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Abstract

Limited information is available on digestibility of nutrients in various practical ingredients used in diets for commercially important finfish species, such as hybrid striped bass. This information is especially needed for sunshine bass, Morone chrysops ×M. saxatilis, to improve least-cost diet formulations and to allow effective substitution of feedstuffs. A study was conducted with large (867 g) sunshine bass to determine the apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for moisture, protein, lipid, and organic matter (OM) in a variety of ingredients in floating, extrusion-processed, diets. The practical ingredients tested were menhaden (MEN) fish meal (FM), anchovy (ANCH) FM, pet-food grade poultry by-product meal, feed-grade poultry by-product meal, dehulled soybean meal (SBM), and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Test diets consisted of a 70:30 mixture of reference diet to test ingredient with chromic oxide (1.0%) as the inert marker. Reference and test diet ingredients were mixed and extruded on a Wenger X85 single-screw extruder to produce floating pellets. The digestibility trials were conducted in twelve 1200-L circular tanks. Diets were randomly assigned to tanks of 30 sunshine bass and were fed once daily to satiation. Protein digestibility coefficients were significantly (< 0.05) different among test ingredients and ranged from 86.42% for MEN to 64.94% for DDGS. Lipid ADCs were significantly different (< 0.05) among test ingredients and ranged from 92.14% for MEN to 57.11% for SBM. OM ADCs were significantly different (< 0.05) among test ingredients and ranged from 89.41% for MEN to 16.94% for DDGS. This information will assist in the formulation of more efficient, economical diets for sunshine bass.