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Has anyone been to California Koi Farms in Fallbrook?

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  • #31

    This thread has taken an interesting turn?! Maybe we should talk about cruelty to animals as it applies to koi!
    Certainly no one wants to see a farm or dealer's tanks with dead fish in them. Fish buying 101 says never buy a fish from a dealers tank where dead or sick fish are present. This applies to koi and to guppies and goldfish!
    But the cruelty issues surrounding koi is an extension of this topic.
    As we all know, koi breeding includes koi culling. And good koi breeders are looking for the needle in a tateshita hay stack! So by practical necessity, hundreds of thousands of koi fry are destroyed in the process of bringing the buying community what they demand.
    And if you go to any breeder facility you will see production tateshita in very crowded quarters and often in settings left out in the cold while the 'keepers' live indoors in heated tosai houses! So if mom or dad has not shared the news- " life is not fair!" ( especially for tateshita- the cinderellas of the fish world!)

    For me, the REAL cruelty issues surround the keeping of koi by the newbie. More specifically, during that period known as ' The learning curve'. You can wander over to the koi light boards and see the blind leading the blind thru this process daily. The breeder has managed to get the fish to size and color and then turns it over to the water gardener. In the hands of the water gardener and in the shallow pond of the water gardener, the fish SLOWLY meets it's premature end, suffering all the way thru.
    To bring this longish ramble to a end, the life of koi is not a pampered one unless they are the top 200 of a 175,000 spawn. And each year thousands of koi die as fry to the necessary act of culling or as tosai to the nightmare of a water garden. At least culling is quick and merciful.
    So here's another one of those truisms Mom and Dad taught us-- " have the wisdom to know what you can change and what you can't". The organized koi hobby dedicates itself to education so as to alleviate one of those realities of cruelty.
    - JR

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    • #32

      Nobody's been by my farm in months and months.....sales in the pits and prospects non-existent. Not a new pond built around here in more'n a year, more like two....

      So, that farm looks good to me, fish in the tanks up for sale. Somebody must be going by there now and again....

      While you won't find any dead fish around, what you will see at my place are empty tanks in the fish house and an eerie quiet as there are no pumps and blowers running.

      Even most of the mud ponds are empty, an artifact of the continuing drought. The 30 acre reservoir is dry. The bayou is dry. The cracks in the levees are large enough for you to fall into and break a leg.

      Between no market and no water, there was no koi spawn there this year. Only a bass spawn and those bass are long gone to homes around Phoenix.

      The last of my inventory are being saved for the San Antonio show and annual personal appearance the week after that at Nelson Water Gardens. After that I'm unsure as to my continued presence in the koi breeding world. I'm not one of those wealthy guys and I got no sugar daddy. I either work at gainful employment or have no money at all. Hence most of my time of late spent away from the farm working as biological consultant, golf course worker, pool boy, bass fishing club worker, reservoir manager, amongst other things.

      I identify with, feel empathy for and have hope for others like me, with circumstance forcing their hands into other arenas and farming operations going down.

      Sometimes I feel as if I'm beating a dead horse. Still hanging onto the farming operation long after any hope for profits have diminished to nothing. Costs me thousands a month to keep my breeding stock alive when I should be trying to get a dime on the dollar for them just to get out from under.

      If something doesn't change, the economy, the drought, lingering after affects of last year's hurricane, etc. I'll just fade away, like so many others. But, I'll do so without regrets.

      Brett
      Brett

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      • #33

        Brett, hang in. This current recession is coming to an end albeit slow and painful. The economy should feel good again in the next six months but then fall back into a second dip ( due to commercial real estate short term financing woes as chicks come home to roost). And that recession ( or continuation of the first one, however you want to see it) will be brief and 'normal' lasting at most, into 2012. Remember, measuring a recession is only about the plus or minus in the GNP. The 'misery index' is another matter! But this too shall pass.
        I hear that this winter promises a lot of water! And storm season is underway , right?
        Meanwhile, if you have some good fish, send me some pics! JR

        Comment

        • #34

          Brett,
          We are all looking forward to your annual visit to our show. I know the koi you have been holding back in your tategoi pond will be highly sought after. It is sad to think about these possibly being the last Brett tategoi crop. Perhaps there is one or two that will be able to claim JR's dollar? We already miss the anticipation of your annual fall harvest party.

          I can't help but think that some how and in some way you will be able to start breeding koi again in the future. Regardless I know you will stay an important part of the koi community. Also, many, many thanks for all the information and good times you have shared with all of us.
          Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

          Comment

          • #35

            Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
            ...
            I personally will not be going back there. I will not buy Koi from there and I will definitely discourage others from buying there Koi from there as well.
            Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
            I am not trying to ruin his business. In fact if you look back at my earlier post I was encouraging people to help with his business...
            Pick one, just one, and stick with it.
            Larry Iles
            Oklahoma

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            • #36

              Originally posted by PapaBear View Post
              Pick one, just one, and stick with it.
              you are right I did contradict myself their. I had different reactions to this over time and with different view points from other people.

              I personally would not go there and purchase from him just from everything I saw there. I will let people know what I saw there, however, I don't want to see this operation closed down, that would be a shame with all that history, I would rather see it fixed. That is why I thought a Koi Club could get involved and help. I was informed that a koi club is already involved. I was also informed, rather strongly from some, that what I saw was out of the ordinary for this place. Some even basically accused me of lying about what I saw and experienced.

              I won't "discourage" people from going there, but rather inform them of what I saw and encourage them to be very cautious. Make sure the fish are healthy and they follow a strict QT process. Just like they should do anyways.

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              • #37

                Awesome. as far as Im concerned, this thread is over with. Give it a little time and go check the farm out again. Im sure you'll see a difference.

                Brett, Im sorry to hear about your farm. I dont have any of your Koi in my pond, but I do have your site bookmarked. I hope things work out for the best for you.

                Comment

                • #38

                  Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
                  As I have stated before I am not trying to bash anyone or hurt anyone's business. My initial post was shortly after being there and my initial reaction was total shock! I have visited other koi farms and had not seen this same type of issues, maybe they were just better at hiding them. I am glad to hear though from these responses that people have had much better experiences there than my initial visit. My reason for starting this thread was to see if other people had the same thoughts or concerns about the place as I did, and from what I have read here, It seems I visted at a very off time.

                  I would love to be able to help out at his koi farm and learn more about the operations. I did not know about the KCSD's involvement there. I live in Perris (Riverside). The local koi club here Inland Koi Society doesn't seem to be involved with California Koi Farm.
                  Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
                  Wow! You have some very good eyes or I need new glasses (probably the latter) cause I did not see a goshiki in those pics.

                  Listen I am not here to fight with you or anyone else. I have appologized and stated repeatedly that I am not trying to bash anyone or hurt his business.








                  I have also said


                  I am glad you have good experiences there and that you have purchased healthy fish from there. That simply wasn't my experience. Maybe he was having a bad a day when we inquired, I don't know, it happens, but I was there, as well as my wife, and two other couples. We all walked away having the same feelings.




                  Since you asked for the record, I have been to four other farms. I live 5 minutes from Harrison's Koi Farm and go there quite often. I have also been to Hammock Koi Farm in Tenessee, Lee Family Koi Farm in Ohio, and Hanover Koi Farm in Pensylvania.

                  With my job I am fortunate enough to travel around the world, I make it a point to try and visit koi shops and farms in the places I travel to. Unfortunately I have yet to be able to a visit any Japanese Koi Farms yet. However I am going to Japan next year so I am hoping to be able to.
                  Originally posted by PapaBear View Post
                  Pick one, just one, and stick with it.
                  Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
                  you are right I did contradict myself their. I had different reactions to this over time and with different view points from other people.

                  I personally would not go there and purchase from him just from everything I saw there. I will let people know what I saw there, however, I don't want to see this operation closed down, that would be a shame with all that history, I would rather see it fixed. That is why I thought a Koi Club could get involved and help. I was informed that a koi club is already involved. I was also informed, rather strongly from some, that what I saw was out of the ordinary for this place. Some even basically accused me of lying about what I saw and experienced.

                  I won't "discourage" people from going there, but rather inform them of what I saw and encourage them to be very cautious. Make sure the fish are healthy and they follow a strict QT process. Just like they should do anyways.

                  Anyway you slice it, you are "discouraging people from going to Calif Koi Farm" As I stated previously, Takemi is a great person, and koi farming is in his blood, times are hard for everyone, but most especially for farmers.

                  Maybe you could go buy some koi food or water conditioners from him, that would show that you are concerned for his bussines and not just out to bash, one of the first Breeder koi farms in the USA.

                  I am sure with a few good hobbyist buying supplies that would help him financially to get on top of things better on the farm.

                  JMHO

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                  • #39

                    Thought you'll might get a kick out of this? ( from a very early KOI USA back in 1978-79) JR
                    Attached Files

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                    • #40

                      That's Cool!

                      Wow, that's really cool. Thanks for sharing that.

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                      • #41

                        I really enjoyed that.

                        Whichever way things go, I wouldn't change anything about the way they've gone til now......Maybe it was, is, all a dream........


                        Brett
                        Brett

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                        • #42

                          Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
                          Wow, that's really cool. Thanks for sharing that.
                          I spent about two hours with Takemi this afternoon. He dosent seem to remember any day where a few couples left because fo a cpl flopping Koi. But someone has started a rumor about him having KHV. Hes getting phone calls about it now. I really hope that wasnt you!!! Almost sounds like someone is tryign to steal some business from a well known breeder...

                          Comment

                          • #43

                            Originally posted by d_mer View Post
                            I spent about two hours with Takemi this afternoon. He dosent seem to remember any day where a few couples left because fo a cpl flopping Koi. But someone has started a rumor about him having KHV. Hes getting phone calls about it now. I really hope that wasnt you!!! Almost sounds like someone is tryign to steal some business from a well known breeder...
                            LOL ..can you tell me of a dealer/breeder in koi that does not have the khv rumor circulating about them every year or two?

                            I'm pretty sure that this fellow would have been open about any concern he has had...and he has.

                            Comment

                            • #44

                              Originally posted by d_mer View Post
                              I spent about two hours with Takemi this afternoon. He dosent seem to remember any day where a few couples left because fo a cpl flopping Koi. But someone has started a rumor about him having KHV. Hes getting phone calls about it now. I really hope that wasnt you!!! Almost sounds like someone is tryign to steal some business from a well known breeder...
                              No I wouldn't do that. I have never purchased koi from him and would not know if he had KHV. I think someone on here already stated that they never heard of any reports of KHV coming from there. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that we visited on an off day. Many people including yourself have been to his farm a lot more than I have and had much better exeperiences. I do not sell Koi and would have no need to try and "steal" business from him. I would like to see his farm get back to the way it used to be, that would be cool!

                              Comment

                              • #45

                                Originally posted by koi-kichi View Post
                                My wife and myself visited California Koi Farms for the first time today. Let me tell you, this was the most heart wrenching visit I ever had to a "Profesional" koi farm.

                                You can tell at one time this must have been a great operation. They have several large mud growth ponds, several stock cement ponds, and a "store" area with smaller sale ponds.

                                It was really sad seeing how this owner, who must of cared about Koi at some point, let the place go. Several of the mud ponds were completely dried up. Most of the stock ponds were either empty with dead bull frogs in them or had little to no water flow/filtration. Most of the fish looked to be in very poor health, with dead fish being almost every pond.

                                This was an extremely sad day for me seeing this.


                                Here is there web page Koi Farm Homepage
                                And when you contacted the local koi clubs what was their response to the conditions that you described here?

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