Feeding Koi in the winter

Feeding Koi in the winter

Fish, especially Koi seem to always be hungry even when in is very cold. I get asked all the time should I feed my Koi in the winter? They are always acting like they are hungry. Can they survive without eating all winter?

The rule is to never feed your Koi if the pond water is below 50.

Some may even recommend to be careful if the water temp is below 60 degrees.  The enzymes needed for the digestion of most koi food will be lacking. The fish will eat, sometimes fully, and then in the cold water their metabolism is so slow that the food will rot well before it is processed. If the food is going to be processed by coldblooded  fish like Koi or goldfish with impaired metabolism, it makes sense to offer foods that are easily and quickly digestible and contain minimal residue to stall their gut. Oranges, watermelon, maybe even some Cheerios. Nothing with heavy proteins that are hard to digest.  Fish need protein just like humans to develop muscle and to generate blood cells.  So, how does the fish replace these cells in winter when it’s not eating?  If you feed your fish well in the spring and summer months they will store fat and energy not unlike bears. Koi and other cold blooded fish will slow down and not need as much.  When it warms up in the spring it is recommended to ease them back into eating by starting them out with wheat germ rich fish food.  We recommend Ultra Balance Wheat germ as it is a good quality Koi food with out fillers.  This is easily digested and is low in fillers. Many just jump into regular high protein food which is harder to process.  This is one reason why spring is often fraught with disease. You best bet is to feed lightly in the winter only when the water is over 50 degrees and feed high quality food. Your pond supply expert will be able to guide you to the food best suited to your particular fish and time of year.



Feeding Koi in the winter


Pond TalkFeeding Koi in the winter
Source: https://sunlandwatergardens.com
Author: Jacklyn Rodman

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Pond Talk: Feeding Koi in the winter

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