In July of this year our barn was home to various sizes of frogs and they were all over the place. I was concerned for our dogs, chickens, ducks, geese and goats. So I started searching on-line to find out what I could about the danger level. What I found out was that the little toads or frogs are not harmful to the critters on our place but they can make a dog sick. So, I thought, “Whew”. I also read that the frogs are really only active at night. Hmm, then why am I seeing mine during the heat of the day. Well, they were coming to drink water and it was triple digit heat. Not to humanize the frogs but I would want a drink too.
By mid-August there were only a few frogs around. I was curious as to why or where they were going. Maybe they were leaving because the crickets, bugs and even the ants were gone or leaving. (Bless our little chicken’s hearts.) Then I read that the frogs will eat each other. So, maybe there is another reason why there are not so many frogs now.
Mid-September I only have one, sort of large, bull frog. No singing yet, drat it all. But I have noticed one particular thing that happens on a regular basis. The bull frog comes out when I am in the barn area. He will sit patiently waiting for me to notice him. When I do see him, he hops a little closer. So, I give him a little water and in a little bit he will fade away until the next time I am outside.
I am not sure what he is eating and as I previously said according to what I have read they are voracious eaters (they eat a lot), and will eat just about any animal they can swallow. These include: insects, crayfish, worms, minnows, other frogs (even Bullfrogs), small turtles, snakes, baby birds, and small mammals. (www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/…/bullfrog.htm)
Maybe I have more going on under my house than I previous thought. I know from firsthand experience (possibility I will publish that story later) that we had a skunk living under the house for a while. That was j u s t so lovely. NOT! I also know that we at one time had a snake in the barn. Not a big one mind you, but never-the-less it was a snake and now the snake is no longer in the barn. We have a family, of at least three hoot owls who live in fatigued building down the street from us. They are making their presence known during the mornings now – 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. sitting on our fence posts. I guess no one has told them what the researchers have written. Rabbit trail, sorry.
Linda Cole says in her article:
Dogs and Toads Don’t Make a Good Duo
“In order for a dog to be poisoned by a toad, he has to actually pick it up in his mouth, bite it or lick it. Dog and toad encounters can happen no matter where you live. In some parts of the country, Cane Toads will crawl into a dog’s food bowl that is sitting outside to eat the dog’s food. In rare cases, they can leave enough residual to poison the dog when he then eats from that bowl or even licks the side where the toad was perched.”
I am not sure what the bull frog will do in the long term. We do not have a pond or tank (where you are from determines what you will call that small body of water). However, he has jumped into the small tubs, we set out for the ducks to wet their feathers, a couple of times and then waits for me to let him out. After he is on dry ground he will slowly hop back to the house. It is almost as if the chickens do not see him. If he is looking for a big puddle to live in, he is in trouble as the nearest body of water is eleven miles from us. I am not sure how the frogs even got here. Where did they come from? I just don’t know. Even so, I am glad that the surviving bull frog calls this place home.