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Abstract

An experimental ration consisting of 50% full-fat soybeans, heated 170°C, was compared to a commercial trout chow in a 120-day feeding trial using two stocks of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus Rafinesque. Catfish were reared in 0.9 m³ floating cages, with 200 fish per cage, anchored in a 1.5 hectare farm pond. A Central Arkansas stock significantly outperformed a Southeast Arkansas stock for comparisons of net production and food conversion efficiency (FCE), with 92% greater production and 41% better FCE, respectively. Survival was 90% or greater for all fish. There was no significant difference in dress-out weight between the stocks. However, the catfish fed the trout ration had significantly lower amounts of body fat. The commercial trout chow overall was significantly better for fish production than the full-fat soybean ration. Production with trout chow was 84% greater than with the full-fat soybean ration. Food conversion efficiency was nearly 41% better with the trout ration, while percent body fat was 11% less. There were no differences in percent survival and percent dress-out weight between the rations. The Central Arkansas stock fed the commercial trout ration had the lowest production cost of 0.47¢ per 0.45 kg live weight, while the Southeastern stock had a higher production cost with either feed.

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