Learn the Difference Between Shrimp and Prawns at Freshwater Farm

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Freshwater Prawns

“What are prawns?”

Clay Kelley of Kabill Farm in Burlison, Tennessee, is quite familiar with this question, commonly asked by locals who see his signs during prawn harvesting season. The answer: Prawns are a variety of shrimplike decapod crustaceans of the genus palaemon. Or, you can just call them freshwater shrimp.

Although prawns and shrimp appear to be very similar, that’s not exactly the case. The two creatures are of two different suborders and have very different gill structures. These are just two of the major differences; another difference can be found in their taste.

“Prawns are a little bit sweeter than saltwater shrimp, more similar to the taste of lobster,” Kelley says. As with lobster, a popular way to cook prawns is to boil them in water and dip the meat in butter.

These freshwater shrimp can be enjoyed in the fall, which is prawn harvest season. The Kelleys, who farm traditional row crops in West Tennessee’s Tipton County, diversified their farming operation by adding prawns as a hobby in 2008. Clay, along with his daughter, Katie, and son, Bill, are involved in the care, harvest and marketing of this family project. They begin the harvest season by draining their 1-acre pond and then sell the prawns locally.

Interested in trying this Tennessee product? Pick up your share at the Kabill Farm, located at 1066 Garland Detroit Road in Burlison, or visit them at a local farmers market. For more information about the harvest dates for 2011, give them a call at (901) 476-4505. Visit www.tnfarmfresh.com for more products you love, fresh from the farm.


  1. Katie Kelley Kay

    August 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks Marian!! We would love to have you! Harvest dates are Oct 7-8.

  2. Bob Hardison, Columbia, Tn.

    December 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I read about you raising prawns. I know it is a seasonable crop or at least I think it is. When do you have prawns for sale? I just read it is in Oct.., but do you have them frozen before then? If not, what time from beginning dates to the ending dates, do you have them for sale?

    • Blair Thomas

      January 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

      The best way to find out if Tipton County’s Kabill Farms has prawns throughout the year is to contact the farm directly. You can find that information here, on the Tennessee Farm Fresh website.
      Hope this helps!

      Blair Thomas
      Tennessee Home & Farm

  3. hippo

    January 14, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Shrimp vs Prawn – Some Major Differences
    source : http://prawnvsshrimp.com/shrimp-vs-prawn-differences/
    Generally, Shrimp are smaller than Prawn, but in some cases prawn can be small and shrimp can be big.
    Shrimp have claws only on two pairs of legs. While Prawn have claws on three pairs of their legs.
    Shrimp’s legs are shorter than Prawn’s legs.
    Prawn belong to the Dendrobranchiata and Shrimp belong to the Pleocyemata suborder of the Crustacean family.
    Prawns have lamellar gills while Shrimp have branching gills.
    Shrimp’s front pincers are bigger while Prawns have bigger second pincers.
    Prawn is semi-transparent, we can see its internal organs through the skin. But Shrimp are usually pigmented.
    Prawn lay their eggs while Shrimp carry their eggs during the entire breeding season.
    Prawn’s body is segmented. Shrimp’s body is comparatively flatter.
    Prawns have claws on three pairs of their legs, while Shrimp have claws on three pairs of their legs.
    Shrimp is rich in vitamin D while Prawn is a rich in vitamin E.
    Shrimp are most often seen in the United States or Latin Anerican countries. While Prawns are usually common in Asia.
    Prawns have a stronger and more aromatic flavor and smell than Shrimp.
    Shrimps are typically harvested from salt water and Prawn from fresh water.

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