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Author Topic: How to keep crabs alive?  (Read 16548 times)
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divedeeep
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« on: October 12, 2016, 03:43:17 PM »

So I went crabbing yesterday and caught lots of crabs....we aren't eating them til tonight so I put my crabs in my fridge to help keep them alive over night....also put a damp towel over them as I was told that the air is what kills them.....out of 40 big crabs, 7 died in just 24 hours of being in my fridge.  Should I expect this much dead loss just a day later?  Can the fridge temp kill them?  Mine is cold at 35 degrees.  What's the best way to keep crabs alive if you are not going to eat them right away?  Thanks!
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Crabbyd
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 03:48:20 PM »

So I went crabbing yesterday and caught lots of crabs....we aren't eating them til tonight so I put my crabs in my fridge to help keep them alive over night....also put a damp towel over them as I was told that the air is what kills them.....out of 40 big crabs, 7 died in just 24 hours of being in my fridge.  Should I expect this much dead loss just a day later?  Can the fridge temp kill them?  Mine is cold at 35 degrees.  What's the best way to keep crabs alive if you are not going to eat them right away?  Thanks!

too many variables to tell.  First were they quality crabs or were they lights?  Lights die much faster then quality crabs.  Also are they realy dead or just shocked from the cold?
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"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, a crab in one hand, a beer in the other, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a Ride!"
divedeeep
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 03:56:16 PM »

I put them on the asphalt in the sun to warm them to make sure for at least 15-20 min.....also checked their mouths and the mouth stays open.....I'd say they are quality but a little light.
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divedeeep
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 04:24:03 PM »

Btw....these were all jumbo 7" plus crabs in size.
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U / W HUNTER
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 05:35:19 PM »

Next time keep them in a cooler with the lid cracked open with a few frozen soda bottles, & you should be good
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Mikie
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 05:37:52 PM »

Probably too cold. Most walk-ins for crabs are around 50*-55*. At your temp, just a couple of degrees above freezing, if I knew for sure they were alive when I put them in there I would have steamed them for myself.
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Hawkeye
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 11:01:21 PM »

either too cold or dies of lack Oxygen (depending on how big this fridge is and how frequently you had opened the door).

I've never done it before - but you can keep live crabs either by storing them in a live-well.  There's a thread on this forum just a few weeks back about it.  I learned that you do need to make sure you feed them as they are cannibalistic.

Otherwise keeping them in a cooler (making sure they are NEVER submerged in any ice/water) - maybe covered with burlap or a wet towel to ensure they don't climb out - would work.  Closing the cooler would suffocate them.

Cooking them and storing them is the guaranteed way you'd have had 40 crabs to eat the next day. 
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divedeeep
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2016, 11:28:45 PM »

either too cold or dies of lack Oxygen (depending on how big this fridge is and how frequently you had opened the door).

I've never done it before - but you can keep live crabs either by storing them in a live-well.  There's a thread on this forum just a few weeks back about it.  I learned that you do need to make sure you feed them as they are cannibalistic.

Otherwise keeping them in a cooler (making sure they are NEVER submerged in any ice/water) - maybe covered with burlap or a wet towel to ensure they don't climb out - would work.  Closing the cooler would suffocate them.

Cooking them and storing them is the guaranteed way you'd have had 40 crabs to eat the next day. 

Great advice...yeah I'm thinking my commercial three door fridge is WAY to cold for these crabs....do you think just leaving them out in the crab basket outside on a cool night would be ok with a damp cloth over them?
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dreadthis1
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2016, 11:41:23 PM »

I can keep them for two or three days in my fridge without loss...I use paper shopping bags to store them, two dozen to a bag. leave the tops of the bags open for air. Not sure how cold the fridges is but i'm guessing in the forties. It's also my beer fridge so it gets open pretty frequently Grin
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Wallco99
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2016, 12:27:57 AM »

Probably not enough oxygen in that sealed fridge.
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rdbeard
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2016, 08:56:33 AM »

 I use a comm 2 door fridge and try to keep it from 48 to 53 because that's as warm as i can get it and i have stored 3-5 or 6  bu for 3 day with almost no dead loss or very few dead loss, the frig. gets opened when customers pick up orders. I also thik quality hard crabs are also key because light crabs are going to die quick no matter what you do. if you keep light crabs steam them the min. u get home and you'll still have some dead. Sqeeze every crab at the points and no flex means no dead or very little loss.
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Luna Sea 3
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2016, 09:41:40 AM »

best way is simple.. keep in the bushel, in the shade with wet seaweed or wet newspapers.  Air is what keeps them alive.  They will live days longer in a bushel then a cooler.. Which is why most crabbers use a bushel instead of a 5 gallon bucket when crabbing.  Keep cool, NOT COLD... Keep vented, NOT AIR TIGHT.  Keep wet, BUT NOT IN WATER.
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Wallco99
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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2016, 09:55:50 AM »

Why did the Mod. move it here. If it is going to get moved shouldn't it be in "Transport & Storage"?
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rdbeard
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2016, 10:22:56 AM »

 If you store 3 bu,  as seen in your other thread, and only lost 7 crabs that is normal dead loss for that amount anytime. Oh and i have no idea why it was moved to here, makes no sense.
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RAHWAYCRABBER
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2017, 04:43:04 PM »

best way is simple.. keep in the bushel, in the shade with wet seaweed or wet newspapers.  Air is what keeps them alive.  They will live days longer in a bushel then a cooler.. Which is why most crabbers use a bushel instead of a 5 gallon bucket when crabbing.  Keep cool, NOT COLD... Keep vented, NOT AIR TIGHT.  Keep wet, BUT NOT IN WATER.


The seafood guy near me keeps them in bushel baskets with wet newspapers on them he has them all weekend, not sure what his dead loss is, probably steams them when they kick the bucket
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