Dietary Protein Level Affects Compensatory Growth  and Feed Efficiency in Milkfish Chanos chanos Juveniles Under Cyclic Feeding

Marlyn B. Llameg1* and Augusto E. Serrano, Jr.2,3

1Institute of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, Southern Philippines Agri-Business
and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, Davao Occidental, Philippines
2National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology,
University of the Philippines Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo, Philippines
3Institute of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences,
University of the Philippines Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo, Philippines

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



An experiment was conducted to determine whether or not changes in dietary crude protein (CP) level could impact compensatory growth (CG) in milkfish juveniles under short-term fasting and refeeding cycle. Four experimental groups of milkfish were fed diets containing graded levels of CP; 30% CP (C30), 35% CP (C35), 40% CP (C40), and 45% CP (C45) fasted for 2 days and fed for 5 days in one week for a total of 8 weeks.  A fifth diet containing 40% CP continually fed to the fish served as the control treatment (C). After 8 weeks of feeding trial, CG in terms of compensation coefficient calculated in terms of weight gain was observed only in the C40 group (CCWG=1.14). However, CG in terms of total length (CCFTL) was observed in all cycled milkfish with the peak at C40 (CC=1.48). Final weight, final total length, and specific growth rate increased as dietary CP level increased from 30% to 40% and decreased at 45% CP. The CP level that elicited maximum values of these responses was estimated using a quadratic regression analysis to be 38.5%. Results show that when dietary CP level was close to the optimum level of 40%, CG was observed under the cyclic feeding used (2:5).

Key words: coefficient of compensatory growth, optimum dietary protein, refeeding, short-term fasting



Milkfish Chanos chanos (Forsskal, 1775) is one of the most important food fish in Asia particularly Philippines, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Intensification of its culture requires high stocking densities and concomitantly, increased input of formulated feeds as well as increased expenditure on labor cost of feeding the fish. There is a need to reduce these costs to make milkfish culture more profitable at a sustainable level. Wu & Gatlin III (2014) reviewed three approaches used to minimize the protein input to fish without negatively affecting their growth performances. These are (1) reducing the use of protein for energy (2) starvation and subsequent feeding (Heide et al. 2006) that elicits compensatory growth (CG) (termed cyclic feeding), and (3) lastly the use of protein restriction-realimentation (Wu & Dong  2002; Sevgili et al. 2012). . . . . read more


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