Several studies show how feeding yeast culture can improve survivability and feed conversion, leading to more pounds harvested per pond.
The objective for any successful aquaculture operation is to harvest as many pounds of product as efficiently as possible. Critical to the success of this strategy is raising healthy animals that efficiently convert feed to protein. When this goal is achieved, the objective of running a profitable business is achieved as well.
Antibiotics are an important tool to raise healthy animals. Studies show that when fed at therapeutic levels, antibiotics improve survivability and increase the pounds of protein harvested per pond. This benefit alone makes the choice to use antibiotics a profitable decision.
Yet the use of antibiotics, even at low-inclusion therapeutic levels, is a cause of concern for a growing number of consumers. Antibiotic use is being legislated as well, as some global markets have included restrictions that make it difficult or impossible to market protein products from animals that have received antibiotics.
There are alternatives to antibiotics that still enhance survivability. Proper feeding is essential to healthy growth, and the right feeding programme can increase survivability by improving immune function. When the right feed ingredients, delivered in the right form, are efficiently consumed, they are converted into marketable products. Research shows that when yeast culture is included in a feeding programme, both survivability and feed conversion are improved.
Several research studies have been conducted in recent years to determine the benefits of feeding yeast culture to various species.
Burgents, et al. at South Carolina's College of Charleston, US, studied the effects of supplementing yeast in rations fed to Pacific white shrimp to determine its impact on disease resistance.
To ascertain disease resistance, 21 shrimp from each test diet were injected with Vibrio sp. 90-69B3, a gram-negative shrimp pathogen, at one-week intervals. Three independent bacterial challenges were also performed each week.
Results confirmed that adding yeast culture to the diet of white shrimp could improve survivability and disease resistance to bacterial disease challenges.
A study by Dr Zhou, et al. at the Chinese Feed Research Institute of Agricultural Sciences examined the effect of supplementing hybrid tilapia diets with yeast culture as a replacement for antibiotics.
The study tested four diets that were supplemented with the following: 1) no antibiotic or yeast culture; 2) only antibiotic; 3) antibiotic and yeast culture; 4) only yeast culture. Diets were fed for 124 days to 100 fish in each of 12 cages submerged in flow-through ponds.
Mortality was lowest in groups supplemented with yeast culture. In addition, growth performance and feed conversion were highest for the group supplemented with yeast culture compared with the control group and groups supplemented with antibiotic.
Two research trials conducted at South Dakota's Black Hills State University, US, by Drs Durben and Barnes examined the effects of feeding yeast culture to three trout species.
Results showed that trout consuming the yeast culture diet were significantly longer and heavier, had significantly better average gain and feed conversion, and had lower mortality compared with those fed the control diet.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Diamond V.