Are you interested in raising crawfish? It takes a lot of time, effort and know-how to successfully farm crawfish.
Most people have only one place in mind when talking about crawfish: New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans has been famous for a lot of their crawfish dishes. The crawfish is known by several names such as crawdads, crayfish or mudbugs. There are about 32 kinds of crawfishes identified in Louisiana and there are two species that are of economic importance. They are the red swamp crawfish and the white river crawfish.
Raising Crawfish 101
Crawfishes are relatives to lobsters and they live in fresh water. By creating ideal growing conditions for your crawfish, they can grow really big. It would be ideal to grow the young crawfish in tanks but that would require more work when it comes to taking care of them. If you conduct cautious harvest, you can produce larger crawfish if you put back the largest catch back in your pond to reproduce. Young crawfish grow fast and they can reach harvest size of about 25 pounds in about three months if the growing conditions, such as the water temperature, are favorable. Naturally, crawfish that hatch during fall or mid-winter would take longer to develop before harvest.
Some say that the combination of natural and processed feeds give better production results. Natural feeds consist of hay, grass, and other plants while the processed feeds are pellets, dog food, sinking fish food and feeds for crawfish.
The growing of crawfish depends on the conditioning of the pond to rouse the ideal natural habitat. Crawfish grow and mature during the wet cycle and have learned to survive during the dry cycle by digging holes. These holes are dug by both mature and young crawfish during dry cycle. The moistness of these holes helps them to survive the dry cycle until the wet cycle returns. They also serve as their hiding place from predators.
Crawfish Production Systems
There are some types of production system for crawfish. One would be the single crop crawfish pond. This type of production system is mainly for cultivating crawfish. The pond design is made to improve production by the means of confound banks and recirculation systems.
Another system would be the naturally vegetated ponds. This has the lowest and inconsistent harvest turnout on a yearly basis which is why this type of system is not highly recommended. This type of production system is referred to as the marsh ponds and is often built on wetland areas which have a high amount of organic matter in soil. This organic matter usually decreases the water quality thus resulting in a low production of crawfish.
Whatever type of production system you decide to use, make sure that you have adequate supply of water for your crawfish. You use water to make your crawfish grow and you drain the pond of water to make your crawfish reproduce.
More often than not, locations of ponds for crawfish are in rice fields. This is due to the fact that rice fields provide everything that you need in growing crawfish. Crawfish would have plenty of water and the plants that grow in water serve as one of their feeds.