Ochiba (also known as Ochiba Shigure) are a fairly new variety of Koi, created in the mid-90’s by cross breeding Chagoi with Sorogoi. The result is a Koi with a Silver/Grey background or base skin colour, overlaid with striking patterns of Bronze/Gold. Ochiba translates from Japanese as ‘Autumn leaves falling on water’ which is a beautiful description of the autumnal colours featured in this truly striking Koi Carp.
Ochiba on occasion may exhibit glittering highlights to the scales. This phenomenon is known as Ginrin. Ochiba displaying such scales would therefore be known as Ginrin Ochiba.
As experienced Koi keepers will know, both Chagoi and Sorogoi (from which Ochiba are descended) are considered to be incredibly tame as Koi Carp go. Genetically speaking, this trait has very much been passed down to Ochiba which can readily be trained to feed from your hand. In fact, having an Ochiba in your Koi pond can often give other fish within the pond more confidence during feeding time.
Ochiba generally compete in the kawarimono class, which is a catch-all class for lesser-known varieties of Koi Carp. However, in recent years, due to an explosion in popularity, some Koi competitions now have a category specific to Ochiba. When selecting Ochiba, you should be looking for a high-quality fish with a solid Silver/Grey base colouring which is free of blemishes. The Bronze/Brown pattern should extend down the back of the Koi and should resemble artistic paint brush strokes with solid edges. Most importantly the distribution of colours on Ochiba should be pleasant to look at.
One of the most rewarding experiences in Koi keeping is having your prized fish, greet you daily eagerly awaiting a handful of Koi food. In many instances the answer to achieving this is by introducing an Ochiba. So, if you’re looking to add some charm and character to your Koi pond, look no further than Ochiba!