Frog farming is not new and the viability for profit is there, a farmer needs to determine the market. However low commercial value severely limits the potential for frog farming. Entrepreneurs in this industry are predominantly distributors who harvest directly from the wild. If the businessman has a large local or international market with good demand it becomes viable.
Things to Consider
There are a few things to consider before starting the enterprise. The most common frog farmed around the world is the bullfrog. Frog culture requires adequate shoreline good geographical location. Others are indigenous frogs, water temperatures, sourcing live food for the frog and stocking. There should be availability of natural food and protection from predators.
- Farm bullfrog
- adequate shoreline
- good geographical location
- farm indigenous frogs
- water temperatures
- sourcing live food
- protection predators
In America a permit is needed to propagate, hold or capture wildlife or amphibians. This is because of the declining of wild amphibians in populations. However capturing a few for domestic use not more than 8 frogs a day is permitted.
Frog farming industry
The frog farming industry is more shrouded in myth than reality. It is easier to harvest from the wild at low cost to meet specific demands. However growing them is neither challenging nor problematic. Related industry to frogs include sale of frog eggs or tadpoles.
Exporters of frog
International demand for frog legs have grown the industry. Top exporters of frogs are Mexico, Ecuador, Taiwan and china. There is no viable frog farm in America till date.
Only a few species of frog are edible while some are poisonous. The most common frog farmed is the bullfrog because of its size. Edible frogs are pickerel frog (Rana palustris), green frog (Rana clamitans) bullfrog (Rana
catesbeiana)and leopard frog (Rana pipiens).
- pickerel frog (Rana palustris)
- green frog (Rana clamitans)
- bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
- leopard frog (Rana pipiens)
Frogs are produced for laboratory, medical and biological research. The amphibians are bought by pharmaceutical companies, high schools, university, medical school for research and experiments. There is also an application in animal feed or frog legs as food.
- Medical research
- biological research
- pharmaceutical companies
- lab experiments in high schools
- medical school
- animal feed
- human food
Diseases and predators
Cannibalism within the stock is the number one cause of diseases. Others are overcrowding or water quality. Common diseases are bacterial infection (Aeromonas), red-leg disease. The amphibian has many natural enemies and is food to a number of predators. Predators include water birds, snakes, fox, turtles other adult frogs.
- bacterial infection (Aeromonas)
- red-leg disease
- water birds
- adult frogs
Frogs breed easily in marshy, swampy area rather successfully. Therefore a breeder only needs to own a marshland and introduce perimeter fencing to keep natural predators like snakes away. There are two ways to breed frogs the natural way or intensive culture.
Method used for frog farming includes finding a habitable land or extending a shoreline, erecting fence and stocking with adult frogs. The frogs generally are left to their own devices to grow and breed naturally. If the swampy area is suitable habitat with lots of food and no predation they will grow and multiply.
Intensive frog farming
Intensive frog culture involves production of large number of frogs for the market. It involves pond design, artificial feeding. Artificial feeding is crucial to the success of the enterprise.
The farmer should provide a way to feed the frog’s artificially in order to reduce costs. Without proper feeding the frogs result in cannibalism by eating the tadpoles or young frogs. This will grossly affect the production and number of frog’s harvested. Natural culture involves attracting wild prey/food for the animals. However artificial culture requires addition of supplementary food for best result.
Types of food frogs eat
Frogs eat a variety of food mostly live preys. They eat different types of insects like moths, flies, worms, crayfish and minnows. Frogs only eat live prey therefore conditioning is important if they are fed supplementary food. Tadpoles eat only vegetables, animal feed, soft plant matter while adult frogs eat only live prey.
Adult frogs Eat
- flying insects
- other frogs
- plant matter
- bottom algae
Bullfrog’s lay 10,000-25,000 eggs in temperate climate in shallow stagnate ponds. The eggs appear jelly-like and hatch into tadpoles in 7 to 21 days. The tadpoles feed on plant matter, bottom algae or vegetation. The speed of transformation from tadpole to frog depends on many factors.
Factors that contribute to metamorphosis include climatic conditions, water temperature and abundance of food. The water should have adequate dissolved oxygen for the tadpoles to breath. Make sure there are non-toxic chemicals or pollution in the pond water. It takes from 6-12 months for them to transform into young frogs.
Provide an exclusive feeding territory of about 20 – 24 feet of shoreline. Frogs are highly territorial this behavior limits number of frogs in a square space. Make sure there is adequate of landed space, shallow shorelines. Provide small irregular shaped ponds or narrow ponds with shallow bays or use pond ditches method.
Pond depth depends on the geographical location and weather conditions. In drier climates the ponds are deeper than wet climate. Appropriate depth should not exceed 4 feet with shallow side 12 inches deep.
Pond cultured frogs are harvest with a hand net, line, hook or spearing. Use a spotlight to immobilize them while you gather them.