Yabbies/Crayfish?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Alvary, May 13, 2005.

  1. Alvary

    Alvary dOn't gEt mAd, gEt EvIl.

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    hello guys

    I would have put this under livestck, but there wasn't a catogory for it (unless i missed it?)

    Any way...I wanted to know if any one keeps yabbies/crayfish to breed for food? And if so, about their set up etc.

    Thanks
    Jessica
     
  2. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    NW AR
    Hi there we raise crawfish here in S Louisiana, we have a very large pond that is about 2- 3' deep we use tri-pod traps that are self standing with entrance only holes in bottom and an opening at the top to pour them into sacks, we bait the traps with fish heads, bait pods, or a fish called shad. our pond is 52 acres. We begin fishing in the begining of winter and finish at the begining of summer but we do have very very mild winters its like spring for most.At the end of the season we drain the pond to force the crawfish to hybernate in the mud. about a month before we start fishing we begin pumping the pond to build up the water and get it good and oxgenated. It is very hard work the feed sacks are about 50lbs. the sacks filled with crawfish are anywhere from 25-33lbs. during the good part of the season we catch about 20 sacks a day. Here in the south we have a market for these bugs. do you have that kind of market? When boiled with the right seasoning they are very tastey. Or pelled and cooked in some type of dish they are good that way too. Good Luck Rannie
     

  3. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Well, Rannie basiclly summed it up. I have no expeience raising these guys, but my paran did have a 3 acre pond that didn't exactly work out a few years back. Main problem was predation. Not exactly sure they can survive northern winters. The crawfish market is about 4-5 months long, traditionally starting about Mardi Gras and ending about june-july. At that point the chitin, which makes up their shells, enriched with minerals(CaCO 3 or calcuim carbonate mainly) found and absorbed within the water makes their shells too difficult to brak, thus ending the market. Also, when the deep summer rolls arounf, growes want to save next years breeders. Crawfish breed in Aug/Oct I believe, and the crawfish breeding techniques are rather interesting. The eggs are fertilized externally, and carried on the female's underside, where the abdomen(tail) meets the cephlothorax(head). When the eggs are developing they may possibly break off, but in most cases they remain attached to the mother and there they hatch. The small crusacion will then remain attached to the mother for another few weeks at most, before detaching(or letting go to be exact as nothing attaches them) and begin their life as a scavenger. Crawfish will rarely attack a live animal, their main prey is dead or sickly animals. Sky is the limit to their eating capabilities. Often the bait of choice when catching them is melt, or the stomach lining of beef. Blood attracks them quickly.

    Rannie, where abouts are you? I'm in the middle of the capitol and New Orleans.

    Guess that may have been more than you wanted, but hey, never hurts.
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't know about raising them, but I used to catch them. When I was a kid in California we used to catch them in streams.

    We would make a hoop out of heavy wire, and attach a coarse burlap bag to it. A fish head would then be sewn in the bag with heavy twine, and rope attached to the hoop.

    The thing would be lowered into a likely spot, with the fish head showing. It helps if the burlap bag is not very deep. Tie the rope to something on the bank so the ropes do not float off.

    In 15-20 minutes quickly draw up the bag and the crawdads are yours. You can put the trap back to catch more, or be satisfied with what you have. We usually caught 4-5 crawdads every time we set the trap. When the numbers drop, move the trap to another place.

    Crawdads will eat each other, if one is larger, so we never found too many living in one spot. They like to spread out. A dozen mud bugs and we were ready to move the trap a few feet.

    It may be different if there is a trap they cannot get out of, but if you leave my kind of trap for too long the first to eat will get full and leave. If you want to harvest more than for your dinner plate, a different kind of trap is probably needed: the kind that you can leave for hours because they cannot get out.

    I have heard that if the crawdads taste muddy that they can be held in clear water for a couple of days to let the mud flavor clear out, but we had no trouble with this so we never did. It may have helped that the creek had a rocky bottom and fairly clear water.
     
  5. rannie

    rannie Well-Known Member

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    Hi there RooMAn we are very near the basin in a small town called Loreauville,LA it's about 2 hrs either way to New Orleans or Baton Rouge. closer to Lafayette. We are soon to be moving to the moutains of the Ozarks looking for more adventure and different secenery. Going to Homestead. It is really beautiful up there. take care Rannie
     
  6. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    Hey Rannie -- just to make you and family welcome, I've talk the town of Harrison to have CrawDad Days just for ya'll this weekend when you come up to set up mtmama and bring more stuff.

    Sorry, Alvary, didn't mean to borrow your thread.

    There are crawfish in the creeks and such here in Northern Arkansas and in Missouri - so I know they do survive our winters. What I don't know is if they are a different species ...good only for bait and not fine dining... the states conservation programs will likely have the information you need on that. It would be nice if we could get some good eating ones up here. Since people outside of Louisiana have discover them the prices have gone though the roof and available isn't what it use to be.

    So Alvary - what sort of crawfish business were you thinking of?

    Marlene
     
  7. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Parallel to this we have one member raising fresh water shrimp, just put 'fresh water shrimp' into the search feature to find it.
     
  8. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    While not a direct answer to your question, it is somewhat related.
    This month's Missouri Conservationist magazine had an article on crayfish. I will paraphrase from the article. The longpincered crayfish is indigenous only to the White River basin of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. It is also the largest crayfish in North America, the body can exceed 6 inches with the claw and pincers almost as long. They are abundant in Table Rock Lake, and the fishery there is unique in the state and probably the nation. A Missouri fishing license is needed to catch crayfish, they may be trapped, and the limit is 150 per day. They are said to be excellent eating.
     
  9. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    Mmmhmm..Missouri crayfish are quite tasty and the kids love to go fish them up from the conservation area. Take a fishing rod and bait it with some kind of meat and lower it into the water shine a light to see what's happening and lift it out when you have a few grabbing on. Drop em in a bucket and repeat.

    Suzyhomemaker