March update

Koi farming is a seasonal business. The winter is always the quietest season and any sign of quiet is well and truly over … The last month has been busy with selections, cataloguing fish and we’ve been continuing with our expansion over the whole winter period – so that we arrive this spring with commercial scale facilities for this year's breedings.

During February – we’ve selected through all 3 of our tosai growing on tanks, and last weekend it was the turn of Lava Rosa’s late summer 18 spawning. This has added interest because I changed the males pairing for her last year to see if I could improve the pattern ratios. The koi we have coming through now at nisai from her first spawning 2 years ago are superb with a few really special ones. I couldn't ask for more in terms of the white colour and skin quality, also the growth and body shapes as also good. But, I wasn’t happy with the proportion of the spawning that had those traits and a good pattern, and that’s why I swapped the males around to see if that improved the pattern ratios.

The selection we performed last weekend was the second time we’ve been through that spawning over the winter. This time, the tosai are that little bit larger and I have a much better sense of the quality we have coming through from her 2018 spawning. And, we have improved the ratios as I had hoped, by a noticeable amount making the new pairing is a clear step in the right direction and if I was to run Lava Rosa this year, I would be repeating the 2018 spawning pairing.

To give you an idea of what good looks like… from her whole 2018 spawning, we have around 15 Kohaku coming through from that spawning that are at the top end of the kind of thing we’ve been able to produce so far. They have balanced and interesting patterns and also the great white and red quality that we are known for. These few tosai show me the quality potential of Lava Rosa paired with my Matsue males.

I’ve uploaded a video of them here:

I also have around 100 good quality Kohaku from that spawning that will make excellent tosai prospects for our customers in May, when they will be in the 20-25cm size range.

The Sharkey spawning also has around 50 good quality tosai including some jumbo’s that we will be making available in May, and these will be in the 25cm – 35cm range.

Here's a recent video of the best 90 or so koi coming through from that 'Sharkey' spawning:

And we’ll also have jumbo Ogons from our Mukashi spawning available too. So… a visit to Byer Koi Farm in May will have plenty of tosai options, across the size ranges and … also with some non-Kohaku too; which is a first.

The expansion is going well, and we are just about to finish another new building (!). This will be primarily be for stock holding, but may also double up as a sales facility too.

Here are a few pics from the last few weeks as it's coming together:

In our original polytunnel, … we’ve replaced like for like the old tank we sell our nisai & older koi out of. For those of you that have been visiting us for a few years – this was originally my brood males tank and more recently used as a nisai and older koi sales tank.

And we've extended the flooring so it’s a bit more comfortable to view the koi. We felt it was time that our customers shouldn’t have to navigate puddles of water on the floor when it rains outside, when viewing our koi!

And, very soon we will be starting on the new outdoor fry ponds. The dig is imminent and intact would have started this week but for the bad weather. They're likely to be in place by the end of March, perhaps the first week in April.

The winter has also been a time where I've visited several koi clubs giving talks about how we've developed Byer Koi Farm from a hobby. And, we have several clubs visiting us over the next 2 months with 2 of them taking our koi for their annual grow and show competitions this year. So, lots going on... and lots to see on site for new visitors and return visitors.

Later this month will be the first measure up point for the 'Shooting Stars' growing competition and we will be emailing entrants in a few weeks about that and also releasing the results here on our blog.

Finally, I'll leave you with a recent video of our nisai and older koi