May 26, 2018, 01:26:32 PM
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
 
 
 
Total time logged in: 0 minutes.
 
   Home   Help Login Register  

     
 

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Raising Blue Crabs For Food  (Read 786 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
PANDEMICBANDIT
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6
Location: Texas





Ignore
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:36:12 PM »

So here's the story,


So I live in East Texas where I have roughly 26 acres, and my plan later on down the road is to rent an excavator and simply build a small to medium
size pond to raise blue crabs in as a source of food. But since that project is going to be a while to even start on, I'm wanting to do a very small type of
blue crab farming that's not very costly to see if it actually works before I decide to invest a whole lot of money and time into renting an excavator, building a pond, adding 20+ blue crabs into it and that short of thing just to see it fail. As a kid, blue crab was always sort of a treat for me. Buying them frozen and cooking them or even eating them at restaurants is expensive so that is why I'm wanting to raise them for food now that I have a lot of land to do it.

So my idea for a small blue crab farm is this:
(And this small crab farm is for 1 - 2 blue crabs, probably just 1)


Kiddie Pool: A 45" hard plastic kiddie pool as an environment for the them to live in - $10
Aquarium Gravel: Gravel for the bottom of the pool since blue crabs love to dig - $10 for (2) 5 lb bags
Air Pump: Marine Metal Bubble Box for oxygen - $22 | 85 Hrs RunTime on 2 D Batteries
Sea Salt: 3 lb of sea salt, I'm using water from a well and assuming 3 - 4 Tablespoons of sea salt is good enough. (Or can I just completely raise them
in freshwater without any salt and I'm good to go?, I know the answer is probably a yes but I just wanna make sure so I don't wake up the next morning and find them dead)
Hiding Place: I basically plan on putting a cinder block right in the middle of the pool since blue crabs like to hide, also good for when they molt.
Food: I'm not going to bother with asking you guys those questions, I did my homework and found out that these blue crabs are eating machines.
They eat just about anything, fish food, table scraps, dead fish, and a whole of other things that will take me forever to list.

So a question that's been really bothering me the most is how long would I need to run the air pump?, I mean does it have to be 24/7 or can I run it like
once a day? (1 time during the day or 1 time during the night).

Any suggestions? or do you think the idea just isn't going to work?

One more thing to mention, The crabs are only in there for a few months just until they get a few inches bigger for eating. I'm only doing this
once a year (Starting in the Spring to the end of Summer) because where I live, temperatures start to drop to around 15 - 20 degrees sometimes even lower in the Fall and stay that way till Spring.

Thanks




« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 11:58:57 PM by PANDEMICBANDIT » Logged
evinrude 130
Lifetime Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2251
Location: pasadena, MD




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 10:07:30 PM »

 I don't have a clue about raising crabs. But from what you posted, you are only interested in the crab if it molts in your set up.
 I can tell you that the IMax Science Center in Baltimore has several aquariums with one crab each in it on display.  Maybe you could find out how they keep those crabs alive .  I do know , crabs eat one another.
 Cantlers and other places like that have sloughing set ups but I believe they pump water out of the creek they are on to make it happen.   Good luck. Report back how it's working.

 Here's something I found. Look it up on BCA.
Blue CrabTechnical Resources


 There are some MD waterman on this forum, that may tell you what they know about sloughing crabs. I have never heard of someone raising crabs. Maybe some scientist might be trying it.

 Just found this on the internet.   http://www.roysfarm.com/mud-crab-farming/
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 10:42:33 PM by evinrude 130 » Logged
rdbeard
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2743
Location: stoney creek md.




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 08:59:26 AM »

Blue crab farming for a food source will not be cost effective and they will eat each other. It's easy to grow 1 in an aquarium but in your set up you don't even mention filtration which will be needed to remove waste and long term to remove ammonia from crab waste. If your trying to produce soft crab, which i don't think you are by your post, that would be doable if you have a source for peeler crabs. If you want a food source on the land you have try chicken pigs and goats as this would be much easier.
Logged
Neither Crab
Supporting Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 741
Location: Northern Chesapeake Bay




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 09:31:41 AM »

I've never heard of anyone raising hard crabs because it is not cost effective compared to sloughing out soft crabs . The commercial crabbers that I know slough soft crabs at their shore homes. Jumbo soft crabs from the upper Chesapeake that are 6-7 in. sold wholesale for $40 dz. to restaurants in 2016-17. The way it is done in the upper Chesapeake bay is by building a wooden box maybe 4 ft. x 15 ft.x 1ft. deep with about 6in. of water built off the ground at around waist high with a shaded canopy to keep the water cooler. They use a pump to circulate the water from a tidal creek  to keep it oxygenated . The water falls from above from pvc pipe with holes drilled at intervals attached to the shade canopy. The water splashing from the surface keeps in oxygenated. Some times they add a rock or gravel pile to splash more and add more oxygen. The sloughing season is from May to September. To slough soft crabs you have to check on them every few hours around the clock and most back out of their shell in the middle of the night. When they begin to turn papery they are worthless . Too hard to eat as a soft crab and no meat in their paper shell as a hard crab. They start slowly turning hard in an hour or two and if they are not removed from the water . I weighed some soft crabs once and they weigh around 6 # or mor a dozen for nice sized soft crabs. A bushel of heavy males will yield about the same amount of meat. In comparison, the cost of soft crabs isn't really  expensive when you consider that you can eat almost the whole soft crab. I knew a man on the Eastern Shore Va. that sloughed Jonah crabs in doors during winter. Hs name was George Spence from Quinby Va. He died many years ago. He lived to  his 90s and was still active in the seafood industry.
Logged
PANDEMICBANDIT
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6
Location: Texas





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 12:21:00 PM »

Blue crab farming for a food source will not be cost effective and they will eat each other. It's easy to grow 1 in an aquarium but in your set up you don't even mention filtration which will be needed to remove waste and long term to remove ammonia from crab waste. If your trying to produce soft crab, which i don't think you are by your post, that would be doable if you have a source for peeler crabs. If you want a food source on the land you have try chicken pigs and goats as this would be much easier.


I really appreciate the advice, I do know they will eat each other if theres too many of them in close quarters. But in this setup, its more for just 1
blue crab to see if he can live in the environment i've provided long enough so that he can grow a few extra inches for eating later on. I'm not going to
put 5 or 10 crabs in this small kiddie pool, they would all just slaughter each other. A pond would be a more permanent structure, but I just wanna see if this setup works.

And yes I did not mention a filteration system because I don't think it will be much of a problem when its only 1 blue crab in there. And I'm not going to
drop a whole of food in there for him to feast on just so the water can get dirty much faster. I'll probably be feeding him once in the morning and once in the late evening.

But I did look on these forms and saw some people keeping them as pets in aquariums. Now, I do know the air pump has to run 24/7 for fish and what not. but my question is it the same for blue crab? I stated in my first post if I can just run the air pump like once a day. But without knowing the answer, I really can't start this project, because if I do and I don't run the air pump properly or not enough. I may find the crab dead, and I did do a lot of searching on the internet and still couldn't find an answer.

So I'm hoping you guys could give me a hand.
Logged

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

capt. ron
Lifetime Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5899
Location: Kenner La. 70062





Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 01:28:34 PM »

rdbeard is right.  You can't raise blue crabs in a pond and be cost effective.  Sounds like you live around I-20 area, Toledo Bend maybe.  Are there any other ponds in your area.  Water retention might be a problem.  1 or 2 crabs aren't going to cut it.  You will need to run an air pump 24/7.

I'll make this deal with you.  Find me a place to hunt and fish and I'll bring you some crabs for free! laugh laugh

Ronnie
Logged

laissez les bon temps rouler
let the good times roll
Sunpal
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 387
Location: CT,LBI NJ


Pickin' n' grinnin'




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 03:44:44 PM »

Yes, the air pump runs 24/7.  Without filtration waste will build-up, albeit slowly with just 1 crab.  Regardless of the number of crabs you keep you will need good filtration.  All the "rules" that apply to aquarium raised crabs also apply in your case.  You will need to monitor salinity, temperature as well as water quality (Ammonia, pH, and nitrite)  Ignore any of these parameters and the crabs will not survive.
Good luck with your experiment.
Logged

If it weren't for going in circles, I'd get nowhere
PANDEMICBANDIT
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6
Location: Texas





Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 03:54:23 PM »

Yes, the air pump runs 24/7.  Without filtration waste will build-up, albeit slowly with just 1 crab.  Regardless of the number of crabs you keep you will need good filtration.  All the "rules" that apply to aquarium raised crabs also apply in your case.  You will need to monitor salinity, temperature as well as water quality (Ammonia, pH, and nitrite)  Ignore any of these parameters and the crabs will not survive.
Good luck with your experiment.

Awesome advice, Thank you very much. Just a few quick questions.

You metioned temperture, how cold or warm does
the water need to be?

And as for Salinity, you'd think 3 - 4 Tablespoons
of sea salt will suffice for a small kiddie pool?
Logged
Sunpal
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 387
Location: CT,LBI NJ


Pickin' n' grinnin'




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 09:34:08 AM »

Ideally, you want to match the water conditions that the crabs came from. What you want to avoid is the temperature fluctuating too much during the day.  As mentioned in another post, the pool should not be in direct sunlight, as temperature climbs, oxygen content reduces. 
You'll need a hydrometer or refractometer to measure salt content.  A good pet store will have what you need.
As for salt, buy a good Marine salt at the pet store, as it contains necessary trace minerals.  Determine how many gallons of water are in your kiddie pool, but you'll need significantly more than 3-4 tablespoons of salt.  A around 1 cup per 5 gallons is closer to what you'll need.  Take a salinity reading from the place you catch your crabs and match that at home.
Logged

If it weren't for going in circles, I'd get nowhere
evinrude 130
Lifetime Member
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2251
Location: pasadena, MD




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 11:25:45 AM »

Cost of supplies is interesting for just one crab. If for scientific purposes, I might spend some money just to find out if it could be done.  If I'm hungry, I'll just go buy some large  steamed crabs and avoid the hassle of constantly monitoring the crab and the water.
Logged

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

PANDEMICBANDIT
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6
Location: Texas





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 10:48:17 PM »

Cost of supplies is interesting for just one crab. If for scientific purposes, I might spend some money just to find out if it could be done.  If I'm hungry, I'll just go buy some large  steamed crabs and avoid the hassle of constantly monitoring the crab and the water.

Yea thats something I'll keep in mind if I see that it costs more money than its worth.
Logged
PANDEMICBANDIT
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6
Location: Texas





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 10:52:23 PM »

Ideally, you want to match the water conditions that the crabs came from. What you want to avoid is the temperature fluctuating too much during the day.  As mentioned in another post, the pool should not be in direct sunlight, as temperature climbs, oxygen content reduces. 
You'll need a hydrometer or refractometer to measure salt content.  A good pet store will have what you need.
As for salt, buy a good Marine salt at the pet store, as it contains necessary trace minerals.  Determine how many gallons of water are in your kiddie pool, but you'll need significantly more than 3-4 tablespoons of salt.  A around 1 cup per 5 gallons is closer to what you'll need.  Take a salinity reading from the place you catch your crabs and match that at home.

Gotcha gotcha, well thank you very much for that info and the same for everyone, I really appreciate all the advice you guys had given me. I'll see what I can do.
Logged
ralphrepo
Registered User

Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 162
Location: new york




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 08:10:48 AM »

Here's an article from 2009:

https://projects.ncsu.edu/cals/agcomm/magazine/latest-news/Researchers-turning-freshwater-farm-ponds-into-crab-farms.html

...and another page you might find interesting:

http://bluecrabfarms.com/blue-crab-aquaculture/types-of-crab-farms

Having said that, aquafarming is pretty intensive and requires a lot of expertise. I suggest you really investigate this before sinking any real money into it. But good luck Wink
Logged

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

 
 
Home
 
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Simple Audio Video Embedder


Google visited last this page March 24, 2018, 05:32:01 AM