Bait Yabbies

If you are despatching live yabbies and they need to be alive at the other end and stay alive long after receipt then the packaging of those yabbies is critical for success transport. This article is based on the packaging procedures as used by “Yabby Dabba Doo” Yabby Farm at Port Stephens, NSW (www.yabbydabbadoo.com). These are the critical steps you will need to follow to ensure successful live transportation of smaller yabbies like bait or dam stock yabbies:

Purging Tanks

Purging Tanks

Regardless of the size, yabbies need to be purged and healthy before they are packaged. They need to be purged for around 3 days to ensure the waste line (intestines) is clear and free of food. Just like the previous packaging article, this is important for restaurant supplies but also important for aquarium, bait or dam stock yabbies as a purged gut will ensure that the transport box of crayfish is not contaminated with wastes.

Purged Bait Yabbies

Purged Bait Yabbies

You will need one and a half sheets of chill wrap. Chill wrap gel sheets are cut in half and stacked one on top of the other.

Chill wrap sheets

Chill wrap gel sheets

You will need bubble wrap

Roll of bubble wrap

Roll of bubble wrap

You do not want your live yabbies to come in direct contact with the frozen gel packs. We use bubble wrap to cover/wrap the gel packs. This helps retain the gel packs temperature and stops the yabbies coming in direct contact with the frozen gel. We cut the strips of bubble wrap and keep it in the freezer with the gel packs so it’s cold when ready for packaging. Wrap the gell sheets and secure with some brown packaging tape.

Wrapped gel sheets placed in foam box

Wrapped gel sheets placed in foam box

For smaller yabbies like dam stock and bait we use wood wool as a packaging material. Wood wool is an entirely natural product manufactured mainly from plantation timber. Its natural, food grade and environmentally friendly. It can be reused or thrown into the dam with your dam stock or used in your wood heater.

Wood wool

Wood wool

The wood wool needs to be soaked in water. Ideally for 2 weeks or at least 3-4 days to ensure it is fully soaked and absorbed all the water it ever will.

Add a layer of wood wool to the bottom of the box

Add a layer of wood wool to the bottom of the box

Add a layer of yabbies

Add a layer of yabbies

Cover with a layer of wood wool

Cover with a layer of wood wool

Insert an ice brick

Insert an ice brick

We just freeze up half a take away container of water in the freezer and use that as an ice brick for packaging.

Cover the ice brick with wood wool and add another layer of yabbies

Cover the ice brick with wood wool and add another layer of yabbies

Cover with wood wool

Cover with wood wool

Add a lid and tape closed securely

Add a lid and tape closed securely

Add a label and its ready to go

Add a label and its ready to go

Dam stock and bait packed this way should have over 98% survival over a 48 hour period. We always add 5% extra to ensure the customer receives 100% of what they paid for.

If you need more information on the commercial farming and selling of yabbies, then I recommend you purchase a commercial yabby farmer book. This will tell you all you need to know.

Habby yabbying

Rob McCormack