A week in the life of a koi farmer (wc 30_1)

The results are in from the 'Have your say!' questionnaire, and they will be playing a central role next week when I'll be in Japan buying new brood stock.  All will be revealed in due course!  We are hoping to be able to spawn and rear from at least one if not more of those new variety requests this coming season, and that will depend on whether we can find the right koi and if so, that they actually breed for us and produce fertilised eggs.  None of those things are guaranteed!

I can share some of the information we've provided publicly about new varieties for '23, which is that we've already brought in a range of Ki Utsuri to breed from this season.  They are now through our quarantine process and being fattened up for spawning , hopefully this spring.  The females we bought have turned out to be female.  And the males, well... 1 turned out to be an actual male and the others female.  So, we're short on males and it's a fortunate I'll be out in Japan next week and there will be time to rectify that in advance of spawning season.  Otherwise, our 1 male is going to be spread extremely thinly!

The other one is hi utsuri, which was on our list and is still a target for our Japan trip and came out as a high ranking variety on our 'Have your say!' questionnaire.

In addition to requesting new varieties for us to breed, we also asked for feedback on what we do well, and what we could improve on or start doing.

We are so grateful for all the comments received.  Thank you!  It all made great reading, and we work so hard to produce high quality koi and deliver excellent customer service and so it was great to see that our efforts have been noticed and are appreciated.

Some very interesting builds came through on the 'what could we do better or start doing' question, and we have listened.  Lots of responses simply said, keep doing what you're doing!  And on the builds, some things we will act on this year and some things raised are already in the pipeline but will take a few years to put into place!   There were some conflicting feedback, like...  focus on your current varieties, and others asking for us to breed more varieties!  You'll just have to trust us to tread the line between those two positions where we can still produce high quality koi and also offer the broadest possible choice for those that want that.  Thankfully, as we continue to expect, we can still do both those things.  And, in addition to some new varieties we are also planning to augment some of our existing varieties with new brood stock too.

Koi farming wise, it continues to be a busy 'off season'.  I'm flying to Japan on Saturday for a week and Amanda will be single handed here at Byer Koi Farm during that time so we are carrying out extra maintenance and preventative work to increase the chances of nothing breaking while I'm away.

Earlier this week we picked out just over a dozen koi from our stock and listed them online. Within a short time of posting about it on Facebook, most had sold as did a few others too. This happened so quickly I didn't get a chance to blog about them here, or update our newsletter readers.  End result is we have a big shipping day tomorrow, taking advantage of the warmer conditions this week.  It's also a reminder that we need to get more stock onto the individual premium koi for sale page on the website (https://www.byerkoifarm.co.uk/collections/koi-for-sale), and that's something we will look at in February when I'm back.  Along with re photographing koi that need it from the September release, and many of the showa's from the MGS line have experienced sumi development , so an update is due.

I planned to select through 6 of our growing systems for a pre tosai selection and I went through the pond of Rosie Kohaku babies which are doing great. So great in fact, that the vast majority are staying in place until the final tosai selections in March.  There are a few non-Kohaku sharing that tank too, including a sample of Showa's from our new Momotaro Showa female that I'm testing out.  And, some odd balls thrown from the Opaline breeding combination that caught my eye and continue to improve each time I get to see them up close.  Now, from the customer feedback on new varieties I know that these are not on many people's target list but I profess to finding them interesting and a little different.  Take a look at this pair of... Ginga!

Amazingly, they came from our Opaline spawning - that's mukashi ogon!  This pair continue to catch my eye, so we'll take these on for another summer to learn about their development.