As always with any selection, our priorities are body shape and skin quality first, then we are looking for a balanced pattern. Showa don’t stop developing until they are about five years old so these little guys still have a long way to go. Whilst on some the Sumi is already quite strong, with others you can just about see the sumi under the skin. This will develop over time. These Showa were, on average, 4-5 inches which is what we would normally expect at 11 weeks.
On Tuesday, we harvested our Sanke and Ochiba for second selection. Rain was forecast and so we thought we would make an early start at 6.00 am. (As it turned out, we had no rain to speak of in the end!)
After the usual good skin and body, we are looking for a good Kohaku pattern and the right type of black.
We always get a few nice Kohaku from a Sanke spawning and so keep those too. The Ochiba are coming on really well too and the growth rate on some of these fish is surprising. Even though they are only eight weeks old, some are already 3-4 inches long. Ochiba can also take a long time to develop.
I remember one of the first Ochiba spawnings we did several years ago when the fry all looked like Chagoi until they got to about 4 inches long which is when they started to develop the Ochiba markings. With our more recent spawnings however, the Ochiba markings on many of the koi are obvious even at this early age.We have some beautifully pale ones with fantastic skin and also some slightly darker ones with well marked reticulation this year.
Yesterday (Friday) we harvested the Shiro Utsuri for second selection. I have been really looking forward to this as at first selection the skin quality was outstanding and watching them practically glow as they have been swimming around in the mud ponds since then has been a real treat 8) . Although we put back 3000 after first selection, we only put back around 1000 after second selection today, some are more developed than others and some have heavier black than others. Something for everyone you might say!
It’s Saturday today and we have been flat out with customers all day!
I’m going to put my feet up now as we have a busy day tomorrow 🙂