Big ups to the friendly farmer with the crayfish creek on his property: I now have two native New Zealand freshwater crayfish in the pond. I think I’ll called them Reggie and Ronnie (Ronnie is the big one). Check them out:
Like the infamous Kray twins of London’s East End, these two have been sentenced to life imprisonment (in a barrel on my deck), where they’re gonna swim with da fishes (in a good way).
Incidentally, I was surprised to find that New Zealand freshwater crays aren’t a protected species – you’re actually allowed to gather something like 50 per day to eat. Though personally I think the days of eating these creatures is over – they’re much too cool.
Anyway, our wine barrel pond is now home to the cray brothers, three goldfish (thanks Dave), one cold-adapted tropical fish (cheers Tadhg), and a bunch of snails – and all seem happy, despite the following assurances from a wide panel of experts:
* Tannins in the wood – that’ll kill ‘em
* Wine residue in the barrel – that’ll kill ‘em
* Selly’s No More Gaps – that’ll kill ‘em
* Warm water – that’ll kill ‘em
* Cold water – that’ll kill ‘em
* Murky water – that’ll kill ‘em
* The cat – that will definitely kill them
Admittedly, crays are considered delicate creatures (especially Ronnie, but don’t call him a ‘fat poof’ – he’ll go nuts) and they won’t tolerate water temperatures over 21 degrees, so I’m glad they’ve survived. Currently their prison diets consists of bits of potato and courgette, which I’m told they live on happily, but considering the quality of advice I’ve had so far I’ll think I’ll do some proper research.
So what do freshwater crayfish eat?