BREEDING  
The first step to better catfish is superior breeding. SouthFresh Farms' breeding program develops superior brood stock, allowing for constant improvements in catfish flavor, health, and growth potential.

At our Alabama fingerling farm, 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.

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HATCHING
Once the fry have reached two to three inches in length, they are known as fingerlings. Our 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.

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FEEDING

Catfish are raised to maturity in SouthFresh Farms' grow-out ponds in Mississippi. SouthFresh ponds are chemical free, and water quality is constantly checked for purity and other critical factors. Farm-raised catfish are not "bottom feeders." Our catfish are fed highly nutritious floating food pellets produced at the SouthFresh Farms feed mill.

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HARVESTING
Catfish which have reached one to two pounds are ready for harvesting. Fish are collected using a large net and immediately transported to an on-site processing facility. Because of the close proximity of our ponds to our processing plants, we can ensure that all catfish can be processed within one hour of harvest. Our all-weather levees allow harvesting 365 days a year.

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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 plants, 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.

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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.

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