Feeding Koi In Winter
It is important to feed koi over the winter, however you should be careful what you feed and how much.
I know of people who habitually stop feeding their pond fish in September and don’t start to feed again until April!
Koi will feed down to temperatures around 48 degrees, however it is very important not to over feed and you must feed a diet that the koi can easily digest.
The metabolism of koi slows down as water temperatures drop, at low temperature the digestive system slows down, I won’t feed my koi food below temperatures of 52 degrees. The disgestive system will ‘switch off’ at around 48 degrees (every koi is different) and any food taken will not be digested, potentially the food will rot inside the koi causing serious health issues and probable death.
You should also feed your koi a food which can easily be digested, lots of foods are advertised as ‘winter koi food’ or ‘wheatgerm’, these foods are typically low in protein and the koi will find it much easier and quicker to digest.
I would only feed once a day below temperatures of 60 degrees, try to feed at the same time each day, I always feed in the morning so I can see the koi feeding, always remove any uneaten food after 5 minutes.
With the correct food your koi will come through winter in much better shape than if not fed at all. Many of the health issues which concern koi keepers occur during in spring and autumn as temperatures fluctuate, koi like stable conditions including temperatures, weak koi will find it more difficult to deal with potential health issues than stronger fish.