CAT FISH FARMING FOR NEWBIES
As a complete greenhorn in catfish farming in a society where access to basic information is as difficult as raising startup funds here are the basics:
- It will be a plus for you to take necessary steps in terms of feasibility studies, business plan and other basics before you start
- Decide as to which route to take in terms of pond type – earthen or concrete pond. Eaten ponds are certainly better and more economical to run if you have access to land that can hold water long enough for such venture.
- No matter the number of fishes you intend to start with, you must have a minimum of 3 or more ponds in order to give room for sorting of the fish. This is because as they grow their sizes vary, so allowing them all to be in same pond means providing opportunity for the bigger ones to cannibalize on the smaller fishes thereby affecting the economic growth of the farm.
- Ensure that you purchase good quality fingerlings (call them baby fish if you like). Before you buy the fingerlings ask around especially those already doing well in fish farming business to avoid costly mistakes.
- Like most livestock businesses, start small and grow from there. As a result, no matter how deep your pocket is, please don’t start with fifty thousand worth or more fingerlings if you have never done this before unless you already have a fish feed outlet before starting the farm. In that case you already have some sort of idea, so you’re no longer a greenhorn in the business.
- Introducing the fish newly to the pond especially concrete pond again has to be done carefully. If it is a brand new pond, people use different materials to wash them before introducing fish to avoid careless loss of your highly priced fingerlings. Ask the supplier of the fingerlings for advice on what to do in such situations.
- Make sure you have the right size of feed ready before you introduce the fish to the pond so that you start feeding them at the appropriate time.
- Feeding the fish is another confusing area for some new entrants to catfish farming. It is amusing to sometimes hear people say that fish never get fully fed so there is no point giving them so much feed. As a result, those who hold this view simply ration their fish feed and this at the end causing the fishes not to grow well. The inevitable happens in situations like that at the end of the day.
- The reality is that for you to get good result, you have to feed the fishes well and change the water accordingly.
- Each time you go to feed the fishes, try to establish a feeding point for them. The feeding point could be at the centre of the pond or by any side of the pond. Once you throw the feed at that point, you will see them scrambling for the feed at first. As you throw more feed at same spot, you notice at some point that some of the fishes are no longer interested in feeding more. And that is when you will see those fishes already well fed leaving the spot. At a point, none will pick the feed anymore.
If you’re new in fish farming, try this and share your experience here with us.