Floating Catfish Feed Pellet Production in Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the top fish consumers in the entire world. Nigerian fish farming is becoming very profitable. Two types of fish are commonly cultured in Nigeria: Catfish and Tilapia. Last week’s update to the article on Tilapia Pellet Processing was completed. Today, you will see how catfish farming in Nigeria is done in detail.

Catfish farming is very popular in Nigeria due to the ease of catfish farming and the stable market for catfish. This is especially true since catfish is a delicacy in Nigerian culture. Market prices for African catfish are usually determined per kilogram of fish. The price of catfish varies in Nigeria. The average catfish price in Nigeria is N500/kg in Lagos and N650/kg Makurdi. In Abuja, it can go for 750/kg. The market for catfish isn’t lacking. However, it is not dependent on geographic location.

To ensure good growth and good health, catfish that are raised in high numbers require a nutritious feed. Fish framing is expensive because fish feed is the main expense. Producing fish feed is a smart way to reduce input costs. Farmers can also make feed at a much lower cost than purchasing it from the markets. Although quality fish feed can be made from local raw materials, the issue of non-floatability or instability of locally produced feed has forced farmers to rely on imported pelleted feeds. We will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to make local floating catfish feed pellets.

Ingredients for Fish Feed

Producing fish food requires a few key ingredients. You can substitute the same nutritional value for an ingredient that is not readily available at your local market if you need it.

Rice bran

The bran layer, and the germ of rice. It’s high in fat, which makes it less suitable for catfish feeds.

Fish meal

It is considered to be one of the finest ingredients due to its compatibility with the protein requirements of fish. It is made by cooking fish and drying it.

Soyabean meal

It is 48% protein and is a major source of protein for commercial catfish feeds. It is rich in essential amino acids, and is easily digestible. It is different from the amino acids that are consumed by humans.

Groundnut cake is cheaper and can be used in place of a small amount of soyabean. It is low in lysine (an essential amino acid), and can be contaminated with Aspergilus flavus, which can cause aflatoxins. Avoid mouldy groundnut cakes and other moldy foods.

Cottonseed meal

It usually contains 41% protein, but it must not contain less that 36% protein. It is very palatable for catfish, but deficient in lysine. About half of the soybean meal can be replaced by cottonseed meal in catfish feeds.


It can be used to provide energy for up to 30% of the diet. Maize can be cooked during extrusion, which improves digestibility.

Groundnut cake

Containing 40% crude protein. Because of the fat content, you should not use more than 25% with full-fat soybean meal.

Fish feed can also include other ingredients such as vitamins, growth boosters, wheat offal, and vitamins.

Making Floating Feed Pellets

The main steps in floating fish feed include: fish feed grinding-feed mixture-feed extrusion, feed drying-oil spraying process and pellet cooling and packing.

1. Grinding

Mix the raw materials before you grind.

Hammer mill is the most popular machine for grinding. The efficiency of pellet production is directly affected by the particle size. Materials are crushed under high-speed rotation by hammers after being fed into the crushing chamber. The high pressure and rapid movement of the airflow reduce the crushed raw materials to smaller pieces or into smaller pieces for further processing. You can choose from a variety of hammermills to meet your needs.

For 2mm pellets, use 0.75mm screen; for 3-5mm pellets use 1.0mm screen; larger pellets should be used with 1.0-1.25mm screen.

2. Mixing

To ensure high-quality nutritional feed, powdery feed materials must be thoroughly mixed in the mixer. Premixes and micro-ingredients are also added to the mixer and mixed.

We offer feed mixers with either a single shaft or twin-ribbon. This mixer is essential for the entire line and enhances convection, shearing and mixing effects.

3. Extrusion

The only way to produce water-stable, slow sinking, or floating feed pellets is through extrusion. Extrusion generally involves high temperatures for a short period of time. The material is also subject to high pressure. The extrusion of aquatic feed will be caused by the pressure difference between the extruder’s interior and the outside environment.

Notice: Dry type fish feed extruder is for dry extrusion, and wet type fish feed exptruder is for wet extrusion.

4. Drying

Pellet making machines for fish feed need to reduce high temperatures and moisture. A dryer must be installed in the production line. A low-temperature dryer (80) and long drying times are the best options for drying. For the best drying results, a multi-layer dryer is recommended.

5. Oil spraying process

The oil spraying machine is used to spray oil on fish feed pellets from the dryer to improve their smell and taste. The machine sprays atomized oil at high speed onto the pellets’ surface. Excess oil can then be recycled by filter.

6. Cooling and bagging

Cooling pellets can make them harder. A counter flow cooler is a cooling device that is commonly used in the pellet industry. It works in opposite directions to the direction of the pellets and the product.

For storage and transport, the fish feed pellets can be packed in bags. You can also find a pellet packing machine that is suitable for bagging and weighing pellets.

These are the key steps in making fish feed pellets. They can also be used for other types of fish feed production. Depending on the production process, you can produce any type of feed pellets with a quality fish feed extruder or right feed formulation.

Priority of extrusion in fish feed production

Two methods are used to make fish feed: extrusion or pelleting. Extrusion is preferred over pelleting to produce premium fish feed pellets. These are some comparisons between extrusion & pelleting.

  • The pellets made by pelleting quickly sink when they are thrown into a pond or tank. Any raw starch left in the diet will pollute the water and cause it to turn to sand.
  • Food extrusion refers to a process where food ingredients are forced into flow under conditions of heating, mixing and shear. The die forms the ingredients. Nigerian farmers love extruded floating feeds because they permit observation of the feeding process, which prevents waste feeding. They also facilitate the inactivation or destruction of heat-labile antinutritional factors.

Higher temperatures used in extrusion cooking allow for the rupture of the cell cellulose membrane and starch granules. This results in starch gelatinization as well as increased carbohydrate, and calorific bioavailability.

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