There are a lot of advantages that come with keeping chicken in your backyard. Tastier eggs and manure, which you can use for farming, are some of them. They are effortless to maintain since they don’t need much attention, and if the proper measures are taken, they are not prone to many diseases.
However, the challenge comes in feeding the chickens. It can be confusing what you should allow them to feed on since most of the day; they entertain themselves by picking beetles, grass, worms, and tadpoles at a nearby pond or even frogs.
Although commercial egg producers claim to produce eggs from “vegetarian fed” hens, chickens are omnivores. They feed on both plant and animal sources and mostly feed on anything that they get their beaks on.
You will find them often scratching at the soil to search for any insects and seeds in the wild. Additionally, they will eat just about anything they get hold of, from worms, birds, to even frogs. But should chickens eat frogs? Do frogs pose any health risk to them? Keep reading to find out.
Are Frogs Toxic to Chickens?
Chickens, being omnivorous, need a variety of foods in their diet. A growing chicken feed (bought or farm mixed) needs to be about 23% proteins. Meat is an excellent source of protein, and frog meat is no exception. According to research, frogs pose a low health risk to your chicken.
Therefore, it is okay for your chicken to feed on frogs, especially if you have a pond around your area. Frog meat is of high quality and is very nutritious to your chicken. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and potassium which are essential nutrients, and you will commonly find them in most chicken feeds.
Are Toads Toxic to Chickens?
Despite chicken having voracious appetites and a willingness to eat just almost anything you might give them, there are some foods to be avoided. Among these foods are toads which can be problematic as they are unhealthy and even poisonous to chickens.
Toads are more toxic than frogs because they secrete venom from glands in their skin to keep predators at bay, harming your chicken.
The most common kind of toad is the giant tropical toad. This toad produces toxins known as bufotoxins. This toxin irritates if it comes into contact with the chicken’s skin. Additionally, these toxins are capable of causing anything from irritation from mild contact to more severe cases such as cardiac arrhythmia and seizures.
Can Chickens Catch a Frog in a Pond?
Your chickens’ ability to catch a frog in a pond depends on how deep or shallow the pond is. If it is superficial to the extent that they can see the frogs from the outside, they may try to catch them with their beaks from the edge of the shallow end. If the pool is deep, your chicken is not likely to go into the pond to capture them.
However, the chicken could fall accidentally, especially if it panics or is spooked while at the edge. This could be terrible since chickens can’t swim for long. Its feathers may absorb water, weigh it down, leading to it being unable to stay afloat, causing the chicken to die if no one is around to save it. To avoid such incidents, ensure that your pond is shallow.
Can Chickens Eat Tadpoles?
Yes, chickens can eat tadpoles. Tadpoles are not harmful to chickens and are a lot safer compared to frogs and toads. There are no health risks associated with chicken-eating tadpoles if they can get them. They are a great source of protein and other minerals, which is essential for the chicken.
Frogs do not breed as fast to produce tadpoles that can be used to feed numerous chickens. An alternative could be duckweed, a quicker high protein feed that, similar to tadpoles and does well in ponds. Unfortunately, your chicken may not intuitively take it; hence you may have to train to eat it.
On the other hand, these duckweeds take about two days to grow into a reasonable size to feed your chicken.
Do Chickens Eat Frog Eggs?
As discussed above, chickens can eat almost anything that they come across. Therefore it is prevalent to find them eating frog eggs. Chicken usually begin eating eggs if their calcium levels are low. This calcium deficiency makes the chicken seek other supplemental diets of eggshell since they are high in calcium.
Your chickens may also eat frog eggs as a result of accidental discovery. For example, if a frog lays eggs near the coop and the chickens find it, they can easily break the egg. If you do not like the idea of your chicken feeding on frog eggs, then it is wise to create hiding spots for the frogs, such as under rocks making them less accessible to the chickens.
Can Chickens Eat a Dead Frog?
Chicken feed on both dead and live meat. It is normal and expected for your chickens to scavenge on dead animals, and frogs are no exception. The dead meat has no adverse effect on the chickens, especially if it is not yet decomposed.
It is, however, advisable to be conscious about your chickens eating dead frogs as there are diseases that can be transferred through the meat. For more sensitive chickens like broilers, avoid feeding them any dead meat, even that of frogs. Always ensure that the meat they are taking is well-cooked to prevent infection of diseases.
It’s no doubt; there is a lot of information on whether it is safe for chickens to feed on frogs or not. While some argue that there is no harm, others say that chickens should not eat live meat as it could negatively affect their health.
The truth is, it’s perfectly normal and natural for chickens to chase and eat live prey. In the wild, the bulk of their diet consists of what they can find for themselves. However, it is advisable to discourage your chicken from eating toads for the reasons discussed in this article.Chickens