A week in the life of a koi farmer (wc 23_5)

We're so busy right now, time feels like it's warping.  It's a juggling act between running spawnings to create new stock, selling our existing stock, and looking after all the koi on site too.  Plus, maintaining the fry ponds, and dealing with the occasional oddball, like a deer getting stuck in one of the ponds.  Or today's one, which was a heron that got caught under one of our fry pond nets.

I'm been meaning to update you all on the spawnings progress for a while, and I know many of you are interested so here is the news.

We've started the year with Kohaku spawnings.  Both Rosie, and the new Sakai female (offspring of S Legend) have spawned reasonably well and we have enough hatchlings to stock our ponds from them.

Here's an underwater clip of the Sakai female hatchlings a few days after hatch and before they are all free swimming: 

As at tonight, we are still waiting for the fry ponds to be in the right condition to introduce the new hatchlings, and I expect that to be in place in the next few days.  Eta on the fry from those spawnings will be around 6-7 weeks from now; so probably early July rather than end of June, but if we have a warm and sunny June then we might still be harvesting at the end of June.

We have also enjoyed success with one of the new female Doitsu Ochiba's we brought in from Japan over the winter.

Here's a picture of her just after introducing her into the spawning net:

Shows a doitsu ochiba female which is a grey koi with dark brown 3 step pattern, swimming above spawning ropes

I'm so pleased she spawned on her first attempt and we've combined her with Shusui and also spawned the Shusui female too aiming for a Shusui and Doitsu Ochiba mix.  These eggs are hatchling as I write this blog post now.  Fertilisation rate is ok ish; egg volume is good and we will know in about 2 or 3 days whether we have a good hatch.

You might remember we purchased 2 sansai Doitsu Ochiba's from Japan last winter, and I'm holding the second one in hand for a possible mid season or late season spawning.

Here's a few pictures of spawnings ropes with eggs almost ready to hatch.

Koi eggs almost ready to hatch at Adam Byer Koi Farm

Koi eggs almost ready to hatch at Adam Byer Koi Farm

Koi eggs almost ready to hatch at Adam Byer Koi Farm

Last night we set off Oakly for her spawning this year and unfortunately she didn't feel like spawning on the first night.  We are hoping she'll go on the second night, and that is tonight.

Adam Byer moving Adam Byer Koi Farm's famous 105cm Chagoi called Oakly into a new tank for spawning

I think Oakly's grown.  She was certainly very heavy!

Then depending on the outcome from those events, we will either be spawning Opaline and/or Showa or Shiro next.  And that would complete the early season spawnings.

Other goings on.  The enhancements to our facilities for koi for sale online continue to work well, and we are shipping 3 days a week currently.

Amanda getting boxes ready for fish shipments

The value tosai (original launch post: https://www.byerkoifarm.co.uk/blogs/blog/online-launch-tonight-24th-march-at-9pm) have gone really well and customers are still finding great options in there.

We've now brought them all through to the sales room where it's easier for people to view them; and this also clears tank space in our polytunnels for more spawnings.

A white cage net with the remaining koi in Adam Byer Koi Farm's value tosai collection

Here's an example of one we shipped out today, which was just £30.  I have a feeling the customer is going to be really happy when she receives it tomorrow morning!

A value tosai Showa from Adam Byer Koi Farm with an amazing red white and black pattern

And finally, some general pictures taken over the last few days from us working the fry ponds.  It's taken a lot to make this 'escape to the country' work, and it's amazing to be able to enjoy the countryside as part of our work - particularly when the sun shines.  less so when it's snowing :-) 

Adam and Amanda off Adam Byer Koi Farm preparing a fry pond for new hatchlings, with cows and their calves in the background in the neighbouring farmer's field 

We have new hatchlings, the neighbouring farmer has new calves!

Scenery around Adam Byer Koi Farm showing ponds, trees, blue sky and light and dark clouds

 And, a lucky snap taken in our growing facility of the doitsu kawari tank with the koi competing over the food.

A range of koi carp coming up to feed