Feeding Pet Frogs

For all those who care for our magnificent native frog fauna at home. Share information on enclosures, feeding, which frogs to select, and general care advice.

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Peter Hohaus
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Feeding Pet Frogs

Postby Peter Hohaus » Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:13 pm

We were wondering what people feed their
pet or captive frogs. We know that frogs will
typically eat any live food they can get into their
mouth. We know Gerry likes to feed his frogs at ARC
crickets sprinkled in minerals and calcium salt, but what
tricks and techniques have you all discovered over the
time you’ve kept frogs. What do they like and dislike?

Here’s a selection of food pet frogs are known to eat.

Crickets
Slaters
Moths
Dragon flies
Aphids
Grasshoppers
Cockroaches
Beetles
Fruit flies
House flies, blow flies
Other small “compost heap/leaf litterâ€Â￾ insects

Meal worms
Earth worms
Slugs
Maggots
Grubs

Spiders
Ants

You can catch many of these insects with a fine net
in your garden or in long grass or just turn over a piece of bark
on the ground and grab the little critters by hand. Just make
sure the bugs are alive and well (none killed by fly spray etc).

There are all kinds of ingenious insect-catching traps.
The simplest is to turn on a light after dark and catch the
insects with a net. You can also hang a light bulb above
a funnel. The insects knock themselves out near the light
then fall through the funnel into a jar beneath (of course the
funnel neck needs to be wide enough). You can then release these
insects into your frog tank. Flies can be lured through a funnel
by placing a piece of meat inside a jar.

What do you do for your frogs?

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Postby lukeybaby » Fri Aug 15, 2003 10:02 am

i feed my frogs on a main diet of crickets because they are probably the most nutrient food source on your list. i dust the crix with calcium/multivitamin supplements every 2-3 feeding, i put some cricx in a plastic bag, then i get a pinch of calcium powder and multi-vitamin powder, then i shake so the crix are lightly coated .''

luke z

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Shrek
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Postby Shrek » Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:40 pm

Question guys - I have a Spotted Marsh frog morph who morphed about 3 months ago.
I have just read the care sheet for Spotted and Striped Marsh frog and it says that Juveniles should have food available to them at all times.

Now my morph is pretty round and fat, think golf ball, and I just wonder what would happen if I made food available for him all the time. I'm scared he will die of over eating or something because he is quite round.

I feed him every second day, is that enough?

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Rãna
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feeding

Postby Rãna » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:03 pm

As far as i know most frogs are fine if you only feed them twice a week. I usually give my frog a moth each night or every second night. I have been told by the ARC that my frog is fat so i imagine you have nothing to worry about. If you feed your frogs only twice a week, they will be more interested in the food than if you feed them every day, and more fun to watch.

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Shrek
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Postby Shrek » Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:22 pm

yes thats exactly what I think. If you put crickets in there every day, they sometimes don't even come near their food bowl at all.

But when they are hungry and you feed them, look out!!! It's on for young and old!!!

I have just recently renovated my backyard and picked up the biggest worms ever for my green trees new tank. They are in there now making tunnels under the dirt.

Can't wait to put my boys in their new tank. If a worm pops his head up out of the soil, BAM, it's gone!!!

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Rãna
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mmmm

Postby Rãna » Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:39 pm

I had never thought to feed my frogs worms, what a great idea.

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Shrek
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Postby Shrek » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:07 pm

It's good because the worms just hang out in your soil, clean up and breakdown bits and pieces and they are a really natural prey. The little worm pokes out and gets eaten just like in the wild. :D

Jeff Dagg
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I'll try as well

Postby Jeff Dagg » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:22 pm

Like blacksanctum I have not tried worms but will every soon. Most of my guys will not eat slugs they spit them out
(well pull them out with their front feet)other than that they eat anything I am game to catch as long as it moves.

Jeff :D

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Shrek
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Postby Shrek » Wed Oct 08, 2003 4:31 pm

Can't say I have tried slugs, it would be interesting to see what they do, if mine spit them out also. I'll keep you posted!! :D

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Tereza Tantar
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feeding frogs and over feeding

Postby Tereza Tantar » Thu Oct 23, 2003 11:18 am

I have fed my frogs mostly on crickets and cockroaches. They will occasionally get a defrosted mouse. I have also fed the frogs on fish occasionally; some like them and others spit them out. Also small pieces of beef and most of them like that. All the above have been fed to green tree frogs and white lipped tree frogs as they are usually the most voracious feeders.

I don't think you can kill your frogs by over feeding. If you were to feed your frogs everyday as much as they could eat and there were crickets still in their cage, they would simply not eat any more until they became hungry again. This means the frog will be nice and fat.

TT

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Postby Shrek » Thu Oct 23, 2003 11:29 am

Tereza, sorry I disagree. Feeding your frogs everyday would lead to major problems.

Frogs, like other animals that would normally be in the wild, including dogs, don't posess the instinct to stop eating because they are full. Not knowing when the next feed is coming and the availability of food, animals eat whatever, whenever they can. Sure if there is an abundnace of food, they may stop eating once they are absolutely full, but will resume again after either vomiting (which I have seen in dogs) or when the hunger slightly subsides.

A friend of mine made that fatal mistake with her GTF. Unbeknowing to me she was feeding it every day and he frog became so obese, being the pigs that GTF's are, and eventually died. I hadn't seen the frog for quite some time as I had been overseas etc and by the time I visited her and saw the frog it was too late. The frog was just disgusting and it was too late to place it on any kind of diet. It never moved.

I don't mean to disagree but I just feel that if anyone that was new to frogs, read that you could feed them heaps and they would just stop feeding, it could cause potential problems.
Especially if they chose to feed pinkies in excess. The health problems associated excess pinkies is also fatal.

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Postby lukeybaby » Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:09 pm

yeh, i agree with shrek ,it is defineatly not a good idea to feed your frog all the time. shrek stated the obvious reasons, but another health issue of feeding your frogs all the time is that the lipids (fatty deposits) above their eyes can grow so large that they sag over the eyes, eventually casing blindeness.

luke z

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Postby ChristineC » Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:02 pm

HI
Im totally new to frogs . I have set up a 4 foor aquarium with two marsh frogs BUT Im unsure of the feeding regimen.
I have crickets but do I drop the crickets into the tank and how many etc.The frogs seem to be hiding so I cant actually see them feed so Im unsure if they are eating at all.
Any help appreciated

Thanks

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Postby Chris Key » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:18 am

well, i'm not an expert at this whole feeding thing, but i would say if the crickets disappear, the frogs are eating them ;)

now, does anyone know if frogs can eat bugs like millipedes and slaters? i have a plague of them in my house, it would be nice to feed them to the frogs (when i get them next week!)

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Greg, Adelaide
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Postby Greg, Adelaide » Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:36 am

The biggest problem with overfeeding is the risk of bacterial poisoning.
Unless you have a very strong heat source, the frog might not be able to digest all of the insects properly (of course the other risk risk is too much frog waste and dead crickets in the water + too much heat will create a poisonous soup that can kill your frog)

A good way to tell is look at the droppings. When they are getting way to much to eat at one time, the droppings seem to start to look like packaged whole insects. It may be that they arent digesting them thoroughly.

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Postby instar » Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:25 pm

I read recently that feeding frogs pinkies etc can lead to death through strain on vital organs like kidneys etc. (constant feeding that is) the very occasiobnal pinkie for an adult cearula might be ok. Ill be feeding mine woodies, crix, sl;aters, flys, moths etc. I have a big concern with mealworms, even fresh molted ones, in that ive read "alledged" cases of the mealworm eating its way out from the inside! Can anyone please verify if there is any truth in that at all. Personally i would think the frogs digestive fluids would kill them quickl;y, but at this point, im not game to test the theory. Anyone?............

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Postby Chrisfromadelaide » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:55 pm

I have 5 very healthy large green tree frogs (not captive bred), about 10cm in length, who get handfed about twice a week. One feed they get about 4-5 crickets each & the next feed (3-4 days later) they receive about the same amount in woodies each. Occasionally when I catch a moth, which is usually a few a week, I will throw that in the tank & leave it to whichever frog gets it. Usually there a 5 frogs trying to get the moth, so this replicates what would happen in the wild. Every couple of months I will hand feed them a pinkie each.

I don't follow a strict regime, if they miss a feed then they don't seem to mind. They have all been together for about 6 years now so I must be doing something right. Every third or so feed I will dust the crickets/woodies with calcium powder.

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Postby Mel » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:32 pm

Hey,

My guys eat mostly crickets, I have just bought some flies from the VFG/ARC, I think my guys are a bit unco still with jumping after the flies, but they seem to enjoy it anyhow- getting the flies into the tank is a challenge!!

I bought one tub of mealworms a while back and fed them with crix on an alternate basis until they were all used up. Didn't seem to have any probs with them but I'm not sure that their nutritional content is as good, as the frogs seemed a bit skinnier over that period- maybe if a frog needed to lose weight??? Mine are still young though.

I catch moths for them but of course it's freezing here in Melb. and there are none around atm. :roll:

Mel :lol:

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Postby Chris Key » Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:38 am

Greg, Adelaide wrote:A good way to tell is look at the droppings. When they are getting way to much to eat at one time, the droppings seem to start to look like packaged whole insects. It may be that they arent digesting them thoroughly.


can anyone tell me what they're supposed to look like then ;) just black "packets" that have no real resemblance to crickets? that's what my gtf excrete.

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Postby Regan » Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:03 pm

to shrek-

i also have the same problem with my striped marsh frog, he turned about... 1 week ago and yhe is alos very round... i find that feeding him every 3rd day keeps him active but if i make it every 2 days he just sits around and mopes... i think you should try 3 days but it might be okay :P

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feeding frogs

Postby Chubster » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:45 pm

We've been trying to find out if our GTF's would be ok with spiders. No one seems too sure on this point. After reading the posts of others on their feeding regimes, I have a couple of questions. What are woodies and pinkies? I'm going to try them with some mealy worms which we have from our turtle feeding days. Also with slaters and mealy worm beetles. Has anyone had any bad experiences with feeding either of these. We have previously tried slugs and earth worms, but they were rejected. Hope someone has some answers for us. :lol:

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Postby Ann » Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:39 pm

I haven't risked feeding mine spiders, just don't think it is worth it.
Woodies are Cockroaches and pinkies are very young mice. Be careful with meal worms, it is better to sqaush there heads before giving them to your frogs, there is some speculation and stories of them surviving the stomach acid and eating there way out. Also they are fatty than other foods so should be an occasional treat. There is a few good care sheets floating around on the site, let is know if you can't find them and I will hunt them down for you. :)

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Postby Chubster » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:44 pm

Thanks for the reply AJames. We tried the slaters and mealy worm beatles last night, and our frogs ate 3 of each type. The first to try the slaters spat it out, then went back and ate it on the second try. As suggested, I squashed the head of the mealy worm, but no one would eat it, probably because it wasn't moving. I tried hand feeding, but they still weren't interested. We have found before that they won't eat anything dead or with little movement, perhaps because they were "banana box" frogs and haven't grown accustomed to hand feeding. At least now we know they will eat more than just crix and moths. :P

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food facts

Postby Gerry Marantelli » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:52 pm

We must distinguish between juvenile (growing ) frogs and adult (sexually mature) frogs - juveniles need more food more often, and in some cases (very small species or tropical-high metabolism speceis) they can digest and run out of food very quickly. They do not always hunt either and the ARC care information that suggests food be available at all times is only recommended for juveniles. Also it is recommended as part of a "set" of care instructions - not in isolation - if the rest of the instructions on things like enclosure size and decoration are followed this "food at all times" will not lead to eating at all times. That way the frogs will be able to hunt and find food when required. It is a stress on the development of a young frog to have the usual periods of starvation followed by large feeds that they may be exposed to in the wild -the WILD is called that for a reason and it does not always provide exactly what our froggy friends prefer. While the wild is the best place for them (part of a whole ecosystem) it includes many stresses (eg food fluctuations, disease, preditors, temperature and other climatic stresses) this is why frogs have a VERY much reduced life expectancy in the wild. Regular food for young frogs will lead to faster growth, larger adults and better success in breeding. BUT beware faser growth requires more calcium/vitamins and UV light as these are key components for bone development which, if it occurs too rapidly and outstrips the supply of calcium and other essential nutrients it may lead to accelerated deficiency problems. -the ARC reccomendations for food and supplementation are based on our experience of raising tens of thousands of frogs of over 50 species.
Adult frogs on the other hand can be overfeed - you will find suggestions for frequency and quantity in the ARC care sheets for each species.
As for the above suggested food items
millepedes (Portuguese are usually the ones found in houses): not usually taken as they excrete quinone -you taste it!
Pinkies/meat: not recommended for regular use (see other threads in the forums)
spiders: are eaten in the wild - but at some risk to the frog
Mealworms: are very strong and resilient to digestion and we reccomend only feeding if they are MUCH smaller than the frogs usual prey (ie thicker stomach wall to worm ratio) small frogs can have their digestive tracts punctured by these and other hard bodied food items as the bigger the food item and the smaller the gut, the longer it takes to be killed and the more chance it has to squirm its way through the gut.

PS is this our most visited thread??? food is obviously a very hot topic.

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other food

Postby gretskibb » Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:13 pm

So, I didn't read a reply- are slaters and garden worms ok too- as I have alot in the garden and would be a cheap alternative- however I plan to buy crickets too- mix the feeds up :)
Thanks.


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