Urea in feeds for sea water farmed Atlantic salmon: effect on growth, carcass quality and outbreaks of winter ulcer
Journal : Aquaculture Nutrition , vol. 7 , p. 133–139–7 , 2001
Publisher : Blackwell Publishing
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1353-5773
Electronic : 1365-2095
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 2
DOI : doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2095.20...
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The main objective of the present study was to evaluate whether dietary supplementation of urea might reduce the incidence of winter ulcer in sea water-farmed Atlantic salmon. Salmon destined to be S0 smolt were fed with a urea-supplemented diet (0 or 20 g kg(-1) urea) over an 8-week period prior to sea water transfer and were then fed supplemented diet (0, 5, 10 or 20 g kg(-1) urea) during the first and second winters in the sea. During the first winter positive relationships between dietary urea and plasma urea and between plasma urea and plasma osmolality were observed. Further, plasma osmolality displayed a negative relationship to mortality. Of the salmon that died during the first winter in the sea 90(%) had one or more skin ulcers. Both during the first and second winter there were fewer salmon with ulcer among fish fed with the diets supplemented with urea. Salmon fed with 20 g kg(-1) urea tended to have higher percentage water in the muscle. Mortality and incidence of salmon with ulcer seemed to relate to plasma osmolality amongst fish fed on diets that differed in levels of urea supplementation, suggesting that an osmotic imbalance may contribute to the development of winter ulcer in farmed salmon. Salmon fed with 20 g kg(-1) urea showed significantly greater body weight during the second winter in sea. Fish killed without prior starvation had significantly higher level of muscle urea in the 20 g kg(-1) urea group compared with fish fed with the unsupplemented diet. However, a 13-day starvation period reduced urea content in the muscle to the level of the control. No effects of dietary urea supplementation on the sensory quality of market size Atlantic salmon were observed.