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Raising Freshwater Shrimp in your own Backyard


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#1 Theduardo

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 05:16 PM

Raising Freshwater Shrimp In Your Own Backyard

I love gulf shrimp, but finding good, fresh gulf shrimp here in my part of Oklahoma is pretty much impossible.

I have been raising shrimp in my very small windmill pond since 2002. I stock the pond in May and harvest the shrimp in the fall.


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I raise the Macrobrachium rosenbergii species. There are other species suited for raising at home, I raise these due to the availability.
I purchase 30 to 60 day old juveniles raised in a hatchery in Ft Worth Texas. This is close enough for me to pick them up myself ...I save on delivery costs.

The shrimp are bred and hatched out in salt water, then introduced to fresh water for the "growing out" phase.....(what I do).



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The juveniles come bags and tropical fish boxes.




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I float the bags of juveniles on top of the pond for at least 15 minutes to equalize the water temperature.




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Then I introduce some of the pond water into the bags.




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Next I release them into the pond.




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I feed the shrimp a sinking 32 percent protein catfish feed. I hand broadcast the feed. They do not get more feed until they have cleaned up what I have thrown out....I check the feed once a day. They also do well on bugs already existing in the pond.





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The shrimp grow at different rates....some are more aggressive than others.




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I harvest the shrimp using crawdad traps. I place bait in the traps and leave them out overnight. The shrimp crawl into the cones on the side, drop down into the trap to get the bait and can not get back out. There is a lid on top for removing shrimp and adding the bait. I usually use chicken as bait.





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Harvesting is easy.......I bring in the traps, put the shrimp in an ice chest and rebait the traps.



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Time to eat! :)

What I do not use as I harvest, gets thrown in the freezer for use all winter. It's been a fun crop to raise. :)



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#2 youmightbearedneck

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:25 PM

That's really cool Theduardo, now please erase this thread before my wife sees it, and has me digging a pond to grow f-ing shrimp in. :P
Seriously though, I wonder what it runs per pound to raise them? Including the food and everything. Probably still cheaper than the store bought stuff.
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#3 SLO

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:56 PM

Wow that is awesome.

There is no problem with the algae in the pond?
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#4 Tobus

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 06:39 AM

I wonder how freshwater shrimp taste compared to saltwater shrimp. All I've ever had (that I know of) is saltwater shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.

For some reason, "fresh Oklahoma shrimp" just doesn't have much of a ring to it. :lol:

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#5 88tc

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 06:54 AM

It would be cool if they would reproduce in the freshwater pond. For some reason, I'm thinking about how big largemouth bass would get in a pond, feeding on those shrimp.
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#6 Theduardo

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 07:04 AM

That's really cool Theduardo, now please erase this thread before my wife sees it, and has me digging a pond to grow f-ing shrimp in. :P
Seriously though, I wonder what it runs per pound to raise them? Including the food and everything. Probably still cheaper than the store bought stuff.


I'm still looking for estimates on the different strategies on how to do this.

The easiest way is to purchase already 30 to 60 day "grown" baby shrimp. They you complete the growth cycle in your own pond. Thats what the person in the above article did. Some of the online sources I have seen suggest that its $100 +/- per thousand of these. However I have found no concrete pricing lists so far.

Seeing that shrimp is sold in number per pound quantities, the goal would be to grow them as large to fit the 10-14 per pound category. Big shrimp. At $7 a pound for 14 shrimp in that size, a $0.10 per shrimp investment could have a crude $0.50 per value estimate. Then you have to factor in the cost of food. I have not been able to find decent pricing on bulk catfish pellets yet.

The drawbacks of shrimp farming, is that the easy ways are dependent on what you can buy from a supplier every year. If you want to cultivate, breed, and grow shrimp larvae year after year it requires a lot more infrastructure and technical talent. So the simple methods are not really self sustaining. In my case, I would have to drive to Fort Worth, Texas every year for my shrimp.



Wow that is awesome.

There is no problem with the algae in the pond?


From what I have been reading, too much algae is a problem. However small controlled amounts helps encourage growth of food sources for the shrimp. Because algae only forms in stagnant water, its more likely to attract insect life.

Aquaculture has always fascinated me. One of these days after more work is done on my homestead I hope to build a series of small ponds for experimentation. One of the advantages of my property location is that the soils are great without additives for pond construction. Then I have the Springtime rainfalls to fill them.
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#7 Theduardo

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 07:11 AM

I wonder how freshwater shrimp taste compared to saltwater shrimp. All I've ever had (that I know of) is saltwater shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.

For some reason, "fresh Oklahoma shrimp" just doesn't have much of a ring to it. :lol:


From my reading, it has a lighter texture more similar to lobster.

I see your point on Okie-Shrimp. Doesn't have much marketing appeal.


It would be cool if they would reproduce in the freshwater pond. For some reason, I'm thinking about how big largemouth bass would get in a pond, feeding on those shrimp.


Thats exactly my issue 88tc. Reproducing in freshwater. As it stands, salt water tanks are required for breeding.

Its suggested that you do not grow your shrimp in ponds with fish. Because they are an awesome source of food for bass. Thing is, this may have opportunity written all over it beyond food: Growing live fresh water shrimp to be sold locally as bait. Live crawdads for bait in Northeast Texas sell for upwards to $1ea. I imagine that live shrimp could do pretty well also.
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#8 Tobus

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 10:13 AM

Crawfish is what I was thinking. Much easier to keep and breed, and would make probably just as much money. Or even a commercialized fish farm, raising catfish (which I know you hate, but people pay good money for them at local restaurants).

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#9 Theduardo

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:29 PM

Did some surface reading about crawfish. It may be a possibility. The main advantage is that crawfish have a wider range of food sources. I could for example feed them from the crops most commonly grown in my area (sorghum, soybeans, corn, etc.). This is similar to catfish as well. Both are "opportunistic eaters," meaning they are omnivorous scavengers.

I've not ruled out catfish either. Thing is, for 2008 I already have money budgeted for pond construction. Not for breeding and express aquaculture purposes. More for having a self sustaining ecosystem. I hope to stock that with bass, but that is going to be determined by how deep I can dig. If I cannot go farther than 10ft down, then I will stock catfish there. Hopefully I can reach 16+ feet which would allow for a bass based fish culture.

Catfish, freshwater shrimp, and crawdads are very tolerant for shallow pool cultivation. Because of this, I have considered digging a few shallow 1/10th acre ponds. Then using perhaps a windmill system for pond aeration, or perhaps a solar/air-pump system for the ponds. These ponds would be used for aquaculture experiments.

Some people raise chickens, rabbits, or other larger livestock for a protein source. Thats never really interested me. But aquaculture always has.
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#10 purple

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:45 PM

Theres baked Okie Sprimps,Theres Buttered Okie Shrimps,Theres Fried Okie Shrimps....................................Theres Creole Okie Shrimps......Get all your fresh Shrimps from Bubby Gumpys Okie Shrimps Farm.


I was going to try catfish...then shrimp.....but what I really want is crawfish. When I find a good way to raise them I will.
Where in Oklahoma are you to raise shrimp.
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I may not stay on topic but I share someone out there views and if its not yours, then I am not talking to you. ;)

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#11 Theduardo

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 07:23 PM

The lady who wrote the article is in Oklahoma.

I am in North & Northeast Texas.
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#12 purple

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 07:12 AM

Sorry,Theduardo did not mean to accuse you of being an okie. The wife really likes the possibilities of raising something in water. I think I will let her have this project.
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I am not an Internet Orator, get over it.=purple

I may not stay on topic but I share someone out there views and if its not yours, then I am not talking to you. ;)

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#13 eurycea12

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 05:56 AM

If I remember my prior reading on this topic correctly, one of the problems with raising crayfish (can you tell I'm a yankee?) is aggression.
I have thought about adding an above ground pool to raise a batch of shrimp then a few catfish. I haven't spent the time to figure up costs to see if it would be worthwhile. Some types of smaller above ground pools are very inexpensive around here, about $100. We do not eat much fish now because of availability and cost.
As with any farmstead venture a desicion needs to be made as to wether it is for sale or your own use. The start up costs are very different and if you want to sell your uncle gets involved. <_<
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#14 Artigas

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 05:32 PM

Sorry,Theduardo did not mean to accuse you of being an okie.


And a hefty accusation it would be! :D
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#15 etxguy

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:59 PM

WoW I see I am not the only nut in the bunch,
I am in east texas I love shrimp and after the oil spill I went to work on rasing them in tanks.
I now have 2, 3 foot deep kids pools a small pump and a homade bio filter made from a rubermaid tote box I stocked my shrimp in june and just draind one pool this past weekend. I pulled out about 70# of shrimp I stocked 1000 juvies @ $75.00 also from the guy in fort worth in each tank he told me I could put about 3000 per pool and be ok but I wanted to start small I am working on a hatcheriy tank and hopeing to keep back some of the ones befor I pull them from tank 2 I am looking for a heat source so I can grow them year round. I feed every day and still have about 20 lbs of food left from a 50 lb bag I started with at a cost of $19.00

#16 zen

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:15 AM

The shrimp thing? Oh. That's not nutty relatively speaking. Wait until you run into a heated debate about plywood.

(It's plywood you know.)
This is why we can't have nice things.

#17 oblivionboyj

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 09:13 AM

Hey, Hey!
I have been looking into aquaculture for a while now, but because of the climate here I would need a heated environment for things like tilapia.
The fish are pretty hardy, but will only breed when the water is over 80f, and they die when it drops below 55f for any length of time.
Crawfish, on the other hand, are native to SE PA!
This is exciting!
I am going to start looking into what it would take to farm crawfish on my site :)
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#18 Longspring

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 11:30 PM

I kept crawfish for a while ( my favorite ) . Keep the o2 up via pumps and provide structure and quality feed . They are very tolerant .

#19 Oroboros

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 10:33 AM

Psssssssshaw. Y'all be doin' this all wrong. Raisin' shrimps be easy — I's been doing it since I were like five year old:

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#20 Geo

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 08:06 PM

Crawfish, on the other hand, are native to SE PA!


How do the PA crayfish compare in size/flavor to the Louisiana eatin' crayfish? Same species, or...?
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