How To Hold A Hermit Crab | Hermit Crab Handling
How to Hold a Hermit Crab
Hermit crabs are great pets. They’re relatively easy to take care of, easy to feed, and enjoyable to watch. However, they’re a little bit tricky to handle if you are a new owner. If you’re inexperienced or act improperly, you might wind up being pinched by your little crab friend. There is also a danger you could hurt your crab friend. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to minimize danger to your crab friend and yourself. Just take it slowly, act deliberately, and be very careful.
Handling Your Crab
Move slowly when reaching for your hermit crab.Always make sure to move very slowly when trying to handle a hermit crab. Hermit crabs have compound eyes and can detect movement very well. If you move quickly, they’ll definitely see you and they’ll certainly be startled and will try to run away or defend themselves.
Pick the shell up from the back.When you go to pick up your crab, make sure to pick him up from the back. If you try to pick him up from the front, the crab might pinch you with his claws. The initial moment when you pick up the crab is key, so don’t botch this up, and don’t pick him up from the front of the shell or try to touch his head, claws, or body.
Open the palm of your other hand underneath him while continuing to hold the shell from the back.After you’ve picked up the crab, hold him by the back of the shell then outstretch the palm of your other hand underneath the crab’s walking legs. The reason that you outstretch your hand is so the crab has somewhere to rest his legs, and so he’s not panicking and trying to grab onto to your dominant hand and pinch you.
- Flatten your other hand underneath the crab. Make sure that your hand is completely flat and that none of your skin or fingers are vulnerable to getting pinched by the crab.
- If he tries to pinch you, slowly raise him up with your other hand just a couple of inches, and then try to lower him again.
- Make sure you do this just a couple of inches from the ground of his terrarium or above a table. If you drop him, you don’t want to drop him more than an inch or two.
Keep all of your fingers touching each other.Keeping all of your fingers together will prevent the hermit crab from pinching you with his claws. It will also provide a large, flat area where the crab can stand up. In addition, your crab will feel safer if there is a solid surface beneath him.
Place your hermit crab on your hand, and let go of his shell.Once you’ve got the crab to rest his legs on your hand, let him go and allow him to move around on your hand. After being released on your hand, your crab should become more relaxed.
- Make sure your hand is only a few inches off of a table or the floor.
- Don’t be afraid to let your crab move around freely on your hand.
- Try to relax and keep a steady hand.
- If your crab gets close to falling off your hand, pick him up by the back of the shell and redirect him.
Feed your crab.Feeding your crab while handling is definitely one way to get your crab used to and comfortable with handling. In fact, if you properly hand feed your crab, he will actually look forward to and enjoy handling.
- Put some oats or fruit in your hand when your crab is relaxed.
- Make sure your crab is comfortable.
- If you try too fast, your crab might pinch you.
Figuring Out How to Treat Your Crab
Choose a time when your hermit crab is relatively active and out of his shell.Make sure to pick a time when your crab is already active. If your crab is not active, he won’t really do anything, and he might not even come out of his shell. The best way to engage with your crab is to make sure he’s already interested in moving around.
- Never shake the crab’s shell.
- If the crab doesn’t want to come out, and isn’t moving around, don’t force him.
- Figure out when the best time for handling is depending on your crab’s habits and feeding schedule.
Brush all sand off of your hermit crab.If you can do so without scaring him, try to brush off as much sand as you can before picking him up. This will enable you to see him better. It will also help when you hold him, as he’ll be less likely to slip out of your fingers.
Avoid letting your crab walk around on carpet or similar surfaces.While it might be tempting to put down your crab outside of his terrarium while you’re handling him, you need to be careful about where you put your crab down. Certain surfaces are unsafe for hermit crabs. Avoid:
- Carpet. The fuzz or lint from carpet will cause problems for your crab.
- Any surfaces that might have chemical traces or residues present.
- Any surfaces that might present drop dangers, like table tops or stairs.
Do not move around when you are handling them.One of the most important parts of handling a crab is staying still and moving slowly and deliberately. Staying still and moving slowly will ensure the safety of your crab and minimize the chances of you getting pinched. If you move around, the crab might get scared about falling and might pinch you.
Don’t panic if your crab pinches you.While a crab pinch might not be comfortable, it’s not the end of the world. Chances are, you’ll get pinched sooner or later. When this happens, stay calm. Try to get the crab to walk in the other direction – lure him with food or something. He should let go. If this doesn’t work, put your hand in the crab’s terrarium, and he’ll probably let go and walk off.
QuestionWould it be safe to allow a crab on the table if there are no chemicals on the surface and I watch it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt should be safe, as long as you don't put him/her on the edge.Thanks!
QuestionWhy will the crab try to pinch me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour crab is probably just scared of falling off of your hand. He is likely pinching you to help make sure that he doesn't fall and hurt himself.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if you're scared to hold it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost crabs aren't as punchy as they appear. The trick to not getting nipped is to keep your hand as taut as possible while keeping the claws away from any loose skin. Or put your hand under your shirt. This will allow you to get the feel of your new pet yet feel comfortable. One key thing to remember is that he is more scared of you.Thanks!
QuestionWhy might my crab attack me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour crab might attack you if it feels threatened, scared, or backed into a corner. Move slowly and allow it to get used to you before handling.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get the crab to release if it clamps onto me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHold still and put your hand on a hard, flat surface. Do not try to flick or take off. Allow the crab to feel safe on the surface and naturally let go of you. When it feels safe, it will usually release.Thanks!
QuestionCan hermit crabs eat fruit and vegetables, or just meat?Noah BretchesCommunity AnswerThey can eat anything organic. Make sure the meat has no seasonings on it, the fruits and vegetables have no pesticides on them, and they have not been washed.Thanks!
QuestionWhat types of hermit crabs are there?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe two types are Ecuadorian, and Caribbean, also known as the Purple Pincher.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if my hermit has a painted shell?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGet it some fresh natural ones in the next size up or in the same size that it is in now because it will change.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I feel threatened by my hermit crab?Noah BretchesCommunity AnswerIt may be because you are scared of bugs, afraid of getting pinched, or maybe you are young.Thanks!
QuestionWill it kill my crab if I put it on carpet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you put a hermit crab on carpet, it's a very soft surface and can damage their legs, which could led to death.Thanks!
What if he is in wood and you want to hold him
- It is important that you tighten your hand as much as possible because if he sees anything he can hang on to, he will grab on to it and hang on. If he does pinch you, do not drop or throw him.
- If your crab is busy doing things like eating, hiding in a hole, etc. please do not disturb him. Wait until he just finished eating or getting out of a hole.
- Try to have as much fun as you can, but treat your hermit crab with respect since it is a living creature.
- If a crab is in his/her shell you can blow gently on the crab to get them to come out.
- If you are not comfortable with holding it with your bare hand because you're afraid of getting pinched, you can wear thick gloves.
- Let your hermit crab crawl around on you so he/she can get use to you.
Video: How To Handle A Hermit Crab/What To Do If It Pinches You
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