Food for Frogs
November 07, 2012
What do you do when you have two little green mouths to feed and nothing to feed them? You start raising your own crickets! Well, that’s what you do if the little green mouths belong to tree frogs, you can’t find any food small enough to feed them, and you are just crazy enough to try to grow your own food for them.
If you have ever had amphibians or reptiles as pets, you know that the size of the food is important. If the food (usually worms or insects) is too big, it will get stuck in the animal’s digestive tract and cause harm and possibly death to the animal. However, finding food small enough to feed 1½ inch tree frogs is often a challenge. Pet stores, if they sell baby crickets at all, are usually out of them just when you need them most. So my solution to this dilemma was to raise my own.
My first attempts were not highly successful. I actually raised more fruit flies than crickets. Since fruit flies tend to fly away instead of politely staying in the cage long enough for my frogs to feed, I tried again. Pretty soon, with the use of some rectangular fish tanks, heat lamps to regulate the temperature, cotton balls for a nice soft nesting area, and water bottles for hydration, I was on my way.
For as long as I had the tree frogs, I had tanks of crickets breeding, growing old, and making lots of noise in my basement. I never had to worry about finding food for my little frogs again. Eventually, I had enough extra crickets that I was able to supply nearby reptile and amphibian lovers with crickets for their pets. At one point, I even had the idea that I would start my own cricket breeder business. However, upon consulting with the city of Lee’s Summit, I was told that this would not be possible, as livestock breeding is not permitted within city limits. Imagine that!
If you also have an interest in having frogs as pets and need to find out more about what they require as food, check out some of the books available at the Library, such as Frogs, Toads, and Tree Frogs: Everything About Selection, Care, Nutrition, Breeding, and Behavior. Stay tuned for my next blog where I will tell you how to raise your very own crickets (and yes, probably a fruit fly or two also!).