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Crayfish The Unlikely Pet

Updated on August 10, 2017

Crayfish Facts

Freshwater crayfish naturally exist on all continents except Africa and Antarctica. They are also known as crawdads, crawfish, freshwater lobsters and mudbugs. They are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters to which they are related. They breathe through feather-like gills and are found in bodies of water that do not freeze to the bottom. Some species are found in brooks and streams where there is fresh water running, while others thrive in swamps and ditches. Crayfish often conceal themselves under rocks or logs. They are most active at night, when they feed largely on snails, algae, insect larvae, worms, and tadpoles; some eat vegetation (various water plants). They generally move in a slow walk, but if startled, crayfish use rapid flips of their tail to swim backwards and escape danger,

Rock The Pet Crayfish

Welcome Home Rock

When the day began, bringing home a crayfish was the last thought on our minds. We went to my daughters in-laws for a visit and one of the relatives had this little crayfish. He was maybe 1/2 inch long and his claws were missing. The relative was about to feed this little crayfish to a raccoon. My youngest son would not let that happen. He rescued Rock and we brought him home in a jar.

We had a small fish tank that had been used for a betta fish. We put Rock in it and he kept scooting backwards. You could tell he was scared. I fed him a soft cat treat that we had in the house and he grabbed in with his little pincers and backed into the little cave.

This little crayfish had just gotten a new lease on life.

Unusual Pets

What is the most unusual pet you have ever owned

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The First Crayfish Pet in the Family

When I was 18 I worked at F.W. Woolworth in the pet department. One day we got in the 3/$1 goldfish in and included in the bag was what looked like a very tiny shrimp. I bought it and put it in my tropical fish aquarium. Within a month it became apparent that he was not a shrimp. I had brought home a crayfish. I named him Charlie. He grew quickly and before long he started eating all my tropical fish. At first I was annoyed but you couldn't help but like Charlie. He actually became quite tame. I would cut up cucumbers and hold them in the tank. He would come up to my hand and take the cucumber from my hand. He started standing up at the front of the tank when he wanted his cucumber treat.

One day I came home from work and the top of the fish tank was knocked off. And no Charlie in the tank. He climbed the air tubing and knocked the top off and must have fallen to the floor. I panicked and started looking for him. Suddenly one of my cats meowed real loud and jumped in the air. There pinching his paw was Charlie!! I rinsed him off and put him back in the tank. This became a daily occurrence. Top of the tank knocked off and sit back and wait for a cat to meow and jump in the air and there was Charlie.

He was an unexpected pet and I really enjoyed sharing my home with him

Rock At Home

Rock has been with us now for about 7 months. He has grown to about 4 inches now. We tried to put a few minnows in with him but they did not live well in the small tank. So we got Rock a bigger tank. He had shed his skin so many times he was just growing in leaps and bounds.

The new tank had an underwater light that also blew air bubbles. He did not like it and moved his fish statue on top of it. I would move it and he would put it right back. I would take him out when I would clean his tank and when he went back in he would spend 24 hours "fixing" what I had done to his tank.

He now has tadpoles for company. He has caught a few but mostly leaves them alone. He prefers to eat his cat treats and algae tablets. He is a very spoiled crayfish.

I guess you never know what your next pet will be and where it will turn up.

We live in East Tennessee and since adopting Rock I have learned a few things about Crayfish.

There are more than 550 species of Crayfish worldwide, and more than 400 are found in North America. My home state of Tennessee has at least 78 species which might be more crayfish species than any other state! Crayfish can be quite colorful and Rock has changed from blue to gray to brown when he is shedding. In 2011 they discovered a new species of Crayfish in Tennessee that is larger than any others in Tennessee.

Crayfish are so much more that bait or a people snack. They are awesome pets!!


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    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Yeah, that is what I said , I'll fence them in but I was told if they get out, and they will, lookout!

    • grannysgoats profile image

      Patti Downey 3 years ago from Loudon

      Luckily my goats are minis and couldn't get on the cars LOL. We have them fenced in so they can't go where we don't want them to but I give them things to jump on. Their favorite perch is the roof of a dog house.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      I have had about any unusual pet you can imagine and I love this hub page - we have a creek nearby that is so full of crayfish they clog my minnow trap and I can't catch any minnows for fishing! No big fish in this creek and I suppose the crayfish have over populated it from lack of predators - probably too polluted to support top of the food scale species.

      I always wanted to get some goats but when I was told they will climb on your cars I decided to pass. I had enough problem with keeping my "kids" off the cars.