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Growth, carcass composition and plasma growth hormone levels in cyclically fed rainbow trout

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Growth, body composition and plasma growth hormone levels were recorded weekly for 24 weeks in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Underyearling rainbow trout were individually identified using coded tags and placed on either a cyclic feeding regime of 3 weeks of deprivation followed by 3 weeks of feeding or a daily feeding regime. No significant difference was found in standard length and mass among the cyclically fed and daily fed fish at the end of the experiment. For cyclically fed fish, the absolute specific growth rate and condition factor reached a maximum during the last week of refeeding. Cyclically fed fish had a significantly higher moisture and protein content and lower lipid levels relative to fish fed daily. Absolute mass and fat loss in the deprivation phase of the feeding cycle decreased in intensity with subsequent feeding cycles, indicating that the fish were acclimatizing to the feeding regime. It was proposed that this response was an adaptation against possible adverse effects in the adults (e.g. locomotor performance, bone ossification rates, fat deposition rate, growth rate and age at sexual maturity). Plasma growth hormone concentrations were not affected by cyclic feeding indicating that variations in plasma growth hormone concentration are not the cause of compensatory growth in rainbow trout.

Keywords: compensatory growth; food deprivation; optimum feeding regime; proximate composition; salmonids

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2006


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