Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wills, Robert W.

Committee Member

Jack, Sherman Wessel

Committee Member

Hanson, Terrill R.

Committee Member

Hardin, David K.

Committee Member

Gaunt, Patricia S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Veterinary Medical Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Veterinary Medicine


Veterinary Medical Science Program


A Catfish Management Database (CMD) was developed to analyze data from large commercial catfish farms. The CMD was developed so that data collected by the farm could be used for management of the farm and for identifying some of the risk factors associated with important bacteria diseases. This database was designed to 1) to incorporate production data already being recorded for generating reports for use at weekly managerial meetings focused on feeding rates, feed conversion ratios, mortalities and harvesting events 2) be easily used by a catfish farmer to collect management data in order to analyze production efficiency through a series of farmer defined management reports and 3) provide the farm with easy access to management reports. Additional customized reports can be generated as requested by the farm management. The next objective of this research was to determine pond level risk factors associated with columnaris disease and Enteric Septicemia of Catfish related mortalities. The data from the CMD was used to produce two publications detailing the analysis of the data and production of a univariate and multivariate models of pond level risk factors associated with both diseases. These studies showed some commonly recorded production variables were associated with either columnaris and/or ESC associated mortalities and if monitored could help identify “at risk” ponds prior to disease outbreaks. A study was then conducted to examine the cost associated with mortality on Mississippi commercial catfish farms. The mortalities examined included ponds that had mortalities from columnaris disease, ESC and then any ponds that had mortalities from either. The cost of each disease was determined along with other factors such as pond age, feed conversion ratio and feed cost that influence the profitability of a commercial catfish farm.