Crabs sleeping and waiting to be sorted.


Putting a Crab to Sleep and Making them go Dormant

Crabs are feisty, determined creatures. They also have bad tempers, pointy sharp legs and two bad-ass pinchers they aren’t afraid to use in a fight. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of a pinch from a crab, once they sink in -they never let go.

When you are handling crabs you want to make sure you take care not to get poked by the legs and pinched by the claws. It’s a difficult task considering they have eight legs, two claws and a fiery disposition.

Unfortunately handling crabs is an absolute necessity if you want to get these crabs to your dinner table.

We have two tricks to calm these crabs that can be related only to the late “Crocodile Hunters’ techniques of calming a huge croc by covering his eyes.



The first method can be used when you first catch your crabs and need to sort them. It works especially well when you need to measure your crab to see if it’s of legal size limit.

  1. Pick your crab up from behind with your palm facing the crabs carapace and your thumb on it’s belly.
  2. Flip the crab over so you can see it’s belly.
  3. Using your thumb or your other hand, rub the crab’s belly with slight pressure.

Your crab will instantly relax and remain this way for about a minute AS LONG as you don’t do anything to wake him up like splash him with water or flip him over.


The second method is used as a more humane way to kill your crab.

Put your crab in the freezer for 5 minutes. Be careful not to leave your crab in there any longer or you will freeze your crab to death. Your crab will come out of the freezer frosty and appear to be dead. This is the best time to put your crab in the boiling water, so make sure you start boiling your water before you put the crab in the freezer. If you let your crab sit for a couple of minutes it would warm up and start moving around again.

Putting a Crab to Sleep
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