DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION WITH BOILED FLAMBOYANT (Delonix regia) SEED MEAL ENHANCED GROWTH PERFORMANCE, FEED UTILIZATION AND SURVIVAL OF Clarias gariepinus JUVENILES
Keywords:: Flamboyant seed meal, Clarias gariepinus, Groundnut cake, Growth response, Anti-nutrients
Scarcity and escalating costs of conventional fish feed ingredients have continued to necessitate consideration of cheaper and accessible alternatives. An eight-week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of substituting boiled flamboyant (Delonix regia) seed meal (BFSM) for groundnut cake in the diet of Clarias gariepinus juveniles. A total of 360 C. gariepinus juveniles (mean weight; 6.5±0.32 g) were randomly stocked in 18 plastic aquaria (50 × 40 × 40 cm). BFSM replaced groundnut cake at 0 (control), 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% (designated diets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively). Diets and whole-fish carcasses were proximately analyzed using standard procedures. Mean Weight Gain (MWG), Specific Growth Rate (SGR), Feed Intake (FI), Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER), Nitrogen metabolism (NM) and Percentage Survival (PS) were assessed. Data obtained were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics and ANOVA at P≤0.05. Final carcass crude protein (60.2 –62.4%) significantly (p < 0.05) exceeded 57.41% in the pre-experimental fish. Fish placed on Diet 3(40% BFSM supplementation) had the best values (p < 0.05) of MWG (54.75 g), SGR (4.01%/day), FI (71.92 g), FCR (1.31), and NM (1041.45). Growth and feed utilization indices improved up to 40% BFSM supplementation while higher BFSM supplementation (60 – 100%) caused a progressively diminishing trend in the growth and feed utilization indices. This study has demonstrated that a 40% substitution level of boiled flamboyant seed meal for groundnut cake yielded the best growth and feed utilization in C. gariepinus juveniles.