Can Chickens Eat Frogs? The Truth About Chickens & Frog Diets



—> Last Updated:

Well, let me tell you about the time my buddy Keith and I found a bullfrog in the creek on my family’s farm.

We were young and mischievous, maybe 12 years old, and always getting into trouble. We loved catching critters down by the creek – fish, frogs, crawdads…you name it.

On this particular summer day, we spotted a huge bullfrog sunning itself on a log.

That sucker must’ve been 5 inches long! Now you gotta understand, when you grow up on a farm, you get used to messin’ with the animals.

So Keith looks at me with a twinkle in his eye and says, “I dare ya to grab it!” Before I can even think twice, I’ve pounced on that frog and wrestled the wriggling beast into my hands, laughing the whole time.

In short – yes, chickens can and will happily eat frogs if given the chance. But should they? Read on to learn more.

We took off running to the chicken coop to conduct a little “experiment”.

Hey, when your closest neighbor is a mile away, you find ways to entertain yourself!

Being the mischievous farm boys we were, we wondered – would the chickens go bonkers for a frog the same way they did for worms, mice, or even baby snakes?

Did chickens attack live prey the same way the barn cats did?

We were about to find out! As soon as we opened the chicken wire door and tossed that croaking frog in with our 24 Leghorn hens, feathers immediately exploded everywhere as the chickens swarmed in a flurry of claws, wings, and hungry beaks.

The frenzy only lasted maybe 30 seconds before the frog croaked its last, uhh, croak. And then…dead silence.

Every chicken froze and stared warily at the frog’s mangled carcass.

Guess their curiosity wore off real quick! But we sure learned our lesson – don’t mess with a chicken’s instincts.

They’ll eat just about anything meaty. Which brings me to the main question…

Can Chickens Safely Eat Frogs?


While chickens are aggressively omnivorous and will readily attack live frogs and other small prey, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a smart idea to feed frogs to your backyard flock.

There’s good reason most chicken owners don’t make frogs a regular part of their birds’ diet. First off, amphibians like frogs and salamanders can carry some nasty bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli that can make your flock sick.

I remember old farmer Henny down the road losing a whole flock of 12 chickens because they got into a bad batch of frogs from the creek one spring.

See also  Can Chickens Eat Dried Alfalfa?

Within 2 days, he had 5 dead hens and the rest were real under the weather. Turns out frogs and chickens just don’t mix well if the frogs have been hanging around farms, water sources with runoff, or anywhere they might pickup harmful germs.

Even if the frog looks perfectly healthy, there may still be internal parasites they can pass to your flock that will steal nutrients and make your chickens unthrifty over time.

So while free-ranging birds may snack on a frog or two with likely no issues, purposely feeding frogs to penned-up backyard chickens can cause more harm than good.

Plus, frogs just don’t offer much nutritional value to warrant the risks – they’re mostly water, legs, with not much else. Compare that to a balanced chicken feed ration packed with wholesome grains, seeds, nutrients, and supplements…and the frogs just don’t stack up!

Fun Facts About Chickens Eating Frogs & Other Critters


Even though frogs may not be the best regular treat, there are some pretty neat things to know about chickens and their hunting instincts.

For example, did you know that chickens are omnivores, meaning they’ll eat almost anything – plant or animal? When allowed to free-range, chickens will happily feast on worms, grasshoppers, beetles, snails, small mice and snakes, baby birds fallen from nests, and yes – the occasional frog or lizard too.

It’s actually a good thing because they help keep pesky insect and rodent populations under control, providing free pest control! Their sharp beaks and talons are literally designed by nature for grasping squirming creatures and frogs as prey. It’s survival instinct!

Another fun fact is that when chickens catch live prey, they will call out excited food calls that alert and recruit the rest of the flock to come running. It’s like say “Hey ya’ll, dinner’s served!” and the chickens all come a-runnin’ to get their fair share.

The dominant hens usually get first dibs while the subordinate hens hover around the edges hoping for any tasty scraps.

And boy do things get wild in the coop when a frog or mouse appears! It’s like a mosh pit concert with all the frenzied chickens in a huge flapping mass of feathers, literally climbing on top of each other to get to the prime spot center stage where all the action is.

Dust flying, chickens jumping, wings flapping – you’ll think someone threw a rager in there!

And just when it seems to hit fever pitch, dead silence. In an instant, all you see is a crowd of fat, happy chickens pleasantly preening themselves and wandering off to relax in the shade. It’s chicken chaos!

The key thing is moderation and balance – while occasional protein-rich treats from nature are perfectly fine supplementation, domesticated backyard chickens really thrive best on a balanced commercial feed ration to meet all their dietary needs.

See also  Can Chickens Eat Honeydew?

Supplement their feed with fresh treats like vegetable scraps and the occasional cricket or worm, and you’ve got happy, healthy chickens!

Best Chicken Breeds For Eating Frogs & Hunting Rodents


If you want to put your chickens’ frog-hunting skills to good use controlling pests, some chicken breeds have particularly strong foraging and predator instincts.

The top backyard chicken breeds I’d recommend for natural rodent control include:

  • Rhode Island Reds – This classic all-American chicken breed is a fan favorite for many homesteads. They are excellent foragers, cover a wide range looking for insects and mice. Their rich red feathers also look sharp.
  • Barred Plymouth Rocks – These black and white beauties are a top dual-purpose breed for both eggs and meat. They adapt well to most climates and have a calm personality. You’ll often see them gulping down mice and baby voles in the run.
  • Australorps – This Australian breed is a sweet addition for those wanting a flock of friendly chickens. They are also determined hunters who thrive finding frogs and rodents to supplement their feed.
  • Orpingtons – As a large dual-purpose breed, Orpingtons are an ideal backyard chicken for small homesteads. They are known to be determined hunters and will vigorously stalk frogs, mice, and rats that dare enter their domain.

The key is choosing active, alert breeds that retain strong foraging instincts.

Stay away from primarily egg-laying breeds like Leghorns that prefer to stay inside the coop. Focus instead on breeds bred to be traditional barnyard foragers.

Building The Ideal “Pest-Patrol” Chicken Run

If you want to leverage your flock’s natural hunting behaviors for organic pest control, you need to set up the ideal habitat in your chicken run. Here are my top tips:

  • Use 1/2 to 1 inch wire fencing and bury it 1 ft deep to prevent burrowing pests.
  • Make sure the run has areas of both sun and shade so chickens stay comfortable.
  • Include dust bathing areas for chickens to clean their feathers.
  • Set up brush piles, logs, and hidey-holes for pests to nest in…and become prey!
  • Plant insect and rodent-attracting plants like clover or sunflowers around the perimeter.
  • Provide clean waterers, calcium-rich feed supplements, and grit for healthy digestive systems.

Design your pest patrol run to attract frogs, mice, rats, and insects…then let your fierce chicken flock feast away!

Farming Frogs For Profit…And Chicken Treats!

Raising frogs can actually be a quite lucrative business opportunity for savvy homesteaders. The global supply of frog meat is growing rapidly. And since exporting wild frog legs was banned, the farming industry has exploded to meet demand.

The great part is that frogs are efficient protein converters requiring very little space or resources to raise.

You can house egg-laying adults in pond habitats and grow the offspring to 1.1 – 1.7 lbs before processing. Most farmers choose meat breeds like Leopard frogs or American bullfrogs.

See also  Garden Harmony: Can Chickens Safely Munch on Hostas?

While entering the commercial frog farming business requires research and planning, you can also raise a small unit just to use as supplemental feed for chickens. Simply set up a smallfrogs habitat with plants and pools.

Collect any spare eggs and let tadpoles grow in an indoor tank before feeding juvenile frogs to your flock as treats.

Are Tree Frogs & Poisonous Frogs Off Limits?

While most standard frogs are fair game for chicken consumption, there are certain amphibians that should be avoided or limited in backyard flocks:

  • Tree Frogs – Small tree frogs often secrete mild toxins and may not provide much nutritional value. Best to exclude them.
  • Poison Arrow/Dart Frogs – These vividly colored rainforest frogs carry potent alkaloid toxins to deter predators. Deadly poisonous to chickens!
  • Giant/Marine Toads – Giant toads have large poison glands that secrete bufotoxin. This nerve toxin can be lethal to birds in small doses.

So while chickens can eat most common frogs with likely no issue, it’s smart to exclude brightly colored tree frogs. And any giant marine toads or dart frogs wandering through should be caught and relocated far away from your flock’s habitat!

Frog & Chicken Coop Cohabitation Risks

Can frogs and chickens live together in the same coop? While it may be tempting to let a few harmless tree frogs set up residence in your henhouse, there are a few downsides to consider:

  • Frog waste can contaminate feed and water if chickens ingest it.
  • Parasites from wild frogs may infest the coop area over time.
  • Egg-eating snake species follow frog migrations and can threaten a flock.
  • Some people perceive frogs as disease carriers, though the risk is quite low statistically.

The negatives tend to outweigh the benefits of intentionally introducing frogs into the close-quarters of a chicken coop.

Small numbers of passing frogs should pose little risk. But allowing permanent frog dens can undermine biosecurity.

Safe Supplemental Feeding Tips

While frogs don’t make the best daily entree for backyard chickens, an occasional frog snack from a trusted clean source won’t harm your flock. Here are some supplemental feeding tips:

  • Offer frog treats only 1-2 times per month as a protein boost.
  • Collect frog specimens from underground springs or concrete drainage areas to reduce contamination.
  • Select larger bullfrogs over small tree frogs which may secrete skin toxins.
  • Remove the toxic skin glands in the frog’s neck before feeding to chickens.
  • Monitor chicken health closely for any issues afterwards.

Applied sparingly under controlled conditions, certain frogs can provide a beneficial nutritional boost improving chicken health, egg production, and pest patrol efficacy! So don’t be afraid to let chickens be chickens and feast on live prey their ancestors evolved to eat.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!