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Thread: How much to feed juvenile spadefoot toad.

  1. #1
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    Default How much to feed juvenile spadefoot toad.

    I posted this in the toad subsection, but thought It might get some more visibility here.

    A few weeks ago I brought a few tadpoles home from a puddle I found at work. Well the plan was, to just keep them long enough to show the girls how a tadpole turns into a frog. As you can imagine, this turned into the kids wanting to keep one. I returned the others back to where I found them and ended up keeping one.

    Heís a Couchís Spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus couchii) and Iíve got him setup in a plastic container with a small water dish, a couple places for him to hide and a substrate made of eco earth shredded coconut husks.

    After his tail was fully reabsorbed, I started feeding him melanogaster fruit flies, and pinhead crickets dusted in some amphibian vitamins.

    Heís growing well, probably doubled in size from when he first emerged from water full time. Heís probably 3/4Ē long, and had moved on to eating hydei fruit flies and 1 week old crickets.

    My question is how many crickets/hydei fruit flies to feed him per day. So far Iíve been putting 8-10 crickets or 10-15 fruit flies per day, and this little fellow just absolutely devours them in the span of about 5 min, waits around to see if he sees any more food, then goes and soaks in his water dish.

    I have no doubt that he could probably eat 2-3 times the amount of food Iím giving him per day, however most of the information Iíve found say to feed adult toads 2-3 food items every other day, and juveniles 3-4 food items per day. Iím already exceeding that recommendation by a decent amount. But then I also read that these toads can eat enough in 1 day to last them a year, or upwards of 1000 insects a day.

    So I guess my question is how much should I be feeding this little fellow? Should I feed daily, or every other day? Is it even possible to overfeed a toad?

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    Default Re: How much to feed juvenile spadefoot toad.

    I think that Couch's spadefoots are the best looking of the spadefoots.
    In the wild, neonate amphibians eat as much as they possibly can. They need to put on mass as quickly as possible, to outgrow predators, to survive hibernation and estivation, and to reach breeding size as soon as possible. Therefore, in captivity, I believe in giving them as much as they will eat. Little toads do seem to bottomless pits. I recommend feeding very heavily, and I recommend feeding as much variety as possible. In addition to crickets and hydei, I would feed bean beetles, small dubia roaches, and earthworms. These prey items are more nutritious than crickets and fruit flies, and are easily cultured. I don't think it's possible to overfeed a toad, although uneaten crickets do present some risk, as they will chew on captive amphibians and reptiles.
    One final recommendation I have would be to add a layer of leaf litter over the substrate. It will help with moisture retention, and offer the toad additional hiding places.

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    Default Re: How much to feed juvenile spadefoot toad.

    Thanks for the info. I've seen some pictures of adult Couch's spadefoots, and they are indeed very beautiful. I cannot wait until this little guy starts showing his colors. So far the girls absolutely love watching him chase crickets and flies around in his container. He buries himself all day long, then sometime around 6-7pm he re-surfaces and starts looking up at the top of his container expectantly for food to magically appear so he can chase them around gobbling them up. His appetite does seem insatiable, so I'll just keep ramping up how much I'm feeding him, removing anything leftover after he retires to his waterbowl for his after dinner soak. (the life of a frog sounds pretty good)

    I was going to stop and pick up some earthworms on my way home from work today and see if I could get him to eat them cut up by wriggling a section of them off a pair of tweezers in front of him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Herpin Man View Post
    uneaten crickets
    ha ha ha, uneaten crickets, not from this guy! I watched him eat 10 1/8" crickets and about 10 fruit flies in like 10 minutes last night, and I swear he was looking up at me saying "That all you got?"

    I'll look into the leaf litter. This is my first non mammal pet that I've ever had, it's been a learning experience.

    I do have another question about substrate. Right now I have it setup with 2 layers, the bottom layer is about 1" deep consisting of about 1/2 diameter pebbles, followed by about 2" of eco earth, which gives him plenty of room to burrow, as he grows, I'll increase the depth of the eco earth. To keep things moist, I keep the lower level of pebbles full of water, which in-turn keeps about 1" of eco earth wet, with the top 1" fairly dry. I figured that since this guy is native to the sonoran desert, keeping the top part of substrate dry would most closely mimic his natural habitat where the top soil is very dry, but can retain moisture under it for quite some time.

    Does this setup sound right? or should I just ditch the lower level of rocks and use nothing but eco earth, thus keeping the whole of the substrate slightly moist. Or just use 100% dry eco earth substrate and let him go to his water dish if he wants some water.

    Or if you've got another suggestion for how to configure the substrate, I'd love to hear it.

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    Default Re: How much to feed juvenile spadefoot toad.

    For a small, unplanted tank, I don't think that a drainage layer is necessary, but I also don't see what it would hurt. I wouldn't intentionally store water in the drainage layer though; it defeats the purpose of having a drainage layer.
    The eco earth does not need to be bone dry. Toads appreciate some moisture. I would leave one end dry, and mist one end, giving the toad options. The leaf litter will help retain moisture.

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