What Do Baby Crabs Eat? These 8+ Foods Help Them Grow

Baby crabs need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. This helps them grow into healthy, strong crustaceans! 

Ever thought about what do baby crabs eat? both in the wild and in the tank? In this article, you will learn what 8+ foods are good for baby crabs to eat as well as what they should avoid. 

You will also learn what kind of food mommy crabs feed their babies and what the difference between male and female baby crabs is! 

Be sure to read on to find out more about how you can start feeding your little crab today!

What Do Baby Crabs Eat? Both In The Wild and Tank?

This question is asked by many people, who want to know how to take care of pet crabs. The answer is very simple – like all animals (including humans), they need specific food to grow and thrive. That’s why reading about what baby crabs eat is highly important before you purchase them.

You can see them mostly on rocky coasts of oceans – feeding on mollusks. Of course, you won’t be able to provide your pet crabs with this type of food if you are living in a city by the seashore

However, even when being kept as a pet, crabs need some food. Otherwise, they won’t live for long. That’s why you have to find what do baby crabs eat in an aquarium first.

This is the list of food baby crabs loves to eat:

  • Nori
  • Krill 
  • Meat 
  • Cooked Eggs
  • Shrimp Pellets
  • Frozen Bloodworms
  • Plankton
  • Brine shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Seaweed

8+ Healthy Food Helps Baby Crabs To Grow




Cooked Eggs

Shrimp Pellets

Frozen Bloodworms


Brine shrimp



Fruits To Feed Small Crabs

Most crabs do not need fruits. But if you want to feed your crab some fruits, it can eat apple, banana, and orange. This will provide a little extra calcium for the crab as well as extra nutrients.

Note that you should avoid too much fruit or seeds from those fruits because they have high sugar content.

Also, avoid avocado because it can poison crabs. It is better to go for fruits with vitamin C like orange, kiwi fruit, and grapefruit. This will boost your little friend’s immune system.

Below is a list of fruits baby crabs can eat:



Kiwi Fruit






Vegetable You Can Feed Your Little Crab

If you have a crab, you might wonder what sort of home food your crab likes or likes to eat. While there are a lot of possibilities, crabs love vegetables! There are many different types of vegetables that you can feed your crab to ensure that they get enough vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. 

Here is a list of vegetables you can feed your baby crabs:





Green Beans



How Often Do Baby Crabs Need To Be Fed?

It is best to give hermit crabs a little bit of food every day rather than one big meal every week or two weeks. Young crabs need to be fed more often, whereas older crabs can go without food for longer periods. 

You don’t need to disturb the crabs when you feed them. Instead, put a small amount of food in their cage and leave it as is. The crabs will find the food themselves without any problem at all as long as you don’t give them too much at once.

Crabs eat a lot less compared to other animals. A crab only eats around 2-3 times a week in captivity. 

You can feed them a mix of fruits, vegetables, and meat. Crabs need to be fed different kinds of food so they have a well-balanced diet. 

The best way to know how much to feed your crabs is by looking at the size of their shell. 

If you see that their shell looks thin or they are trying to get into a small shell then it is time for you to give them more food.

How Much Food Do Baby Crabs Need?

Small crabs need more food compared to adult crabs. A young crab needs around half of what an adult crab eats. When they become bigger you can increase the amount of food that you give them. 

A baby crab with a carapace length of 4-5mm needs around 0.4g to 0.8g of [food]  per day.

An adult crab with a carapace length of 8cm needs approximately 1g to 2g of food per day and that is about half of what an adult with a carapace length of 8cm eats.

An adult crab with a carapace length of 10cm needs around 1g to 4g of food per day, and that is about half of what an adult with a carapace length of 10cm eats.

How Do You Feed Baby Crabs?

If you are wondering what do baby crabs eat, these creatures should be fed with crab sticks. 

Baby crabs are omnivorous animals thus they should have both plant and animal food. Crab sticks are the right mix of both which makes this food exceptionally good for your pet to remain healthy. 

If you cannot afford crab sticks, then even finely chopped prawns, bloodworms, and brine shrimps can be used. 

If you are not able to find any of these food items, do not force your pet to remain hungry. Baby crabs must have something to eat at all times.

How Do Baby Crabs Find Food In The Wild?

When baby crabs are hatched from their eggs, they usually live in a plenitude of seaweeds and specific invertebrates. In the wild, small crabs find food by scavenging along the seashore and on tidal flats.

Baby crabs eat almost anything they can grab! The strong claws of a baby crab make it easy for them to catch their food. 

There are countless edible species of algae, shelled invertebrates, and mollusks that baby crabs can feed on in the sea.

Why Do Mom Crabs Eat Their Babies?

When the female crab is about to lay eggs, she softens the ground slightly. After laying eggs, the mother digs a hole to bury them in it. 

She then guards this territory fiercely against any intrusion until her babies hatch. If you notice that your pet lobster has dug up some soil and there are no eggs in that clutch, then they might have been eaten up by their mom! 

This behavior of the mother is a part of her biology and cannot be stopped. Sometimes, they also eat their babies if she thinks they are sick or as a pinch of hunger. 

However, as crabs grow older they naturally become more independent and turn out to be safe from their moms.

What Do Baby Crabs Look Like?

When the baby crabs are still small, they look very different from as they grow older. They generally have light brown color with dark spots. 

Baby crabs have a flat body and an abdomen that is much larger than the rest of their body parts put together. 

Their claws are quite strong but only time will tell how good these claws hold up to adult crabs ashore.

But as the crab grows, their body color changes from brown to green or blue or even purple! The abdomen of a crab keeps getting smaller and smaller with time and eventually stops growing at all. 

However, the color on the back of the crabs remains iridescent and changes into different hues as they grow older.

The colors seen on the back of the crabs reveal their age and what stage they are at in their life.

Do Baby Crabs Bite?

When you try to touch a baby crab, it might show its teeth very quickly. As they are omnivorous animals, crabs can bite anytime if they think you are trying to hurt them. 

However, as crabs grow older and larger, they become more docile and calm thus does not bite unless cornered. 

The moment you stop trying to touch them, the crab will also relax its body and allow itself to breathe properly again.

Baby crabs might be very small but their claws are quite strong enough to cause a deep cut on your skin if they keep their grip on you for too long. 

Thus, it is a good idea to wear gloves when handling a baby crab as a precautionary measure. If the cut is very deep, then it would be wise to consult a doctor immediately!


If you have been wondering what do baby crabs eat, these creatures prefer to feed on a variety of food items including crab sticks, prawns, bloodworms, and brine shrimps. 

While they eat their babies to supplement their hunger, baby crabs can bite if you handle them without gloves. 

The color changes in the back of the crabs as they grow older also reveal their age as well as what stage they are at in their life. 

However, if you handle them with care and attention, a baby crab can become a very lovable pet.

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