Date of Award

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Freshwater Sciences and Technology

First Advisor

Dong-Fang Deng

Committee Members

Ryan J Newton, Osvaldo J Sepulveda Villet


Alfalfa, Alfalfa nutrient concentrate, Aquaculture, Feed, Ingredient, Yellow Perch


This study evaluated the potential of alfalfa nutrient concentrate (ANC) used in feed for yellow perch. We assessed the quality of ANC based on pellet functionality, digestibility, and growth performance of perch fed with diets including various levels of ANC (0-20 g/100 g diet) to replace fishmeal protein in a control diet based on a 9-week feeding with three replications per diet. Pellet bulk density, durability, water stability, and oil retention capacity increased with fishmeal replacement. Growth rate, feed conversion ratio, satiation feed intake, and protein retention were similar for fish fed different diets (P>0.05). Fish fed ANC-20 had lower ash, phosphorus, calcium, and manganese than those fed ANC-0 (P<0.05). A lower phosphorus apparent digestibility coefficient was determined in ANC than in menhaden fishmeal, which partially explains the lower phosphorus content in fish fed ANC-20. This study suggests that ANC can be used as a partial protein source in perch feed, but more research is needed to address the concerns of low nutrient digestibility. Research on other species and longer-term feeding trials are warranted to evaluate the application of this ingredient in aquatic feed.