This study examined the total replacement of fishmeal (FM) with poultry hatchery waste meal (PHWM) in practical diets for African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Five iso-nitrogenous diets containing levels Diet1, 0% (control); Diet 2, 25%; Diet 3, 50%; Diet 4, 75% and Diet 5, 100% of PHWM as a replacement for FM were fed to three replicate groups of African catfish with an initial weight of 5.1±0.01 grams. Diet 5 (100% PHWM) has the best growth performance and feed utilization because it has the highest values in weight gain (1.03) with significant difference (P< 0.05) as well as feed intake (1.49) with significant difference (P< 0.05) and has the best feed conversion ratio (FCR), (1.48) with significant difference (P< 0.05). Relative weight gain (RWG), (12.64) and specific growth rate (SGR), (1.67) were highest in Diet 5 but were not significantly different (P >0.05). And had next to the highest values in PER and NPU. Therefore, PHWM in a proportion of 100% can replace FM totally in African catfish diet without compromising the growth and quality.
The African catfish Clarias gariepinus is a major warm water species in Africa (Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mali and Nigeria) and Asia (Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand) and has been introduced recently in Europe (the Netherland, Germany and Belgium) Latin America (Brazil) (Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, 1997; Ali, 2001). The superior performance of C. gariepinus compared with other Clarias species in terms of growth rate has probably contributed to the fact that C. gariepinus has been widely introduced to areas outside its natural range (Verreth et al., 1993). Fish culture has rapidly intensified in the last few decades, at an average rate of 8-10% per year (Tacon et al., 2011). To sustain this growth in aquaculture, an associated problem is the supply of ingredients to formulate aquatic feeds, and in particular dietary replacements for fishmeal.
African catfish is a suitable alternative to tilapia for subsistence fish farming in Africa and using low-grade feed composed of local agricultural by-products, the yield of catfish from ponds could be as much as 2.5 times higher than those of tilapia (Hogendoorn, 1983). A variety of species of genus Clarias and their hybrids were cultured for reasons of their high growth rate; disease resistance and ability to adapt to high density culture; excellent adaptation to high ambient climate and very efficient feed conversion ratio; ability to mature and remain grand throughout this year in captivity; acceptance of relatively cheap feeds; high fecundity potential for all-year round maturation and induction of final oocyte and high consumers’ acceptance (Viveen et al.,1985).
Fish feeds constitute more than 50% of the production cost in aquaculture (Gabriel et al., 2007). Fishmeal is the most expensive of all the ingredients used in formulation and compounding feeds though it tallies with its quality in terms of having high nutritional composition. A fish farmer’s burden will be lessened when he is provided with an alternative protein source in the fish feed which contains all the nutrients in fishmeal with the same quality; which is cheaper, available in his locality and palatable to the fish.
There are many poultry farms with poultry hatchery or incubators in Benin City, Edo State. These include Zartech Ltd along Sapele road, Ojemai farm along upper Ekenwan road, Igodarun farm by NNPC depot, Ikpoba Hill, etc.
It is palatable to the fish, Clarias gariepinus. Its smell is not offensive. It has a characteristic pleasant smell. Its digestibility is about 65% (Rasool et al., 1999).
Since it is the by-product after saleable chicks have been removed, therefore are very cheap if not free to obtain.
No toxin is present.
I chose poultry hatchery waste meal as the alternative protein source to replace fishmeal in fish (Clarias gariepinus) feeds in my investigation in order to:
- Determine the effect of the various treatments on the growth rate of Clarias gariepinus;
- To compare the utilization of the different feed diets fed to the fish and to indirectly ascertain the proximate analysis of the feed.