Tag Archive for bad

Land Hermit Crab Shell Guide

Wee wants to be big so bad

Wee wants to be big so bad

A hermit crab’s shell is his home and his protection from predators and desiccation. Hermit crabs take up residence in discarded shells and can not make their own shell. When kept as pets it is important that you choose suitable shells for your hermit crab. Provide 3-5 suitable shells per hermit crab. Shells can be placed directly on the substrate or in a designated bin that we call a Shell Shop. This helps keep the shells clean and reduces the chances of them being buried.

In semi-terrestrial hermit crabs a well-fitting shell is essential for maintaining low evaporation rates and carrying ample water. An appropriately sized shell in good condition allows invasion of inland environments offering more shade, food and fresh water for C. clypeatus studied on Curacao. Hermit crabs with broken, ill-fitting shells are restricted to the coast, must rely on drinking saltwater, and appear to be in relatively poor condition.[1]

Terrestrial hermit crabs show “shell facilitation”; that is, larger populations of crab generate, through wear, larger numbers of shells suitable for adult crabs. [2]

Hermit crab’s should be allowed to choose the shell they prefer from a selection of different sizes and types of shells. Natural shells are the best option. Painted shells should be avoided. Shells should not have jagged edges or holes in them.

Most species of hermit crabs will prefer a shell with a round opening. Coenobita compressus (Ecquadorian) prefers a shell with a D shaped opening. Coenobita violascens prefers a long spiral type shell.

Shells should be cleaned and boiled in Prime treated water before offering to your hermit crabs. Many owners also do a final rinse in ocean water before placing in the crabitat but this is not required.

***If you collected shells from the beach be sure the shells are EMPTY before bringing them home.

Hermit crabs can be very stubborn about changing shells but do not attempt to force a crab from it’s shell.

How to measure the opening of the shell.


My shell is too small!

My shell is too small!

Coenobita cheliped pincer claw

My shell fits just right!


Shape – Round Opening


Shape – D Opening


Good shells preferred by C. violascens

C. violascens enjoy long spire type shells.


Unsuitable Shells


Good but usually ignored

When and why do hermit crabs change shells?

Contrary to common belief, a molt does not mandate a shell change! If the existing shell is roomy enough to allow for growth during a molt, the hermit crab may feel no need to change shells. Additionally, you will find some hermit crabs are chronic shell shoppers, always trying on something new.

The Social Lives of Hermit Crabs

Sara Lewis and Randi Rotjan, New England Aquarium and Tufts University: Hermit Crab Vacancy Chains:

From BBC One: Hermit Crab Housing:

Photos of Coenobita Cavipes lining up for a shell change in Singapore

References:
1. Wilde, 1973
2. Abrams 1978

Pet Store Letter Writing Campaign

Pet Store Letter Writing Campaign

Pet Store Letter Writing Campaign!
Wait a minute Mr. Postman – Photo by Mary Milhorn

Our pet store letter writing campaign is a simple way you can advocate for the proper care of land hermit crabs in pet stores.

Pet Store Appeal Packet

In our Pet Store Appeal packet we have a pre written letter that anyone is free to use. It is a form letter that allows you to add your name, signature and contact info to make it more personalized. This is perfect for anyone who wants to work one on one with their local store to make improvements but needs some help opening the door. This letter comes with a special two sided caresheet that can be left at the store if they are open to it. Feel free to make as many copies as you want.

 

Letter Mailers

For those of you who want to help but don’t feel comfortable working one on one with a store, we can help! We are creating a team of letter mailers who will reach out to pet stores that we are notified about. Mailers will reach out either via email or snail mail.

Pet Store Report

If you are personally aware of a bad pet store we encourage you to fill out the Pet Store Report Form so that we can follow up with that store.

If you know of a store that is doing a great job, please fill out the Pet Store Report Form so that we can reach out and thank them. We will also invite them to apply for LHCOS Approved Store status. A great honor no doubt!! Not only that, but it may draw new customers to a Pet Store that has quality products, service and has shown that they care about the health and well being of  land hermit crabs 😀

Other ways you can help:

Send a letter yourself!

We have made our letters generic with our contact information on them. That means you can mail out the letter and caresheet and if the store is open to working with us, they will have our email address to reach out. You can remain anonymous.

If sending via snail mail feel free to use our return address:

The Crabstreet Journal

403 West Washington Street

Wayne City IL 62895

Spread the word!

Across all platforms (website and social media) all members can and should encourage other hermit crab owners to fill out our Pet Store Report Form. If you encounter someone posting about a bad pet store, definitely encourage them to fill out our form. Explain they only have to fill out the form and our team will take it from there and make contact with the store in an attempt to improve the situation.

Submit to the team!

Actively monitor Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ for pet stores that are advertising that they sell hermit crabs. Send the store name and location to the team via crabstreetjournal+petstorereport@gmail.com

A screenshot of the post itself would be so very helpful too! The team will take it from there.

Volunteer!

We are actively looking for other mailers! If you are outside the U.S. and want to be a mailer for your location that would amazing!


Pet Store Report Form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rhJvUpA1OHo5U0POCasHTABDKqc6waPh9P_LMd5085I/viewform


Customizable Letter:

http://crabstreetjournal.org/download/Hermit-Crab-Letter-revised.docx


Generic Letter

http://crabstreetjournal.org/download/Hermit-Crab-Letter-Generic-Not-Fillable.docx

Unsuitable shells for hermit crabs

There are a lot of shells being sold as hermit crab shells which are, in reality, not suitable at all. The obvious painted shells should be avoided at all costs but here are some other shells, painted or not, that you should not buy for your hermit crabs.

Our video on choosing the right shells
Suitable shells for hermit crabs
How do I choose suitable shells for my hermit crab

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I've never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I’ve never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.


Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I've never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I’ve never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.


Angaria delphinus – these shells are too narrow and the spiral is wrong. These hermit crabs I found at Earthbound Trading have definitely been forced into these shells and were likely trapped. There were too many of them for me to buy them all in hopes of saving them.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.


Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.


unsuitable for a hermit crab

unsuitable for a hermit crab


Muffin shell

Muffin shells are often sold as hermit crab shells but I never once had one of my crabs even try them on.


Tectusconus unsuitable for a hermit crab

Tectusconus is sometimes seen in use by exotic species but not commonly used in captive hermit crabs


Cassispilia not an ideal shell due to the long narrow opening and rough edges

Cassispilia not an ideal shell due to rough edges. If the crab is able to modify the shell and wear down the ‘teeth’ these would be usable.

Hermit Crab Food Ingredients

What's in your hermit crab food?

What’s in your hermit crab food?

Source: http://www.prestigepetproducts.com/WhatIsIt.htm

Alfalfa meal: is the aerial portion of the alfalfa plant, reasonably free of other crop plants, weeds and mold, which has been finely ground and dried by thermal means under controlled conditions other than sun curing. Alfalfa is an excellent source of phytochemicals and phytoestrogens and their antioxidant effect stimulates the immune system.

Amaranth: is a seed plant which is a good alternative source of carbohydrate energy. Amaranth is a valuable carbohydrate ingredient with a unique flavor that compliments the flavor of barley, oats and rye. It is also high in linoleic acids, which are good for skin and coat.

Chicken byproducts: consist of the rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as heads, feet, and viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Chicken byproducts are an inconsistent ingredient because of the multiple organs used, their constantly changing proportions and their questionable nutritional value. Chicken Byproducts are much less expensive and less digestible than chicken meal.

Chicken byproduct meal: consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines — exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Chicken byproduct meal is an inconsistent ingredient because of the multiple organs used, their constantly changing proportions, and their questionable nutritional value. Chicken byproduct meal is much less expensive and less digestible than chicken meal.

Chicken Meal: is the dry rendered (cooked down) product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of chicken — exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, or entrails. Chicken meal is considered to be the single best source of protein in commercial pet foods.

Corn germ meal: is ground corn germ which consists of corn germ with other parts of the corn kernel from which part of the oil has been removed and is obtained from either a wet or dry milling manufacturing process of corn meal, corn grits, hominy feed, or other corn products. Although corn germ meal contains the 10 essential amino acids that pets require, it has lowered amounts of methionine, arginine and taurine. Pet food companies utilize lower quality protein sources (protein fillers) like corn germ meal that have a lower biological value (percentage of protein absorbed and retained) than protein derived from high quality animal sources.

Corn gluten feed: is that part of the commercial shelled corn that remains after the extraction of the larger portion of the starch, gluten, and germ by the processes employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup. Corn gluten feed is an inexpensive by-product of human food processing. It offers very little nutritional value and serves mainly to bind food together.

Corn gluten meal: is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.

Cornmeal: cornmeal is the entire corn kernel, finely ground. Corn products are commonly used in pet foods as a main protein source. Because corn products are lacking in certain amino acids such as methionine, arginine and taurine, they are not as nutritious as high quality meats.

Dehulled soybean meal: is the product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after the removal of most of the oil and the outer covering of the soybean seed by a solvent or mechanical extraction process. Dehulled soybean meal is a poor quality protein filler. The ‘crude protein’ analysis on pet food labels is only a measurement of the amount of nitrogen in a food–not the quality of the protein. Because of this, pet food companies can use the cheaper by-products of human food production, such as soybean meal, to boost protein numbers. Meat is always the best source of quality protein. Meat protein is better absorbed and retained and is higher in essential amino acids like methionine, arginine, and taurine. Soybean meal has biologic value less than 50% of that of chicken meal.

Fish meal: is the clean, rendered (cooked down), dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. Fish meal is made from unspecified types of fish.

Meat meal or meat & bone meal: is the rendered product from mammal tissues, with or without bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Most people associate this ingredient with beef. The truth is that it can come from any mammal: pigs, goats, horses, rabbits, rendered animals from shelters, and dead animals found on roads. Meat meal can contain condemned parts and animals that are rejected for human consumption, including ‘4D’ animals: dead, diseased, dying, or disabled. It can include pus, cancerous tissue, and decomposed (spoiled) tissue. This inexpensive ingredient found in many commercial pet foods cannot be considered part of a safe, healthy diet for pets.

Soy flour: is the finely powdered material resulting from the screened and graded product after removal of most of the oil from selected, sound, cleaned and dehulled soybeans by a mechanical or solvent extraction process. Whenever flour is part of an ingredient’s name, the grain has been processed and some (or all) of the nutritional value has been lost. Frequently these flour ingredients are simply the leftover dust from processing human food ingredients.

Soy protein concentrate is: the clean dehulled soybean seeds that have had most of the oil and water soluble non-protein constituents removed. Although soy protein concentrate contains the 10 essential amino acids that pets require, it has lowered amounts of methionine, arginine and taurine. Pet food companies utilize lower quality protein sources (protein fillers) like soy protein concentrate that have a lower biological value (percentage of protein absorbed and retained) than protein derived from high quality animal sources. Soybeans are often GMO (genetically modified organisms) and have been altered through laboratory processes. Soybeans have also been linked to allergic reactions in pets, causing skin irritation.

Soybean oil: is obtained by extracting oil from soybeans. Soybean oil is low among vegetable oils in linoleic acid.

Soybean meal: the product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from soybeans by a solvent or mechanical extraction process. Soybean meal is a poor quality protein filler. The “Crude Protein” analysis on pet food labels is only a measurement of the amount of nitrogen in a food — not the quality of the protein. (Because of this, pet food companies can use the cheaper by-products of human food production, such as soybean meal, to boost protein numbers.) Meat is always the best source of quality protein. Meat protein is better absorbed and retained and is higher in essential amino acids like methionine, arginine, and taurine. Soybean meal has a biologic value less than 50% of that of chicken meal.

Wheat Flour: consists principally of the soft, finely ground and bolted meal obtained from milling wheat (containing essentially the starch and gluten of the endosperm) together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, and the offal from the tail of the mill. Whenever flour is part of an ingredient’s name, the grain has been processed and some (or all) of the nutritional value has been lost. Frequently these flour ingredients are simply the leftover dust from processing human food ingredients. In addition, wheat and wheat by-products can cause allergic reactions in some animals.

Harmful ingredients to avoid:
Menadione: A fungicide.
Copper sulfate: A pesticide.
Ferrous sulfate: Used in inks and tanning.
Propylene glycol: Liquid antifreeze.
High fructose corn syrup: Sugar.
Cobalt sulfate: A toxin.
Ethoxyquin: A pesticide.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): An additive also found in embalming fluid, rubber and jet fuel.
Generic by-products: May contain any of the following: cancerous meat; animal carcasses with euthanasia fluids; animals wearing flea collars; diseased livestock rejected for human consumption; livestock poisoned by chemicals; plastic or styrofoam packaging