Feeder Frogs

Questions and suggestions regarding reptile cuisine.

Feeder Frogs

Postby Constrictor Girl » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:32 am

Hello all, I haven't had time to wish you a blessed 2012, so there it is!!

I have a friend bringing me some tadpoles and some small frogs to put in my pond at home. The plan is to breed them and freeze them for the my froggy feeders. I was googling what to feed tadpoles and it just came up with good quality fish food flakes or tadpole food which I dont believe any of our aquatic shops stock in PE. So I was going to go with the fish flakes, any thoughts on this?
The next headache will be how to freeze the frogs, on a thread here it was sugested to place the frog in a container of water and freeze them like that. Does this just keep the moisture in their bodies? Or can I just do them in the same as rats and then freeze them as is?

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby Cronje Rademan » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:20 am

Hi Constrictor girl.
I have taken hundreds of tadpoles for my mom's fish pond at her home. For some reason they all completely disappear after a while. I think there is too much predation by birds and dragonfly larvae in her pond. On the other hand keeping them in a tank and feeding them fish flakes can get them to maturity. I've done this plenty times in a fish tank before with frog, toad and "platanna" tadpoles.

You have to setup a tank just like you would for fish. Instead of normal tap water I used the water in which I found them. Filled the tank and put the tadpoles in. You can use either a under gravel or corner filter for the tank. I prefer these two because they work with an air pump which also provide lots of oxygen in the tank. Never use tap water because of the chlorine in the water it will kill the little tadpoles quickly. The nice thing with using clear pond or stream water is that there is already bacteria present in the water to form a colony in the filter material which helps with taking all the bad stuff out of the water and the ph for the tadpoles is already correct.

It is very interesting to watch them grow and develop their legs and meta-morphing into sub adults. When this starts to happen you have to put some floating things in for them to climb out of the water (not for platannas). At this stage I normally let them loose where I found them.

I don't know any thing about breeding them, but if you contact Perry's Bridge Reptile park in Hazyview, they might be able to help you. They have quite a large amphibian collection, including frogs, toads, bullfrogs, foam nest frogs and even poison dart frogs.

I would also think if you freeze them with some water, in the quantities you need for a feeding, it would be sufficient and then you won't have to refreeze the leftovers.

Hope this helps
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby Fooble » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:45 am

Tad poles will feed on Fish flakes as well as the natural algae and "pond slime" that occurs in the pond decaying animal matter is also favored.

The issue you will have is the tad poles do take some time dependent on the species to metamorphise into froglets it can take anywhere from 30 days to two years (species dependent)

Young frogs also need loads of food in the early stages to obtain a decent size to which you may want to collect them and use as feeders.

Do you know what species of frog/toad you have tadpoles from?
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby Iggy » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:12 pm

Without trying to put to much of a damper on your plans, :) just bear in mind that freezing is NOT considered humane anaesthesia for amphibians (or reptiles for that matter) - so rather use them as feeders in season and make another plan for "off season" :) OR try to induce artificial breeding seasons by controlling light and water cycles etc. We don't breed most of our frogs so can't help you too much there (it usually involves cooling them which would mean we need to take them off display) but you will find plenty of info online...
... see literature below re freezing of amphibians and reptiles, there was a much better and comprehensive article, but can't find it right now.

"Freezing is *NOT* a humane method of killing for any amphibian. Although the frogs becomes torpid, it remains conscious and dies in agony as ice crystals slowly rip it's muscles and organs apart. Likewise CO2 is not appropriate for amphibians, which can survive under severe oxygen debt."

"There is no evidence that whole body cooling reduces pain or is clinically efficacious when used as an adjunct to physical methods of euthanasia in ectothermic animals.
Immobilization of reptiles by cooling is considered inappropriate and inhumane even if combined with other methods of euthanasia.
Freezing of unanesthetized animals is not acceptable as a method of euthanasia.
Rapid freezing (in liquid nitrogen) of deeply anesthetized animals is acceptable"

"4. Unacceptable methods of euthanasia for amphibians
4.1 Freezing.  Any use of freezing in euthanasia must be approved as a special circumstance by
the IACUC.  Freezing is only acceptable if the amphibian is small (<40 grams), is already
anesthetized, and the freezing is immediate (such as immersion into liquid nitrogen).  
However, refrigerator freezers are too slow and are considered unacceptable.  Additionally
many artic, near artic, and montane species can tolerate freezing for over 48 hours, making
this especially ineffective for these species.
4.2 Trauma.  Due to the ability of many amphibians and reptiles tolerating severe traumatic   
injury, trauma is unacceptable as a method of euthanasia.  Only special circumstances using
trauma will be allowed and only if approved by the IACUC prior to any activity.  If approved,
the PI must demonstrate that the cranium and brain are destroyed in one blow.
4.3 Carbon dioxide. CO2 is an accepted method for humane euthanasia for birds and mammals.   
However, as reptiles and amphibians can survive under severe oxygen debt it is not
acceptable for use in these animals.  
5. Humane Methods of Euthanasia for AmphibiansDivision of Research Animal Care Facility Standard Operating Procedure
SOP 302.01 – Amphibian Euthanasia    2
At this time several methods of euthanasia are accepted by the National Research Council on Pain and
Distress in Laboratory Animals.
5.1 Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS‐222). Overdose at 200 mg/kg of body weight injected into
the body cavity.  
5.2 Ethyl alcohol. By sedation in a bath of 5% ethyl alcohol (ethanol) followed by immersion into
a stronger bath after the amphibian has been anesthetized.
5.3 Pentobarbital. At 100 mg/kg injected into the body cavity.  
5.4 Pithing. Anesthetized amphibians can be pithed.
6. Using Orajel
Benzocaine.  Orajel® (and other painkillers containing benzocaine) appears to rapidly anesthetize and
euthanize amphibians. This method has not yet been accepted by the National Research Council on Pain
and Distress in Laboratory Animals, probably due to how recently the publications involving these
products have come out. Products containing either 7.5% or 20% benzocaine have been shown to be
effective in the euthanasia of amphibians. The original descriptions of this procedure had the gel
containing the benzocaine applied to the head of the amphibian, however it has been shown that it may
be more effective if applied to the ventral (belly) surface of the animal (this may actually be most
effective in anurans, which have pelvic patches, rather than caudates). A 5‐mm drop applied to the
ventral surface of a Eurycea quadridigitata resulted in relaxation and death in less than one minute
(Chen and Combs, 1999).  
The topical application of Orajel for euthanasia is a simple procedure. The investigator squeezes a
"dollup" of cream from the tube onto a finger and applies the gel to the ventral surface of the
amphibian’s body.  For amphibians, the gel should be applied on the pelvic patch, for salamanders and
caecilians; the ventral body surface can be covered with gel. Following application, the animals are
placed in plastic bags until they succumb to the effects of the benzocaine (active ingredient of Orajel)
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby Constrictor Girl » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:22 am

Thanks for the info guys.

@ Iggy I have no intention of putting live frogs intot he freezer. I'm sorry if i did not make myself clear before. I euthanaze them the same as I would do witht he rats, and then place them in the freezer. What i was trying to clear up was do I freeze them in water to keep their bodies moist during this process or do I just put them in newspaper and bags as I would do with rats.
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby Aaxel » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:47 pm

What about putting them in a bag, spinning it round, then smacking it as hard as you can on a solid surface?
Wouldn't that kill them quickly and humanly?
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby it_bit_me » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:56 pm

How many of the humane methods are safe to use on feeders?
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby Respecturreptile » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:06 pm

I need to find feeder frogs? Please help.

I am in the East Rand?
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Re: Feeder Frogs

Postby LizardLover » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:15 am

Respecturreptile wrote:I need to find feeder frogs? Please help.

I am in the East Rand?

Things like that you can post an add for and get more responses.
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