Everyone appreciates an occasional treat, and your koi are no exception. They can easily distinguish between a standard meal and something extra delicious. However, treats are not a substitute for your koi’s regular diet. Only feed treats to your koi when water temperatures are above 65°F and use them sparingly. Remove any food from the pond that the fish don’t consume within five minutes.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can reduce koi’s stress levels, improve their immune systems, and assist in their growth and color development. Koi digest carbohydrates slowly, so the higher the carb content, the smaller the portions should be. Produce that koi enjoy include:
Koi are omnivorous, and about 35% of their food pellets contain protein. The insects, crustaceans, and other amphibious creatures on koi’s menu enhance their immune systems and improve digestion. Though some of these options might seem cannibalistic, they are perfectly natural for koi to consume. Koi will eat their food live, but dried or frozen options are available in stores if you find this unpalatable. Koi’s favorite meaty treats include:
|Prawns||Mealworms||Wax moth larvae|
Eggs & Cheese
Eggs and cheeses make a tasty snack for humans and koi alike. Only feed eggs that are hard-boiled and cut into slices. The yolks are the egg’s most nutrient-dense part, so you can feed those alone if desired.
Koi have sophisticated dairy requirements, so the artificial ingredients and preservatives in pre-packaged cheeses are not good for them. Select high-quality, natural cheeses from the deli rather than the refrigerator aisle.
Grains & Honey
Bread is arguably one of koi’s favorite treats. Feed only true whole wheat bread and avoid any that list “wheat flour” as the first ingredient. Whole wheat will provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber while leaving out nutritionally deficient ingredients that cause bloating and digestive issues in koi.
Raw, unprocessed honey (usually locally sourced or from a health food store) has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Avoid the clear, amber-colored honey you find in most grocery stores. Slathering some onto pieces of bread can enhance this treat’s nutritional value and enjoyment.