Unacceptably high mortalities in rainbow trout fry (Oncorhynchus mykiss) six to 10 weeks after they started to feed were recorded in two spring water trout hatcheries in Northern Ireland in May 1989. Muscle degeneration and necrosis were consistent with histopathological findings in both outbreaks, and this myopathy was similar to that previously described in salmonids and other species associated with vitamin E and selenium deficiency. A feed trial was designed to investigate the hypothesis that the vitamin E requirement of rainbow trout fry on these farms was higher than the current minimum recommendations. Three groups of fry were fed diets containing 147, 239 and 532 iu/kg alpha-tocopherol. The mortality in the groups was inversely related to the dietary alpha-tocopherol concentration, and there was severe myopathy in fry fed the diet containing 147 iu/kg alpha-tocopherol, mild myopathy in fry fed 239 iu/kg alpha-tocopherol but no myopathy in fry fed 532 iu/kg alpha-tocopherol.
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