Are you overfeeding your fish? Talking about FCR, SGR and SFR.

There are many factors that condition the growth of our fish: genetic, environmental, feeding and management model, among others. In order to understand what is happening in our culture, we can rely on some indicators or kpis that will help us to make decisions, but many of us who are at the bottom of the pond do not understand them easily. Today we will talk about FCR, SGR and SFR.

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    Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR)

    The Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) is a measure of the efficiency of fish feeding. It is calculated by dividing the amount of feed consumed by the amount of biomass produced or gained over a period of time. A low FCR indicates that the fish are growing efficiently and that little food is being wasted, to put it simply:

    How much food does your fish need to grow one kilogram?

    • If you give them too much food and they grow too little, the FCR is high – not good!
    • If you give them the right amount of food and they grow a lot, the FCR is low – it’s perfect!
    • The ideal value of FCR is close to 1 or less than 1. Which means that for every gram of food, 1 gram of fish is gained.

    Specific Growth Rate (SGR)

    The Specific Growth Rate (SGR) is a measure of the rate at which fish are growing. It is calculated from the average final and initial weight over a period of time. A high SGR indicates that the fish are growing rapidly.

    How much do your fish grow each day?

    • If they grow a lot, the SGR is high – your fish are fine!
    • If they grow too little, the SGR is low. something needs to be improved!

    The value will depend very much on the species, the phase and the culture conditions. For example in the grow-out phase, a high SGR in tilapia culture is between 3% – 4% per day, in salmon culture a high SGR is between 1.5% and 2.0% per day.

    Specific Feed Rate (SFR)

    The Specific Feeding Rate (SFR) is a measure of the amount of feed the fish consumes in relation to its body weight. It is calculated by dividing the amount of food consumed by the biomass of the fish, to put it simply:

    What percentage of their weight do your fish eat each day?

    • If they eat too much, the SFR is high – watch out for waste!
    • If they eat just the right amount, the SFR is perfect. Your fish are healthy!

    In the fattening phase a usual SFR value in tilapia farming is between 1% and 3%, in salmon the usual value is between 1% and 2%, a value above 3% starts to be considered high.


    FCR, SGR and SFR are correlated with each other. A low CFR is generally associated with a high SGR and a low SFR. This is because fish that convert feed efficiently also tend to grow quickly and eat only what they need.

    Checkout our other post to know how this metrics impact on your money.

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