Are you thinking of Integrated farming system? This article gives you detailed information about the integrated farming system. Let’s start with the Integrated system.
What is Integrated Farming?
Mixed farming of both fishes and livestock like ducks, poultry, cattle, sheep’s, buffalo, rabbits under one roof is called integrated farming. Integrated farming is becoming popular for its maximum output.
One main point that makes integrated farming popular is its by-product utilization. If we go in detail by-product of livestock can be used as input for another farming. For example excreta of hens are used as food for fish farming.
Wetlands and watershed area where farming it doesn’t give good income, this integrated farming can be the best source of income. Livestock farming causes some harm to the environment with its waste, even though the animal waste like excreta is used as manure for fields. So integrated farming gives you best solution where animal excreta can be used as protein food for fishes.
The animal excreta are the best feed of fishes which has a huge demand in the countries like India, Japan, Singapore etc. Integrated fish could be the best idea for the small-scale farmers, demand, and supply of fish and livestock is very promising and can earn you good profits.
Commercial fish farming needs huge feed requirements which cannot be afforded by the small-scale farmers. But when comes to integrated fish farming with livestock and using the livestock excreta could resolve maximum feed requirement of fishes.
Profitable livestock and fish integrated systems
- Poultry and fish integrated farming.
- Pig and fish integrated farming.
- Sheep or goat and fish integrated farming.
- Cattle and fish integrated farming.
- Buffalo and fish integrated farming.
- Pig and fish integrated farming.
Types of Integrated Farming
Duck and Fish farming:
- This is one of best profitable integrated farming done in many countries in Asia. In this farming, the house can be constructed above water so that excreta directly fall in the water or we can make a channel to direct excreta into the pond.
- Fishes eat duck dropping directly or consume spilled food. The dabbling habit in ducks increases the oxygen levels in water. Duck eats all the parasites and mosquito tadpole which lie on the water.
- For commercial duck farming, you can select khaki campell bread that produces a huge number of ducks. For a profitable duck farming, you need 220 to 240 eggs per duck for this on an average of 250 ducks should be farmed in a hectare.
Poultry and fish Integrated farming:
- Poultry excreta is most popular food for fish, which contains highly soluble organic salts, nitrogen, phosphorus. You can raise either broiler or layer bird in integrated farming.
- In a hectare of fish pond 500 to 600 birds and on an average of 60 kg manure is required per day.
Sheep and fish integrated Farming:
- For a hectare of the water pond, you may need 50 to 55 goats or sheep for integrated farming. Sheep or goat manure is a good source of N, P and K. And there is a good market for sheep and goat meat.
Cattle and fish integrated farming:
- This farming is very common, cow dung with paddy husk is mixed and spread on water ponds as food for fishes. Cow dung and buffalo shed is excellent fish feed and serves as a source of plankton growth in the pond. And one hectare of water body needs to just five cattle/buffalos.
Pig and fish integrated farming:
- Pig shed is also best to feed for fishes, you can construct the house on the banks of the water body and direct the waste to the ponds. In some cases, pig excreta is accumulated and fermented and then mixed in the pond.
- The spillover feed and pig excreta are enough for fish farming. Pig excreta is a good source of nitrogen, phosphorous and promotes the fast growth of fingerlings.
- One hectare of water body needs 30 to 40 pigs. This integrated farming will earn you profits when the good pig varieties like large and middle white Yorkshire, Berkshire, Duroc, etc are grown.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Livestock and fish farming:
- The main advantage of integrated farming is the use of livestock farm wastes.
- In this integrated farming livestock waste is converted to rich fish protein.
- Feed waste from livestock manure can us used as a direct feed of fishes.
- Livestock manure helps in the production of planktons that form the feed for fishes in the pond.
- The optimal stocking density of fish species and optimum utilization of manure and lime play major role fish production.
Disadvantages of Integrated livestock and fish farming:
- Over manuring may reduce the water quality.
- Over manuring can reduce the oxygen levels in water that causes mortality in fishes.
- Livestock and fish farming can be extensive, intensive depending on the resources available and investments.
Best fish species for livestock and fish farming
- Fish species that filter water and feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria water are suitable for integrated farming.
- The species of fishes that have a good market and have nature to efficient utilizer of phyto and zooplankton and also with macrophytic feeding are best for integrated farming.
- Fishes are divided into three types depending on their feeding nature:
- Surface feeders.
- Column feeders.
- Bottom feeders.
- Indigenous and exotic species are recommended for integrated fish farming.
- In indigenous species:
- catla is a bottom surface feeder.
- Rohu is omnivorous and column feeder.
- Mrigal and kalabasu are bottom feeders.
- In Exotic species:
- Silver carp a phytoplankton consumer and a column feeder.
- Common carp are omnivorous and a bottom feeder.
- Grass carp is herbivorous cover surface, column and marginal area of feeding zone.
Suitable Housing for livestock and fish integrated farming
- Housing for the livestock should be constructed above the water bodies for main poultry (Hen and ducks) for easy operation of day to day activities. And for cattle, pig, sheep, etc that housing should be near to the pond.
- For duck and fish integrated farming the housing should be constructed above the water so that excreta directly go to water. If the house is constructed near the pond we should make a channel to divert animal waste to the pond.
- But in case of constructing the house on the water, you should control the quantity of manuring in water. As over manuring may harm the fishes. This type of housing on water is suitable for the duck, poultry, cattle.
- And for birds and pigs, you should construct a slatted floor (floor made of wood or bamboo). And you should also construct a channel from the animal shed to pond for mixing animal excreta.
Tips of manage pond in Livestock and fish integrated farming
- The pond should be near flood prone area. The pond should have a constant supply of fresh water throughout the year.
- Seasonal ponds with water for 8 to 9 months are also suitable for this farming.
- Soil should have pH levels between 6.5 to 7.5. In case of insufficient pH, you can add lime to maintain the level.
- Quantity of Lime required is – 2000 kg/ha for 4.0 pH, 1200 kg for 5.1 to 6.0, 1000 kg for 6.1 to 6.5, 400 kg for 6.6 to 7.0 and 200kg/hec for pH 7.1 to 7.5.
- Lime helps in maintaining pH helps levels which increase the capability to kill and decompose parasites. Application of lime should apply in 3 to 4 split doses.
- The pond should be cleaned regularly to remove water plants which prevent sunlight and oxygen circulation in water.
- The weeding can be done regularly. Repeated netting help to remove unwanted fishes. In case killing predatory fish use Mahua.
- Unwanted fishes can also be removed by applying bleaching powder or ammonia etc.
- Stocking time of fish depends upon the climate, area and optimum water level in the pond. June and July are the best suitable months for stocking the fishes. The growth of fish is very low in winter and summer. Water levels go down in winter and summer seasons. Rainy season-best suitable for growth of fishes. So, it advisable to stock fingerlings in the rainy season.
- Fishes are harvested after 12 months of the stocking. In case of seasonal ponds fishes are stocked in April and harvested in December.
- In case of composite fish farming, more than 3 varieties of fishes are stocked depending on availability of fingerlings in the market.
- For integrated livestock and integrated farming, you should stock the fishes depending on feed varieties (Surface, column and bottom feeders).
- For example, Catla, rohu, and mrigal stocked in ration 4:3:3 (3 species) and for 4 species Catla, rohu, mrigal and common crap the ration should 3:3:3:2 and for 6 species ratio should be 1.5:2.0:1.5:1.5:1.5:2.0.
- Catla and silver carp are the surface feeder and their stocking density should not be more than 30 to 35% and for Rohu a column feeder which grown well in ponds with 3 to 4 m water should be stoked at the rate of 15 to 20%. And for Mrigal and common which is a bottom feeder may be 40 to 45%.
- Many studies recommend that 6000 fingerlings /ha for duck and fish farming and 6000 to 7000 fingerlings for integrated and non-integrated pig and fish farming system.
Livestock Manure in Integrated Farming
- Livestock waste has 80% water and 20% matter.
- The cow can produce excreta of 15 to 18 kg dung per day, poultry birds produce 68 kg per day, a pig produces 2.5 kg dung per day approximately. The excreta production depends upon the animal, weight, feed and their body sizes.
- Livestock excreta is a good source of Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and micronutrients. These minerals in excreta make soil fertile.
- N,P and K levels in animals are Sheep/goat- 0.65, 0.50 and 0.03%, in cattle 0.15, 0.01 and 0.05%, in pig 0.60, 0.50 and 0.20%, in poultry 0.76,0.63 and 0.22 % and duck 0.91, 0.38 and 0.37%.