Feed pea: Excellent protein source for juvenile shrimps

Feed pea: Excellent protein source for juvenile shrimps
by Junelyn S.de la Rosa

There is good news for shrimp farmers who are looking for an alternative protein-rich feed for juvenile shrimps (Penaeus monodon). Scientists have found that feed pea (Pisum sativum) can be a good substitute to the commonly used soybean meal.
Scientists from SEAFDEC in Tigbauan, Ilo-ilo reported that there were no significant differences in the weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ration (FCR), and protein efficiency ratio (PER) of juvenile shrimps that were fed with feed pea at different levels of replacement.

What is feed pea meal?
Feed pea meal is a high energy, medium protein ingredient that has been widely used as a feed ingredient in Europe, Canada, Australia, and the USA. Round-shaped feed pea is an important pulse crop used as a source of carbohydrates, mainly starch and protein, for livestock feeds in these countries.

Feed pea is high in protein at 22-24% making it an ideal substitute for soybean. It also contains digestible energy (DE) of 14.3 kilojoules. Lysine is particularly high at 1.6% or over 7% of protein. Also, feed pea is easily handled, stored, and is processed well in compounded feeds.

At present, feed pea is being used as an ingredient in diets for fishes such as rainbow trout, silver perch, European sea bass, and blue shrimp.

Feeding trials and results
Twelve juvenile shrimps were placed in tanks with a flow-through seawater system. The shrimps were fed with the formulated diets at a daily feeding rate of 20 to 25% of their body weight for 90 days or approximately three months. The shrimps were fed three times a day at 0800, 1300 and 1700 hours. Relevant data were collected everyday. Their weights were recorded every 15 days and the amount of feed was adjusted depending on the shrimps’ weight. The tanks were cleaned everyday before feeding the shrimps. Other data such as water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH were also measured daily in all tanks.

Results of the experiment showed that feed pea is an ideal substitute for soybean as a protein source for formulated diets of juvenile shrimps. Based on results of the biological analysis, feed pea was utilized effectively by the shrimps for their growth and development. Scientists said that these results are excellent news for shrimp farmers and entrepreneurs who are looking for a cheaper protein alternative for their juvenile shrimps. More importantly, the scientists are optimistic that a cheaper alternative could translate into more profit for the average shrimp farmer.

Source: “Utilization of feed pea (Pisum sativum) meal as protein source in practical diets for juvenile tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon)” 2003 by Myrna Bautista-Teruel and Perla Eusebio of the Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Tigbauan Ilo-ilo and Timothy Welsh of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, United States of America.

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