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Author Topic: Shedding crabs  (Read 3563 times)
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Mrsofty
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« on: September 01, 2022, 11:19:15 AM »

Something I always wanted to do was try shedding soft crabs. I finalĒy did it. And it is working out fine. My primary concern was where to put the operation. Outside raccoons would be a problem. Since I had access to peelers for free I decided on setting things up in the garage. I had the tank and sawhorses and pump. The initial pain was hauling water from the river. I have to come up a steep hill and can only fill the buckets half way. It took several trips. I did elect to buy two aquarium filters. One would have probably been sufficient.
If my supply of peelers holds up for another two weeks I should have enough softies to get the family thru the winter.
Being retired and readily available to check the operation around the clock is necessary. Seems the crabs like to shed between one and three am. Iíve had two shed and eaten by the other crabs and two that got hard because I fell asleep. Some die during the shed. Iíve been told this is normal. Some shed fast and some take a couple of hours.. 
things Iíve noticed. The crabs are not aggressive to one another. Some even sit on top of another crab. Sometimes they already out individually and sometimes they cluster together.
My biggest shed so far is a seven inches. All are over five.
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Hobbes
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2022, 11:57:37 AM »

What a fantastic endeavour. Nothing like a softcrab sandwich! Wish I lived on the water now that I an recently retired as well. Really great little operation there, nicely done.
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Mikie
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2022, 02:08:00 PM »

Peelers don't eat, if you had two eaten after they shed then you have one or two that aren't really peelers.
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jack1747
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2022, 04:41:57 PM »

Peelers don't eat, if you had two eaten after they shed then you have one or two that aren't really peelers.
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
jack1747
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2022, 04:46:34 PM »

https://www.bluecrab.info/molting.html
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)

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Mrsofty
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2022, 05:31:36 PM »

Greenies still eat.The pinks and reds donít. I had a couple of greenies in the beginning.
I stated in my write up that I had two crabs that got hard before I knew it. They are still in the tank.
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Mikie
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2022, 06:37:13 PM »

Greenies still eat.The pinks and reds donít. I had a couple of greenies in the beginning.
I stated in my write up that I had two crabs that got hard before I knew it. They are still in the tank.


If you left the "hard" softies in the tank, you need to get them out of there or at least separate them from your true peelers. They are not peelers anymore, they are now regular hard crabs looking for stuff to eat so they can continue to grow.
Looks like you have a stock tank. I would section it off into a couple of compartments and separate the peelers according to stage. If you insist on keeping the ones that you missed, you're going to have to feed them until they are mature enough to cook! The time between sheds varies with the size of the crab, if you plan on keeping them until they shed again, it's going to be awhile.

It's true that true "green" peelers still eat. That's why everybody that's sloughing soft crabs has multiple tanks and separates the peelers by stage.
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Mikie
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2022, 06:48:40 PM »

If you want to keep the crabs that you missed for pets, Jack can tell you how to go about it.
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Mrsofty
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2022, 08:15:49 PM »

Lighten up guys. I am well aware of what Iím doing. This is not a commercial operation. Iíve lost two crabs to predation. Itís not a crisis. Iím only keeping 15 to 20 peelers in the tank. Iím doing this for fun and filling the freezer. At the rate Iím going I will have enough soft crabs in three weeks, as long as I get the peelers, and then Iíll close it up. My shed success is quite good. !

I did just have a real curiosity. A crab started to shed two days ago. I quarantined it. The shell only moved 1/2 inch. The mature apron was complete but the crab never did shed and finally died.
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Mikie
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2022, 09:31:04 PM »

It probably couldn't get the backfins out, but since you're well aware of everything, maybe not. Enjoy your hobby and happy learning. Looking forward to read about your journey.
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Msby
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2022, 08:28:10 AM »

It is pretty interesting. We run a 200 float commercial operation and you definitely donít want to oversleep lol
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Harford Crabber
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2022, 08:51:45 PM »

It is interesting.  Wondering how many die while shedding?  Is there a percentage or is it less than 1%?
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jack1747
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2022, 10:02:47 AM »

It is interesting.  Wondering how many die while shedding?  Is there a percentage or is it less than 1%?
It's pretty low...
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
Johnny Boy
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2022, 02:20:43 PM »

Enjoy your endeavor and have fun learning. IF you didn't want any suggestions or criticism you should have never posted this is a tough group of Know it all's.
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Johnny Boy; Social Crabber
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2022, 04:46:35 PM »

Only way to learn is to be around people that know more than you.... 
maybe?
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Mrsofty
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2022, 11:25:25 PM »

Update. The crabs are doing their job. And I am stocking up really nice softies. All are primes and bigger.  I will reach my goal to have soft crabs all winter. I wish I would have set this up before.
I had to work out the sleep situation. My normal bed time is between 11:30 and mid night. I check the crabs before I turn in. Wake up between 2 and 3am. And then between 5:30 and 6am. I am not worried about losing a crab, or two. Luckily I have not lost a crab on this schedule. Knock on wood.
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2022, 12:34:48 PM »

how are you freezing, wrapping or vacuum sealing?
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jack1747
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2022, 05:10:54 PM »

how are you freezing, wrapping or vacuum sealing?
What we do is to clean them as usual, wrap individually in cling wrap and freeze.  When frozen I vacuum pack enough for a meal. 
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2022, 07:34:38 AM »

Jack i vacuum seal live and whole, before cleaning and clean once thawed. if kept whole i dry them best as possible then put them in the bag then put a rolled up paper towel or 2 in the top of bag ,force3 out as much air as possible and hit the button to vacuum and watch as the moisture gets in the towel and hit seal before it gets past the towel
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jack1747
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2022, 09:25:40 AM »

Jack i vacuum seal live and whole, before cleaning and clean once thawed. if kept whole i dry them best as possible then put them in the bag then put a rolled up paper towel or 2 in the top of bag ,force3 out as much air as possible and hit the button to vacuum and watch as the moisture gets in the towel and hit seal before it gets past the towel
Yup.  That's how we used to do it too..
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)

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