Agriculture is the new oil! I’m sure you will agree with me on that. No matter how bad the economy is, people must consume farm produce (fish, chicken, goat, snail etc.).
The business of agriculture is very broad and if I were to discuss it right now, this post will keep going on. But as you stick with us, you are definitely going to learn a lot about agriculture.
For the purpose of this post, my emphasis will be on catfish farming. It is a very lucrative business if you learn the ropes. It is wise to learn from a professional, otherwise you will end up losing your fishes, don’t be scared, we’ve got you.
Over the past few years, Nigerians have consumed various fish delicacies (catfish pepper soup, grilled, smoked catfish) and are still coming up with various creative methods of using fish. Catfish are being ordered in large quantities, so why don’t you join the trend.
There are several ways of making money from the catfish farming business, in this post, you will learn a few ways to earn money while spending little. It doesn’t matter if you have a fat budget or a lean one, you can start from where you are and get to where you want to be with this business.
One important rule in raising fish is “Protein gives Protein”. Catfish feeds are expensive because it contains high level of protein and this is what your fish needs. You can decide to do local feed formulation, but if it is not proteinous enough, the fishes won’t meet their expected target weight, making farmers to spend more on feeding with poor results. Always ensure your feed contains high protein.
It is also better to start catfish business with juvenile ages because they would have passed through proper time of rearing from the breeder farmer. When you get your juveniles, don’t feed them until 24-28 hours of arrival to your pond so as to reduce the stress and shock from transportation and change of pond.
For the first 6 weeks, feed your catfish with the best feed, this will enable them grow fast, the growth index of catfish at the first 6 weeks is very important because it will determine how big your catfish harvest will be, and the bigger the fishes, definitely the better.
Now, most people forget this vital information. Have a feeding site. You must have a particular place where you feed your fishes, most farmers make the mistake of spreading feeds across the entire pond, this leads to feed wastages and water pollution because the fishes won’t be able to locate most of the feeds, making them not to grow as expected.
Here is another idea, pass electric bulbs through your pond, about 80cm high. You may be wondering, what do fishes need light for? Switch on the bulbs at night to attract insects that will be eaten by your fishes.
At the 7th week, reduce the catfish pelleted feed intake by 50% and supplement with maggot. Yes! Maggot. Maggot contains high protein and is good for fishes. You can get maggot from poultry farms or you can culture it.
At the 9th week, further reduce the pelleted feed to 25% and supplement it with condemned poultry eggs. Most hatcheries dispose their unhatched or infertile eggs, while some sell them at cheap prices.
At the 10th week, stop your pelleted feed completely and introduce rejected day old birds from hatcheries or poultry mortality. Rejected day old birds are those with deformity which can’t survive or cannot be market, you can also get it for free or at ridiculously cheap prices. Poultry mortalities are dead birds in the farm, most farms bury or burn their mortalities because it’s a waste to them, but to the catfish farmer, it is feed.
From the 11th week till harvest, feed your fishes with maggot, condemned eggs, rejected birds and mortality. Just give them pelleted feed once in 3 weeks; you will be glad how big your catfish will be.
With this, you spend less and gain even more, and more is definitely good.Farming is not just an occupation, it is a way of life