A week in the life of a koi farmer (wc 9_10)

Since the nisai launch in early September, (https://www.byerkoifarm.co.uk/blogs/blog/nisai-harvest-2022-catalogue) , we've been completing the harvests of new fry from our fry ponds and getting over a bout of Covid which struck at the end of September.

Almost all the new season fry are now harvested, with just a very very late spawning still out there in fry pond 3.  It's 50/50 whether these will be up to size for us to harvest this month, and if not, we'll leave them outside over the winter and collect them in the spring.

We've spent quite a lot of time in the fry ponds over the last couple of weeks; clearing strand algae before harvesting, and also the actual harvests themselves.  We've completed 3 pond harvests, with that 1 more possible one to go.

Amanda clearing strand algae our of one if our fry ponds

This last week or two has delivered some amazing sunsets here in Hertfordshire. Here are some of them I managed to capture:

Amazing sunset with shades of red in the sky with a reflection of that in the lake

Mist rising up from the neighbouring farmer's field just behind our fry pond with red's and crimson coloured sunset and blue sky

Late afternoon ripples across the lake with a clear blue sky above

Pretty cool!  And definitely makes up for all the rainy days to come over the winter.

We've also started second selections and I've been going through the Opaline Mukashi Ogon spawning and also the doitsu ochiba spawning too.

Opaline is our 96cm Mukashi Ogon from Marusei and this is our second year with her.  We've had a great harvest from her this year and the fry are now rocketing along in our growing on systems.  These are particularly interesting for us because of the length, size and quality of the female, and I am starting to see some of her great characteristics in the babies too.  Most notably her long and voluminous body.  You can see it in the babies, with the height of the backbone along the length of the koi.  The marusei line is well known, and it's one we're working with for the first time so I've kept a wide range of koi from her spawning.  You'll start to see these become available in our small koi range over the next month or so.

The doitsu ochiba spawning is also looking interesting.  The best ones are amazing, although they are very few in number!  Here's a taster of those best ones which are likely to become available as nisai in autumn 2023.

There's a range of top down and bottom up style patterns.

I discussed our plans and thinking on Doitsu Ochiba a little back in this blog :


Still a long way to go, and this is the beginning of a 5 year project to develop this breeding line.

Here's a video of these few, which hopefully gives you a feel for it.

I find the range of pattern styles most interesting, with steps, bottom up sections, top down sections and also some lateral pattern too.  Our target with this varieties is to provide a great koi for viewing through a window, and the range of pattern types I think works well in this regard.

Numbers are much lower than I'd like, but we do have enough to provide some options at tosai in the spring, and also in nisai next autumn.  So, watch this space!

Amanda was very keen to see how the selections progressed today, checking in on my work.

Amanda checking in on my doitsu ochiba selections today

Other news; the Chagoi and Asagi have settled into their growing on tanks and are growing well.  The Asagi spawning looks as good as last years, possibly better... and that's saying something; our Asagi have been winning a wide range of awards this year including a major award at a recent koi show.  More on that in a separate post.

The chagoi spawning is also looking really good in terms of numbers and quality.  We have both these varieties in really good numbers and quality, and these will feature in our small koi mixes in around a month, and in tosai in the spring and nisai next autumn.

Tomorrow, we have a big shipping day and then I have some more of the doitsu ochiba to select through plus our showa spawning too.  So, even though we are supposed to be in the off season, work is still 7 days a week!