Introduction to make money from crab culture business
Crab culturing is one of the best in aquaculture businesses. Since crab helps in improving our immunity system, most people are likely to prefer this than any other. Other aquacultures have their own importance though. Aquaculture is not an easy job. It needs a lot of study and understanding before jumping into the business.
But, if you have a question, How do I start a crab business? Then you are at the right spot.
Ideas to make money from the crab culture business
Let’s get to know some basics before diving deep
Do you know there are thousands of different kinds of crabs? Yes, all those are divided into 850 species. Most varieties have a hard outer shell, 3 walking legs, and 2 pinching claws. Most of these species are found in shallower sea waters where these crabs occupy rocky pools and coral reefs. However few species will inhabit rivers and lakes too. And tropical crabs are known to spend a great deal of time on lands.
Male crabs will have larger claws compared to females. Another difference is in the form of abdomen; in most crabs this is narrow and triangular, while females have rounded and broadened. Because females brood fertilized eggs in their abdomen.
Types of crabs
Out of 100’s of species. There are these 5 most commonly found crabs.
- Dungeness Crab
The Dungeness crabs are oval-formed and extend in shading from a yellow-earthy colored to purple. Unlike other crabs, these have hooks on their claws. This variety comes from the west coast of North America and one of the most commercially important ones in the pacific northwest. This crab lifespan is up to 10 years.
- Snow Crab
These crabs color range from brown to light red on top. Yellow to white underneath. And the sides of their feet are bright white. Fun fact about this variety, they carry up to 150,000 eggs after mating. Snow crabs are found in many parts of the world.
- Stone Crab
This is usually brownish red with gray spots. And the undersides are a tan color. Female Stone crabs can lay up to 1,000,000 eggs. An interesting thing about this variety is, these crabs are cultured for the claws. After getting claws, they were put back in the ocean where they can re-grow the new claws. The majority of these crabs are found in Florida.
- King Crab
Got this name because of the size. This crab can weigh from 3 to 7kg. Some have been found as big as 12kg. A big king crab can cost up to Rs 30,000. There are 3 kinds of king crabs that are cultured commercially like red, blue, and golden king crab. We can find these crabs in the depth of 90-300 feet of the ocean or on muddy, sandy floors
- Blue Crab
This variety weighs from 0.5 to 1kg. This crab upper shell is in brownish color. This variety can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, and all the way to Uruguay. This crab lifespan is 1 to 8 years
- Mud Crab
There is this mud crab which is mostly cultured in Indian aquaculture businesses. This is found in two types
- Scylla Serrata : weights from 0.5 to 1kg
- Scylla Tranquebarica: weights from 1 to kg. This variety is high in demand in other countries
Both of these are grown in saltwater. 1kg crab can cost up to Rs.200.
The process of each crab farming is different based on the environment they can sustain.
Mud crab farming is the best if we are starting for the first time. Because, in mud crab farming labor, the production cost is low compared to others. With proper care and management we can earn more than shrimp farming.
How to farm mud crabs
In case if you miss this: How to Make Money from Egg Hatchery Business.
Mud crab is very popular due to its high demand in the export and domestic market. This culture is very fast growing in India and neighboring countries. This mud crab culture is considered a secondary crop in prawn and fish cultures.
There are two possible ways in mud crab farming in freshwater
Grow out system
In this system, young crabs are raised for a certain period of time. Max from 5 to 6 months until they reach marketing weight and size. This farming system is pond based where pond size depends on the product type. Small-sized ponds are suitable for crab farming as they are easily maintained.
Process of grow-out system
- Prepare a small-sized pond. Plan for proper bunds and tidal water exchange
- Stock wild-collected crabs of size from 10 to 100 grams
- You can stock up to 3 crabs for a square meter in commercial production with supplementary feeding
- Based on the size you can stock up to 6 months max
- Feed low-cost fish or shrimp to the crabs. You can visit your local market to collect rotted fish or innards of birds and animals for feeding
- For good growth, we must feed at least 5% of crab body weight. For example, if there are 100kg of Crabs in the pond we must feed 5kg food daily
- Collect a few crabs daily or weekly basis to check the weight. It is very necessary to sample regularly for monitoring the growth and health and to adjust the feeding rate
- To avoid mutual attacks keep some pipes in the pond for shelter
If we follow these steps properly within 3-6 months they will reach marketing weight and become ready for selling.
Raising soft-shelled crabs for some period of time until their skeleton gets harder is called the Fattening system. Hard-shelled crabs are 4 to 5 times more valued in the market than soft-shelled ones. This system takes less time and is very profitable too. The time period of fattening is 20 to 21 days
This farming can be done in 2 ways:
- Prepare a pond of 1 to 1.5 meters in depth which is good enough
- Pond preparation should be done properly. Drain the water and sundry it. Then fill it with fresh tidal water
- Collect soft crab from local crab merchants or fishermen
- Stocking density 1-2 per square meter for effective Fattening process
- Depending on crab availability 8 to 12 Fattening cycles can be done in a year
- We stock until crab reach your market demanded size
- Always sell when they are in the hard-shelled condition
- Prepare 3m long, 2m wide & 1m height cage per crab
- We can stock up to 10 crabs per square meter in a cage
- Float the cages on large prawn ponds with a good flow of tidal water
- Arranging the cages in a row will help in feeding and monitoring the crabs easily
- Feeding process can be the same as Grow out system
Managing the crab farm
On deciding the farming method we need to have effective management. Make sure to stock only enough crabs based on the farming method you select. Stock males separately from females. Keep checking water temperature and salinity. For good growth, feed a mixed diet of 25% trash fish and 75% brown mussel meat. Not all crabs fatten at the same time. Keep checking every 20 days and replace fatten crabs with lean ones. But, make sure to disinfect before replacing.
After the fattening period, mud crab can be individually harvested by hand. For easy handling they should be bound with string. You should hire skilled labor for the process.
Packing and marketing mud crabs
Once you harvest from water, wash and remove the dirt. To avoid fights between crabs that may cause injuries, tie the first pair of legs with any kind of thread that supports. Pack it in bamboo baskets or thermocol boxes for long-distance markets. Make sure the moist condition is good enough for transportation.
There is good demand for crabs in Southeast Asian countries. Contact export companies or agents for seafood transportation. You will have to pay them some commission.
How much does it cost for mud crab farming business?
One time investment for some land to make a pond. If you already have land then only the cost incurred will be for making the pond.
- For a pond, usually Rs.200 to Rs.600 per square feet. On average we can expect Rs.1,00,000/- for a small pond and up to Rs. 10,00,000/- for large one
- Mud Crabs cost – up to Rs. 0.6 per 1 crab seeds. If you have a 1000 square feet pond for which 3000small crabs are good enough. So, you will need Rs.1,800/-
- For feeding, it will depend on your local market rates. You can bargain for trash fish chicken waste and animal innards
How much can we earn in mud crab farming business?
- Mud crab can cost up to Rs.350/- per kg (retail price), but farm gate price would be lower when you in wholesale quantity)
- If your crop is 200 to 250 kg. You can expect a minimum Rs 80,000/-. This may vary based on time and region
- Crab cost may dip to Rs.200/- if weight is less than Kg
Some tips for crab culture business to make great money
- We should make a fence around the ponds. Because crabs tend to escape by making holes and digging the soil
- A regular water quality check is very important. We should make sure
- Salinity – 15 to 25%
- Temperature – 26 to 30oC
- Oxygen – >3 ppm
- Water pH level – 8 to 8.5
- Feeding must be at least 5 to 8% of their body weight. The major part of the total feed should be evening hours
- After the crab is grown and collected, you must clean it with fresh water to remove all the mud. Keep the crabs in moist condition, out of sunlight as there will be a negative effect with direct sunlight
The bottom line of crab culture business to make great money
Day by day in many coastal areas around the world commercial mud crab farming business is gaining popularity. Because, it takes less time. It is very easy and profitable. In the international market as well mud crabs are in high value and huge demand. With a proper crab culture business plan, one can make huge money in this. Have a happy business!.