Ben has been to back to where he studied at Sparsholt College to introduce BP Milling to the students before feed trials commence!
Fishery management students at the leading fishery management college, Sparsholt, have been running feed trials with our new cereal blend “BP GOLD” to assess its performance as a grower diet.
The trial will run for 6 weeks in the indoor NATC (National Aquatics Training Centre) facility on Carp between 5 and 15grams. From this we will receive FCR’s (Feed Conversion Rates), the effectiveness of protein utilisation and the cost efficiency the ration.
Whilst our focus will remain on a cost effective food source for conditioning and growing stock in a fishery environment, it will be interesting to see how the ration performs in a controlled environment.
We look forward to working with Sparsholt in the future analysis and development of our formulations, watch this space!
Our pellets are formed through ‘cold pressing’, this ensures that all proteins are un-damaged through the unnecessary and expensive process of excessive heat conditioning prior to pelleting. Our pelleted feeds are formulated to break down fast (typically within 30 minutes) for efficient digestion, but we have products available to lengthen breakdown time if required.
We don't lose any sleep over feeding fast breakdown pellets to fish for a number of reasons:
1. The breakdown of our pellets keep fish grubbing around, lengthening feeding spells which helps to combat silt build-up and prevents weed beds from establishing.
2. As the pellets break down, some flakes of cereal begin to float, suspended in the middle of the water triggering a feeding frenzy that current clients will be familiar with.
3. Our pellets are formulated from home-grown cereals without any fishmeal or high oil levels, so any wastage is organic with minimal environmental impact on water quality
4. In our trials, the fish have normally cleared up the daily ration within a few minutes anyway!
Stocking big fish is always risky, but to stock them and call it "job done" is madness.
A fish of upper 20 or 30lb has had things its way for 8 years or more on a fish farm. Lots of space, food and usually a clean clay pond, so they're used to having their pellet ration presented cleanly infront of them daily.
For example a 30lb fish fed 3% bodyweight/day would be fed around half a kilo/day everyday. Thats 3.5kg a week to feed 1 fish.
So when stocked into a silty lake with the added stress of competition and anglers, and the daily feed ration no longer presented on a clean clay substrate, is there any wonder these fish struggle to hold there weight, and often turn belly up.
You are expecting a huge fish to find 3.5kg/week by digging through the silt to find "naturals" to sustain its bodyweight. And these beasts are capable of eating in excess of 5%/day!!
Thats why smaller fish tend to do better, because in a fish farm you can stock a large number of fish and still keep a healthy biomass in each pond. More fish, therefore more competition for food when fed, so when they're stocked out they are used to searching for grub aggressively.
If your going to stock big, give it to them their way. If you put an obese man out in the jungle, who's had it his way on benefits, would you expect him to thrive?
Ben Pinniger the founder of BP Milling won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the recent Enterprise Wiltshire Awards.
Ben was up against a very strong field but the Judges really liked his hard work ethic and the positive environmental improvements his fish feed provides.
“This is a fantastic achievement for us in our first 12 months of trading and hugely encouraging to have our hard work recognised” said Ben. “It is great to have such an endorsement from Enterprise Wiltshire and I look forward to making the business more successful this year”
In addition to the Award Ben also received a cash prize which he is looking to invest in new production plant to increase his manufacturing capacity. “The recently launched BP Milling website has increased our volume of business and I need to keep my customers happy by producing good quality fish feed so the award was very timely” stated Ben.
BP Milling have made it into the final 3 of the "Enterprising Wiltshire Awards" for the "Young Entrepreneur" category, up against some strong competition, the winner will be announced at the awards on the 20th of March!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients who have supported us in our first year of supply, the feedback has been fantastic and the results are already beginning to show in many of our clients waters! We look forward developing a new product this year and further improving our feed service!