Do I handle my crabs too much

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Zuzu1215
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Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by Zuzu1215 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:52 pm

Since it is summer and the humidity outside is perfect for hermit crabs I have been putting my 2 outside in my enclosed porch during the day in a plastic kiddie pool filled with moist sand, stuff to climb on, a bowl of food and both salt water and fresh water containers. At nite the temperature gets a little cool for them (around 65 F) so I bring them back into their tank. Am I moving them around too much? I noticed in the posts there is a lot of talk about not disturbing them. They don’t chirp and are very active and eating normally. I have had them both for a year now. Also, when I pick them up they don’t hide in their shell so I put them in a bucket to carry them.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:36 pm

Moving them does stress them out. Moving a lot in the pool could mean they are scared and trying to get away. I have heard of one person that let her crabs roam free in her house I think, and they lived a long time. But I would think the general concensus is hands off.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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scuttlecrusty22
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by scuttlecrusty22 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:28 am

I agree, usually crabs are pretty active when they are trying to get away or they are getting stressed. Maybe just play if safe and try not to handle then but about once every 2 months.

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Xenocrab
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by Xenocrab » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:33 am

We don't handle ours unless we crabsolutely have to. Even then, it's very brief.

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scuttlecrusty22
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by scuttlecrusty22 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:37 am

Xenocrab wrote:We don't handle ours unless we crabsolutely have to. Even then, it's very brief.

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Same with my crabsImageImage

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(Scuttle, Crusty) crabs, (Buster,Ruby) chihuahuas, (Bugs) goat, (Echo) betta fish (Skittles) parakeet

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life"

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JoeHermits
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:37 am

Most people in the HCA tend to be a little more hands-off (myself included), but I don’t think it’s inherently harmful.

There are good arguments for both sides, so it boils down to personal preference more than anything.


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Overmountain1
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by Overmountain1 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:26 pm

I’m aware this is an older question, but I wanted to weigh in too.

And coming from someone on the other side of the fence- I do handle my crabs. Some more often than others bc they don’t seem to mind and some definitely enjoy being out and interacting. However, most of the time it’s a brief visit, from 2 minutes to a half hour or hour, and I try not to visit any one more often than once a week tops. But that’s me and mine.
That said, I do agree moving them back and forth twice a day would be pretty stressful on them. But if you were to let them enjoy the fresh air and pool sometimes? I’d definitely be up for that with mine too if I could. Once the temp stays up enough in the night you can do this without having to go back n forth, JMO, this would be the better time to incorporate a vacation ‘home’ for them.
I’m gonna qualify this with saying I’m no expert either, just someone who loves their crabs and likes playing devils advocate when applicable. How did the crabs do this summer?


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DragonsFly
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Re: Do I handle my crabs too much

Post by DragonsFly » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:37 am

I'm very hands off with mine, too--they are wild animals and we are large predators to them--but if you've had them for a year and they are doing okay with this routine--you did it last summer too???--it's probably working. You can think of it as a kind of "behavioral enrichment," which--if done carefully--all wild animals living in captivity can benefit from. The only thing that is "off" about this in terms of behavioral enrichment is that crabs are nocturnal, so it would make more sense for them to have the greater freedom of movement at night, rather than during the day.

As long as there are good places to hide, though, so their activity isn't just frantically trying to find a way to not be so exposed, the opportunity for greater movement may be of benefit. Do you notice them eating at all, or visiting the waters, during their "days out"? If so, they may feel comfortable enough to do that. If not, then again, all that extra movement may just be that they are afraid and trying to find a safe place to hide for the day (and having trouble finding such a place). If that is what is happening, then this routine is stressful for them.

One way to test this is to provide hiding spots (you don't say if there are any in your kiddie pool set-up), and also provide not just one source of food, but several, spaced out around the whole kiddie pool, and see what they do. If they run around until they find a place to hide, then hide for the day, you can be pretty sure the running around is out of fear of being so exposed. If they explore and seek out several food offerings, they may be doing okay with this routine. If you don't usually stay around and watch what they do, then don't stay and watch--they may see you as a predator--but make sure the sand is smoothed before you put them in, so you can see where they travel by the footprints later. Put them near a hidey, then later when you go to bring them in, you can see by the footprints where they've traveled. (If you decide to do this, please follow up--I'd really like to know how it goes!)

My only concern is that at some point, they will need to molt (if they're fairly small, I'd guess they must have molted several times in a year by now?), and then you definitely don't want them trying to do that in the kiddie pool. Mine eventually fell into a routine of molting over the winter months on their own (without any "summer home" switches), so maybe yours will tend to do that as well.

I'm also really curious how they spend all day in a kiddie pool and don't get out? I guess it must have really slick sides?
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