Like any other type of pet, people find it fun and popular to give their pet Koi treats. You might delight in seeing your Koi respond to treats while you, your children, or grandchildren feed them. While this is a great bonding experience between pet and owner, some precautions should be taken.
Koi will eat pretty much anything that you put in the pond with them, no matter if it is good for them or not. Since Koi do not have a sense of what is bad and good for them, as their owner you must control their snack diet. Another potential problem is over feeding treats. Again, Koi do not have the knowledge to know when to stop eating, and weight issues may come from overfeeding none nutritional foods.
However, if you feel that your Koi deserves treats, there are many types of foods that are available that may contain nutritional value, and will not harm your Koi in any way.
Natural Koi Treats- The best type of treat to feed your Koi is what they would find naturally in their pond. Things such as earthworms, tadpoles, and bloodworms are found in ponds, and may be eaten by your Koi without your knowledge. The best way to find out what natural treats are available is just to look around the pond. Once you know what it out there, then you can either dig up the treats from the ground around the pond or buy similar products at your local store.
Prawns- Prawns are edible crustaceans which are similar to shrimp, but are usually larger. Prawns are actually very good for Koi because they are high in Protein. You can find prawns at a number of places including your local pet stores, department stores, and feed stores. Prawns are available in regular and frozen, but be sure if you buy frozen to completely thaw it out before giving it to your Koi. Prawns are also one of the best treats to promote hand feeding.
Lettuce- Lettuce is high in essential vitamins and minerals, and it quite healthy for your Koi. There is no need to tear the lettuce in smaller pieces as the Koi can find joy in doing it themselves.
Fruit- Koi will eat a wide variety of fruit. When feeding your Koi fruit, make sure to break the fruit up into small pieces. Fruit should only be fed to your Koi on special occasions, as most fruit contains high amounts of natural sugar, which can be bad for Koi in large amounts.
Bread- One of the cheapest treats available is Wheat Bread. Take a piece of bread, break it up, and roll it into small balls before throwing it into the pond. Be sure to avoid all types of white bread, as it may contain small amounts of bleach and other chemicals that can potentially be dangerous to your Koi.
No matter what type of treat you decide to use, it is still very important that you do not over do it. To many treats and interfere with their diets, and cause more harm then good. Just do not get carried away, and you will be set.
You should pay special attention to the certain foods such as corn, beans, and grapes, as they contain an outer casing, which cannot be properly digested if swallowed by Koi. If you must feed this type of foods to your Koi, be sure to completely remove the outer casings before giving it to your Koi.