The use of probiotics in shrimp farming

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Shrimp farming is a profitable and productive industry, but production costs are not low. In recent years, the increase in production costs has been one of the factors that has reduced the motivation of farmers. If we can find a way to reduce costs, we will see more and better prosperity in this industry.

Is there a way to reduce costs? Of course, there is. It can always be done.

As mentioned earlier, the main cost of shrimp farming is feed preparation. In any growing season, approximately 60-70% of the costs are spent on feed preparation. The profit of shrimp farming will increase significantly if the cost of feed preparation can be somehow reduced. The use of probiotics is one of the methods that has been noticed in recent years to increase the profit of shrimp farming.

Probiotics were first used in the 1970s to improve the health and growth of livestock and poultry. The positive results of this work led other industries to put the use of probiotics on their agenda.

The use of probiotics in the aquaculture industry has a short history, but their positive effects have caught the attention of breeders in recent years. Probiotics reduce production costs and improve shrimp health. What could be better for the farmer than producing a healthy product for the consumer and making a good profit at the same time?

First, let’s talk about what probiotics are and how they can help reduce shrimp production costs.

Probiotics are microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and yeasts that change the guts microbial population to beneficial microbes and have beneficial effects in the host’s body and environment.

Probiotics are widely used in profitable food industries such as dairy and bread. The aim is to improve the balance and activity of the guts flora.

Probiotics are also used in livestock, poultry and aquaculture in various forms such as powder, capsule, paste or liquid.

What characteristics should a beneficial probiotic have?

A beneficial probiotic is one that

Is not pathogenic;

Improve the immune system;

Is genetically safe;

Resistant to bile acids;

Is not damaged as it passes through the digestive system;

Establish a colony on the intestinal mucosa;

Establish a symbiotic relationship with the host.

What are the benefits of using probiotics in shrimp farming?

The main benefits of using probiotics are to reduce feed conversion ratio (FCR), increase shrimp survival, increase average weight, and contribute to sustainable aquaculture.

-Reduce Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR):

In shrimp farming, the feed conversion ratio or FCR is how many grams of feed are consumed to increase each gram of shrimp body weight.

Since shrimp feed is a high cost to the farmer, reducing the FCR is very important.

The use of probiotics significantly reduces the feed conversion ratio of shrimp. In general, it reduces overall production costs and gives more profit to the farmer.

– Increasing shrimp survival:

Probiotics improve shrimp health and increase survival. Probiotics limit harmful bacteria, boost the shrimp’s immune system and reduce pathogens. As a result, shrimp survival during the growing period is increased. Research has shown that shrimp survival can reach over 95% when probiotics are used at the right levels during the growing season. Increasing shrimp survival and viability increases the value of the harvested product.

-Increasing the average weight of shrimp:

Increasing the average weight of shrimp is another benefit that encourages farmers to use probiotics. Probiotics affect the shrimp’s digestive enzymes, resulting in increased feed intake and better digestion. Increasing the average weight of shrimp increases the final value of the harvest and brings more profit to the farmer.

– Helping sustainable aquaculture:

Disease is a serious problem and a major issue in the shrimp farming industry. The use of chemicals and antibiotics is one of the ways to treat shrimp diseases. As antibiotics have a negative impact on shrimp and the environment, there is a need to replace antibiotics with low risk and safe methods. Probiotics are a suitable and effective alternative to antibiotics. They enhance and improve the health of shrimp but do not pose such a risk to the environment and are considered a suitable solution for achieving sustainable aquaculture.

The use of probiotics in shrimp farming also has other benefits;

Improve pond water quality.

Reduce stress in the shrimp

Reduce environmental pollution

Minimize the use of chemicals and expensive medicines.

Tips for using probiotics

There are several types of probiotics. Probiotics available as food supplements are more effective.

To achieve better results, it is necessary to consume probiotics in the right amount. Overconsumption damages the shrimp’s immune system and leaves adverse effects.

It is recommended to use probiotics from the beginning of the breeding period. This will improve the quality of the pond environment for the shrimp and help them adapt better.

As probiotics help to reduce and control stress in shrimp, it is better to use probiotics during stressful periods such as water changes.

Aeration and proper control of environmental conditions are recommended to increase the effectiveness of probiotics.

Any solution and technology that will ultimately bring more profit to aquaculture farmers will be considered. The use of probiotics is increasing among shrimp farmers for economic and health benefits and is not far from becoming a requirement of shrimp farming.

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