Hand Feeding Your Koi - A Thrill!
One of the most unique and thrilling things about keeping koi is that you can train your koi to eat from your hand. No other ornamental fish can be taught to do this, but koi are intelligent enough for you to do that.
The whole process would take you a few days. It will be best to begin hand training your fish from the very moment you get them, but it is not impossible to train a fish that you have had for awhile either. The trick is to start slow. Never make any sudden movements, as this will scare your koi, no matter how trusting they are.
Start by placing a few pellets or snacks in your hand and submerging your hand under water. Slowly allow the food to fall out of your hand into the water. The koi may not seem to be paying any attention, but rest assured that they are aware of your hand and are aware that your hand is providing the food. Do this for a couple of days.
After you have dropped the food into the pond for a couple of days and have gained the interest of your koi, begin making the fish remove the food from your hand. If they refuse to take the food from your hand, do not feed them that day. You will not starve your fish in this process. They will quickly get the idea that if they want to eat, they must get the food from you. Doing this everyday will get them comfortable with you.
Once you have the fish eating out of your hand, then you can start getting your Koi to eat the food directly from your fingers. If your koi will not take the food out of your fingers, do not feed them that day. Food is your number one motivator when it comes to wild animals and no fish will simply starve itself because it is unsure of the situation.
Once your koi are comfortable with hand feeding, you can alternate between hand and regular feeding. If you are in a rush, there is no reason to attempt to take the time to hand feed.
Once you get your koi taking food from your hand, be careful when allowing visitors to feed your fish. Always supervise children and adults alike, making sure that they are feeding the fish proper foods and not making any sudden movements that will scare the fish.