The path of the symbolic fish to the Christmas Eve table – carp farming and breeding in Poland

hodowla karpi

The breeding and rearing of carp(Cyprinus carpio) are areas in which more than 850 Polish fishing farms specialize. The total area of ponds for the production of these fish is 70,000. ha. For years, domestic carp production has fluctuated between 17,000 and 21,000. tons, accounting for more than 20 percent. EU’s overall production. We are not only the largest producer of carp in the EU, but also the largest consumer. The statistical Pole eats 0.5 kg of this fish annually. The holiday season is a time when carp dishes find their way to our tables exceptionally often, and there is no indication that this tradition is about to become a thing of the past.

The three-year carp production cycle – where does it start?

Breeding of carp begins in May or June – taracas approach reproduction when the water temperature remains at 16°C – 18°C. Spawners and roe are kept in small, shallow and abundantly overgrown tanks because carp are phytophilic – they spawn on vegetation. Hatching of fry occurs after 3-6 days. It is moved to transplant one, a shallow pond characterized by very good nutritional conditions. There the young carp spend 5-6 weeks. During this time they feed intensively, so they reach a unit weight of 5-10 g. This produces the summer fry, called July fry.

From July’s to commercial

The lime tree is moved to slightly larger and deeper reservoirs known as the second replant. This is the moment when fish feeding begins. It lasts until the end of September. The carp remain in the second exaggeration until they reach a unit weight of 50-100 g. They are then called fall fry. In autumn or after wintering, in the second year of the production cycle, the fish are moved to crotch ponds. These are much larger and deeper reservoirs than exaggerations. Carp are fed until the end of September.

By this time, they reach a unit body weight of 250-500 g. In the third spring, the crocs are moved to commercial ponds and fed again throughout the summer. In October or November comes the time of trapping. The fish reach commercial sizes, i.e. Their unit weight is 1.5-3.5 kg. After being caught, the commercial fish spend several weeks in fish warehouses, and then in what is known as a “fish storage facility. scrubbers. These are ponds with very good water flow, devoid of vegetation. With this treatment, the carp meat loses its muddy smell and taste.

Diagram of the carp production cycle:

eggs → hatchlings → grayling (summer fry) → autumn fry → croaker → handler

Carp farming and breeding is evolving

Extensive (natural) carp farming and rearing rely on the fact that fish kept in ponds feed exclusively on natural food, plankton and benthos. Due to the limited natural capacity of the pond, fattening in this system involves keeping animals at low stocking densities. As a result, the production yield is relatively low – a maximum of 600 kg/ha, but in most cases it is much lower – 150-350 kg/ha. Nowadays, despite the fact that extensive carp farming and rearing do not require a lot of labor and high investment, most producers of these fish are abandoning it in favor of intensifying production.

How to produce more carp in the same area?

Carp farming and breeding, increasingly resembles industrial fattening of livestock. To achieve high production results, it is necessary to implement work and technological solutions that allow fish to grow at much higher stocking densities than is the case in an extensive system. Fattening carp in high-yield rearing takes many forms. They differ primarily in the level of feeding intensification, which is understood as the ratio of fish weight gain from natural food to gain from feed. In addition, carp rearing and farming can be intensified by: keeping fish in warm water (e.g., in CHP cooling water tanks) or breeding work.

Intensive carp farming and breeding take different forms

  • Semi-intensive (semi-intensive) system is a form considered intermediate between extensive and intensive systems. The production yield in this case is 600-1500 kg/ha, while the level of feeding intensification ranges from 1:1 to 1:4. Natural food is still an important part of a fish’s diet. Carp kept in this production system are mainly fed with cereal grains (e.g., wheat) and pulses (e.g., broad beans). Currently, more than 90 percent. Polish carp producers use this solution.
  • Medium-intensive system – the production yield in this system is 1500-3000 kg/ha. Natural food is only a supplement in the diet of fish, as the level of intensification of nutrition is from 1:5 to 1:10. In addition to cereals and legumes, the carp are fed a complete extruded feed.
  • High-intensive (industrial) system – is a form of production in which the yield is more than 3,000 kg/ha, and natural food is not an important part of the fish’s diet. The carp are fed only complete feeds with a high protein content.

Despite the fact that carp farming and rearing can successfully be extensive, more than 95 percent of Polish producers of these fish have abandoned the natural fattening system in favor of intensifying animal production. Increments of carp in most fish farms remain at 600-1500 kg/ha.

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