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12 May, 2008

Shrimp Feeding Management Program – Background

Shrimp as a living creature, in its life need food as a source of energy and nutrients needed to conduct its activities that include growth and reproduction what its did. In its natural habitat there is an open water, a necessary food source of shrimp have been available by itself on the conditions related to existing patterns of food chain in these waters.

Availability of feed in open water allows the shrimp to choose and find food sources they need without the limited space and time, while the shrimp are farmed in a pond has no other alternative in choosing and finding sources of food because its space and habitat is limited by the plot of a pond. This situation led the shrimps in a condition of dependence on supply of feed from outside environment, since the availability of natural feed in the waters are dwindling with size increasing of the shrimps and even at a specified time these natural food will run out.

In intensive shrimp farming pattern, dependence on the supply of shrimp feed from outside environment will be higher due to its relatively high density, the natural food availability in the pond water will be discharged sooner and in a condition like this will increase the occurrence of shrimp cannibalism process in pond. Feeding activity of shrimp in ponds with intensive patterns very determine a success of shrimp farming both technically and financially of cultivation. Fundamentally, this activity should be based on nature and behavior of shrimps in relation to feeding habits and foods habits of the shrimp itself to conducted feeding was appropriate activities and measurable targets in terms of both time and shrimp need level.

Feeding habits can be interpreted as eating habits of the shrimp that includes how, time, area and level of feed requirements based on their natural habits, which will further be described as below, there are:
  1. Methods. The shrimps in its activities in search of food more relies odor stimuli than his eyesight, because as biota that live in the bottom waters with level of low intensity of the sun will be more functional sense of smell than vision. The shrimps are usually interested in food source with fishy and sting smell were identified through the senses of smell and the antenna / antennae that function as tactile.

  2. Time. As described in the foregoing discussion that the shrimp are nocturnal and negative phototaxis biota, which means the shrimps more likely to actively feed at night than during the day.

  3. Area. Based on the area / habitat the shrimps are demersal and benthic that life and tends to run in waters bottom . This nature are conditioned shrimp to find food sources also in the waters bottom .

  4. Need Level. Shrimp in life cycle has a fluctuated feed demand rate especially in matters relating to age, type of food and appetite. Shrimp at dispersive age (fries), tends to depend on natural food that formed zooplankton and other microorganisms that are available in the waters. In the shrimp that are experiencing molting process, their appetite tends to drop dramatically, but on the contrary after the process molting finished, the shrimps appetite will increase and tend to be greedy again.
Food habits can be interpreted as the eating habits of shrimps in terms of usual type of food that is consumed shrimp. In the natural habitat, shrimp is an omnivorous waters biota but are more dominant in carnivorous direction. This character make the shrimp as biota that take all kinds of food resources in these waters, but have a tendency as an animal eater. One of fundamental characteristic owned by the shrimp the cannibalistic there is shrimp prey on others who are in weak condition and as scavengers of other waters biota. In the pond waters, the shrimp have a tendency choosing natural food compared with artificial feed, while in the waters of the natural feed availability for the shrimp is still insufficient.

Physiologically, parameters are closely related to feeding habit and habit food is shrimp digestive organ that has characteristics compared to other organisms, because through this organ can be monitored based on the condition and quality of shrimp appetite. Shrimp digestive organ divides into two major parts:
  1. Intestines which is located at upper back and very clearly visible through visual observation. Through the intestine of shrimp can be identified appetite, feed consumption rate, and type of shrimp feed.

  2. Hepatopancreas that can be identified with hull of shrimp. This is a central organ of the digestive tract of shrimp and is located in the head and in normal condition its formed triangle-shaped and have brownish color. Through visual observation of hepatopancreas identifiable condition and quality of shrimp that are associated with appetite. In certain cases this organ can also be to identify the severity of a problem that infects shrimp.

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