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Apparent digestibility of alternative plant-protein feedstuffs for channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque)



Menghe Li, National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Mississippi State University, PO Box 197, Stoneville, MS, USA. E-mail:


A study was conducted with channel catfish, Ictalurus puntatus to determine apparent digestibility/availability coefficients of protein, amino acids, lipid and energy for alternative plant-protein feedstuffs: corn gluten feed, corn germ meal, distillers dried grains with solubles, and canola meal, compared with those for soybean meal. A 32%-protein, chemically defined diet containing 8% fish meal was used as the reference diet. Test diets consisted of 70:30 ratio of reference diet to test ingredient with chromic oxide (0.75% of the diet) as an inert indicator. Apparent digestibility/availability coefficients of protein, essential amino acids and energy in alternative protein feedstuffs tested were generally lower than those in soybean meal by channel catfish. Apparent digestibility coefficients of protein ranged from 75 to 87% and those of energy ranged from 52 to 59% for alternative feedstuffs. Lysine in alternative feedstuffs was 67–79%, methionine was 69–85% and cystine was 73–82% available to channel catfish. There were no significant differences in lipid ADCs among test feedstuffs (91.9–96.8%). Results from the present study can be useful in formulating cost-effective catfish feeds using these alternative feedstuffs.