Theses and Dissertations


Name: Manomaitis, Lukas

Degree: MS

Chair: Rouse, D.

Resides: SFAA

University: Auburn University

Location: Auburn

Date: 2001

Pages: 48

Keywords: diet, nutrition, crude protein, juvenile, red claw crayfish, cherax


The crude protein requirement of juvenile red claw crayfish was determined in
two experiments utilizing two age classes. In each of two experiments, 60 juvenile red
claw were taken from separate spawns and grown in individual containers placed in a
semi-recirculating system. The crayfish were fed one of four different diets formulated
for specific crude protein levels.
In Experiment I, newly released (one week post-release) juveniles were fed diets
containing 24, 29, 35 and 40% crude protein. After seven weeks, significant differences
were observed in the absolute and specific growth rates of the juvenile crayfish, and
increasing crude protein in the diet led to greater final weights. From these results the
crude protein level in the diets for one- to eight-week juvenile red claw that produced the
maximum growth was determined to be 35-40%.
In Experiment II, sorted juvenile red claw (approximately nine weeks post- release) were fed 24, 31, 37 and 44% crude protein diets. No significant differences were
observed in the specific growth rate of older juvenile red claw fed these diets over a 10-
week period. These results indicate that crude protein requirements for nine- to nineteen week
juvenile red claw are lower than those at one- to eight-week juvenile red claw, and
that a diet with a crude protein content of 24% is adequate for the older age class.
These results suggest that a higher protein level is required for young juvenile red
claw, and that diets with lower crude protein are sufficient for older red claw. Protein is
usually the most expensive component of feed, so identifying the proper level may reduce
feed costs. This information is especially important for producers raising red claw
juveniles in recirculating systems where protein may also affect water quality.

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