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Automation of bullfrog feeding management: raised in cages with feed supply adjustment according to water temperature

Abstract

The project aims to evaluate the productive and economic performance of bullfrog in cages, with automated feed management and adjustment of feed supply according to water temperature. Two experiments will be conducted, one during the summer and another in the winter, with two treatments for automatic adjustment of feed supply according to water temperature, one treatment with automatic feeding without adjustment of feed supply and one more treatment with manual supply of feed. During winter period, the adjustments will be made to water temperatures below 25°C, with reduction of 5% or 10% in feed supply for each 1°C decrease in temperature. For summer period, the adjustments will be made to water temperatures below 25ºC and above 30°C, with reduction of 5% or 10% in the feed supply for each increase or decrease of 1°C in temperature. Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) will be used, with average initial weight of 15g, distributed in 20 cages of 2x2x0,4m with initial density of 160 frogs/m2 and final density of 160 frogs/m2. The cages will be installed in one pond of 2.000 m2 with 5% water renewal. Frogs will be fed daily with commercial extruded diet containing 40% crude protein, with frequency of 96 meals/day at feeding rate of 3% to 5% of body weight during the summer and 2% to 3% of body weight in the winter. Ration will be supplied by automatic feeders controlled by PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), which will correct daily the amount of feed based on daily weight gain. For treatment with manual supply of feed, the frequency will be 4 meals/day. The experiments will last approximately four months during the summer and five months in the winter period. The productive performance will be evaluated by weight gain, feed conversion rate, survival and specific growth rate. Economic evaluation will be calculated by profitability and production leveling point. (AU)

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