Ways to Preserve Fish Feed From Spoilage
Considering the high cost of grains used in fish feed production it becomes imperative to carefully preserve the little we have to avoid spoilage.
The continuous increase in the price of foreign fish feed is becoming unbearable for farmers. Hence, the interest in locally manufactured feed.
Insecurity and killing of farmers in most villages in Nigeria contribute to a large extent to the inflation and scarcity of food in the country. As a result of the inflation, so many fish farmers have closed down.
In this post, we will learn the possible ways to store our locally-made fish feed to avoid damage. As it stands now, any farmer who wishes to make a profit must learn how to produce his own feed to remain in the business.
Factors Contributing to Feed Spoilage
Feeding takes about 70% of the expenses in aquaculture operations. Therefore, it is essential that its effectiveness isn’t impaired by careless handling after manufacturing, especially as a result of improper storage.
Factors such as but not limited to, rain, insects, high temperature, direct sunlight, fungi, fire incident, and theft contribute to losses in the quality and quantity of feeds.
In view of the foregoing, it’s important that feeds be properly handled to avoid getting spoilt before they are used.
Ways to Preserve Fish Feed
To preserve the fish feed to last long, the following guidelines should be adhered to:
- Store in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place. A proper, well-insulated, and secure building should be provided for storage. Care should be taken to make sure that rain and surface water does not enter the room.
- Create ventilation points but not windows. The ventilation points should be low on the side facing prevailing winds and high on the other side. All entry points should be meshed to stop entry by rodents and other pests.
- For the vitamins not to deteriorate with time, the bags of feed should not be kept for more than two months. Ideally, feeds should be purchased, delivered and utilized on a monthly basis.
- Feeds should not be stacked above five bags high. The stacks should be placed far away from the walls. This ensures adequate air circulation between feed bags to take care of consistent moisture and temperature levels. Large stacks of luggage cause heat generation with other consequential adverse effects.
- It is preferable to keep feeds on wooden pellets, not on the concrete floor. Concrete surfaces, being usually cooler than the encompassing air, cause moisture within the feed to migrate to the cool area. Part of the feed that’s in touch with the concrete floor or wall will accumulate moisture which encourages the growth of mold and spoilage.
- Avoid storing them in direct sunlight. Temperature changes within the feed between day and night encourage spoilage. Sunlight also affects vitamin and lipid quality adversely.
Other Methods That Could Help
In addition to the above;
- The feed store must be kept clean. Floors and walls should be regularly swept. Spilled material must be removed and therefore the contents of broken bags should be used first.
- The first in, first out principle must be applied, that’s the oldest stocks should be used first. The spoiled or expired feed should, however not be used.
- Staff shouldn’t be allowed to eat, sleep or smoke within the store. Strict stock control rules must be practiced.
Fish farming is an interesting business with lots of advantages. The greater percentage of the expenditures in the business goes to feeding. Therefore, it becomes imperative for fish farmers to learn how to produce and store their own locally-made feed. By doing so, profit would be maximized
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