Prawn Farming and Pond Management

Prawn Farming And Pond Management
Prawn Farming And Pond Management

Have you ever thought of going into Prawn farming but don’t know where to start from? If yes, then you’re lucky to have come across this resource, as we would be discussing Prawn farming and pond management.

However, if you have a little knowledge on Prawn farming, but have few questions to ask about Prawn Culture, then you can read this “FAQs On Freshwater Prawn Farming Business”

Prawn Farming Business

Prawn Farming and Pond Management – Overview

It will interest you to know that there is no special design for prawn ponds.

Prawn pond design is constructed on the basis of physio-economic conditions together with optimum, and displaying of smooth functional works.

The pond water depth is often regulated at 50 to 100 cm height level, whereas the water levels of about 90 cm is highly advised in prawn farming.

However, about 20 to 30 percent (%) of water is changed usually every 7 to 10 days, and in the first thirty (30) days of the cultivation period, ensure to stop any water exchange.

Although, based on the water, deteriorating rate and stocking density, water exchange should be done.

The Oxygen in water levels ought to be highly maintained, more so, the Aeration of water levels is regulated with the use of paddlewheel aerators.

For clarity sake, up to two (2) paddle wheels are needed for a hectare, and the aeration task must to be done four to six (4 -6) hours per day. In addition, few laborers are usually on standby for day-to-day farming operations like monitoring of the quality of water, feed intake, animal health, and soil.

FAQs On Prawn Farming Business
Prawn Farming Business

Additionally, more inexperienced laborers are mostly needed during the period of pond preparation, harvest, and also post-harvest activities on a daily basis.

Generally, several countries practice three (3) modes of prawn farming, and they include:

Extensive Culture (Traditional)

In this mode of prawn culture, the pond might not be in regular shape and size (normally above 1.5 hectares in size). The pond bed must not be leveled, however should be free from tree stumps and/or any other plants.

Generally, Ponds are constructed in such a way that they are filled with gravity flow. Well, in an extensive prawn farms, the stocking density is controlled at one to five (1 – 5) pieces in a square meter, and is incompletely harvested.

Semi-Intensive Culture

In this mode of prawn cultivation, the ponds are usually about one to one and a half hectares in terms of size. The ponds are designed and constructed with dikes (or earth walls) to retain water of 100 to 150 cm deep.

Stocking of animals is carried out at ten to fifteen (10 to 15) prawns per square meter with normally fresh diets, supplementary feeds or both in few situations.

Harvesting is often carried out after 100 to 120 days after stocking is done.

Intensive Culture

In intensive culture of prawns, the ponds are usually smaller in size (about half to one hectare with pond water depth up to 150 to 200 cm deep).

As water aeration plays a vital role, oxygen levels have to be regulated using strong aeration. Furthermore, feeding is done four to six (4 – 6) times daily due to high stocking density of about 30 to 60 prawns in a square meter.

What Is The Cost Of Starting Prawn Farming In A Hectare?

In prawn culture, digging, feeding, and equipment are said to be the key sources of investment, however, the capital investment amount greatly depends on the quantity of seed you plan to culture.

Based on an average calculation, the investment can be anywhere close to ₦2,000,000 to ₦5,000,000 (including seed, equipment, feed, and also medicines).

Note that as a Prawn farmer, you ought to own mandatory equipment such as water aerator sets, generator, and pumps. However, to minimize capital investment, you can get these equipment for lease or rent.

Prawn Culture Business

To break the finances down, It takes about ₦500,000 to ₦1,000,000 to dig and get a hectare pond ready. However, an already constructed prawn pond could aid you in capital investment.

Unfortunately, the core risk factor in the farming of prawns is a virus and WSD, therefore proper pond maintenance, and availability of medicines are of essence.

In terms of sales, the sale price of the harvest depends on the quantity of prawns per kilogram, the smaller the number, the higher the selling price.

Prawn Harvesting and Post-Harvesting

It is important to know that there are two ways of harvesting prawns, and they are;

Culling and Drain harvesting.

Harvesting is done based on animal growth-rate and the market size requirement. More so, In the cull harvesting method, a seine is thrown into the pond to collect prawns that are marketable in size.

The Nets used are usually made of monofilament nylon comprising floaters and sinkers.

Additionally, the size of the seine is 2.5 m high and has a length 1.6 times the actual pond size. It takes about five to six (5-6) skilled laborers to harvest 30 m wide ponds, and up to eight or ten (8 or 10) laborers for a 50 m wide pond.

Whereas, In the drain harvesting method, water is drained via a harvesting sump or sluice gate. Again, adequate care must be taken during the time of harvest, so as not to stress the animals.

Prawn Farming
Prawn Farming

Some of the core stress factors are overcrowding, high temperatures, and oxygen deficiencies.

It’s worth knowing that water is pumped out during the night just before harvesting, and the harvesting should be done preferably in the cool time of the day (early morning).

Furthermore, prawn growth is optimum at summer crop,as it could take about 120 to 150 days to completely harvest. In such period of harvest, the prawn farmer can foresee a harvest of about one to two (1-2) tonne per hectare/crop.

Whereas in winter, the harvest could be just one-tonne per hectare.

Prawn Farming And Pond Management
Prawn Farming And Pond Management

Lastly, soon after harvest is completely carried out, the prawns are then segregated, and further graded based on their size.

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