My Catfish Production; Lessons Learnt

Hello everyone! As promised,these are the possible reasons why my fish farming failed:

  1. Poor performing fingerlings obtained from over used broodstocks
  2. Extreme stress during the first few weeks of growth
  3. Purchasing too large quantity of fingerlings
  4. Use of low quality feeds
  5. Absence of an alternate source of protein
  6. I am not perfect at this!

Some of the Lessons l learnt include:

Obtain hatchery testimonials before purchasing fingerlings; I got the hatchery recommendations I used from a lady who sells livestock feed and drugs, this was not a good idea. From now on before purchasing from a hatchery, I would try to make enquiries from people who have made purchases from them.

Fingerlings should be exposed to as little stress as possible in this first few weeks of growth as they are very fragile and too much stress could affect their growth rate. I wrote in this post of the stress the fingerlings had to go through, due to some negligence on my part.

Purchase as many fishes as you can feed comfortably; it was only after buying 1500 fingerlings, I realized how much feed they could consume, but I was already in it and there was no going back so I had to find a way to manage cash by buying cheaper feeds. I know some farmers use these feeds with optimum results, so it could be in combination with any of the afore-mentioned reasons, however I would NOT be using that feed again plus I will be limiting my purchases going forward to 500-750 fingerlings per batch.

Catfishes do not perform well when they are raised solely on commercial feeds. As they are carnivores by nature, they require an alternate and regular source of animal protein, it could be maggots (fresh or dried), chicken and fish intestines (roasted or cooked), dead animals (roasted or cooked), crayfish fixed in thier feed, these should be fed to them at least once a day or simply raising a poly culture system of catfish and tilapia (the catfish would feed on the tilapia. I’m trying this next!).

Have any other ideas as to why my last fish farming venture failed? Let me know in the comments. See you in my next post!

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THE PERKS OF STUDYING AGRICULTURE

Towards the end of my undergraduate studies, some conversations became popular among me and my friends one of which was what to do next once school finishes. I realized so many of my friends were making plans to either learn a trade, take a professional course, obtain one form of vocational skill or the other. Their options ranged from fashion designing, hair and make up etc. This is because everyone wants to become an entrepreneur because there are no jobs in the country that can cater for the amount of graduates produced yearly (I know we all know this). Each time I heard any of these things I would look at my friends funny, and say to myself after spending so and so number of years in the university, why would you need to spend another so and so number of years to learn another trade? It dawned on me that not once in my life have I had to make such plans, maybe because I’ve always known what I wanted or because after studying agriculture for 5 years (with one year of INTENSE internship training) I feel like I have learnt nearly everything I need to earn a living out of school, or at the very least, the basics. I believe I have learnt the ultimate trade, obtained an indispensable vocational skill ( i.e. the art of providing man with food) I know will never go out of style, well unless science develops a way for us to survive on only water. Lol. But on a more serious note, I think after studying agriculture all you really need is a little bit of start up capital to get your life moving. I know most graduates of agriculture think you need a huge capital + land + labour to do something meaningful in the agricultural sector. But I really don’t think so. Do you have that extra 10 k lying around hit me up I have at least 10 agribusiness ideas that require less than 10 k capital without the need for land or labour. Throw in a free plot of land and you have another 10 business ideas.

At the end of the day I’m really glad I chose to study agriculture and I would do it again if the need arises.

 

Abisola Oladele.