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Thread: Pearl Barley

  1. #11
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I use to sometimes feed my Koi cooked short-grain rice (sticky rice). The reason I fed rice, I was a cheap ass (Tim's words) and 30 years ago I heard that some Japanese Koi hobbyist fed cooked rice (not Uncle Ben's).
    I also knew of some Koi dealers that fed cooked barley. Again, I think because they were cheap ass (Tim's words).
    Tim's post made me curious about the nutritional benefits of cooked barley. The following link is a comparison of Pearled Barley (cooked) vs. Rice, white, short-grain, cooked:

    Nutritional Comparison: Pearled Barley (cooked) vs Rice, white, short-grain, cooked

  2. #12
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I use to sometimes feed my Koi cooked short-grain rice (sticky rice). The reason I fed rice, I was a cheap ass (Troy's words) and 30 years ago I heard that some Japanese Koi hobbyist fed cooked rice (not Uncle Ben's).
    I also knew of some Koi dealers that fed cooked barley. Again, I think because they were cheap ass (Troy's words).
    Tim's post made me curious about the nutritional benefits of cooked barley. The following link is a comparison of Pearled Barley (cooked) vs. Rice, white, short-grain, cooked:

    Nutritional Comparison: Pearled Barley (cooked) vs Rice, white, short-grain, cooked


    Not my words, go read Post #1.

    Tim got me thinking about the Fasting thing a couple years ago. The last two winters I've really cut off Fasting and just really slowed down on the feedings. I feed sinking in the winter as I still question the amount of reserved energy I want my Koi to have to use to get a few pellets. I think less energy is used when the food comes to them. Understand my winter is much different than many of yours.
    ricshaw likes this.

  3. #13
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    Not my words, go read Post #1.

    Tim got me thinking about the Fasting thing a couple years ago. The last two winters I've really cut off Fasting and just really slowed down on the feedings. I feed sinking in the winter as I still question the amount of reserved energy I want my Koi to have to use to get a few pellets. I think less energy is used when the food comes to them. Understand my winter is much different than many of yours.
    Thanks! I made correction.

    I consider Koi judges to be "experts". Have you ever heard of feeding cooked barley to improve shiroji?

  4. #14
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post

    I consider Koi judges to be "experts". Have you ever heard of feeding cooked barley to improve shiroji?

    Not hardly.

    Have I heard this practice? Yes, it's been around for years. And years ago it might have been a better option than the foods that were available at the time, but is it better than the foods today? I question that it is even close.

  5. #15
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    IMO, pellets contain nothing more than ingredients most hobbyists can obtain. For me the real issue is the inconvenience in not only preparing but feeding as well. Basically any non-pelletized food has to be hand delivered and not by way of an auto feeder. To me this is the big issue, how do I get enough to the koi? That is where pellets excell.

  6. #16
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    IMO, pellets contain nothing more than ingredients most hobbyists can obtain. For me the real issue is the inconvenience in not only preparing but feeding as well. Basically any non-pelletized food has to be hand delivered and not by way of an auto feeder. To me this is the big issue, how do I get enough to the koi? That is where pellets excell.
    Pellets are very convenient for us to use. To make pellets, binders are needed, which are a necessary evil. The choice of binders impacts digestion, absorbability of nutrients, and solid waste production. If it's practical, I wouldn't want to use pellets. But as you said, it is hard to use an auto feeder with foods other pellets. But I think if you feed dehydrated food, you may be able to get away with. Dehydration can be done using vacuum (with much less heat involved), or using a heat-based dryer where temperatures are set such that enzymes are preserved. I would prefer vacuum as there is less degradation of food quality, but vacuum drying is an expensive process.

    I hope beginning koi keepers don't tune out as this kind of talk makes this hobby more complicated. But people customize. Stock cars and trucks are customized, with a lot of extra effort, for those who wants more acceleration, tighter turns, to be able to drift, and for trucks, to be able to handle deserts, mountains, and fords.

    Others may disagree, but the less excipients we put into food and nutrients, the more we let the food do the work in developing the individual specimen, human or not.

    When pushing boundaries, we don't rely on cookie cutter inputs.

  7. #17
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    *** Dehydration can be done using vacuum (with much less heat involved), or using a heat-based dryer where temperatures are set such that enzymes are preserved. I would prefer vacuum as there is less degradation of food quality, but vacuum drying is an expensive process.
    It may be way off topic, but the idea of using dehydration for koi foods is something I have wondered about in the past. Several freeze-dried foods are available in the tropical fish market and have proved very useful. Freeze-dried tubifex worms which have been irradiated are free of the pathogens carried by live tubifex while maintaining nutritional levels. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a mainstay for many aquarists. Still, these are not generally considered complete foods. Most users also use a nutritionally complete dry food to assure nutritional health. For koi, the volume of food required makes any freeze-dried food prohibitively expensive. Feeding farmed earthworms would be much cheaper, but still too costly for koi hobbyists... even if farming the earthworms themselves.

  8. #18
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    The problem I see so often when people decide to "cook for their pets" (I am not talking about Tim), is even though they "think" they are making healthy choices, they often do not provide a complete diet for their pets. Most often their food choices are good "people food" and not foods that are pet species specific.

  9. #19
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    It may be way off topic, but the idea of using dehydration for koi foods is something I have wondered about in the past. Several freeze-dried foods are available in the tropical fish market and have proved very useful. Freeze-dried tubifex worms which have been irradiated are free of the pathogens carried by live tubifex while maintaining nutritional levels. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a mainstay for many aquarists. Still, these are not generally considered complete foods. Most users also use a nutritionally complete dry food to assure nutritional health. For koi, the volume of food required makes any freeze-dried food prohibitively expensive. Feeding farmed earthworms would be much cheaper, but still too costly for koi hobbyists... even if farming the earthworms themselves.
    Getting a "trail mix" of dehydrated food would provide complete nutrition with the advantage of not having excipients. And yes, I imagine it would be more expensive. But you never know. High end koi food are pretty expensive too, but people are willing to pay for them. Why are there no high-end "trail mixes" for koi being sold? Is there no market?

    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    The problem I see so often when people decide to "cook for their pets" (I am not talking about Tim), is even though they "think" they are making healthy choices, they often do not provide a complete diet for their pets. Most often their food choices are good "people food" and not foods that are pet species specific.
    I agree Ricshaw. We cook for ourselves, and we can't do a half-decent job already nutrition-wise. Otherwise, why would we worry about not having health insurance? OTOH, why don't we ask koi food makers to branch out and serve a larger market - balanced pellets for homo sapiens.

  10. #20
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Here's a Shiro that really got me believing in Shiroji Enhancing Foods about five years ago. Caught myself around late summer/early fall with only that type food left. So not to have to order more food (Cheap Ass) that late in the season I fed 100% Shiroji Enhancing Food for about 45 to 60 days. One day it hit me how two Shiro Utsuri of mine improved, this is one of them. Nothing else was different (Pond Maintenance, Etc.).

    I've also noticed that Shiroji Enhancing Foods seem to help Hikari Varieties, well, at least Kujakus.


    Please keep us posted, I hope what you're doing works.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pearl Barley-h4-09.jpg   Pearl Barley-h6-13.jpg  
    President : GLK&GS
    Officer : NMZNA
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