phagostimulating effect of it also reflected in synergistic effect with some amino acids, the effect is really good.

At present, pond fish culture commonly use high density fine culture model, the production cost is mainly the feed cost, how to reduce the feed cost, is the key to increase the efficiency of pond culture. The same species in different growth stages and different environment have different demand for nutrients, so the farmers should produce suitable particle size according to the main fish feeding habits, individual size, and nutritional requirements. There is one thing I need to mention, puffing pellets produced by the pellet machine above said can float on the water surface without dissolution for over 12 hours.

Last things are electricity and labor, pellets making machine ensures easy operation and reliable performance, high efficiency, low power consumption. Two people is enough for processing, saving the money for the hired workers. Then is the parameters of machine:

Model

Capacity 

Main power 

Feeding power 

Screw diameter 

Cutting power 

AMS-DGP50

0.06-0.08t/h

11kw

0.4kw

φ50mm

0.4kw

AMS-DGP60

0.12-0.15t/h

15kw

0.4kw

φ60mm

0.4kw

AMS-DGP70

0.18-0.25t/h

18.5kw

0.4kw

φ70mm

0.4kw

AMS-DGP80

0.3-0.35t/h

22kw

0.4kw

φ80mm

0.6kw

AMS-DGP90

0.4-0.45t/h

37kw

0.4kw

φ90mm

1.5kw

AMS-DGP120

0.5-0.7t/h

55kw

0.4kw

φ120mm

2.2kw

AMS-DGP135

0.8-1.0t/h

75kw

0.4kw

φ133mm

2.2kw

AMS-DGP160

1.2-1.5t/h

90kw

0.75-1.1kw

φ155mm

3.0kw

AMS-DGP200

1.8-2.0t/h

132kw

1.5kw

φ195mm

3.0-4.0kw

How to choose is very important for farmers, because the proportion of feed in the entire cost of farming is the most important, is the key to obtain the economic benefits of fish farming. It is not difficult to see in this summary of experience that making feed by own is more cost-effective.
 

Extension Reading:
Aquafeed Processing Technology and Equipment
How to identify the best fish feed pellets

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