Academic article

Genetic variation in feed intake, growth and feed utilization in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Thodesen, Jørn; Gjerde, Bjarne; Grisdale-Helland, Barbara; Storebakken, Trond

Publication details

Journal: Aquaculture, vol. 194, p. 273–281–9, 2001

Publisher: Elsevier

Issue: 3-4

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0044-8486
Electronic: 1873-5622

Open Access: none


Feed intake, growth and feed utilization were studied in 14 full-sib family groups of Atlantic salmon (seven sires, two dams per sire, 30 fish per family), with an average initial body weight of 148 g. Each full-sib family was held in replicate tanks with fresh water for two subsequent 5-week periods. Body weight increased by 12-52%, and the average daily feed intake (DFI), thermal growth coefficient (TGC) and feed efficiency ratio (FER) were 0.33% of BW (CV = 21), 1.08 X 10(-3) (CV = 35) and 1.14 g weight gain/g feed intake (CV = 16), respectively. The effects of family and growth period on DFI, TGC and FER were significant (P < 0.05), with family explaining 31-32% of the variation. FER was positively correlated with TGC (r = 0.79, P < 0.001, n = 28). The salmon consumed an average of 450 g protein (CV = 16) and 22.6 MJ gross energy (CV = 18)/kg gain: 43% of the protein and 31% of the energy were deposited. When calculated per kilogram weight gain, the effects of family were significant for feed consumption and visceral deposition of protein and energy. The results indicate a genetic variation for feed intake, growth and feed utilization in Atlantic salmon. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.