Around the world (well in the northern hemisphere at least) a new season of Koi breeding is underway.

Fifteen years or so ago we heard relatively little about Koi breeding, when I spent my first summer in Japan in 2008 breeders were amazed to find that people around the world were fascinated by the tiniest aspects of what went into the production of Nishikigoi, even down to whether the dried manure of choice was chicken or pig….

Facebook was in its infancy back then and even when it took off all over the world, Japanese lagged some way behind.  Nowadays many Japanese breeders are actively using it, in our Kujaku article – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/11/24/kujaku-in-detail-part-2-building_blocks/ – published a few months ago posts made by Makoto Konishi on Facebook provided a vital information source.

Over the past week or so many breeders, the length and breadth of Japan, have posted about the start of the breeding season.

Takayoshi Omosako (https://www.facebook.com/takayoshi.omosako) posted Omosako Koi Farm’s first parent sets together on 9th May, it was their Kujaku parent set that particular attracted my attention on 14th May including a 90cm 18 year old female!


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Posted by Takayoshi Omosako on Thursday, 14 May 2020

Elsewhere in Hiroshima, on 15th May Makoto Konishi (https://www.facebook.com/makoto.konishi.961) posted the preparations underway at Konishi Koi Farm.  The number of spawning ropes gives you in idea of the massive scale the breeding operation is!

Breeding house at Konishi Koi Farm

Breeding house at Konishi Koi Farm

Cleaning ponds for spawning at Konishi Koi Farm

Cleaning ponds for spawning at Konishi Koi Farm

Spawning ropes at Konishi Koi Farm

Spawning ropes at Konishi Koi Farm

Many years ago Shigeyoshi Tanaka at Maruju Koi Farm told me that in Yamakoshi when the Weigela flowers its time to start breeding.

On 9th May Taro Kataoka (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100050404179466) of Ooya Koi Farm posted this photograph of Weigela flowering around his mud pond.

Weigela flowering around a mud pond of Ooya Koi Farm

Weigela flowering around a mud pond of Ooya Koi Farm

On 12th May Taro’s brother, Masahito Kataoka (https://www.facebook.com/masahito.kataoka.5), posted this video with the message:

‘Start from today!!!
All new face.
Gambatte for our dreams👍👍’

Gambatte meaning ‘work hard’, it would be used to say to someone ‘do your best’.


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Start from today!!!All new face.Gambatte for our dreams👍👍

Posted by Masahito Kataoka on Monday, 11 May 2020

On 15th May, Shigeyoshi Tanaka (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003145776674) posted that spawning was underway at Maruju Koi Farm, with a newspaper photographer in attendance to photograph it.

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

Spawning at Maruju Koi Farm

It very much reminded me of a night in 2014 which I spent at Maruju Koi Farm for the first night of spawning.  You can see that on the video below.

Maruju Koi Farm is situated literally a mile of so away from the very birthplace of Nishikigoi in Takezawa Village, and it never ceases to amaze me that were it not for the people in the mountain of Yamakoshi the Nishikigoi we know and love may never even have existed.

Whilst Japan may be the birthplace and indisputable centre of Nishikigoi production, they are of course now bred around the world.


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Over in Louisiana, USA, at Purdin Koi Farm (https://www.facebook.com/PurdinKoi/) my great friends Scott Purdin and Bill and Maureen McGurk kicked off their spawning season back in April, the photograph below showing the set up for the first 3 sets of parents on 20th April.

Spawning at Purdin Koi Farm 20th April 2020

Spawning at Purdin Koi Farm 20th April 2020

In total 6 sets of parents have now been spawned at Purdin Koi Farm this year, the fry all released to the mud ponds and the spawning equipment packed away already until 2021.

The video below shows fry feeding in the mud pond this morning (Sunday 17th May).

Something very therapeutic about feeding the babies! 😊

Posted by Purdin Koi on Sunday, 17 May 2020

 

This morning I spoke with Mat McCann of Beni Hanna Nishikigoi (https://www.facebook.com/benihannanishikigoi/) in New Jersey, USA, somewhat further north than Purdin and with a rather cooler climate, but they are planning to get on with spawning at the end of this week.


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Closer to home in the UK, New Forest Koi’s (https://www.facebook.com/New-Forest-Koi-601228309904237/) spawning programme is well under way.  The first spawning took place on 23rd March and they are now finished their 3rd round of spawning which included Hi Utsuri, Kujaku, 2 different lines of Goshiki, Ochiba, Doitsu Ochiba and Ginrin Hi Utsuri.

If you fancy the idea of raising some fry, carrying out selection etc, without the need to go through the spawning process itself, and all the stresses and strains that it can bring, New Forest Koi sell fry from their spawning which give buyers every opportunity to get ‘the best’ Koi from the whole spawning.  For more information visit the New Forest Koi website – https://www.newforestkoi.co.uk/koi-fry

And of course, even closer to home, our own spawning has started as well.  We successfully spawned the first parent set of 2020 in the early hours of Saturday 9th May.

Our Kujaku spawning 9th May 2020

Our Kujaku spawning 9th May 2020

Our Kujaku spawning 9th May 2020

Our Kujaku spawning 9th May 2020

Our Kujaku spawning 9th May 2020

Our Kujaku spawning 9th May 2020

If you haven’t done so already then please head over to our YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsTlbheKJ_nObCvlc630jBg – and hit the subscribe button.  The complete 2019 spawning project is documented on their as is the 2020 spawning project, including the actual spawning which took place last weekend, and the subsequent development of the fry.  Regular updates will continue throughout the year.


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