Mud Pond Harvests – not too sexy but a lot of fun

Koi breeders believe that koi summering in the mud pond is a good thing. If you can imagine that you go to the spa for a few hours of a beautifying mud treatment – these koi go in for a few months. The end result is some impressive growth and their skin looks good too.

some of the mud ponds at Koi Acres, Scandia, MN
some of the mud ponds at Koi Acres, Scandia, MN

This past spring, our local koi dealer, Koi Acres, sponsored a shiro utsuri growout competition. You put your name in the hat for one (or more) of a select group of koi, pick the one that you think will be judged the best, wait and see. In this case, I was lucky enough to get selection number 1.

My selection from the 2016 Spring Shiro Utsuri Growout
My selection from the 2016 Spring Shiro Utsuri Growout

After all the koi are selected, they went into the mud pond for the late spring and summer months. They are “harvested” from the mud pond and moved indoors for the winter in the heated indoor ponds of Koi Acres. (It’s really sounding more like Spa Koi Acres…) Next spring, May/June 2017, the breeder – Omosako (who happens to breed the best shiro utsuris) will be here to judge which one is the best.

Of course the catch is that shiro ustsuri koi take 5-6 years to really develop and until that time, anything can really happen. My shiro utsuris at home have black areas (sumi) that come up, go away and then comes back. In fact, koi keeping in general tends to be a lot of luck in my opinion. Having a good attitude and a healthy checkbook is key to keeping koi as a hobby.

Back to the actual mud pond harvest – Devin and Mikki Swanson provide us with a great experience. Too bad they couldn’t bring in a little warmer weather but at least it wasn’t raining. Here’s the 3 minute version of three hours at Koi Acres yesterday:

It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed taking a closer look at my koi, Lily. So like the annoying grandparent who always has a few thousand baby photos to show – I’m a little koi crazy (kichigai) and never tire of looking at my koi multiple times. Here’s Lily…


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