The Development of Small Scale Hapa Culture of Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in Northeastern Thailand II. The Feasibility of Using Low-Cost Compound Feeds
In two experiments, the use of two commercial feeds and six compound diets with rice bran as the bulk ingredient was evaluated for small-scale cage culture of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in northeastern Thailand.
In the first experiment, the cost effectiveness, expressed as feed costs per kg fish produced, of a home-mixed diet (fishmeal 17%, soybean meal 30%, rice bran 53%), was better than that of the tested commercial feeds. It yielded higher returns than a commercial tilapia feed, but less of similar returns than a commercial catfish feed.
The second experiment attempted to decrease feeding costs by reducing the protein levels in the home-mixed diet. At the same time, the effect of partial fishmeal substitution by soybean meal was evaluated. At two levels of dietary protein (23 and 27%), a compound diet of fishmeal and rice bran was compared to a diet in which the fishmeal was partially substituted by soybean meal. Growth and feed conversion between all treatments were not significantly different. Small-scale farmers in northeastern Thailand strongly preferred low-cost feeds. Development of small-scale cage or hapa culture of tilapi there should begin with such feeds, even though less profitable.
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