Growth Performance of Nile Tilapia (oreochromis niloticus) Fed on Diets Containing Cricket (acheta domesticus) Meal in Kenya
Wangure, Mwangi Jane
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Aquaculture sector continues to grow leading to increased demand for fishmeal (FM). The most preferred and nutritionally superior but costly protein source of fish diets. An affordable and readily available protein source is desirable to reduce the over-reliance on FM, and insects have been proposed to be a good alternative. A six months experiment was conducted to determine the effect of replacing FM with cricket meal (CM) on the growth performance, survival and economic performance of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Five (5) iso-nitrogenous diets (35% CP) were formulated with various substitution levels of CM for FM; T1 (0%), T2 (25%), T3 (50%), T4 (75%) and T5 (100%). Four hundred and fifty (450) male Nile tilapia fingerlings weighing 30 ±5 g were randomly distributed into 5 groups each with 30 fingerlings per hapa in 3 replicates in a completely randomised design (CRD). The fingerlings were initially fed at 8% body weight (BW) and at 3% BW after they attained an average of 50g BW. Feeding was at 0900hrs and 1500hrs daily with biweekly measurements of weights for 22 weeks. Mortality was also recorded. Data was recorded in Microsoft excel® before being subjected to ANOVA using SPSS 23.0 and significant means separated using LSD at P <0.05. Average weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and survival rates (SR) were determined. Fish fed on T2 were larger (199.97 g) (p<0.05) than those on T1 (169.86 g), T3 (164.64 g), T4 (151.60 g) and T5 (147.56 g). Feed Convrrsion Rate was better in fish fed on T2 (2.07) compared with other treatments (TI=2.70, T3=2.72, T4=2.84, T5=2.77). There was high SR of the fish in all treatments (T1=96.7%, T2=97.8%, T3=97.8%, T4=96.7%, and T5=97.8%), indicating that CM in fish diets had no adverse effect on fish survival. Replacing FM with 25% CM gave the lowest Incidence Cost (IC) of 169.0 compared with the other treatments and also had the highest Profit Index (PI) of 1.77. To conclude, CM can replace FM as an alternative protein source profitably without any nutritional defect and therefore can be used at 25% in formulation of Nile tilapia fish diets.