A two months feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effect of feeding frequencies (2, 3 and 4 times/day) on growth performance, feed utilization and body composition of Oreochromis shiranus under laboratory conditions. A total of 180 Oreochromis shiranus fingerlings of 9g were stocked in 9 experimental opaque fiberglass tanks of about 150l of water each. The completely randomized design (CRD) was used in this experiment with three treatments of feeding frequency (2, 3 and 4 times a day) replicated three times. Data on live body weight (g), survival rate, Feed intake (FE),Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER),Viscerosomatic (VIS) and Hepatosomatic(HSI) indices were collected and then subjected to statistical analysis, using Analysis of Variance. Results showed that feeding frequency had a significant effect (P< 0.05) on final mean weight. Feeding frequency of 3 times daily had the highest weight gain of 12.153Â±0.661g and differ with feeding frequency of 2 times daily by 24.9 % and feeding frequency of 4 times daily by 33.7%. Similarly Specific Growth Rate (SGR) where feeding frequency of 3 times differ by 19.6 % from feeding frequency of 2 times daily and 27.5% with feeding frequency of 4 times daily. The highest Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) (0.3201Â±0.0178) was obtained at frequency of 3 times. Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) was lowest at frequency of 4 times daily (0.994Â±0.239) and higher in frequency of 2 times daily (1.63425Â±0.246). Survival rate, Viscerosomatic and Hepatosomatic indices were not significantly different among three treatments (P>0.05).These results suggest that Oreochromis shiranus fingerlings fed at frequency of 3 times a day had higher growth as well as higher survival rate. Therefore this study establishes the best optimal feeding frequency for Oreochromis shiranus which will help in decision making on feed to farmers, hence increase growth of Oreochromis shiranus which will help to gain acceptability by farmers.
Keywords: Feeding frequency, Feed utilization, Body composition, Oreochromis shiranus, growth performance