BREEDING  
The first step to better catfish is superior breeding.

Selected brood catfish are allowed to spawn in open ponds. Each female lays between 3,000 to 5,000 eggs. Eggs are moved into a controlled hatchery, and usually hatch within four to six days.

Catfish fry are born with a "yolk sac" that will nourish them for their first few days of life.

return to top

HATCHING
Once the fry have reached two to three inches in length, they are known as fingerlings. Fingerlings are raised in special nursery ponds and are fed special floating food pellets until they reach stocking size or about five to six inches.

return to top

FEEDING

Catfish are raised to maturity in grow-out ponds in Alabama and Mississippi. Ponds are chemical free, and water quality is constantly checked for purity and other critical factors. Farm-raised catfish are not "bottom feeders." The catfish are fed highly nutritious floating food pellets.

return to top

HARVESTING
Catfish which have reached one to two pounds are ready for harvesting. Fish are collected using a large net and immediately transported to our nearby processing facility.

return to top

PROCESSING  
All catfish are chilled and inspected to make sure they are the proper size and free of processing defects. Additionally, samples from each batch are cooked at an on-site test kitchen to make sure that they meet SouthFresh Farms' high standards.

At our temperature-controlled processing plant, each catfish is cleaned and transformed into a marketable product. Automated machinery allows each catfish to be processed and put on ice within 30 minutes. More than 23,000 pounds of catfish are processed per hour.

return to top

PACKAGING
At this point, catfish are "individually quick frozen." The temperature of the catfish is dropped from 32 to 15 F within 30 minutes. After that, the catfish is sized and packaged for shipping.

After processing is finished, the packaged catfish are held in a refrigerated area, ready for distribution from coast to coast.

return to top