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Author Topic: Why is it that some crabs are just almost HOLLOW?  (Read 20149 times)
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mrscharms
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« on: September 12, 2004, 12:18:37 AM »

Bought a half bushel Friday evening...$27.50...can't beat the price!!  This time, we got 71 crabs in the half bushel!  I couldn't believe it!  But at least a dozen of them were pretty hollow...the shells were very thin...you could break the claws open with your fingers (which are torn apart right now from taking all the meat out of them for freezing for winter meals!!!)....

So why the hollow crabs?  

Thanks for any input as I really want to know!!  
Janice
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2004, 12:47:48 AM »

When we used to buy them that is how they were too.  There wasn't much meat.  We used to think it was because they were dredging them out of the mud.  Well I guess they wouldn't be doing that at this time of year.  So I am pretty curious as to the answer to this question myself, how come most of the ones you buy are hollow?  

How long can crabs sit in a cooler without dying? (when we bought crabs we always bought them live, we were just more comfy cooking them ourselves.
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mrscharms
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2004, 12:54:35 AM »

No, not most of the ones were hollow..but about a dozen  were!  With paper thin shells!  If most of them were hollow, I'd be a yellin!!

I'm very satisfied with my  half bushel of 71 crabs...just was wondering why some are full of meat, and why that dozen weren't?  PS...I still have 25 of them that I haven't even opened up  yet!!

Janice
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2004, 05:04:24 AM »

Those crabs are called water galls or whiteys. The term used to describe a crab which is hollow and full of water when cooked. A trait of some crabs. Nothing wrong with them, safe to eat.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2004, 08:06:55 AM »


So why the hollow crabs?  

Thanks for any input as I really want to know!!  
Janice

The hollow crabs have shed recently.  When they slough they pump their body cavities full of water to take up the empty space until they fatten up.  Shedding takes a lot of energy and the new shell could not be full of meat at that time.  The shells are “paper” thin after they first shed and begin to harden.  The crabs shell gets harder and thicker as it ages.  

As Mariner says those crabs are called whiteys or paper shells.  The first tip off is their carapace it very clean and bright colored.  The color fades as the shell ages.  Looking at the bottom of the crab the shell is pure white, thus the name “whitey”.  Under the point of the carapace you will not find any “moss” or very little and it will be light in color.

A crab that has filled out its shell will have what looks like a dirty rusty under body with a lot of moss under the points. The rusty ness starts at two spots just behind the head mouth area, on the bottom shell, just to the right and left of the apron point.  Rusty spots grow in size until the complete bottom is covered by that time the crab will be ready to shed again.  Depending when this happens the next shed may not be until the “first peeler run” the next spring. That’s why fall crabs have the reputation for being the heaviest crabs of the year.  
« Last Edit: September 12, 2004, 08:17:36 AM by jack1747 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2004, 06:23:07 PM »

71 crabs in half bushel surprises me cause todays catch yielded 54 crabs per full bushel and we packed em in there pretty tight. maybe my bushel was smaller.  lgc
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2004, 07:45:09 PM »

http://www.blue-crab.org/prime.htm
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2004, 11:20:39 PM »

OKay, I got it!  Whiteys, I'm going to throw back from now on..I  think I caught some today...went out for just an hour and got 2 dozen!  I was in total shock...but I know for a fact that I got a lot of rustys!!  

Maybe because these were smaller crabs, there were so many in the half bushel?? Actually, there were 77 of them!  I thought I gave 18 to my daughter's friend's parent when she went to spend the weekend there..but they told me that I gave them 20!  

Ya know, the funny thing is that I used to LOVE catching those nice clean crabs lol...not anymore...bring on the Rusty Jimmies!!

Thank you all for your explanations!

Janice
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