Beginner’s Guide to Raising Mud Crab Farming

Mud crab farming is a process that many people are interested in. Mud crabs have become increasingly popular and their prices have risen because of it. Mud crabs can be an excellent substitute for other types of seafood like clams, making them much more valuable than those other types of seafood to consumers around the world. This blog post will explore how this process has changed over time and what you need to know if you’re considering mud crab farming as a business option!

The global crab trade is an ancient practice that has been around for thousands of years. Its popularity in different countries like China, India and Korea shows how much people love eating crabs! Commercial mud crab farming businesses are gaining momentum with each passing day because it’s easy to start up but highly profitable once you get going; this means there will be more opportunities for seafood entrepreneurs too – so what do we need now?!

Mud Crab Farming

Advantages of Mud Crab Farming

Crab farming has several advantages, the most important of which is that it is very inexpensive to produce. They also develop quickly and are low-maintenance. Crab farming companies are changing the lifestyles of people in coastal areas. We can make more money from crab farming than shrimp farming if we take care and manage it correctly.

Small-scale crab farming is becoming increasingly popular. We’re going to get into the benefits of starting a commercial mud crab farming company now.

  • Mud crab farming, however, is not a novel business concept. People have been producing money from mud crabs for ages.
  • Mud crabs may be raised in smaller ponds. As a result, you may utilize your pond to raise mud crabs.
  • The requirement of food is minimal, and the crabs can survive on less than excellent diet.
  • Mud crabs are quite popular all around the world. As a result, you don’t have to be concerned about selling your items.
  • You may start with a modest or huge operation, depending on your budget.
  • Crab farming may be a highly lucrative enterprise. As a result, it may serve as an excellent source of employment. Especially for people who have skills and are looking for work.
  • You will be able to recoup your lost funds soon.
  • You may use your family’s time and effort to raise and look after mud crabs.

Types of Mud Crabs

Estuaries, backwaters, and seashores are all viable options for finding the mud crab. They’re part of the Scylla family. Red claw crabs and green mud crabs are two species of crabs that may be commercially farmed. Greens and fleas on rocks or stones can cause skin irritation in some people if they come into direct contact.

Green Mud Crab
  • The male mud crab is generally larger than the female. The female mud crab takes after the males in size since females are proportionately bigger to males.
  • The carapace width of a green mud crab may reach up to 22 centimeter. It weighs roughly 2 kg and has a mass of around 2 kg.
  • You can find them beneath rocks and in crevices. They’re known for their square patterns on all limbs.
Red Claw
  • The red claws are generally smaller than the green mud crabs.
  • A red claw might reach a maximum carapace width of 12.7 centimeters and weigh more than 1.2 pounds.
  • It has a burrowing habit and no polygonal markings on it.

The American and Chinese paddle crabs are viable for commercial crab farming. Both have a high price and huge demand on the international market.

Mud Crab Farming Methods

Even beginning entrepreneurs can get started with mud crab farming. Mud crabs are grown in a variety of ways depending on the region’s available resources. You can raise mud crabs in two ways. Grow out farming and fattening systems. The mud crab farming processes are outlined below for this pair of methods.

Grow Out System

In the grow-out farming system, young crabs are raised and grown for a certain period of 5 to 6 months till they reach marketing size and weight. This type of crab farming system is generally pond-based.

The pond’s size is determined by the sort of production. Crab farming ponds are generally 0.5 to 2 hectares in size. It is critical to have good bunds and regular tidal water exchange. Small ponds are ideal for crab farming.

Because they are simple to maintain. If the pond’s size decreases, make a suitable fence. Strengthening is required along the outlet area in larger ponds with natural conditions when natural conditions are present.

You may keep wild-collected juvenile crabs that weigh between 10 and 100 grams. The time required to create varies depending on the size of the crabs and the availability of resources. In commercial production, you may have up to three crabs per square meter. You can offer low-cost fish, shrimp, and tiny crabs as food for your crabs.

You may pick up rotting fish and other animal parts from your local market. During each day, give the crabs 5% of their body weight in food. If there are 100 kg of crabs in the pond, feed them 5 kg of food per day.

Collect some crabs and try to figure out what their average weight is. It’s critical to sample the water on a regular basis in order for you to monitor the growth and general health, as well as change the feeding rate.

If you’re breeding, place some pipes in the pond for protection and the goal of minimizing mutual assaults and cannibalism. They will reach marketing weight 3 to 5 months after hatching and are ready to sell after that time frame.

Fattening System

A crab fattening system is a method of raising soft-shelled crabs for an appointed length of time until their exoskeleton becomes hard. In the market, hard-shelled crabs are worth four to five times more than soft-shelled crabs.

In this method, you can raise crabs much quicker than in a tank. The system is also extremely productive, allowing you to fatten crabs more quickly. In two different systems that are presented below, you may conduct a crab fattening company.

Fattening in Pond

Fattening can be done in any pond size between 0.025 and 0.2 hectares. Crab farming is feasible in tiny tidal ponds with a depth of 1 to 1.5 meters. Before putting crabs in the pond, make sure it is fully prepared. Draining the pond water, sun-drying it, and adding enough lime can all be used to prepare the pond.

Make a fence around the pond for the purposes of fattening. Because crabs have a propensity to dig their way out by creating holes and digging through the dirt. Inside the bund, use bamboo matting to strengthen the inlet areas.

Collect soft crabs from local fishermen or crab vendors for stocking. In the morning, collect the crabs. Crab fattening in 1-2 per squire meter stocking density is optimal. If the pond is large enough, divide it into sections according to the size of crabs. Keeping males and females apart from each other will produce excellent outcomes while reducing mutual attacks and cannibalism.

Depending on the season and your area’s crab supply, you can expect to feed 8 to 12 fattening cycles in a year. In general, crabs weighing between 300 and 500 grams have a high market price and demand. When the crabs reach a particular weight, harvest and sell them all. Always try to sell the crabs when they are in their shell-on state. This will help you make more money from crab farming.

Fattening in Pens or Cages

In pens, floating net cages, bamboo cages in shallow estuarine waterways, and tanks, crab fattening can also be achieved. Bamboo splints, nation, or HDPE can all be used as netting. The size of the cage for crab fattening should be 3 m * 2 m * 1 m (3 m long, 2 m wide, and 1 m height).

Arrange the cages in a line so you can easily feed and check on the crabs. Densities of 10 crabs per squire meter in cages and 5 crabs per squire meter in pens are optimal. Cannibalism and territoriality may occur as a result of overfishing. In only used in little-scale commercial manufacturing, fattening in cages or pens can cause mutual attacks and cannibalism. Fattened animals may be kept in cages or pens for commercial purposes.

The most significant advantage of using a fattening system is that it generates more income than the grow-out system. The grow-out crab farming method takes longer than the fattening approach, which is advantageous. However, because this form of crab farming is more time-efficient than the grow-out technique, it is considered popular among farmers.

Water Quality

The quality of the water is essential to the development of crabs. If at all possible, change the water on a regular basis. Or, if necessary, use therapeutic or chemical treatments. The following table provides an overview of what you need to know.

Feeding

5-8% of a crab’s body weight is sufficient for commercial purposes. Trash fish, chicken droppings, animal entrails collected from a slaughterhouse, brackish water clams, and other low-cost materials may be fed to your crabs. Don’t give all the feed at once. Instead, provide it twice a day. Give the majority of the total feeds in the evening hours.

Breeding

The mud crab migrates to the ocean to breed. They usually reach maturity at 9 cm in carapace width. In most situations, they become mature within their first year of life.

Before the females have completed a precopulatory molt, males generally approach them. Males grasp them with their chelipeds and first pair of walking legs, then carry them about for up to several days until the females’ molt.

Caring & Other Management

Mud crabs are strong and healthy. They typically require less maintenance than other types of crabs. Taking additional care, on the other hand, will assist the crabs in remaining healthy and developing effectively. So, always do your best to look after your crabs. Check on their health on a regular basis and take action if anything appears abnormal.

Harvesting

When the crabs are small enough to be marketed, you may begin harvesting. They are captured by means of traps, trawling, hooking, baited wire mesh pots, and even hand harvesting.

Marketing

After a certain length of time, inspect the crabs for hardening. Within three to six months of age, they become marketable in the grow-out crab farming method. The duration is shorter in fattening systems based on the size of the crab.

However, try to collect the crabs as soon as possible after they reach a good weight and continue to be valuable. Collect them before dawn or after dusk. You may gather crabs from the pond using a scoop net or with enticing bait. After cleaning the collected crabs in clean brackish water, remove any remaining dirt and mud.

Then, while carrying the crabs carefully without breaking their legs, tie them securely. After that, keep the crabs in wet conditions. Keep them away from the sun. Because direct sunlight has a detrimental influence on their survival. Then market them. The commercial crab farming business is gaining popularity day by day in many coastal areas around the world. Because it is very easy, profitable and takes less time.

Conclusion

In the international market, mud crabs have tremendous demand and premium. As a result, you can supplement your income and create a job opportunity by operating a commercial crab farming company. Clay crab breeding is becoming a popular practice in coastal districts of India; Due to the good demand and best price of the clay crab in the international market. The mud crab has become a good export commodity as well as a large livelihood for the poor coastal communities of India.

As A Reference: Roysfarm

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