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Does anyone farm frogs?

 
Ray Cover
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Location: Missouri
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Ok I got to ask this. Do any of you farm frogs?

I make my living as an artist and one of the reasons I am able to make a decent living doing it is I chose an area that is so specialized that I know almost all of my fellow colleges working in this field and I even trained many of them. Painter and sculptors are a dime a dozen so the competition in those areas is massive. There are not that many fine art quality metal engravers out there (although the number is growing). That smaller competition with a high demand is why I make my living out of my basement and don't starve as an artist.

I have to think the same principle holds true of farming and livestock. I would think the guy with a Shitake Mushroom farm would have an edge over the guy trying to sell 1500 acres of soybeans due to the lower competition in the market. Even though the demand for shitakes isn't as large as the demand for soybeans nationwide, I bet the supply and demand of the market still weighs int eh mushroom farmers favor.

Frog legs are fairly popular in many restaurants in my area and I know all those frogs were not gigged during our limited season here. So I am thinking someone has to be raising things like frogs and other specialized or exotic animals for market. Any of you tried to intentionally raise bullfrogs as a livestock? If so are they fairly easy to raise and harvest and bring to market?

Ray
 
Saybian Morgan
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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Wow that's clever, frogs are the gun fodder of evolution and everything eats them. Do you want to just breed them in an indoor situation like a greenhouse or are you hoping to integrate them into a system and then harvest the surplus.
If your really wanna breakout and do it which I would love to hear it happen if your in a region where frog legs are culturally endorsed then you might want to try this article.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33045/33045-h/33045-h.htm

You've got a job controlling migration if your thinking outdoor integration, and an even worse predation control if your outside. But an pseudo aquaculture sealed greenhouse may be viable, I wouldn't try to grow food on frog poo but I don't see why you couldn't grow and aquatic plant situation to bring feed cost into check.
Rana catesbeiana is your frog and since you've obviously thought about this more than I have i'd like to know what you think of the article. I still dream of eels grown on the west coast or in the tropics but the shipping situation just doesn't compute nor could I really compete with the other side of the world who eats all the eel's while where I live ppl just don't.
 
John Polk
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Saybian, with the huge Asian population here in the PNW, there might be a bigger eel market than you think.

 
Saybian Morgan
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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It's not that there isn't a huge pacific population here it's that at least in pnw canada is their too modern, I have yet to have really good kabayaki in my 6 years in vancouver. The problem is how sensitive elvers are and theres no land infrastructure on this coast for eels. You can flog eels anywhere you got em there's always a market i almost drop dead when i saw the price of a pack of freezer burned eels after the japan tsunami, but it's an elver issue. They don't spawn close enough to our shoreline to make it past japan's greedy hands. Everything that doesn't go to the dutch goes to japan and in between france, england and the east coast of canada get the rest. 400 meters below in specific spots in the sea only, theres no way i'm going to figure out how to get them to spawn in a greenhouse fishtank. But if I could I would probably make a billion dollars. I've read eel culture the ultimate book on eels and it's beyond an art form how seriously japan takes their eels. That's why this frog subject sounds so exciting not that I want to live with 10,000 frogs outside my door, but the sound of a 1000 or so is a roar like no other.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Wow, interesting subject. You have me looking up frogs for my local area.
 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
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Saybian,

I can't get that link to work. I tried it on two different computers and even copy and pasted it into my browser window. All I get is a blank white page. DO you have to have a membership on the Gutenberg page to use it?

For myself I am thinking future. I live in town and still have one daughter in High School. I want to let her finish school before trying to move but when my wife and I are empty nesters I would like to move to a few acres and implement some of this.

Ray
 
Steve Forest
Posts: 22
Location: Dundalk Ontario 4b
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I found the following link while doing research. How do you guys think about it? I have 94 acres in Ontario and about 15 acres wet land with permanent water. I am thinking about what I can do with the land and I am open for all ideas.

Eneratom

http://www.bullfrogcontrol.com/index.html
 
Ray Cover
Posts: 132
Location: Missouri
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Interesting,

I can see it being an invasive species in other areas but it is a native species here. Florida is having a real problem with several exotic species like the snakehead fish and several reptiles. But those species aren't a problem in their native areas. All our rivers lakes and creeks have them. heck I even had one in my sump well in the basement of my last house.

IDK I think more research is needed. From my perspective the invasive species issue would not be a problem for me since they are a native species in my area. However, I would like to find out more on his comments about it not being financially feasible. To my thinking one man's bad financial idea ends up being another man's jackpot. To the stock brokers making your living as an artist is a loosing proposition yet I have done it full time now for over 15 years. SO......... more info is needed.

Ray

 
Mark Harris
Posts: 73
Location: Portugal
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Starting back at the beginning with the original question, I must say I think for so many reasons, this is a really bad idea.

From what I can gather in reality frogs are not generally farmed in any true sense, but simply harvested from the wild in huge numbers. This often is done in developing countries such as India with terrible environmental consequences. I remember reading research that showed a massive increase in pesticide use in India when the wild frogs were harvested for rich westerners ridiculous tastes.

If the frogs were bred in an enclosed enviroment then massive amounts of feed would need to be bred (live insects) for them, making them almost certainly uneconomic. Rememer only the legs are eaten and it takes around 2 years to get them to full size.

If they are raised outdoors in extensive conditions then supplemental feeding becomes almost impossible, and a whole host of wild creatures will want to eat your frogs. The idea of introducing a non native species into your area that could compete with native species is terrible too. Amphibians (globally) for still unknown reasons are having a really bad time. There are many populations that are going into serious declines, and even going extinct, and scientists are not able to fully explain why. But one of the causes seems to be the spread of diseases from man made introductions of non native species into the wild. Please don't add to the problems amphibians are already having.

Rana Esculenta is a species native to parts of Europe not the US. It normally is not capable of reproducing on its own without crossing with another 'parent species' as in fact in reality it is a hybrid species getting its genes from two other different species. The genetics are complex. I don't trust the people in the e-book to actually really know what species they really have. Also when people are trying to sell animals as the next great income makers, you have to ask if it is such are great idea why are they not just getting on controlling the market and keeping quiet about it.

 
Saybian Morgan
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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the link didn't work that's strange I clicked it and it opened right up in firefox. maybe it's a file or something. Never the less I saved it as a pdf for you, if you want to private message me your email I can send it.
I don't see why you couldn't sell the less then raise ducks off the leftovers and then sell duck procuitto, then sell champion dog food made of duck minus the breast. Sure it's a hell of a life but so is feeding and raising thousands of frogs with no predators. I think you could keep enough fly's going nonstop in a greenhouse to feed the frogs, but 2 years is a long time for a set of legs. It's a tough one, cuzz setting up an ecosystem in which you can glean frogs is just as hard and harvest is harder. Everything eats frogs so if your ecosystem isn't perfect they'll never make it past tadpoles. But cheers on considering it from the comfort of your basement if you really love frogs. Then again you could make as much money selling quail or some other minute creature people should and shouldn't be eating. There is a point where your clientele "the people you live your live to serve" can turn a right livelihood into a wrong one. I still havn't made up my mind on if i'm willing to dispatch animals for money, but I have no problem doing it to feed people and barter. I just don't care to be killing for money when I could be growing soapberry tree's or something else, but I do like the idea of more animals getting to experience existence because we eat them after we care for them. I dunno if you really have the heart to cut up that many frogs so people can have a bite to eat.

Anyways i got that link saved as a pdf for you if you want it, sorry it didn't work on your browser that's never happened to me before; maybe firefox has some magic touch.
 
Jeremy Laurin
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See this link here: http://www.permies.com/t/14725/critter-care/covenant-poultry-Alternatives

Jeanine Gurley wrote:Exerpt from Permaculture Techniques "a couple of small ponds, perhaps four feet across and 18 inches
deep. Some of them filled with about 12 inches of soil, and some of them filled with about four or five inches of soil.
A pond that size will turn out about two hundred or three hundred frogs
about twice a summer. The tadpoles live in the pond, and the frogs live in
the cabbages, lettuces, and mulch. They return to the pond and you must
make a place for them to get out. A good sort of pond is one that is slightly
higher than the surrounding soil level, built up and paved with stones.
We put sweet alyssum and thyme and garlic between the stones. The alyssum
trails into the edge of the water, and the little frogs climb out on it.
Another thing you can do is to build up a little stone pile in the pond. Frogs
will drown if they can't get out of ponds, so let them have a way out.
Mosquito control is accomplished in two ways. I always put a bit of garlic
around the pond and just squeeze the bulbs out into it. That is the best. That
kills the larva. Just float off your garlic oils. It's about 100% kill. The
garlic doesn't kill tadpoles. The tadpoles eat some mosquitoes, but they are not a control measure."

Here is a pic of my small pond; fed with well water, no pump, overflows into veggie bed. Black things are tadpoles.
 
Kota Dubois
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I've been observing my many species of frogs for almost 30 years. They are really quite amazing. They are not at the bottom of the food chain -- They are the food chain; top to bottom. When I had to drain the pond to do work on the dam, thousands of polywogs were left flopping on the bottom. Immediately an army of frogs descended on them gobbling them up in a macabre display that I will never forget. I've seen snakes eating frogs and frogs eating snakes. I've seen big frogs eating little frogs, and frogs the same size trying to eat each other at the same time.

If some sort of farming set-up is being considered with a high density of animals in a confined space they will eat each other.
DSC07498.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC07498.jpg]
It's a frog eats frog world
 
Al Senner
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Location: southeast SD (zone 4b/5a)
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in my area, bullfrogs are also native and still manage to be be invasive. Or perhaps a better term would be weed frogs. Due to their hardiness and intentional stocking in farm and golf course ponds for aesthetics, many nearby ponds that used to hold leopard frogs, chorus frogs, spring peepers and salamanders are now entirely filled with bullfrogs. They are an apex predator of all the other beneficials you want on your property and they can and will escape and greatly affect the environment around you.
 
Steve Rivas
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I was looking around the forums and noticed this subject "Does anyone farm frogs?"

Yeah, we do. My wife and I have been raising and selling them since 1994. We raise American Bullfrogs from eggs produced by our selected spawners. 99% of our market is medical research. This year, our bullfrogs kept over 12,000 wild frogs from being used in labs. It is a good business, our production has increased each year since we started.
We spent over four grueling nasty years literally "working the bugs out" of our system before we sold our first bullfrog. Since then, we've been able to improve our strain quite a bit through selective breeding. Our percent survival from eggs, growth rates, and feed conversion ratios now rival any other commercial aquaculture species.
It is enjoyable year-round outdoor farming. It requires a lot of meticulous attention to detail because of the exacting standards that our market requires. We consider our farm to be a sustainable enterprise because all of our production is on site, our feed is made to our specifications by a local mill, we purchase our supplies locally, a small station wagon can handle all of our farm hauling chores, we have no debt, and we have never accepted any public funds for our research, production, or expansion.
There are some huge frog farms in Asia and South America but they supply the food market which is a completely different animal, so to speak. The big overseas farms can't compete with our disease free high quality laboratory grade bullfrogs. We have not tried eating our bullfrogs.
There are some very lucrative niche markets out there for certain plants and animals if their commercial culture requirements can be figured out by farmers.
 
William Bronson
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I have looked into introducing frogs, creating habitat,etc, so they can eat the bugs on my land.
Australians seem to be big into this as a result of their cane toad issues.
Raising frogs for harvest has the same issues as raising any other predator,namely acquiring prey animals.
I have considered putting them in a raised mini pond located in a chicken run and allowing the tadpoles to change fast growing aquatic plants into self harvesting protein for the chooks.
 
David Livingston
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In France where the folks eat frogs ( tasted like chicken ) there used to be a system where folks had a number of ponds used in a rotaional way . One year flooded with carp and frogs second year drained and harvested (stuff too small transferred to wet pond )third year plant crops fourth year flood again .

David
 
Henry Ikeme
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Interesting discussion. I'll have to research more on frog farming. I wonder if the tadpoles will make good food for chickens.
 
allen lumley
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I used to help an old farmer drive his pigs down onto the flood plane of his property, it contained a huge very shallow Oxbow. Every spring there was an immense
amount of Frog, and toad eggs laid in the water and The pigs enjoyed this dietary change immensely, It started a very short lived desire on my part to try Caviar and
Roe, Some thing I am now very content to leave to those that like that stuff !

This annual migration occurred for many years, possibly as many as 20 years. Sustainable? It seemed so ! Legal ? In todays Eco-aware Political correctness maybe not
but I mention it as a possible consideration to any one who has a similar opportunity

An early spring Kayak /Camping trip past that area convinced us to push on as all that peeping croaking and 'Jug-of-Rum'-ing convinced us we were outclassed and
would be unable to carry on a conversation within a 1/10 of a mile.

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL



 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I was all ready to say that we kind of do but after reading this, no, we don't. lol We go around and collect tadpoles out of the drying up puddles around our land and put them in a stock tank to grow out. That's about all we do. Does work well though we have to go out every day and take the grown ones out of the stock tank or they drown.
 
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