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2023 09 Sturgeon Background extended 2

Tailored feed for sturgeon meat & caviar production

Alltech Coppens offers pellet diets, formulated specifically for sturgeon, that support overall health, boost growth potential, and optimize production outcomes.

Sturgeon, often described as “living fossils,” are one of the oldest groups of living vertebrates, with origins up to 150 million years ago. They are known for their relatively slow growth, late maturation, and lifespan of up to 100 years. Despite their reputation as slow growers in the wild, several species do very well under culture conditions.

Sturgeon meat is processed into different end products, ranging from fresh fillets to smoked, frozen or dried products. Meat quality is significantly influenced by nutrition, so feed formulation should be adjusted to the production goal. In most sturgeon species, for example, it’s possible to determine the sex between two and eight years of age, at which point males and females may be separated, with females being grown for caviar production while males are grown for meat.

Nutritional requirements for efficient sturgeon meat production

Meeting the nutritional requirements of sturgeon is very important for growth and reproduction. From first feeding onward, a tailor-made feed with the correct composition of protein, lipids, and vitamin and mineral content should be offered.

For meat production, a high-energy feed should be provided to rapidly increase body weight. In more traditional outdoor ponds or cages, different environmental factors can influence growth performance, so a feed should be offered which performs well under these conditions. At Alltech Coppens, we recommend feeding our Supreme-21, Supreme-22, Intensiv and, when farming conditions are very favorable, Supreme-15.

Intensive farming systems such as RAS offer a more controlled environment where producers can ensure optimal water quality and stocking densities and encourage the best growth rates. For this way of farming, the best option is a highly digestible feed that results in clean culture water. Supreme-10 and Supreme-15 offer these qualities and are the best choice to achieve excellent and consistent results.

Nutritional requirements for efficient caviar production

Growing female sturgeon can be separated into two phases: growth and reproduction. After the females are selected, Supreme-10 is preferred as it promotes lean yet robust specimens without excess fat deposition around the gonads.

After several years, maturation of the gonads takes place, which eventually leads to caviar harvesting. Optimized nutrition is of utmost importance during this stage and significantly influences the quantity and quality of caviar produced.

Several dietary factors enhance caviar quality:

Several dietary factors enhance caviar quality

Alltech Coppens feeds cover all aspects, which will not only support caviar production but enhance sturgeon health overall, including that of bloodstock. Our feed recommendations during the egg development phase are Caviar, Repro and Supreme-10, which all have long and successful track records across a variety of sturgeon species.

Optimized feed formulations to minimize deformities

Sturgeon farming differs from other types of fish farming due to the sturgeon’s unique skeletal structure, which is cartilaginous, lacking bones and scales. As a result, sturgeon are more prone to deformities than most fish are, especially when they grow quickly. In the early days of sturgeon farming in RAS, the fish were often given feeds formulated for bony fishes such as carp and trout, and since these feeds promote more rapid growth than is best for sturgeon, deformity issues were common. A feed specifically formulated for sturgeon maximizes growth rate while minimizing the chance that deformities will arise.

At the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre (ACAC), we’ve conducted extensive research to ensure that our feeds help produce robust sturgeon with strong scutes and without any deformities. We add a specialized nutrient package called the Sturgeon Skeleton Pack (SSP) to all our sturgeon feeds, to support bone and tissue development throughout all life stages. The Sturgeon Skeleton Pack is included in all our Alltech Coppens sturgeon feeds, including Supreme-10 and Supreme-15.

100% sinking feeds

Finally, since sturgeon are bottom feeders, it’s important to offer their feeds on or near the bottom of the pond. From pre-growers onward, our feeds have a 100% sinking rate, ensuring that sturgeon can access the nutrients they need in a way that suits their feeding habits.

Supreme-15 is the best option for meat production.

Supreme-10 (after sexing) is a prime choice to prepare the female sturgeon for good egg development.

All you need to know about sturgeon

Download Sturgeon Species Tool

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