Introduction To Integrated Fish Farming
What is integrated fish farming? well, it is nothing but raising fishes along with other livestock where the manure of livestock is being used for fish food. In this type of fish farming, the fish feed is provided from other livestock litter (manure) either directly or indirectly. As we already know that poultry farming in rural and urban areas is increasing rapidly since poultry has good demand. The best and suitable fishes for integrated fish and poultry farming are those fishes that can filter and feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria from pond water. In integrated fish farming, Catla, Silver carp and Rohu fishes are recommended. Poultry excreta is an excellent feed for fishes. This manure contains highly soluble organic salts, more ‘N’ and ‘P’. You can integrate both broiler, layer or dual-purpose (Like Vanaraja Chicken) chickens in the system. To manage, 1-hectare fish pond 500 to 600 birds and on an average 50 to 60 kg poultry manure is required per day.
Apart from meat and egg production, poultry manure is another source of income for poultry farmers. One can utilize this nutrient-rich manure in aquaculture for better conversion rate than agriculture. Fish ponds can be built along with poultry house/shed for better accessibility of chicken droppings. Integrated fish farming can be carried out with poultry, ducks, piggery, dairy, sericulture, horticulture, agriculture, and mushrooms. However, we will be discussing here fish-cum-poultry farming or Integrated fish and poultry farming.
Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming (Fish-cum-Poultry):
Fish Stocking in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
- You should provide poultry manure in the pond for intense zooplankton development since chicken manure has excellent fertilizer value (nutrients). This manure directly helps for a dense bloom of microalgae.
- The zooplankton comes with extra food supply in the kind of bacteria which flourish on the organic portion of the supplied poultry dung.
- Along with phytoplankton and zooplankton, there’s a high production of detritus at the pond bottom, which provides the substrate for colonization of micro-organisms and other benthic fauna particularly the chironomid larvae.
- Another addition will probably be macro-vegetation feeder grass carp, which, in the absence of macrophytes, could be fed on green cattle fodder is grown on the pond embankments.
- The semi-digested excreta of this fish forms the meals of bottom feeders.
- For manipulation of the above food/feed sources, polyculture of 3 Indian important carps and 3 exotic carps is taken up in fish-cum-poultry ponds.
- The pond should be stocked after the pond water becomes properly detoxified.
- The fish density in the pond may fluctuate from 8000 to 8500 fingerlings per 1-hectare area and a species ratio of 40% top claws, 20% of pillar feeders, 30% base motors and 10 to 20% weedy feeders are recommended for higher fish yields.
- Mixed culture of only Indian significant carps can be taken up using a species ratio of 40 to 45% surface, 25 to 30% pillar and 25 to 30% bottom feeders.
Poultry Litter Use in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
- Once there is enough chicken manure in the poultry house, it can be collected to apply in the fish pond.
- Poultry Manure Recycling Methods in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
- Basically, there are 2 methods of applying chicken droppings are practiced in integrated fish and poultry farming.
- In the first method of manure application, the manure from poultry shed is collected, stored in a safe place before applying it in installments.
- Usually, the manure is applied at the rate of 50 to 60 kg per hectare per day after the sunrise in the morning. when algal bloom appears in the pond, the rate manure application may be changed.
- The second method of manure application involves constructing a poultry house that partially covers the pond and chicken droppings directly accessible to fish culture.
- To cover 1-hectare fish ponds, 500 chickens having weight 450 kg can produce enough manure which is about 25 to 30 Kg/day.
- In case if you don’t have any poultry farm, you directly buy chicken manure from other farms to use in the fish ponds.
- Any aquatic weeds should be provided for the grass carp in the pond.
- The frequent netting should be carried to check the growth of fish. Algal blooms should be controlled in the fish ponds.
- The frequent monitoring of fishes health in the pond is essential.
Poultry Husbandry Practices in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
The egg and meat production in poultry farm depends on many factors such as breed, feed, proper housing, and disease control/health care.
Poultry Birds Housing in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
- In integrated fish and poultry farming, the birds should be kept under an intensive system where these birds are confined to the poultry house/shed only.
- The poultry intensive system can be a cage or deep litter.
- The deep litter system is recommended compared to the cage system due to higher manure/nutrient values in the deep litter method.
- In deep litter method, 250 to 300 chickens should be kept and the house floor should be covered with a litter of 6 to 7 inches such as paddy husk, chopped straw, dry leaves, hay, sawdust, groundnut shells, and broken maize stalk.
- The chickens should be kept over this litter and space of about 3 to 4 square foot/chicken should be provided.
- Make sure the litter on the floor is regularly stirred for good aeration. You can use lime to keep the litter dry and hygienic.
- Usually, in 50 to 60 days, you can expect deep litter, and in about 9 to 10 months time, you can expect fully built up litter. You can provide fertilizer in the fish ponds.
- The birds which are best at large egg laying (in case of layer farming) and or fast body weight gains in case of broilers should be selected in integrated fish and poultry farming.
- The chickens under deep litter system should be fed regularly with balanced nutritious feed as per the body weight and age of birds.
- Grower mash should be provided to the birds in the house during the age of 9 to 20 weeks @ 60 grams to 70 grams per bird per day, whereas layer mash should be provided to the birds above 19 to 20 weeks @ 90 grams to 120 grams per bird per day.
- The feed should be supplied to the birds in feed hoppers in order to avoid wastage and to keep the poultry shed/house in proper hygienic conditions.
Egg Laying in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
- Each pen in of laying birds in the house should be provided with nest boxes for laying eggs.
- Empty kerosene tins make an excellent nest box and 1 nest should be provided for 5 to 6 chickens.
- Usually, the eggs production starts at the age of weeks and then started to decline.
- You can keep the chickens as layer birds up to the age of 1 and a half year. You can expect each bird laying off 200 to 220 eggs/year.
- The egg size depends on the feed and bird age.
Harvesting in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
- You can expect the fishes to attain marketable size within a couple of months after placing them in the pond.
- You can start harvesting or collecting the fish after attaining at least 500 grams above. This all depends on market price and demand of the fish. You can go for partial harvesting of table size fish.
- You need to restock the fish pond with the same fingerlings and numbers as soon as you start partial harvesting.
- Final harvesting should be carried out after 12 to 13 months of rearing.
- You can obtain a fish yield of 3,800 to 4,000 Kg/ha/year with 6 species stocking whereas 2,200 to 2,600 Kg/ha/year with 3 species stocking.
- Chicken eggs should be collected daily in the morning and evening. You obtain about 200 to 220 eggs/year from each bird.
- The birds can be sold after one and half year rearing as the egg-laying capacity of these birds decline after that period.
- Pigs can also be used along with fish and poultry in an integrated system in a 2-tier system. Chicken droppings usually form a direct food source for the piggery, which finally fertilizes the fish pond.
- Based on the fish pond size and fertilizer requirements, this system can be built on the bund dividing 2 fish ponds, the upper panel is occupied by poultry birds and the lower panel is by piggery.
Cost and Profits in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
The following figures do not represent exact values. These are variables can change based on region, market demand, labor cost etc..
Now, let us calculate the Total Cost (Expenditure):
Construction of Fish Pond, Water Supply Channel, Installation of Bore well/Renovation/Lease Amount
- Rs. 2,80,000.
Electricity & Water charges
- Rs. 80,000.
Construction of Poultry Shed ( Rs.2,00,000 for 10 years)
- Rs .20,000.
550 Chicks Birds Cost
- Rs. 20,000.
Poultry Feed Cost (22,500 kg)
- Rs. 2,50,000.
Medicines for Fish & Poultry
- Rs. 75,000.
Fishing, Sale of Poultry Birds & Labor
- Rs. 75,000.
Total Expenditure: Rs. 8,00,000 (Eight lakhs Rupees).
Now, let us calculate the Total Income:
Sale of 6000 KG Fish (Rs.100/kg)
- Rs. 6,00,000.
Sale of 118750 Eggs
- Rs. 4,50,000.
Sale of 500 KG Poultry Birds
- Rs. 1,00,000.
Total Income: Rs. 11,50,000 (Eleven lakhs fifty thousand rupees).
Net Income in Integrated Fish and Poultry Farming:
Net Income = Total Income – Total Expenditure = Rs. 11,50,000 – Rs. 8,00,000 = Rs. 3,50,000.