Crawfish farming involves adding seed crawfish to a rice crop pond, draining the water to harvest the rice, adding water back to the pond and then harvesting the crawfish. The process depends heavily on the weather, but it typically takes about a year.
Growing a rice crop is the first step in crawfish farming. In Louisiana, the farmer grows this rice crop in March or April. Once the rice has grown high enough to make a canopy over the water and keep the water temperature down, usually in June, the farmer adds the seed crawfish.
By the end of July or the beginning of August, the rice crop has drained the water and matured. At this point, the crawfish have burrowed underground and the farmer can harvest the rice. He waits for the temperature to go down before flooding the pond in September or October. Once the pond has water again, female crawfish should emerge from their burrows with babies attached to their tails.
Harvest occurs when the crawfish fully mature, which takes about 90 days. If the temperature was warm during the year, harvest may start as early as November. If it was cold, the harvest may not start until February. The harvest continues until the crawfish burrow underground again due to the water temperature, which usually happens around June.