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Crayfish farming

 
Posts: 43
Location: The Netherlands
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Hello,

Is there anybody that has got experience with the farming of crayfish?
I'm just 13 years old so i can't afford expensive filtration device's ect.
I was thinking about a pond made of pressed clay with cattail for filtering.
What for feed should i use?

Gr. Matis
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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Take a look at aquaponics, they use Yarbies (Australian for crayfish) often in these systems.

 
Posts: 13
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crayfish are easy to raise and what a great idea. you are right, cattails are a great filtering plant. I kept a few wild crayfish for a while and they reproduce fast. they require a good oxygenation of the water, more than cattails can supply. they also shred aquatic plants that are not big and solid.
 
Posts: 35
Location: eastern part of West Tennessee
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If you use "Yarbies" take extra precations that they are not introduced into the wild. American crayfish are causing problems in streams in England and Europe and Asian crayfish are causing problems in parts of America. Check your local and national laws about having non native or native animals.
 
Posts: 247
Location: Sierra Nevada mountain valley CA, & Nevada high desert
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Hi Matis, This is an older thread but, like to know what you've done so far raising Crayfish.

As far as feeding them at first you can feed them scraps of flesh. Large insects, worms, table scraps. If you build a pond and plant Cattails soon the pond itself will provide the food. At our property in Australia there was a large pond, I didn't build it, it wasn't very deep in the dry season. animals were attracted to the pond, anything that died was eaten by the Crayfish. Guppies if introduced to the pond, reproduce quickly, they are also food for the Crayfish.

How large a pond do you plan, and how cold are your winters? Hope to hear from you.Best of luck.

Richard
 
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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They are actually called 'yabbies'...and in some parts of Australia a larger species are marketed as Marron (http://www.wamarron.com/). They are a high income generating crop indeed!

I would like to try raising some native species in Maine for the gourmet restaurant market...
 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
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Gary Lewis wrote:They are actually called 'yabbies'...and in some parts of Australia a larger species are marketed as Marron (http://www.wamarron.com/). They are a high income generating crop indeed!

I would like to try raising some native species in Maine for the gourmet restaurant market...



Yeap. Yarbies are something else. And if an Aussie calls you "pal" it may not be a friendly term.
 
Posts: 67
Location: Queensland Australia
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6 months late but yeah yabbies not 'yarbies'. Most here grow redclaw, marron or destructor in outdoor ponds. I spent some time on an ex redclaw farm (now a fish farm) so know a little if you had specific questions.
 
Posts: 57
Location: Piedmont Region of North Carolina
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D. Klaer wrote:6 months late but yeah yabbies not 'yarbies'. Most here grow redclaw, marron or destructor in outdoor ponds. I spent some time on an ex redclaw farm (now a fish farm) so know a little if you had specific questions.



Hello,

I am considering raising some crayfish on a half acre lot here in central North Carolina. The reason that I am considering crayfish is because of its high omega - 3 to omega - 6 ratio. It is not as high as shrimp but shrimp is a salt water species and I am 200 - miles inland.
Here in central NC the temps get down to the single digits a couple of days a year and also in the summer we get some dryspells. We only have a shallow bored well on our property so I would have to build a good water catchment and retaining system. Does this idea look feasible to you?

Thanks for the help...

Jim
 
Posts: 70
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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In my thoughts I came up with a small scale crawfish farming method (I'm from Louisiana they are called Crawfish here...if you say "Crayfish" people will look at you funny or think you're talking about a crazy fish), and it could be scaled down or up. But, basically, you'd either do a small aquaponics setup under a greenhouse-like canopy or a sunken floor in a greenhouse with grates where you could drop the trimming scraps for them to eat and so that watering would drip water directly back into the sunken pond, and the cycled water could be drawn up to the plants for fertilized water, also traps could be hung on the grates for harvest time. They eat meat and veggie scraps. In theory a person could use something as simple as a pallet with one side cut out a small pond liner...etc.. They are very hardy, do well in aerated but shallow water, it's mostly just controlling temperatures and giving them a proper breeding section.

Here is a video, it has adult language...I'm sorry about that, but it's a simple and easy method.
 
Colin Nelson
Posts: 70
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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*Aquaponics integrated into that setup, and/or a sump tank, would probably eliminate the need change the water.

His setup is not ideal, but it's an idea!
 
Posts: 26
Location: Australia
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I know this is an older post but just thought I'd let you know what we do.

We grow yabbies and marron in old fridges, but you could keep them in any large water container (we have used old disconnected pool pumps and olive barrels before in the past. Anything that will hold water). To start with, why not make a mini-system in a regular fish tank - they are very interesting to watch, particularly at night when they come out to fight and feed.

We de-gas our fridges and lie them on their back. We drill two holes into the freezer compartment, and we fill up the freezer with filter material. We then pump water from the fridge into the freezer / filter and then back into fridge. Freshwater crayfish are picky about water quality, so you have to keep the water clean. We are using solar powered water pumps at the moment to keep the pumps flowing.

Keep the crayfish happy with plastic tubes to hide in during the day (1.5 x as many tubes as crayfish). Add an old log into the mix for their entertainment and you're on a winner.

Let me know if you want anymore tips, we have been growing these successfully at a small and large scale for quite a while now. Good luck!
 
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here is what some guys did years ago

There was a market for soft crays.
Crayfish tend to molt based on a couple of factors.
In area around southern Canada and northern USA they molt based on water temperature.
Also, if a crayfish losses its eye stalk it will induce a molt. Critter can grow new eye stalks.

So this guy traps cray in the winter and early spring.
He stores them in old chest freezers that he seals and fills with water.
Their claws are banded and they are feed.
When he needs soft crays he put some in warmer water.
Within a week or so they molt.

If he gets crays after water is warm he nips off the eye stalks so they molt.

Soft crays are used for bait and eating.
 
pollinator
Posts: 536
Location: Western Washington
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Has anyone come up with a low tech solution for raising crayfish in a pond? There are lots of ponds around here, including one on a friend's property that has a stream running in and out of it. She was thinking of raising native crayfish there so that if any escaped it wouldn't wreak havoc. Any suggestions on getting started, feeding them, etc?
 
gardener
Posts: 5738
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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cajun crawfish dot com

This commercial outfit has lots of very helpful tips for home growers to use.

Depending on how many you want, just size the pond or tanks accordingly, provide cover (as others mention), lots of O2 (I've used large aquarium pumps with multiple air blocks before)
Feed can be a wide variety of items, crawfish are part of the cleanup crew of nature.
 
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In Colorado and Wyoming I have harvested lots of crawfish from everyplace from ditches to giant reservoirs. I am wondering about the need for lots of oxygenation. Many of these waters were slow moving and murky. The crawfish lived in holes in the muddy banks or under rocky outcrops. When I was young I found one frozen in ice, solid, I thawed it out and it crawled away ! So it seems to me that they are pretty hardy and wouldn't need much special care.
 
James Landreth
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That's great to know. I'm hoping to set up a low tech system without any pumps. I'd like to set up a pond with lots of aquatic vegetation. I've also thought of collecting rainwater in a concrete cistern and then using gravity to allow it to fall during the summer to oxygenate the water. Thank you both. Bryant, I'll be sure to check out the website
 
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Location: South of Quebec city, Canada, zone 4
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Miles Flansburg wrote:In Colorado and Wyoming I have harvested lots of crawfish from everyplace from ditches to giant reservoirs. I am wondering about the need for lots of oxygenation. Many of these waters were slow moving and murky. The crawfish lived in holes in the muddy banks or under rocky outcrops. When I was young I found one frozen in ice, solid, I thawed it out and it crawled away ! So it seems to me that they are pretty hardy and wouldn't need much special care.



My tought too, I have a carry on my piece of land with about 3 feets of water in it, not much vegetation since its is almost bare rock, yet there are many crayfish in it wich seem to get by with little oxygenation.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Many species of crayfish can actually breathe air for short periods. Of all the ponds I've done dissolved O2 tests on, they all had in the neighborhood of 12 ppt. (Parts per Thousand)
While lower levels are fine for survival, if you want to grow nice size quickly  (commercial operation or for your own consumption) the DO2 needs to be above 9ppt. and 12 to20 ppt. seems to be better.
We are currently talking about starting an aquaponic system just for raising crayfish and lettuces, I'll post if we decide to undertake that operation.

I love crayfish and am fascinated by all the different names they are known by; crayfish, crawdad, yabbie, mudbug, are just a few of the many names for this animal.

Redhawk
 
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