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Thread: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

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    Default New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    I recently required three young Western Toads, and need advice on how to care for them. They are currently in a Sterilite 32 quart bin, is this enough room? I have been feeding them about 20 mealworms every other day. I am using plain dirt from my backyard for a substrate (Clean of chemicals), and am wondering if beach sand substrate or a beach sand and dirt mixture would be better? I am also hoping to keep one of them through winter, can they survive in below freezing temperatures? Once again, the is my first frog or toad, so any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Hi! Welcome to the forum. I went looking for this the other day, and now it's coming in handy again: here is a basic care sheet for most species of toad by John P. Clare, the administrator and owner of this site:
    http://www.frogforum.net/content.php...ytes-Pelobates
    While the guide covers substrate, sand isn't a good substrate. A pure substrate of Coco fiber is usually the best option, and is available in brick form under a number of brands. I find the best(cheapest) retailer to get it at is Pet food Express, at 2.50 a brick versus as much as 6 at some retailers. Often a bulk deal online is even better.
    Considering your sterilite bin, I personally would suggest you pick up a 90 qt bin, as they are pretty cheap(8$+tax near me.), as it will give the three of them more room to move around. Really, you can keep these toads permanently if you like. Most Toads burrow and wait out winter, basically hibernating, but I believe I've read young toads have lower survival rate than adults. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 60f(I personally prefer to keep them around 65 at the coldest), so as long as your room(or whatever room you're going to keep them in) doesn't get too cold you can keep them comfortable year round. If it does get too cold, a heating pad or low wattage heat lamp should do the trick. If you have any more concerns, please don't hesitate to ask! I hope this helps.
    Edit: I would suggest crickets or dubia Roaches over mealworms. Mealworms contain a lot of chitin/shell.
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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Thanks!!! While you say Coco fiber is good, will the dirt work temporarily?? Also, how many bricks will I need? You say they can survive 60F temperature, but I live where it dips well below 32F in the winter, can they survive? They survive in the wild up here too. Should I attempt to breed food? And is the 20 mealworms every other day enough for now?

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Dirt is fine and actually will stick less to the toads than coconut fiber. 1 brick will probably do for that size of container but they are pretty cheap, especially if you get them online (I buy mine from amazon). I wouldn't risk the toads at those temperatures. In the wild they go into refuges like animal burrows and under rocks so that they don't deal with freezing temperatures - not so easy to do that with a terrarium left outside unless it's purpose built. Do you have a garage or unheated room in your house? I have a garage that gets down into the 40s (it helps that I took a glass pane out of a window and replaced it with screen mesh).
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Thanks John! Should I get coconut fiber, or just stick with dirt? I was worried about how easy it would be for them to burrow into the dirt. I'm keeping my terrarium inside, but the room it is in will not always be heated. If I got a deeper container, would they be able to burrow and survive? Or would I have to pre-dig burrows for them? Thanks again!

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    You can probably keep using the dirt. There are a number of reasons to use coco fiber, but one main one is that you don't want to expose a non-local frog to whatever is in local soil. Since your toads are a local species, that's not a big concern. As for the burrows, John would know if you could make that work, but I personally would recommend just picking up a heat lamp and a night time heat bulb to help them stay warm instead. That being said, I find the idea of letting them burrow and wait out the cold in captivity interesting.
    1 Male Giant African Bullfrog
    2 Woodhouse's Toads
    11 Pacific Treefrogs
    1 Dubia Roach Colony
    2 Australian Green Treefrogs

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Thanks!! I am hoping I can allow them to burrow and be insolated well enough to survive.

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    I've read that hibernation is risky even under ideal conditions in the wild. Also, feeding very well then not feeding for a while before hibernation can help. Fat reserves but an empty stomach are ideal conditions because you don't want the food in their stomach to go bad. (The material I found this tip in was about hibernating White's Tree Frogs but it might apply to toads as well.)

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Thanks! I hope it will apply to toads as well.

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    I just bought a 56qt bin to replace the 32qt I am currently using. The dimensions are 6.125in x 24in x 30in. It has an opaque white lid which I am planning on cutting a section out of and replacing it with a plastic screen. Is this a good idea? Is so, do you have any suggestions on how to attach the plastic?

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Hi again! You can attach the plastic screen with a hot glue gun. I used one on my own bins to keep the screen on. It can take a bit of trial and error if you've never used one before or havent used one in years, but once you figure it out a bit it really comes together.
    1 Male Giant African Bullfrog
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    11 Pacific Treefrogs
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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    I just received another order of mealworms, and I believe a superworm has accidentally been placed in my order. Is the superworm safe to feed my toads? On a side note, the temperatures are dropping, and my toads are doing fine. I believe the temperature has dropped to below freezing overnight.

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    As long as they are big enough to eat it, as superworms should be no problem. I give my toads superworms sometimes.
    1 Male Giant African Bullfrog
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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Thank You! They should be big enough to eat the superworm. They have eaten earthworms much longer than the superworm.

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    I just found a bunch of brown marmoted stink bugs in my firewood.At least, I think this is what they are, they are a gray color, and I have always Called them bark beetles. At any rate, would these be good to feed to my Western toads? I am thinking about attempting to breed them...

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    If they're a form of stinkbug the toads will probably find them unpalatable. The idea of the "stink" mechanism is to make them taste bad so once they have one they won't eat more. It really depends on the frog/toad. Some frogs wont eat worms ever again after eating red wigglers, for example, since they taste bad. I had a frog that ate one and wouldn't eat worms, but my Woodhouse's toads love them, and never refuse them. If you want you can try feeding them to the toads.
    1 Male Giant African Bullfrog
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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Another thing to consider, especially if those stink-bugs are from the wild, are parasites or other harmful things from outside. In a pinch you can feed an animal like that something from the outdoors, but only if collected from an area where pesticides and herbicides are not in use, as they could kill the animal you are feeding the insects to. I'd stick with something else, but if you would like to breed them I'd try it, maybe they could be used as a feeder, but again, I'd stick to the regular staple items such as earthworms, crickets, dubias, ect

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    Default Re: New to Western Toads. Please Help!

    Thanks! After tasting the stink bugs once, the toads wouldn't go near them, so that plan is gone. Also, they survived winter fine, burrowing into the dirt. I am considering buying a 40l glass terrarium with a mesh lid, would this be fine? Thank you all so much!

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