The reason I started making my own feed was because I wanted to know and control what my fish eat and lower that portion of my overhead.
There are several factors when dealing with making your own feed. Sometimes it is not cost effective for a business to make its own feeds, while some hobbyists will go to any extreme as long as they get results. I classify myself in the second category.
The first factor is to find the diet requirements for the particular species of fish you grow. Try to find out what they eat in the wild, when and how often. Are they plant eaters or carnivores? What is the protein content ratio?
The second thing I look at is maturity. What stage of maturity are these particular fish going through?
And the third question I ask is what season is the feed for?
To make things less artificial and more natural, I also ask what their natural environment is like. What do they like and dislike.
I started out many years ago raising Fancy Guppies and Siamese Fighting fish and supplemented their flake diet with mosquito larva I raised in a tank on the side. Live food always seems to perk them up so I have continued this practice to this day. Today I have a 10 x 20 “bug shed” attached to one of the greenhouses, raising crickets, red wigglers, meal worms, mosquito larva, grubs and black solider fly larva for my chickens and fish as both live and pelleted feed.
To be as sustainable as possible, I do not use wild or farm raised fish to feed my fish. The only way my fish get fed is through recycling of waste from another process. For example: By using aquaponics, I produce about three times more bio matter compared to field/ bed (dirt) raised crops. I divide this into four groups. One goes to compost, another to feed livestock, the third pile is for the insects and lastly a pile to make feed.
I try to follow natures lead and prescribe to her patterns so I use grains more sparingly as a direct feed and instead feed it to the insects that naturally consume them.
So the next thing to consider is what portion of what. After you figure what you want in the feed it is a simple matter to grind you ingredients with a food processor until you have a fine powder. Next is to choose what you want to use as a binder. I use a combination of seaweed and blue-green algae as my binder along with starches that come naturally.
Today I use a commercial bio-matter press to produce my pellets but you can do the same thing in a smaller scale with a spaghetti press.
I hope this interest some of you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I’ll try to respond in a reasonable fashion.
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