In order to achieve efficient use of feed during Litopenaeus schmitti growth out, four experimental designs were carried out at pilot and commercial scale in earthen ponds to evaluate: (A) interaction between feeding rate, protein levels and stocking density, (B) feeding schedules, (C) interaction between rates and feeding schedules, (D) a commercial scale of the best results. There was no interaction between the factors feeding rates, density and quality of food, but found significant interaction between food protein levels and stocking densities (p<0.05) and between feeding rates. Shrimp achieved the best growth with food containing 30% protein. Densities higher than 10 shrimps/ m2 affected growth between 3 and 10%. The contribution of natural food growth varied in relation to the feeding rate and not to the level of protein. Bigger and significant growth (p<0.05) was obtained when high protein feed was used at the end of the schedule. Feeding rates beginning with 12 and 10 % biomass promoted significant an higher growth. The use of middle feeding rate reduced food addition in 20% regarding commercial cultures. At commercial scale was demonstrated the use of high protein level at the end of the schedule improved growth without increasing production cost that were among 0.76 to 0.98 usd/kg of produced shrimp harvest.
Keywords: Shrimp, Litopenaeus schmitti, feeding, stocking densities, production costs, feeding rates.