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One commercial and 4 laboratory prepared extruded, water-stable diets were fed 3 times a week in 1-g portions to juvenile male and female White River crawfish, Procambarus acutus acutus (Girard), for 10 weeks. The. binding material in the laboratory preparation was alginate (Kelgin), whereas that in the commercial preparation was starch. No statistically significant weight differences developed between the groups of crawfish at the end of the 10-week period; all 5 diets were found satisfactory for feeding and maintaining P. acutus acutus in the laboratory, and all test crawfish survived throughout the experimental period. Weight gains were highest in a diet containing 50.5% protein; intermediate in those fed a diet with 46.0% protein; and lowest in those fed diets with 31.7 or 36.3% protein. Crawfish fed the commercial preparation of one of the 46.0% protein diets showed a slightly but not significantly higher weight gain than those fed the laboratory preparation of the diet. In an evaluation of the water stability of 5 commercially prepared animal chow diets and the commercial extruded diet, 2 of the commercial diets disintegrated after one hour exposure in water and the other 3 became bloated after one hour and remained on the surface throughout the 24-hour test. The commercial extruded diet maintained its water stability for the full 24 hours. The commercial preparation of the 46.0% protein diet was successfully used under laboratory conditions for feeding and maintaining the following crawfishes: Cambarellus shufeldtii (Faxon), Cambarus acuminatus Faxon, Orconectes limosus (Rafinesque), O. virilis (Hagen), Procambarus clarkii (Girard), and P. spiculifer (Le conte). In longevity experiments Cambarus diogenes diogenes Girard and Procambarus hinei (Ortmann) now have survived for 8 months on this diet in the laboratory.
Additional Publication Details
Diets, equipment, and techniques for maintaining crawfish in the laboratory