Fish Feed Mills
An important part of aqua farming is choosing a fish feed manufacturer, or manufacturers, to supply the food for your stock. If you’re an established farmer, you most likely already have fish feed mills that you partner with for your fish feed needs. Even if you do have regular feed suppliers, it is still a good idea to take a step back and evaluate the quality, formulation, and nutritional value of the feed you are using.
When evaluating various fish feed mills as potential options for your farm, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Consider bringing in an outside nutritionist.
- Use more than one brand of fish feed.
- Ingredients are important.
- The forms that ingredients take matter.
Consider Bringing in an Outside Nutritionist
It can be very helpful, and is recommended, to bring in an outside nutritionist who can evaluate the ingredients and nutritional value of the feed for your fish rather than using a nutritionist provided by the mill. The reason for this is that a third-party nutritionist won’t be biased towards a particular manufacturer or brand of feed. However, if that’s not an option for you, feed mill-provided nutritionists are a great second option.
Use More Than One Brand of Fish Feed
Sometimes the type or brand can vary based on species, but you also want to diversify your feed supply partnerships just in case something happens in one mill and production is stopped suddenly. Additionally, using several fish feed companies for your farm can allow you to compare the quality of one company’s feed versus another company’s feed. You may find that there is a noticeable difference in fish health or growth rate from one brand to another.
Ingredients are Important
Feed mills are usually proactive about communicating the exact ingredients of a particular feed to the farmer. This is important to know because, for example, if a particular fish feed contains 40% protein, that 40% can be created with many different protein source combinations. Also knowing what ingredients are in your fish feed can be useful if there are changes in fish health or behavior after starting a new type of feed. You can review the ingredients list to see if any of them changed drastically from the last type of feed you used.
The Forms Ingredients Take Matter
Not only are the specific ingredients important, but the forms that the ingredients take within the fish feed are equally important. Just like with humans, fish can digest certain forms of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. better than others. There are also different forms of fish feed, such as mashes, minces, and pellets, that you can choose from depending on your preference and feeding methods on your farm.
The above recommendations serve as a baseline for your farm, but you should also take into account your experience and observations and what has provided the best fish health and growth rate on your farm specifically.
Real-Time Monitoring for Your Aqua Farm
Fish feed is just one important aspect of fish health. Real-time monitoring of dissolved oxygen and temperature levels can produce real results for your aqua farm. With the Aquasend Beacon®, you’ll notice the difference to your bottom line in the first month. Healthier fish, higher yield, lower power and labor costs to grow your business. And your profits. Contact our team today to learn about our try-before-you-buy 30-day free trial.