Feedback: What to keep in mind on making best fish feeds

Saturday October 15 2016

Feeding fish in a pond.

Feeding fish in a pond. Omena, ‘ochonga’ and shells are sufficient protein-rich ingredients which can be used in fish feeds formulation. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAKING FISH FEEDS
I keep fish in a fish cage in Siaya County, Yimbo West, Got Agulu sub location. I feed my fish on mash and palettes, which I buy from manufacturers.

However, in our area, we have a lot of omena, ‘ochonga’ and shells which I am told is part of raw materials for manufacturing feeds. Therefore, kindly assist me with the formula on how I can make my own feeds.

Thomas Taka
Talking of omena and shells in the region being in plenty indicates that there are sufficient protein ingredients, which can be used in fish feeds formulation.

My take will be that you start right away, by buying or collecting the omena, ‘ochonga’ and shells and grind/mill them. Take the grounded mash and mix with other ingredients like rice bran, wheat bran, maize jam and sunflower.

Learn about the Pearson square method to mix and formulate the food. This, however, may require an intervention of feed expert or further training.

Alex Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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I NEED TRAINING ON FISH FARMING
I would wish to attend an informative course on fish farming. Please help me.
D N Nyamu

CoELIB section at Egerton University offers short courses in fish farming depending on demand. Please keep in touch with our website and magazines to know when the courses are advertised.

Alex Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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Fish farmers harvest fish in Narok.

Fish farmers harvest fish in Narok. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

FISH IN KINANGOP

Can fish do well in Kinangop? I was thinking of keeping catfish or tilapia?

King’ori Samuel

Both species mentioned above will work well in the area, but catfish will thrive better.

If resources allow you can have a small greenhouse structure or greenhouse caps over the ponds to regulate the water temperature and minimise the risks of temperature dropping.

Alex Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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AQUAPONICS FARMING
I have several bathtubs that I want to use in starting aquaponics farming to farm vegetables and fish.

Where can get the expertise to set it up?

Katheru, Meru County

Aquaponics is an interesting venture involving the integration of crop farming into aquaculture with an intention of conserving water and maximum recovery of nutrients from water coming out of the fish tank.

Putting up such a system will require fish rearing tank, in this case you have bath tubs. Depending on the number of the bathtubs you have, you can convert some into growing bed for aquaponics plants by filling them with media into which plants are grown.

Alternatively you can have a pump to get water into pipes, which are filled with soils for plant growth. For more information reach me on 0716921364.

Alex Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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BUILDING A SMALL DAM
Kindly advise on how to construct a small dam for farming with a capacity of 80,000 litres.    
John

The 80,000 litres can be converted to 80m3 volume, which can be constructed by having a dam of 4m×2m×1m (length×width×height). You can opt to construct a raised tank that will cost you up to Sh60,000 depending on the cost of off-cuts in your region.

The most expensive part of the tank is the dam liner that can cost you up to Sh10,000. You can alternatively excavate a pool of the above dimension into which a dam liner is fitted.

The latter option is relatively cheaper and will cost you Sh20,000 to Sh30,000 depending on the labour charges in your region. For more information, reach me on 0716921364.

Alex Akidiva,
Department of Biological Sciences, Egerton University.

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CROSSING GOATS
I am a farmer from Magadi, Kajiado County.

Currently, I have a herd of Galla goats and Small East African breed. I am interested in Savannah and Boer goats to crossbreed with my Galla goats, where can I get the two breeds in Kenya or in East Africa?

Saruni ole Oloishorua

The most common goat breeds are the Galla, Small East African and their crosses. For other breeds like Boer, individual farmers and cooperatives have gone as far as importing from South Africa but this might not be cost-effective.

Reach government institutions such as KALRO Naivasha and Egerton University for this breed.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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WHERE TO GET LANDRACE PIGS

I am interested in rearing Landrace pigs in Kakamega but I can’t find them. Kindly help.

Adinda joseph

The two most reared pig breeds in Kenya are the Large White and Landrace. However, small-scale farmers make the majority who keep them, which complicates sourcing them.

A farmer attends to her pigs in her farm.

A farmer attends to her pigs in her farm. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Companies like Farmers Choice are well networked throughout the country, including Kakamega. They not only source for live pigs for slaughter, but also help farmers’ access services across the pig value chain. Linkages and sourcing for breeds are no exception.

Felix Akatch Opinya,
Department of Animal Science, Egerton University.

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PLANTING ONIONS: THE BREAKDOWN

I am looking for the breakdown of costs of planting onions on one acre in Narok.

Farmer

According to the National Farmers Information Service, if you want plant hybrid onions on an acre, you will get 20,000kg in three months and a kilo of onions goes for Sh40. Minus from the income an average production cost of Sh150,000.

Carol Mutua,

Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University.