Use of Pelleted Diets in Commercially Farmed Decapods during Juvenile Stages: A Review

Animals (Basel). 2021 Jun 12;11(6):1761. doi: 10.3390/ani11061761.


The increasing market demand for decapods has led to a considerable interest in cultivating decapod species at a larger scale. Following the development of hatchery technologies, most research has focused on the development of formulated feeds for commercially farmed decapods once they enter the juvenile stages. The use of formulated feed for decapods at a commercial scale is still in the early stages. This is probably because of the unique feeding behavior that decapods possess: being robust, slow feeders and bottom dwellers, their feeding preferences change during the transition from pelagic larvae to benthic juveniles as their digestive systems develop and become more complex. The current practice of decapod aquaculture involves the provision of juveniles with food such as natural diet, live feed, and formulated feed. Knowledge of nutrient requirements enables diets to be better formulated. By manipulating the levels of proteins and lipids, a formulated feed can be expected to lead to optimal growth in decapods. At the same time, the pellet's physical characteristics are important factors to be considered upon formulating commercially farmed decapod feeds, considering the unique feeding behavior of the decapod. However, most published studies on decapod nutrition lack data on the physical characteristics of the feed types. Thus, it is difficult to establish a standard feed formulation that focuses on the physical pellet properties. Moreover, careful consideration must be given to the feeding behavior of species, as decapods are known as bottom feeders and are robust in terms of handling feed. Information on the pellet forms, diet composition, and unique feeding behaviors in commercially farmed decapods is gathered to suggest potential better formulated diets that can optimize growth and reproduction. Thus, the purpose of this review is to summarize the information that has been published to date and to come up with suggestions on ways to improve the feed formulation in decapods that comply with their feeding behavior and nutrient requirements. Further research is needed to explore the potential of the pelleted feed at the adult stage so the decapod can take full advantage of the nutrients present in the pellets.

Keywords: feed; feeding behavior; feeding diets; macro-micronutrients; pellet–decapod performances.

Publication types

  • Review