Gastrointestinal and metabolic effects of feeding schedule on voluntary feed intake and growth of European eel, Anguilla anguilla

L.T.N. Heinsbroek, B.J. Goedegebuur, G. Bloemhof, R.B. Flach, G.D.C. de Jong

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Gastrointestinal and metabolic influences on short- and medium-term control of voluntary feed intake of European eel were investigated for groups of fish fed at different feeding schedules: 1 meal 2 days(-1), 1 meal day(-1), 2 meals day(-1) and continuous feeding for 12 h and 24 h daily. For fish fed daily, the feeding schedule had no effect on feed intake, metabolism, growth, size variation and body composition. Only fish fed once every 2 days could not completely compensate by increasing their average meal size and showed a reduced feed intake, metabolism and growth. Stomach capacity did not limit meal size and feed intake as large differences in appetite were found for eels with empty stomachs. Feed intake was related to metabolism as the levels of O-2 consumption and NH4 excretion just before the meal were correlated to average meal size, suggesting that rate (and duration) of metabolism is sensed and is providing information about the metabolic consequences of feed intake and feed processing. Meal size is based on the (expected) scope for metabolism and eels seem to strive to an average daily feed intake, associated with their developmental state (growth potential). Plasticity in this feed intake behaviour, expressed by individual variation in feed intake and day-to-day fluctuations in individual and group intake, is regarded as adaptive on different time scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-108
Number of pages16
JournalAquaculture International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • scophthalmus-maximus l
  • rainbow-trout
  • food-intake
  • oncorhynchus-mykiss
  • meal size
  • gastric evacuation
  • atlantic salmon
  • arctic charr
  • self-feeders
  • body-weight


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