Sometimes we wonder where the gems in our ponds come from. Our koi have already seen a lot of life before they end up swimming at our dealers.
At the end of the year (October/November) our breeders drain their natural ponds for several days and while they do this they insert large pond nets to make the koi swim closer together. Finally when the water quantities are very low they begin to put the koi in containers which float on the water and are filled with pond water. Some breeders also use inflatable dinghies or large inflatable tubs. From the pond the animals are put onto several vehicles, which have large tanks filled with oxygen enriched water. It often takes several hours for the fish to arrive at the farm.
The first thing that happens when the fish reach the farm is a careful check to see how successful the “harvest” has been. This is the first chance the breeders get to look at their treasures. An experienced eye can say a lot about the fish at this point. The selection is left to the boss and farm owner, who might very occasionally consult a close friend. At this point the fish are treated for any injuries that may have occurred and are separated. Reliable breeders also carry out KHV tests using swab samples of gill tissue. This first test result will be noted in the shipping document. Then the breeders classify their fish into grades but also into potential champions. When the buyer has chosen his various fish, the fish are prepared for the next step of their journey, perhaps to Germany.