How to Feed Baby Tree Frogs

Feeding juvenile tree frogs is fairly straightforward but sometimes difficult. However, it is possible to feed them so that you know they're getting adequate nutrients to help them grow well, as explained in this article.


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    Get some food. Baby frogs require moving insects small enough to swallow. Here are some different foods, and their pros and cons:
    • Crickets. These are the most widely available feeder insect. Healthy enough to serve as a staple. Active, soft bodied. Movement stimulates feeding. Rarely refused. They are, however, smelly and noisy. Prone to die-offs and time consuming to rear. Short lived. Expensive over time if bought rather than bred. May try to eat a frog that doesn't eat them first.
    • Mealworms. These are widely available and extremely easy to rear. Quiet and odorless (like most non-cricket feeders.) Cons: Not very nutritious, as they are mostly fat and moisture. Hard shell. May cause impaction. Not a healthy staple. Burrows into substrate if released into enclosure.
    • Waxworms: Commonly available. High in calories, excellent for putting weight on skinny frogs. Soft bodied. Cons: Difficult to rear at home. Inactive, will not attract a frog's attention. Causes obesity if fed in excess. May pass through frog undigested due to tough, rubbery skin.
    • Dubia roaches. Easy to rear. Healthy, meaty and nutritious. Good staple. Will grow a big, strong frog. Most widely available roach. Reproduces well. Slow moving and easy to handle. Cannot climb smooth surfaces. Holds gut load for a long time. Cons: Somewhat slow growing. Requires high temperatures. Adults too large to feed a frog with. Shape awkward to swallow. Must be reared at home. Expensive to buy starter colony. Plays dead when threatened. Burrows into substrate, stays hidden in enclosure. Best hand or tweezer fed.
    • Turkistan roaches. Similar to dubias, smaller than dubia. Active, does not play dead when threatened or burrow. Soft bodied. Extremely productive and fast growing. Probably the best all around feeder. Cons: Not as available as other feeders. Somewhat less nutritious and filling than dubia. Can be expensive. Fast moving, difficult to handle.
    • Wild caught insects: Free. Many different kinds. Cons: Some species can be hard shelled, physically dangerous, or toxic. may contain pesticides, parasites, etc. Should only be collected from areas without pesticide use. Not reccomended unless you really know your bugs. Easily collected in quantity using lights; moths and grasshoppers are favorites.
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    Feed the frog. The best method is to place the frog in a small container with a damp paper towel. (Either as or outside the main enclosure. If it is the frog's temporary home, be sure to replace paper towels every day or two.)
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    Let the frog sit there for a few hours so it is calm and not stressed. Introduce the insects and watch it. It should eat. Repeat until it begins to attack prey items immediately.
    • Make sure your fingers are visible to the frog as you feed it––it will eventually associate you with food. (Always ensure that your hands are oil, soap and chemical free when dealing with your frog.)
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    Try to hand feed. Hold the insect so that it is moving in front of the frog in your fingers. Eventually the frog will no longer need the movement of the insect to trigger a feeding response, it will just need to see your finger. You can now move it to a proper vivarium and hand feed it.
    • Alternatively, you can just toss the insects in the vivarium and let the frog hunt them. This works best with crickets, Turkestan roaches and other active insects.

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Categories: Frogs