BULLFROG FARMING AND FROGGING
Biology of the Family of Ranidae .... ..................... ............... 45-51
Butchering Bullfrogs ......................... ........................................ 78-79
Catching W ild Frogs ................................. .. ...... ................................. 41-44
Description of Common Bullfrog .............. ............... ........................ 6-14
Description of the Southern Bullfrog .................................... .................... 5- 6
Economic Value of Frogs .......................................................... 14-17
Establishing a Frog Farm in Florida .......................................................... 18-27
First Operation in Butchering (Illustration) ........................................ 77
Frog C culture .............................................................. ........................ ............ 28-32
Frog Industry in France ........................................... 57-54
History of Bullfrogs in Japan ........................................ ......................... 51-54
Introduction ........................................................................................ ............... 3- 4
Publications on Frogs ............................ ...... ............ ......... ................ 80
Recipes for Preparing Frog Meat ..... ..... ............................................ 58-73
Removing Spawn (Illustration) ....................................................... 20
Shipping Live Frogs ............. ........ .... .. ..... ........... ..................... 73-78
Spawn of Common Bullfrog (Illustration) ...... ..................................... 22
Statement of F. B. Cramer, Sr. .................. ........................................... 34-41
Stocking Ponds ... ................................... .......... 32-33
Stuffing Frogs with Dressing (Illustration) ................ ............. 15
Tadpole of Common Bullfrog (Illustration) .......................................... 12
Trapping Fiddler Crabs (Illustrction) ................. ............................. 37
Utilization of Frogs ................................................................. ................... 34
Young Bullfrog (Illustration) ..................................... ..' . \...... 14
This Bulletin, "Bullfrog Farming and Frogging in the State
of Florida," is issued by the Department of Agriculture in
the hope that it may prove of value to those interested in
the subject. The material herein has been taken from vari-
ous Encyclopedias and publications, and we give full credit
to all those sources and are very grateful for their co-opera-
tion in supply the information. Among those we desire
to mention: U. S. Department of Fisheries, Washington,
D. C.; Southern Biological Supply Co., New Orleans;
Louisiana .State Department of Conservation, Baton Rouge;
Soutlnm industries, Inc., Tampa; American Frog Canning
Co., New Orleans; Florida Frog Farms Corporation, High-
land City, Fla. ",
(i \ \
SI I I i I i i'-
Perhaps no industry in the State of Florida makes a stronger
appeal to the imagination than the raising of Frogs for the large mar-
kets, where there appears to be an ever increasing demand for fresh,
carefully selected and properly graded Frog Meat.
Like all other wild life in the United States, the wild frogs have
been so persistently hunted that the supply has diminished to a point
of extinction in a great many sections.
In an effort to meet the ever increasing demand in the face of a
diminishing supply, insufficient care by some shippers has been given
to proper grading, butchering, and preparation for shipment. As a
result frog legs have lost favor in some markets. By far the greatest
percentage of the frog meats going to market have been those caught
by frog hunters and considerable time frequently lapses between the
time the frog is caught and its arrival at point of consumption.
No more succulent dish, no greater delicacy is obtainable than
fresh frog legs appetizingly cooked and garnished. However, the best
chef in the world cannot restore that tender, sweet, delicate flavor,
natural to fresh frog legs, to dried-out, tough, tasteless frog meat. No
one questions the difference between fresh and storage eggs. The
difference between fresh, tender frog meat and the stale product is
more pronounced to the epicurean.
The diminishing supply of wild frogs and the absolute necessity
of scientific handling of them for the market indicates clearly that the
future supply of frog meat must be obtained form Frog Farms or
Ranches that have been carefully planned, well managed, and above
all, sufficiently financed. Otherwise the producer of frog meat for
the market is headed for many disappointments.
It has been said that no industry in Florida has better prospects
for permanency and profit than a good Frog Farm or Ranch but, to
reiterate, it is not a simple business to engage in. On the other hand
it is not a very difficult business to establish if the ordinary business
fundamentals that make for success in other endeavors are adhered
to in this most unusual and potentially profitable industry.
Florida is perhaps one of the best possible locations for establish-
ing a Frog Farm or Ranch as the exceptional climate assures a grow-
ing season of twelve months. Experience has shown that Bullfrogs,
the most desirable frogs to raise, start to breed as early as the first
week in March and continue to spawn up to late in the year in Flori-
4 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
da. Some of the most successful frog ranches in the United States, we
are told, are those located in Florida. One was established in the
middle of 1932 and has continued to expand every year since then.
In the last pages of this bulletin we have incorporated a state-
ment by the President of this corporation which may prove valuable
to any one contemplating entering this industry, which seems to offer
good opportunities to those prepared to be guided by the experience
of those now in the business.
We want to call the reader's attention to the illustrations in the
center of this bulletin. These photos of the Florida Frog Farms Cor-
poration, Highland City, Florida, will give the prospective frog farmer
a good idea of how ponds should be constructed to afford the maxi-
mum amount of shore line, or feeding grounds.
The marketing of Bullfrogs from Florida at present divides itself
into two industries: that of catching or gigging wild frogs, known as
Frogging, and the domestic breeding of suitable stock under proper
and scientific conditions for later butchering, grading and shipping
during the seasons when the demand is such as to bring the best pric-
es. It is interesting to note that the Frog Farmer is often referred to as
a Frog Rancher, and the Frog Farm is sometimes called a Frog Ranch.
Of paramount importance in the building of a profitable, domes-
tic frog business is the selection of proper varieties, the correct grading
as to size and quality, scientific butchering, and meticulous care in
preparing the frog meat for shipment. Frog legs must arrive at point
of destination in the very best condition possible. To attain this de-
sideratum proper attention to all of these important factors must be
given. Frog legs must appear appetizing on arrival and they also must
retain their natural flavor, and when eaten please the palate. These
things have been emphasized for they mean everything in the
achievement of success in this unusual industry.
Industries closely allied with bullfrog farming are the raising and
selling of breeding stock, and the production of tadpoles for stocking
new frog farms. The canning of frog meat and similar products is a
young industry that should show considerable growth as the public
becomes better acquainted with these products. Tanning of frog skins,
which are used in the manufacture of women's shoes, purses, key-cas-
es and other novelties also opens up a new and novel indtistry.
Bullfrog Farming and Frogging
DESCRIPTION OF THE TWO MOST POPULAR FROGS
FOR SHIPMENT FROM FLORIDA
In the firm conviction that the more information we have con-
cerning the characteristics and habits of the Bullfrog, the greater will
be the degree of success to the sincerely interested Bullfrog Farmer,
we have included the following chapters:
THE SOUTHERN BULLFROG
(Rana grylio Stejneger)
The Southern Bullfrog, or Rana grylio, is found from Florida to
Mississippi. They are native to the ponds, lakes and marshes near
Pensacola, Kissimmee, Ozona, Okeechobee, Moore Haven, Belle
Glade, Arcadia, Ocala, Wauchula and other places in Florida.
COLOR: The head and shoulders of the Southern Bullfrog are
generally a vivid green color. The posterior regions are olive green
with irregular black spots. The entire frog may sometimes be wholly
of an olive green or a dark brown color of a rich hue. The ears are
usually orange-brown with the center showing green. Four bands of
bright orange-brown alternating with black bands of olive green are
to be seen in the middle and posterior sections of the back. These
bands run longitudinally. The legs are marked by small black spots.
The underparts of the body are light in color and without spots, ex-
cept in the posterior section. The male can be easily distinguished by
its throat of bright yellow. The undersurfaces of the legs generally
are mottled and have a pattern of black and yellow.
SIZE: The large frogs attain a length of four to five inches. The
head of the frog is long, about two-fifths of the total length. The legs
are of medium length; the distance to the heel equalling the length of
the frog from near the eye.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The skin is smooth on the head but will
be found somewhat rougher on the upper parts of the body. Upon
close examination the skin will be found to be finely pitted. The head
has pointed outlines. The eyes of this species are greatly elevated and
very large, being placed close together. The ears of the male differ
from those of the female; they are about twice the diameter of the
eyes while the cars are about equal to the diameter of the eyes, or
6 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
slightly larger. The nostrils on both sexes are prominent and located
near together. There is a fold of skin over the ears which extends to
the shoulders. In the middle of the back will be found a groove run-
ning from the head to the posterior region. The strong muscles in the
arms and legs give these frogs their exceptional leaping powers. The
fingers of the hands are long; the feet are broad and have large webs
extending the full length to the ends of the toes, except the fourth toe.
The webs are relatively longer than the toes corresponding.
According to existing records this frog was discovered in 1900,
near Bay St. Louis, in Mississippi. There was some doubt as to its
classification and it was not accepted as a distinct species until some
time later. Specimens caught near Kissimmee, Florida, furnished fur-
ther knowledge concerning Rana grylio and it was definitely estab-
lished as a heretofore unknown species. Its most unusual and dis-
tinctive croaking, which has been likened to the grunting of pigs led
to its discovery and final classification. Its voice, when croaking, dif-
fers entirely from the more familiar bass call of the Common Bullfrog.
The Southern Bullfrog, likewise, is very different in appearance
from the Common Bullfrog. It does not resemble it in shape, body
proportions, or in coloring. The long, narrow, pointed head with the
large eyes; set close together, are features not duplicated in the Rana
catesbiana, or Common Bullfrog. There is likewise a difference in the
ratio of the lengths of head and body; in the longer toes; and in the
skin which is finely pitted. Rana grylio has brilliant coloring. The
blended shades of green, yellow and brown ire very pleasing to study,.
all showing a metallic lustre that adds to the beauty of its coloring.
This species indicates color changing characteristics, almost Chame-
leon-like in their ability to change color. At times they are brilliant,
then dull, light then dark, green or brown. There may also be a
vivid green noticed, at times, on the breast.
This frog is wary and ever alert to move out of the way of harm.
It is not often seen unless you are carefully looking for it. It seems to
prefer deep water, down among the pond-lilies or other water vegeta-
tion native to the lakes, ponds or marshes in Florida. It does not leap
often. When it becomes frightened its tendency is to dive to the bot-
tom and hide in the soft mud or among the plants.
Rana grylio is closely related to Rana virgatipes; the shape, body
proportions, coloring, skin texture, sizes of eyes and ears, and its
acquatic habits are similar.
THE COMMON BULLFROG
(Rana catesbiana Shaw)
The Common Bullfrog is native to many sections of the United
States, ranging from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, east of the Rocky
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 7
Mountains. When introduced in sections
tains it has thrived equally well.
west of the Rocky Moun-
Courtesy Americon Frog Canning Co.
Male Common Bullfrog
COLOR: These frogs are found in light or dark shades of green
or greenish brown. Some appear to be black, they are so dark in
color. The back and sides are usually plain colored with dark spots,
although they are also found without spots. The spots may be distinct
or connected. The arms and legs are spotted or they may be barred
with dark coloring. The under-parts are white, spotted and mottled
with dark coloring which on some is obscure while on others it is
very distinct. The throat of the male is generally yellow. The iris
has been found to be either reddish-brown or of a golden color.
SIZE: This is a large frog. Both the male and the female often
reach a length of seven to eight inches. The legs to the heels are not
as long as the combined lengths of head and body. Both of the leg
joints are about the same length.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The head and body are broad and flat.
The ears of the male are much larger than the eyes, about twice the
size, and in this respect they differ from the ears of the female which
are but slightly larger than the eyes. A fold of tough skin extends
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
from a point behind the eyes to the region of the arms, curving around
the ears. The toes have a broad web, with no free joints, except the
last joint of the fourth toes. In Florida this species does not hibernate
on domestic Frog Farms. This is a most distinct advantage to the
Florida Frog Farmer. In northern sections, where they hibernate,
they are late in leaving their hibernation. Individual frogs may some-
times be seen in protected places, but in the northern states it is us-
ually late in May or early in June before they become active, or are
seen among the plant life where they make their homes.
They seem to prefer large ponds or lakes where they can find
both deep and shallow water, where the shore-line' is well screened by
low hanging trees and other plant life. They particularly like the
shelter of pickerel-weeds, arrowhead, water-lilies and similar plants.
The roots and stems and under the leaves are favorite feeding places.
In these places will be found crawfishes, certain kinds of water-beet-
les, bugs, snails, shrimps, the larvae of dragon-flies and May-flies and
other insect life, all of which form part of the frog's food.
The Common Bullfrog confines its hunting to the body of water
which it inhabits, differing in this respect from other species of frogs.
The Bullfrog is likewise more aquatic than the other frogs of North
Although the Common Bullfrog remains, as a rule, close to its
habitation there are times when they will be found leaping along
some country road or lane, perhaps due to the fact that they are mi-
grating from one pool to another. When leaping they will cover
about three to three and one-half feet, although they can leap five or
six feet without difficulty. The tracks of a Bullfrog when seen in the
sand show that the front feet "toe in" when leaping, or when sitting.
The Common Bullfrog is the largest frog found in the United States.
Frog farmers in Florida, after several years of experience, firmly
believe that a great deal can be accomplished through selection in
breeding and also in cross-breeding just as has been accomplished in
other live stock. There is every reason to believe this desired result
will be achieved and without doubt the Florida Frog Farmer will have
some very interesting information on this subject within the next few
Faster growth and more uniform quality can also, no doubt, be
obtained through scientific feeding. The mention of these two possi-
bilities indicate most interesting and profitable experiences for the
Florida Frog Farmer.
A young frog of this species raised in a laboratory grew to over
four inches in length in a little over a year. This growth may be
increased through scientific feeding just as has been accomplished in
the United States Fish Hatcheries where Trout are raised for later
distribution in the streams.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 9
The most important phase in frog growth is in the growth of the
tadpole. Undoubtedly this tadpole growth can be augmented by
proper feeding. In this connection, however, the temperature of the
water must be taken into consideration for if the tadpole pools are too
shallow and the water too warm the transformation from the tadpole
to the frog will be too rapid and the resultant frog will be small. Re-
tardation of transformation together with scientific feeding to produce
a large tadpole will in turn produce a large frog and this means con-
siderable difference in income.
Size, however, does not indicate the age of a Bullfrog; as has been
said, its early life, or the life of a tadpole, will determine its size.
A frog one year old may be no longer than two inches.
The Bullfrog can easily be distinguished from other frogs. Its
broad, flat head, its squat, flat body set it apart from other frogs.
Then, the other characteristics already mentioned differ from other
species. The coloring has a wide variation, not only according to the
sex of the frog but individuals of the same sex will show a decided
difference in color. Its ability to change color is no doubt another
of Nature's secrets which enables the frog to have some protection
against its many enemies.
The general coloring of the upper parts is dull olive-green inter-
spersed with irregular spots of dusky brown. If a frog is exposed to
bright light in the warm Florida air the skin may sometimes change
to a spotless yellow-green, beautiful in color, and very light in tone.
A Common Bullfrog that has just emerged or been removed from
mud, or his place of concealment in deep water, will be so dark col-
ored as to appear to be almost black. Experiments show that light
has much to do with these color changes, when the temperature and
moisture conditions remain unchanged.
The female of the Common Bullfrog is usually more brown and
spotted, and the male is more nearly plain green. The underparts of
both are white, with clear or indistinct mottlings of brown. The male
has a bright yellow throat, but the throat of the female is a smudgy
white, mottled with a shade of brown.
The foregoing description applies to the Bullfrogs found in other
sections of the United States and to a certain degree to the Common
Bullfrog native to Florida. There is, however, this difference. The
Florida Bullfrog is more likely to be spotted, and the male does not
have a bright yellow throat. There are probably several distinct var-
ieties of this species of frogs in the different localities of North Ameri-
ca. It is certain that there are differences in coloring, and measure-
ments in the Bullfrogs found in Minnesota and Wisconsin, from those
found in the northeastern states and both of these varieties will differ
10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
from the Bullfrogs native to Florida, although they are all of the
The Common Bullfrog is a powerful swimmer. Its great strength
in either leaping or swimming is due to the length of its hind legs,
which may measure from seven to ten inches long, and the muscular
construction of these leaping members of their bodies. When the
.... ..:-^ .- ..
.. ... __* .... : -
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Female Common Bullfrog
Bullfrog dives its eyes are closed, the eyes receding in their sockets.
In this manner the eyes are kept out of danger, but it becomes neces-
sary for the eyes to be opened to inform the frog of its location and
the nearness of any lurking enemy; hence, the Bullfrog with swift
movement will swim a short distance, stop or slacken its speed, open
its eyes, and then, perhaps, make another swift plunge in some other
direction or until a satisfactory place of concealment has been reach-
ed, he will continue in his swimming flight. The observation of the
movements of both frogs and toads make an interesting study. Frogs
and toads are alike in the location of their ears. They have no outer
ears to impede them while swimming.
Bullfrogs do not use their lungs in breathing under water; their
nostrils are kept closed. The moist skin of the frog is like a great gill
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
covering the entire body. This enables the frog to live under water
for months and it is not infrequent for frogs to spend months at a
time in the mud at the bottom of the lake or pond. Perhaps you have
read of specimens of this family of vetebrates being found in lime-
stone formations and brought back to normal life movement.
The call of the Bullfrog has been likened by some to the roar of
a distant bull, however, close attention will prove it is more musical
in tone. In addition to the croak of the Bullfrog it gives a call of
distress which jars the sensibilities of anyone hearing it. It is almost
human in quality and will be heard when a frog has been seized by an
owl or a hawk, or even when it has been caught and picked up by
The Bullfrog is much inclined to solitary habits except during
the breeding season.
Under proper conditions the tadpoles do not develop into frogs
during the first season. Giant Bullfrog tadpoles may be found every
month of the year. The months of June and July generally witness
the transformation of the tadpoles. Many tadpoles in early July have
The size of tadpoles growing under proper conditions will be
found surprisingly large. They may measure from six to seven inches
with tails sometimes four inches long. Tadpoles are soft and slippery
and have little means of defending themselves. They are dependent
almost entirely on flight and concealment. Fortunately for them they
are well provided for concealment and with their broad fins located
on their long tails, together with their strong muscles, they are cap-
able of fast movement.
The marbled, speckled brown color of their moist skins make
them practically invisible on the muddy bottom, or when concealed
among the brown stems or leaves in the water where Bullfrogs breed.
The movements of tadpoles when swimming are such as tend to
stir up the mud from the bottom and this serves to obscure their
movements and enables them to dart in another direction if necessary
for protection. The mouths of tadpoles are small, and the fleshy lips
are supplied with rows of very small teeth. The broad lower lip is
ruffled. These features of the mouth and lips assist the tadpole in
determining the nature of substances when feeding.
Between the lips of the tadpole's mouth will be found a small
horny beak, not unlike the beak of a small bird. This beak has strong
upper and lower jaws which are thin and sharp at the edges.
The construction of the mouth is such that tadpoles have no dif-
ficulty in eating the small ends of leaves and stems or in eating the
minute green and brown plants found in the bottom of the pond.
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
With this mouth construction they can also eat small animal life. The
Bullfrog tadpole will eat any food available, in fact, they are valuable
scavengers in any pond. They will eat dead fish, dead tadpoles and
also other dead animal matter, and in this manner they assist very
materially in making the lake or pond a safer place for the other living
creatures that have their habitation in the same place.
An opening known as the breathing aperture will be found on
the left side of the tadpole. On each side of the throat, placed in
similar position to that of fishes' gills, will be found internal gills
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Common Bullfrog Tadpole
through which the tadpole breathes. These gills are concealed by an
outside fold of skin growing back from the sides of the head. There
are three sets of these internal gills on each side of the head. They
are somewhat like fine, soft feathers. There are also three openings
or gill-slits in the tadpole's throat. Water constantly passes through
the nostrils and mouth into the gill-slits and out at the breathing
Nature has endowed the tadpole with the power to reproduce its
tail, should some hungry enemy bite it off. The large diving beetles
are some of the many enemies of the tadpole, and many a tadpole has
either succumbed or lost its tail to the attack of these beetles. These
beetles must be removed from any. pond where tadpoles are being
During the period of transformation many changes in the tad-
pole occur. When the development of the tadpole into a frog becomes
noticeable the transformation is rapid. Within a short time the
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 13
mouth has become much wider and it is kept opening and closing in
breathing. The rudimentary tongue is becoming visible, and the
horny beak has been absorbed. From this period until the final
stages of transformation the tadpole does not cat.
Within a few days the arms become visible through the skin and
as the tadpole moves these members, the skin is punctured, and after
a few hours the left arm and then the right arm make their appear-
ance. The arms are growing simultaneously with the legs, but being
concealed within the gill-chambers they are not visible. At this per-
iod of growth the tadpole breathes with difficulty. The left arm has
blocked the breathing aperture and also the air passages, and the
lungs have not begun to function. Water taken into the nostrils and
the mouth must be expelled through the mouth until the gills are
absorbed and the lungs are operating. For several days the tadpole
will make frequent trips to the top of the water to expel a bubble of
impure air and take in fresh air.
Tadpoles at this stage of growth are white on the under side of
the body; the under side of the legs are yellow.
The dark tail is being absorbed into the body, the skin covering
of the tail remains unbroken, and recedes with the tail unto the body.
Through the action of the white blood corpuscles the particles form-
ing the tail are carried into the body of the tadpole in the form of
food for the tadpole-frog organism and it can be truly stated that the
tadpole does "eat its own tail."
Decided changes in coloring occur in the tadpole as it takes on
the appearance of the frog.
The membrane forming the ears is not long in appearing. But
the young frog at this period is rarely seen. It spends most of its day-
light hours in places of concealment under the water, coming out only
at night to feed.
During the first summer the young frog feeds on all sorts of
insects, but within a few months it has learned to catch and devour
small fish and other live life of the pond.
About twelve months of additional growth show that our young
Bullfrog has learned to croak and, if a male, the size of his ears have
increased to about twice the size of his eyes. If he has developed from
a normal, healthy tadpole he will be perhaps about five inches long.
The young Bullfrog is ever alert and ready to feed on anything that
comes within his reach, from dragon flies to small birds. Large Bull-
frogs have been seen to attempt the swallowing of wounded King-
Many four-footed animals are as fond of frogs as they are of fish
but they find them more difficult to catch. Regardless of how care-
14 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
fully they approach, how stealthily and quietly they near the frog
sitting on the bank, on a tree root or the end of a log, as a rule when
the enemy lifts his paw after a futile attempt to catch the frog, he
finds it filled with mud and leaves and the frog has quickly dived to
a place of concealment at the bottom of the water.
Herons or cranes are adept at catching Bullfrogs or any species of
frogs in the water, for frogs have not learned to hide all of their bod-
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Your Common Bullfrog with Only Stub of Tail Remaining
ies when diving into the mud. An unconcealed leg or the lower part
of the body is amply sufficient for the water-birds in locating the al-
most hidden frog.
One of the most destructive enemies to frog life either in their
wild haunts or on domesticated Frog Farms are snakes. Snakes blend
so perfectly with their surroundings and move with such stealth that
they are upon and have seized the frog before he is aware of their
ECONOMIC VALUE OF FROGS
The value of bullfrogs as a food is now thoroughly recognized
throughout the country, and the growth of the industry, in the last
few years, attests the importance of the demand for the giant bull-
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
frogs which here reach such perfection. It is a pleasant substitute for
meat. No article of diet is more sought for, or more relished as a food
by a diversity of animals from fish to man. The meat is white, deli-
cate, not unlike chicken, and when fried in butter, or prepared "a la
Maryland" with cream gravy, is delicious. "Frog saute" is another
pleasing dish very generally served in New Orleans, and other south-
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Chef Stuffing Frogs With Dressing
ern cities. In the better restaurants of Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh,
Philadelphia, and Boston, frog legs "a la Newberg" command a fancy
There is a tradition that only the hind legs are to be eaten, but if
the frog is large enough to pay for dressing, the trunk and shoulders
are just as desirable as the legs.
The smaller species of frogs, as well as the toads and tree frogs,
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
are valuable because of their economic importance to agriculture,
and every means should be taken to increase their numbers.
Farmers should be encouraged to construct artificial lakes and
ponds in the neighborhood of their truck farms for the breeding of
frogs, especially the smaller species, R. clamitans and particularly
sphenocephala, and for use as fish ponds.
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc., Tampa, fla.
Tanned Bullfrog Skin 8" in Circumference
The two smaller species of frogs, as well as the native toads, and
tree frogs, are very prolific and would soon become very abundant.
After laying their eggs they leave the water, and during the entire
summer, when insect pests are at their height, these amphibians scat-
ter through the vegetable patches and devour the insects that take
such a heavy toll of planted vegetation. During the winter the frogs
again retire to the ponds for their winter sleep, to reappear at the
time the insects are ready for their annual spring onslaught on the
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 17
tender garden truck. It is an established fact that if the army of frogs
and toads is sufficiently large the insects will never become overly
abundant, as they will be consumed as fast as they appear in the
spring, and before they have a chance to multiply.
The skins of frogs are used for glue, and for making a kind of
leather suitable for binding small books, and for the lining of purses,
etc., but little use seems to be made of the millions of skins of frogs
annually killed. One large frog skin is said to make three ounces of
the finest glue, which is used to repair crockery, and the like. Even
the small frogs of Japan furnish leather for a variety of uses, while
here the larger skins of our frogs are thrown away.
The unrestricted hunting of the frogs threaten their practical
extinction, where there is an abundance, and shipping facilities are at
hand. Already a marked decrease is noted in New York, Chicago, and
other centers; prices have advanced accordingly.
We are indebted to a large Louisiana packer for the following
information concerning the marketing angle of the industry:
"Frogs begin coming in to us by February first, the height of the
season being reached during April and May.
"Frog shippers have purchasing agents in all small towns who
buy directly from the catchers. A large portion of the natives are
engaged in the industry during the spring months. It is quite common
for a frog catcher to gather, weather permitting, as many as one
hundred frogs within three or four hours, at night.
"We ship about half of the season's catch to the northeastern
States, while the balance is equally divided between the middle west
and the Pacific coast. Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
and Los Angeles are the best markets.
"The catcher is paid from $1.00 to $3.00 per dozen for live frogs,
depending on the size and the market conditions.
"The dressed frogs bring from $3.00 per dozen, to as high as
$4.50 per dozen for the "jumbo" size, during the winter months, when
the supply is scarce.
"The frogs are dressed, the heads removed and the carcasses are
heavily iced and shipped by fast express to the different markets.
About 400,000 frogs are shipped from here in a season."
RAISING BULLFROGS DOMESTICALLY
Anyone attempting to raise bullfrogs in Florida is warned against
counting the returns before they are earned. Too frequently those
entering upon a new industry are carried away with enthusiasm and
they fail to take into consideration the laborious steps that lead to
18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
success in most any business undertaking. There will be mistakes,
obstacles, loss of money, handicaps and all other things common to
business enterprises, but as has been previously stated the possibilities
seem good for the thoughtful and careful domestic frog farmer.
ESTABLISHING A FROG FARM IN FLORIDA
Bullfrog farming or wild frogging are fascinating enterprises. In
Florida, bullfrog farming is in its infancy. The gigging or catching of
wild frogs in the ponds, marshes and near the lakes in various parts of
Florida has been carried on somewhat extensively and the marketing
of the product has brought additional income to those farmers who
have found the time to hunt bullfrogs in their native surroundings.
Before the land is purchased for a frog farm, or any investment is
made, there must be a careful survey of the markets, the cost of the
land, the availability of roper water supply--either natural or ob-
tained artificially through pumps or windmills-the quality of the
water, the cost of good breeding stock, the facilities for marketing,
proper equipment for the care of the stock to supply the tadpoles and
the young frogs, knowledge of the right kind of fences to be built, ar-
rangements for sufficient guards to keep the land clear of hawks, owls,
water-birds and other enemies, and last, but by no means least, there
must be sufficient capital in reserve to carry the business on properly
until the profit from shipments is assured.
If the start is made with an acre of ground (although a larger
area is preferable), there should be ample water supply, and while a
shallow pond is desirable, a somewhat deeper pond is better for some
purposes. In Florida, frogs do not. hibernate long, and if the pond is
too shallow where the tadpoles are kept they will mature too rapidly
from the tadpole stage to that of.the young frog, due to the warm
temperature of the water. The result will be small tadpoles and in
turn dwarfed frogs. It takes large typoles to make large frogs. The
large frog legs bring the greatest returns.
Preparing For Raising Frogs
This is a very important consideration in the establishment of a
Frog Farm and any piece of land intended for a Frog Farm must be
cleared entirely of any and all snakes and then after the ponds are
established there must be tight fences placed entirely around the
ponds. The acceptable construction of these fences is to creosote the
ends of the boards, sink them from two and one-half to three feet in-
to the ground and then to nail a continuous piece of galvanized iron
of light guage entirely around the fence, laying it on top of the fence
so that about six or eight inches will extend on each side of the top of
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 19
the fence. This will keep out cats and other enemies. In other words
this galvanized iron should be about 12 to 16 inches wide.
Do not use wire fencing; the frogs will injure their noses trying
to escape. Do not make angles in the outer fences; use curves.
In laying out a frog farm, if there is to be but one pond, it must
be divided into at least four distinctly separate ponds. This is accom-
plished by building two fences at right angles to each other in the
Courtesy Southern Industries. Inc., Tampa, Fla.
Bullfrog Pens or Ponds
center of the pond. These fences should be tightly fitted together and
cypress boards are best for this purpose, as previously stated.
If land can be obtained near a lake the preparation of the land
for the frog farm is somewhat simplified. The land can be cleaned
of all snakes. The fences can then be put in place, the, proper plants
placed around the edges of the pond and then the water pumped into
the farm from the nearby lake. Wherever frogs are there will be the
animal life that feed upon them and they will wield destruction unless
you fence them out.
Old frogs must be kept separate from young frogs and both young
and old frogs must be kept from the tadpoles. Frogs are cannibalistic
and unless they are kept in different ponds the frog farmer will face
a depleted crop for his efforts.
20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The following method is usually followed in separating tadpoles
and young frogs from the breeders:
Every morning the breeding pond is carefully examined for
spawn during the spawning season. Each spawn is removed to the
tadpole ponds. A very satisfactory method for removing the spawn
is to use shallow pans. The pan is brought up under the spawn, and
the spawn is immediately carried to the tadpole ponds, where the eggs
Courtesy Floridg Frog Farms Corp.. Highland City. Fla.
Removing Spawn From Breeding Pen
should hatch within a few days. The tadpoles are kept in these
ponds until they have passed the stage of transformation. New spawn
should not be placed with old tadpoles, for the tadpoles will eat the
eggs. If the pond is large enough to hold several spawns it is all right
to put spawns of the same age in the same pond. Remember, there
comes a time in a tadpole's life when he will begin to eat animal
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 21
Before the tadpoles have emerged into young frogs they should be
removed to another pond similar to that in which the large frogs are
kept but they should not be placed with those frogs which are larger.
Young frogs should be separated according to age. One-year-old
frogs should be kept from those of two years af age, and these two-
year-old frogs should be separated from the largest frogs. It is a very
good plan to place all of the breeding stock in a separate pond and
keep them there until they have become too old to breed profitably
when they should be butchered.
As the frog farm expands and the number of frog inhabitants
increase provision must be made for additional ponds. It is a good
plan to always have one or two reserve ponds either completed or
ready for early use.
Supposing the season's hatch is 100,000 tadpoles, from ten
spawns; these tadpoles would remain in the ponds until the next sea-
son's spawn when they should be seined and moved to the pond they
will occupy until they are used later, either for breeding or are butch-
ered for marketing. As these tadpoles grow there must always be new
ponds to receive the older tadpoles.
There seems to be a difference of opinion as to the correct sizes
these ponds should be.
We quote vebatim, excerpts from published reports on this phase
of frog farming in the succeeding pages of this bulletin.
There is one advantage in having the water shallow as it makes
At different places in the pond, and particularly around the shore
line, there should be plants that grow well in the district, and if the
tadpoles are kept in small ponds in the nature of ditches there must
be sufficient covering to furnish shade for the tadpoles. As has been
previously stated, these ponds must not be too shallow and should run
north and south. Retardation of transformation assures larger tad-
In reading these suggestions there will be found repetitions but
they are made for the purpose of impressing them on the reader's
Frogs are shy and wary. They like to hide. A frog pond must
provide places of concealment.
While the young frog feeds on insects almost exclusively, it isn't
long before he has taken on the habits of his older cousin and he will
eat young fish, birds, etc., as has been already stated.
The erecting of short posts on which are stretched wires permits
the placing of electric lamps which can be turned on after dark.
These lights serve to draw the insect life from the nearby trees and
22 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
shrubs and to the uninitiated there will be a surprise when they first
turn on these lights and quietly watch the frogs congregate under
them to feed.
Mr. Cramer, at the head of the well equipped frog farm near
Tampa, Florida, has found that frogs are particularly fond of fiddler
crabs. An interesting statement by Mr. Cramer will be found in the
back part of this bulletin.
In purchasing breeding stock be sure to obtain the best.
It is advisable to secure breeding stock from some.successful rais-
er. Rana catesbiana is considered the most successful breed. Lamar
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Common Bullfrog Spawn
Warren, of Palatka, who is a bullfrog enthusiast, has bought breeders
from Louisiana. Mature cultivated frogs weight as much as five
pounds each in some cases, and they may cost from $3 to $15 a pair-
male and female. A wild mature frog seldom weighs more than two
pounds. Cultivated breeds probably will be as large at two years of
age as wild ones are at four years.
Good frogs cannot be obtained from poor breeding stock. The
variety known as Rana catesbiana, previously described, is the most
desirable for breeders, according to the frog farmers who have been
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
interviewed. Frog farmers have produced domestic bullfrogs that have
weighed more than five pounds each.
We refer you again to Mr. Cramer's statement as to the prices
obtainable. We were impressed with his statement that he has a
waiting market for selected frog legs at $1.00 per pound and that from
two pair of legs to five pair of the largest will make a pound. Of
course this price per pound is not all profit by any means.
When the spawn is deposited on the top of the water by the
breeders it should be carefully removed to the hatching ponds to pro-
tect the tadpoles. Spawn will contain as many as 30,000 eggs, but all
of the eggs do not produce tadpoles. Shortly after the spawn is re-
moved, the eggs will hatch and it is not unusual to find over 10,000
tadpoles as an average from the removed spawn.
Enemies of the Ranidae Family
The most destructive enemy of the eggs is the common black
swamp leech, which pierces the egg capsule and sucks the entire con-
tents. Sometimes the whole egg mass is attacked by leeches, and ev-
ery egg destroyed.
Among the many enemies of the tadpoles are, predacious insects,
crayfish and small alligators. Their greatest enemy is drought, and
undoubtedly millions of them perish whenever the swamps go dry.
Surprising it is that they can exist and produce enough to over-
come these enemies, when one considers that millions of pounds of
this edible food is consumed each year.
Bullfrogs are said to live to the age of 25 to 30 years, but the mar-
keting age should be from two to three years, depending on their
size, and which can be controlled by careful attention to the tadpoles.
Frogs should not be butchered until they are at least two years
old. Most frogs will probably be marketed before they reach the
breeding stage. This important feature of the business more properly
should be left to the farmer who should know the breeding stock he
prefers to keep. Good breeders may be kept many years.
The feeding problem seems to be the easiest to solve, providing
you have natural surroundings to breed insect life, but raising frogs in
captivity will undoubtedly teach the frog farmer many things about
feeding that are at present unknown. A proper feed for the tadpole
given at regular intervals to augment his regular supply of food, to be
found in the tadpole ponds, may bring about some very beneficial
The frog is well equipped to catch insects. Their tongues are
forked and covered with a sticky substance. They move their tongues
with lightning-like rapidity.
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The building of accessory ponds for producing food for the frogs
is recommended. In these ponds can be produced green-frogs, craw-
fish, and top minnows. Top minnows have a special value as they
feed on the larvae of mosquitoes and if you raise sufficient of top min-
nows you can keep your ponds in a more desirable condition for fre-
quent inspection. There are a number of varieties of top minnows
and full information can be obtained as to the most desirable to raise
from the Florida State Fish and Game Commission, Tallahassee.
There should also be a quantity of submerged water plants culti-
vated, for it is on these plants that a great deal of natural food is
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc., Tampa. Hla.
Building Dike Around Otitside 'of Pond
found by the frogs. These plants can be,.transplanted to the various
ponds until the desired growth is attained. The accessory ponds
should be kept in continuous cultivation and remember that water
plants, to get the best results, need cultivating just the same as land
_; To incorporate all the details relative to the culture of frogs for
marketing would make necessary the publishing of a book instead of
a bulletin. We, accordingly, refer those who are sincerely interested
to read the list of publications given in the back of the bulletin and
then go to your library and read them or better still, buy those which
you think best for your purpose and keep them near at hand for fu-
ture reference. Also keep careful and accurate records of every phase
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 25
of your frog farm operations and some day you will not only find
them very valuable but you will also be able to exchange experiences
with other frog farmers.
Various authorities advise having at least one square foot of wat-
er surface for each frog during the summer, although this area can be
reduced if you have slowly running water. The water should have a
complete change made about twice each week. In a properly balanc-
ed pond, where the frogs are not too crowded a change of water may
not be found to be necessary.
In building artificial ponds for frog culture there should be a
series of levees and ditches, each about six to eight feet wide, with the
levees rising some distance above the water. Authorities recommend
Courtesy Florida Frog Farms Corp., Highland City. Fla.
A Good Illustration of the Proper Way to Provide Ample Shore Line
four or five feet of shore line to each frog to supply the proper amount
of feeding area and inlets, small peninsulas, and islanlso afe recom-
mended to increase the shore line.
The bulletins issued by the United States Department of Fisher-
ies, and the Southern Biological Supply Co. contain further interest-
ing information, and several quotations are from these bulletins.
Especially interesting and instructive on this subject is a bulletin
issued by Southern Biological Supply Co., Inc., of New Orleans, La.
(Author, Percy Viosca, Jr.) Even though it means some repetition,
the following is quoted from it:
"The bullfrog is a shoreline creature and every effort should be
made to increase the length of the shoreline. For growing or adult
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
frogs, a number of small ponds is better than a large one, and elongat-
ed ponds or even a series of parallel ditches provide a greater shore-
line than a round pond. While with frogs, the number that can be
maintained in a given area is proportional to the length of the shore-
line, the tadpoles, on the other hand, require more water, and the
number that can be reared is proportional to the pond area....
"Breeding ponds should cover an area of about 10,000 square feet
for 12 pairs of frogs. Mating is promiscuous, and usually takes place
during the late spring or early summer. The eggs are laid while the
Courtesy American Frog'qnning Co.
Poll on the American Frog Canning Co. Frog Farm
frogs are laspn aqnd if normal should float in a sheet at the surface
of the water. Thd bullfrog egg mass covers from five to ten square
feet. The eggs hatch& usually within three days.
"fpnod qf\$0,000 square feet will produce on an average about
10,000 filllsi ed tadpoles in one to two years, depending upon the
climate and the amount of organic food in the water. The water
should contain submerged water plants in the deepest places for puri-
fying and oxygenating the water and arrow heads or cattails for shade
near the banks. These plants also serve as food for the tadpoles and
for the organisms upon which the frogs feed. Abundant shade, es-
pecially along the banks, is necessary, hence sloping banks, shaded by
overhanging cypress, willow, buttonbush, flags (Iris), etc., are desir-
able. A cypress or tupelo brake can be made into an ideal frog farm,
provided it can be drained periodically to remove game fish and other
enemies before the eggs are laid.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 27
Since the adult frogs will feed upon tadpoles or young frogs, they
should be removed some time after the eggs have hatched, but not
sooner, unless it can be done without disturbing the egg masses. It is
usually a good plan to remove them after the breeding season, one to
three months after the first eggs are laid, or after the males cease bel-
lowing altogether. Another good plan is to breed the frogs in smaller
areas or incubator pens, using the tadpoles to stock larger ponds free
from adult or growing frogs. Water lilies are excellent in such in-
Courtesy American Frog Conning Co.
Growing Pens on American Frog Canning Co. Frog Farm
cubator pens, as the frogs like to spawn amongst them, but the tad-
poles grow best amongst the other types of plants mentioned above.
"Bullfrogs spend the greater part of the summer on the banks at
the edge of the water, from which position they can jump at the mov-
ing organisms upon which they prey. They will eat only living or-
ganisms, which they swallow whole. The largest bullfrogs prefer in-
sects, fish and crawfish measuring from one to three inches long, and
seldom leap at anything under one-half inch. As they cannot stand
dry heat, their habits are chiefly nocturnal, especially during summer.
"The best rule to follow is to imitate a natural swamp, pond or
marsh lagoon in which bullfrogs are known to thrive, keep game fish,
snakes and other enemies out, and propagate and encourage food
forms such as crayfish, greenfrogs, surface minnows, water bugs, tad-
poles, etc. Keep the different sizes separated, as a frog can swallow
anything that will fit in its mouth. Provide both shade and sun, pure
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
water and wide sloping banks. A windmill or pump can be used to
maintain a constant level in the field, similar to rice culture. Provide
snake and vermin-proof fences."
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc., Tampa, Fla.
An Ideal Breeding Pond
FROG CULTURE AND THE FROG INDUSTRY
(U. S. Department of Fisheries, March, 1933)
FROG FARMING.-The Bureau of Fisheries has never engaged in
frog culture and can offer little first hand information on the subject;
neither has it nor any other branch of the Government ever distribut-
ed or sold frogs, tadpoles or frog eggs.
Within the past fifteen years the bureau has received thousands
of inquiries concerning frog raising, but to the present time it has
heard of only about three persons or institutions claiming any de-
gree of success, so far as intensive frog culture is concerned.
Most of the so-called frog farms, and those which are least ex-
pensive and which require the least labor, are simply natural marshy
areas or ponds adapted as to food supply and environment to the
needs of frogs. In such areas the frogs, left to themselves, will thrive
and multiply, but better results may be obtained by following some of
the suggestions for increasing the shoreline, made in Mr. Viosca's ar-
ticle on "Principles of Frog Culture," cited farther on, and from
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 29
which much of the following information on culture and pond con-
struction is taken. The pamphlets on "Practical Frog Raising," by
Benjamin M. Ruffner, contains information on frog culture based on
Mr. Ruffner's own experiments.
Any pond or swampy area may be stocked with adult frogs; or
eggs may be collected for stocking purposes. In stocking waters with
adults better results may, perhaps, be obtained by introducing the
frogs into their new quarters in late summer and fall in order that
they may become accustomed to their surroundings before the egg-
laying season which usually begins in April in the Gulf States and in
May or June farther north. It reaches its height in May and June in
the south and in July in the north. In California certain species begin
breeding in January and February. Smaller species might be hatched
advantageously to serve as food for the larger edible varieties, but the
cannibalistic habit which this suggests dictates a segregation of the
commercial species according to size to prevent their eating one
Ample shoreline is important, but a large pond is not essential.
The larger the pond, the less shoreline in proportion to area and com-
paratively fewer frogs can be accommodated. To increase the shore-
line, therefore, and to make it as irregular as possible, it has been
suggested that finger-like bays be dug, using the earth so obtained to
make long peninsulas; also, that round, irregular islands may be
made, or horseshoe-shaped units, or long narrow ponds, according to
the natural accommodation of the land to the purpose.
In many sections of the South rice fields offer a locale suited to
frog farming, and it has been suggested that the raising of muskrats
and frogs might be combined to advantage. Willows and other shade
trees should be planted along the banks and the water should not be
deeper than is necessary to protect frogs and tadpoles from heat in
summer and from freezing in winter; the depth would vary according
to climatic conditions. Much shallow water two to six inches deep is
essential as the small animals the frogs consume as food thrive best
there and the frogs catch them more easily in shallow water. If suf-
ficient shade is provided, 12 to 18 inches of water is deep enough in
the southern section of the United States.
In any area designed for frog raising, game fish, such as black
bass, pikes, and pickerel, and snakes, snapping turtles, cats and foxes,
and other enemies should be excluded, while encouragement should
be given to minnows, crayfish, most water bugs and smaller species of
ARTIFICIAL FEEDING.-The problem of providing sufficient live
food for frogs after they have reached the adult stage and when kept
in small bodies of water, must be solved before intensive frog farming
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc., I'mpa, tal
Tadpole Pond With Shaded Shore Line
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 31
can be counted on as a successful venture, for frogs after transforma-
tion from the tadpole form undergo great change in regard to the
selection of their food. Larval frogs or tadpoles will thrive on any
soft vegetable or animal matter, boiled potatoes, refuse meats, decayed
or fresh chicken dressings, while in the adult form or as soon as the
legs are fully developed and the tail absorbed, and the young frog is
able to perch on a leaf or on a shady bank, he refuses such food and
begins an intensive search for small insects. As he increases in size he
snaps at increasingly larger forms of animal life, until in full adult
size he will take anything from an insect to a 3-inch fish or a young
On account of their peculiar feeding habit adult frogs cannot be
supplied with a lot of dead fish or raw meat, vegetable refuse, and the
like, but must have living food, or food in motion. The Japanese, who
for some years have been experimenting in intensive frog culture, have
devised a method of giving motion to the grubs, or pupae, of the silk
worm, after they have been killed by boiling and the silk unwound
from the cocoon. The dead grubs are placed in long, shallow, wooden
trays containing about half an inch of water and anchored close to
shore; the trays are kept in motion by means of a small water motor
which gives the pupae a rolling motion back and forth, and the frogs
devour them greedily as long as this motion is maintained. Live food
also is placed in these trays-quantities of minnows, young goldfish,
crayfish or other small animals easily obtainable for the frogs are
unable to catch the fish in the deeper water of the pond. Small cracks
are left in the trays for the water to seep in, and each tray is braced
between a raft of four substantial logs and arranged so that it will
float while holding about half an inch of water. The frogs like to
perch on these logs, which at the same time prevent the minnows from
Two-hundred-watt non-frosted mazda lamps will attract many
June beetles and medium-sized moths. Arc lights will attract even
larger insects, sometimes in very large quantities. Flowers and willows
should be planted, for various forms of insects are attracted by them.
Aquatic plants supply food and harborage for crayfish and tadpoles,
and act as oxygenators, and such vegetation as sagittaria is most valu-
able. Submerged plants such as Potomogeton natans and P. pusillus
are valuable in the deeper areas.
SPAWNING.-The bullfrog begins laying eggs in the Gulf States
in April and farther north in May or June. The eggs float in a thin
sheet at the surface of the water amongst brush or vegetation, and a
batch from one female covers above five square feet and contains from
10,000 to 25,000 eggs. The size of the egg mass is sufficient criterion
for the identification of bullfrog eggs; the eggs of the green frog sel-
dom cover an area of more than a square foot. For stocking purposes
32 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
the following eggs should be rejected: All that are laid singly or in
small clusters (tree frogs), or in strings (toads), and all in which the
egg mass as a whole is velvety black (leopard frogs). The eggs should
be carefully transferred, without breaking the masses, to buckets of
water and deposited about the edges of the water to be stocked. A
fine-meshed net may be used in handling them. The eggs hatch with-
out care in from four days to three weeks, varying with the tempera-
DISEASES.-As a rule frogs in a state of nature are not subject to
any serious diseases but under crowded conditions in laboratories and
small pools they may develop an infection known as "red leg." The
only remedies that can be suggested are to remove the infected indi-
viduals immediately and, if possible, drain the ponds and let them
remain dry for a few days. A publication on this infection by Emer-
son and Norris appeared in the Journal of Experimental Medicine,
Vol. 7, 1905, pp. 33-58.
The tadpoles breathe by means of gills and are dependent on the
oxygen contained in the water; like fishes they will develop diseases
when weakened by depletion of the oxygen supply whether from foul-
ing of the water or other causes.
During the transformation stage a large number of individuals
die, due chiefly to improper feeding and overcrowding. Much of the
success in raising bullfrogs depends entirely upon the attention and
food given to the tadpoles during the long period of tadpole life.
A knowledge of the habits of the frog is very necessary in order
to successfully cultivate and propagate them domestically.
EDIBLE SPECIES.-In the eastern United States the edible species
are the common bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana; the green frog, R. clam-
itans; the southern bullfrog, R. grylio; leopard frog, R. Pipiens; south-
ern leopard frog, R. sphenocephala, and the pickerel frog, R. palustris.
In the western States are found the yellow-legged frog, R. boylii, the
western frog, R. pretio a, and the western bullfrog, R. aurora.
STOCKING THE PONDS
The common bull frog is the largest North American species,
reaching a length of eight inches measured from tip to nose to end of
backbone. It is sometimes referred to as the "Giant bullfrog," and
"Jumbo," or "Mammoth Jumbo." In stocking ponds with breeders
the sexes should be nearly equal in number, as the males usually pair
with but one female during a season.
The green frog reaches a length of three and one-half to four
inches; it ranges from the Gulf of Mexico to Hudson Bay; found in
practically all of eastern North America.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 33
The southern bullfrog grows to a length of five to six inches and
is known from Florida and some of the other southern States.
The leopard frog, three and three-fourths to four inches; range,
Sierra Nevada Mountains eastward and from the extreme north to
Pickerel frog, length three to three and one-half inches; found
from the central plains to the Atlantic seaboard and from the Gulf of
Mexico to Hudson Bay.,
Yellow-legged frog, length two and one-half to three and one-
half inches; occurs in California. It has been less used for food be-
cause of its skin secretions.
Western frog, length three to four inches; extends from Nevada
and northern California throughout Oregon and Washington to Al-
berta and east into Montana, Wyoming and Utah.
Western bullfrog, length three to four inches, extending from
Puget Sound to lower California.
Commercial Frog Industry of the United States
In tracing the history of the frog industry it is found that in 1900
the greater part of the country's frog supply was contributed by Cali-
fornia, Missouri, New York, Arkansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland,
Ohio, Indiana and Virginia.
In 1908 the total production of frogs in the United States
amounted to 250,000 pounds valued to the fishermen at $42,000. The
13 States furnished these were Missouri, Minnesota, Louisiana, Ar-
kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Virgi-
nia, Iowa, Delaware, and Maryland, in the order of their importance.
The market for frogs is almost entirely dependent upon natural
supply, as the business of private culture has not reached a position of
any importance so far. The natural supply, however, as already
shown, has increased from 250,000 pounds, valued to the fishermen
at $42,000, in 1908, to 986,737 pounds, valued at $144,527, in 1931.
This output was furnished by three States, viz, Louisiana, Florida,
PROTECTIVE REGULATIONS.-The several States make their own
fishery regulations. The Federal Government has no jurisdiction over
Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minne-
sota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Da-
kota, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, have passed laws
regulating the taking of frogs.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Copies of the State fish and game laws may be obtained from
State fishery authorities; a list of these authorities may be obtained
from the Bureau of Fisheries on request.
SHIPPING FROGS FOR MARrET.-From the region of New Or-
leans most bullfrogs are shipped to market "dressed," which means
that the heads are cut off and the entrails removed, and the skin left
on. It is believed that a slight musky taste, sometimes discernible in
frogs dressed in this manner, is due to the absorption of skin excre-
tions. The best tasting frogs are those from which the skin has been
removed in the butchering process, but this may necessitate the pack-
ing of individual meats in waxed paper as a sanitary measure and to
prevent contact with the ice and consequent wetting and disfiguration.
It is probable that better prices from discriminating people might be
obtained for frogs dressed and shipped in this manner.
THE FOOD VALUE OF FROG LEGS.-In "Food Products," by H. C.
Sherman, published by MacMillan Co., New York, 1924, it is stated
that "As compared with such products as beef, veal, chicken, and fish,
frog legs compare favorable in food value. A characteristic of frog
meat is that it has very little fat or carbohydrates, which is probably
the source of its delicious flavor. The greatest appeal which frog meat
makes is due to its delicacy and palatability, which places it in the
first rank of epicurean luxuries."
Further information will be found in the succeeding pages of this
bulletin which it will be well to study.
Frog meats are being canned and successfully marketed. The
skins of frogs are being tanned and converted into a good grade of
leather for the use in making fancy shoes for ladies and other articles.
Photographs and information that has been possible to collect
have been incorporated in this bulletin.
STATEMENT OF F. B. CRAMER. SR.,
President of the Southern Industries. Inc., Frog Farm Located
Just North of Tampa, Florida
"Wild frogs are rapidly becoming extinct. Fifteen states have
already enacted laws protecting them from the ruthless slaughter by
bands of hunters. Because of the inadequate supply, prices on the
leading markets are quoted at from 65c to $1.25 per pound for frog
legs properly prepared and packed in 40 to 100 pound iced containers.
Meanwhile the nation-wide demand for frog meat in various forms is
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
increasing. Knowledge of this situation prompted a scientific study
and research of the frog raising industry, particularly as adapted to
Florida, where we are favored with a twelve months 'frog-growing'
season, free from the long periods of hibernation, and where an
equable climate assures an abundance of various foods not available
in other states.
"Having become convinced of the commercial possibilities of this
new industry we carried on extensive experiments for several months
within a space limited to an area of about two acres. Our growth was
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc.. Tampa, Fla.
A Prized Breeder Displayed by F. B. Cramer, Sr.
36 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
rapid, so that early in 1934 we obtained a new location with a com-
bined land and water acreage of about 60 acres, and more than
$25,000 was expended in the construction of new ponds, fences, dikes
and modern equipment to care for the annual increase.
"In this new environment we have thousands of centered frogs
protected from their natural enemies, and abundantly supplied with a
frog diet of minnows, crawfish, fiddler crabs, etc.
"The demand for frog legs became so great and the prices so
high that many a Floridian during the past few years began hunting
frogs in almost every section of the Florida Everglades. At one time
it was estimated that the daily income from wild frogs was $500 at
Lake Okeechobee and $400 at Wauchula.
S"On our frog ranch the frogs lead a most protected life. They
do not have to dodge alligators, large fish and the many other enem-
ies found in the lakes and swamps.
"To Mrs. Frank Cramer, Sr., we are indebted for a discovery
which has aided very materially in supplying food for the frogs we
are raising. We refer to fiddler crabs, which we trap by the thousands
by means of special equipment. An accompanying photograph illus-
trates how we obtain these crabs. We have liberated so many of these
fiddler crabs on our ranch that they are now quite at home in their
new environment near the ponds. We expect in time to raise a large
quantity of these crabs right on our own ranch, however, they are
most plentiful on the beaches in Hillsborough County and within a
short distance of our ranch.
"We estimate the cost of raising a bullfrog to market size at less
than four cents, and we anticipate reducing our production price to
less than two and one-half cents.
"We ship principally frog legs as we have but two markets that
ask for the bodies with the legs, namely: Kansas City and St. Louis.
"Eventually we expect to prepare the front legs (or arms) and
the saddles for canning. In fact, we could sell every pound we could
produce at this time to the cannery in Louisiana that specializes in
canning frog legs and frog meat.
S"The entrails and other parts which cannot be used are cut up or
ground for feeding to the tadpoles.
"The small legs which we ship average from eight pair to twelve
pair to the pound; the large legs average from two pair to four pair
of legs to the pound.
"On our ranch we have at present 1,086 pair of breeders which
have brought us an average of 10,000 tadpoles each spawn.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 37
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc., Tampa, Fla.
Trapping Fiddler Crabs for Later Feeding to the Frogs Being Raised
on the Southern Industries Frog Ranch
The above illustration shows two solid metal fences that have been placed on
the beach to trap fiddler crabs. One of these fences leads down to the water; the
other is at right angles to it. In the center, where the two fences join, will be seen
a narrow runway. As the tide comes in, the fiddler crabs begin to look for higher
land and the only opening being the narrow runway they naturally start climbing
up the slightly elevated floor of the runway and when they reach the outside end
of the runway they drop into tubs which are kept waiting to catch them. When one
tub is full another takes it place. The crabs are then taken to the farm and liberated
near the ponds and furnish feed for the frogs when they leave the water to come
out on shore in search of food.
"We are developing another department to our industry through
the tanning of the frog skins. We refer you to the illustration shown
herein giving the size of the skin after tanning. These tanned frog
skins are being converted into leather that already has found a good
market for making ladies' shoes, belts, purses, key rings, the covering
of artificial bait for fishing and other novelties. In making artificial
plugs for fishing the skin of a small frog is put on the wooden base
while the skin is wet and after drying it has shrunken so tightly that
it cannot be removed without difficulty.
"We collect our spawn in specially wire netted boxes and remove
them to the tadpole ponds. Within three days this spawn will hatch.
After ten days we feed oatmeal and ground liver to the tadpoles. Our
record of hatching was 21,840 tadpoles from one spawn.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"We have found that we can control the sex of our frogs by
scientifically feeding the tadpoles. According to current statistics
gathered from various authorities on frog culture and from experimen-
tal research work conducted by our own staff of field men, sex deter-
mination in tadpoles is credited particularly to the influences due to
scientific feeding. The tadpole is unsexed, and the sex of the frog
depends on outside conditions affecting the tadpoles.
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Some Two and a Half Year Old Common Bullfrogs for Marketing
"In the wild stage the proportions of female and male are 57 and
43, respectively. Production on a commercial scale in captivity where
the tadpoles are supplied with ground meat scraps brought the female
percentage to 78. With the feeding of ground fish food the percent-
age of females increased to 81 per hundred. When the especially nu-
tritious frog scraps were fed we produced 92 females to every eight
'Each pair of frogs will spawn from ten to twenty-eight thousand
eggs at each mating. One spawn per year is common, but in the
tropics and the semi-tropics, two spawns are not unusual. The
spawn has a shiny, slimy, black appearance. The top of each egg is
black and the bottom is white. In the spring, when the water has
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
reached a temperature of seventy degrees, the frogs start spawning
and will continue until the heat of the summer begins to wane. In
Florida the season begins in March and extends through to Novemb-
er, providing the weather has remained normally warm. The time
for hatching is likewise controlled by the temperature of the water.
(Prepared by F. B CRAMER, SR.)
Showing Annual Percentage Spawn Production of
GIANT BULLFROG BREEDERS
Covering a Period of 10 Years
Courtesy Southern Industries, Inc., Tampa, Fla.
"We have prepared a chart showing the length of time that bull-
frogs will breed. It is not until the fifth year that they reach their 100
percent capacity, and which continues for two years. Prior to the
fifth year there is a gradual increase, beginning with 662/3 percent,
and after the sixth year there is a gradual decrease until the frog stops
breeding. During the ten-year period of production it is possible for
each pair of frogs to produce over one hundred thousand tadpoles.
"Frogs will start to breed at the age of three and one-half to four
years. However, frog ranchers in Florida state that bullfrogs will start
spawning at the age of about two years, and, according to the chart
herein illustrated, will breed profitably for ten years. It is the opinion
of those now engaged in domestically raising frogs in Florida, that
40 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
after ten years of breeding these frogs should be butchered for mar-
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
A Comparison Between the Young Lady and the Bullfrogs
She Is Holding Illustrates the Size of the Common Bullfrog
"It is suggested that small ponds separate from the main ponds
be built and perhaps carefully screened and partially shaded and a
careful study and check made and a complete record kept of the few
pairs of frogs to be kept in these ponds, for no doubt much additional
valuable information will be obtained by this close observation.
"The meat of the bullfrog is darker than that of other frogs, but
when cooked it cannot be distinguished from any other variety of frog
meat. Those who have never eaten fresh, tender frog legs have a
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 41
Frog hunters in the Wauchula vicinity. Note the head lights, also frog-carrying
sack (with draw string) on hip of man at reader's right. Gigs or spears are attached
at lower ends of the canes carried by the men
flavor very similar to the breast of a chicken, but many folks think
frog legs are much more tasty and digestible.
"The dimensions of the tanned skin shown in the illustration
herein is eight inches in length and nine inches in circumference. The
live weight of the frogs from which this skin was taken was one
pound. Frog skins running from 5 x 6 and upwards have an at-
tractive commercial value."
FROGGING OR CATCHING WILD BULLFROGS
Interest has mounted high in several vicinities of Florida in
catching wild frogs for market. Wauchula, in Hardee County, has
won for itself no little publicity because of the thousands of pounds of
frogs caught and shipped by persons engaged in the business in that
county. From June 23 to October 14, 1941, shipments from Wauchula
totaled 29,000 pounds. This was an average of almost 2,000 pounds
a week. As a wild bullfrog seldom weighs more than 2 pounds, even
the pessimistic must admit that is a lot of frogs.
Moore Haven, Okeechobee, Belle Grade, Arcadia, Ocala and
Palatka are a few other communities in the state where wild frogging
has attracted attention and been engaged in. In most instances the
work has been done by farmers who are not especially busy during
summer months. The enterprise has merely afforded them an oppor-
tunity to pick up a little extra money. What seems to be the record
catch for one night is held by a hunter from near Fort Green, near
Wauchula. It was 168 pounds. In four nights four men also near
Wauchula, brought in 1,600 pounds of frogs.
42 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Courtesy American Frog Conning Co.
A Model Butchering and Packing Shed
Frogging is done by searchlight, as the gorgeously luminous eyes
of the bullfrog easily give away its location in the dark. The light
also blinds it, making it easy for the hunter to gig it or strike it with
a contraption much like a fly swatter. The swatter has the advantage
of merely stunning the frog so it may be caught alive, but it is awk-
ward to use among brush and weeds. The gig or spear seems to be
most practical. A skilled hunter gigs the frog in its webbed feet, and
thus only slightly injures it. Wounding in the body or legs is to be
avoided. Shooting, besides being expensive, is dangerous, in that too
often the frog is killed and its body torn up. An accompanying illus-
tration shows hunters equipped with searchlights and gigs.
At the end of a hunt the catch is taken to a central location,
usually a shipping point, where the frogs are dressed and packed in
ice for shipment. Hunting is done at night, and frog buyers usually
cover their territory daily, gathering up the previous night's catches
and hauling them to the dressing shed.
The frog farmer has not only meat markets to rely upon, but he
may derive income from sale of breeders and tadpoles. Tadpoles have
been known to sell for as much as 10 cents each to persons who raised
them to frogs for meat purposes.
Recently the Florida State Marketing Bureau issued a letter to
frog shippers and catchers, in which suggestions for dressing and
shipping are offered. It was written more particularly for the shipper
of wild frogs. In part this letter follows:
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
"There is a good demand in most of the larger markets for frogs:
jumboes, 10 to 12 pounds per dozen; medium, 8 to 91/2 pounds per
dozen; small frogs, 51/2 to 7/2 pounds per dozen; baby frogs, 3/2 to 5
pounds per dozen. Frogs averaging less than 3/2 pounds per dozen
are not wanted and, of course, the best demand is for the jumboes
and mediums. Dealers complain that some shippers send frogs
weighing no more than 1 ounce which, of course, are worthless and
a total loss to the shipper. As frogs are sold by the piece or dozen,
they should be graded and run uniform in size. Extra large, medium
and small frogs should not be mixed to make the average weight, for
jumboes or mediums, for instance, but classified according to the
weight requirements of the different grades to which they belong.
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
A Shipment of Dressed Frogs
"The trade usually requires that frogs be dressed as follows:
Head chopped off, skin and legs left on, with entrails and all refuse
matter drawn out. Frogs should not be broken and the bellies should
not be cut down through the shanks as it is only necessary to cut far
enough down to properly remove the entrails. In packing, frogs
should be packed with the belly (or the opening made to remove the
entrails) down, in order that the water will not 'cup up' in the frog
or sour it in transit.
"Frogs packed in barrels or boxes should be heavily iced; layers
of ice on bottom, in center and top of barrel. If shipped in boxes,
they should be heavily paper lined with plenty of ice in bottom, cen-
ter and top of the container.
44 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"The Florida State Marketing Bureau will supply a list of re-
putable dealers who are in the market for frogs of uniform size and
weight, properly prepared, packed and shipped. Any one contem-
plating frog marketing should thoroughly familiarize himself with the
requirements of the trade in the different markets before shipping."
VARIOUS WAYS TO MAKE LARGER PROFITS
Many persons contact regular customers and supply them with a
dozen frogs every week or so. Others advertise in local newspapers to
get the benefit of the "party trade." Frog legs are in great demand as
the main course in refreshments served at private parties and banquets.
Roadhouses are another source of big profit, as they can afford to
pay high prices for frogs. Hotels and restaurants pay good prices al-
so. There is a market right in your vicinity for all the frogs you raise,
if you just advertise and educate the people to the food value and
good taste of the giant bullfrog.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 45
THE FAMILY OF RANIDAE
Life History of Frogs (General)
These amphibians, from the Greek meaning "both" and "life,"
begin their existence in the water, and their later development en-
ables them to be at home on land or in water.
The general form of the body, the shape of the head, the long
hind legs adapted to jumping, and the webbed toes for swimming, are
practically the same in all frogs. Some modifications occur, in order
to fit feature to function or environment, as the discs on the end of
the tree frogs' toes, and their power of changing color to harmonize
with the surface upon which they are resting.
The adult frog has several pecularities which set him apart from
other vertebrates. At times he literally breathes through his skin, and
it is done in this manner:
The lungs are hollow sacs that lie back of the stomach. The
oxygen of the air passes both through the skin and the lungs into the
blood of the frog, and the carbon dioxide is thrown off through the
skin and the lungs, also. The frog is furnished with large blood
vessels close to the skin, especially along the back. These blood ves-
sels send many fine branches into the skin. This explains how frogs
breathe through their skins.
When the frog remains under the water a long time, especially
in winter, all the oxygen enters the blood through the skin. In fact,
what air does enter the lungs is SWALLOWED into them instead ot
being breathed into them, and it has been proven that even with the
lungs shut off, a frog can get enough oxygen to maintain life under
certain conditions, among them being, that the temperature is low
and that the frog remains relatively quiet.
The mouth of the frog is large, and short lips cover the short
teeth in the edge of the upper jaw. The tongue is curiously formed,
having two fleshy horns at the back end, and is attached at the front
end to the floor of the mouth. The frog can throw its sticky tongue
over the tip of the lower jaw, and use the forked end to catch insects
which are then carried to the back of the mouth. Two groups of little
Courtesy Florida Frog Farm Corp,, Highland Civy, Fla.
Growing Pond With Levees and Ditches, Some of Which Are Covered With Spanish Mos Laid on Framework
Courtesy Florida Frog Farm Corp,, Highland City, Fl,.
Growing Pond With Allernate Levees and Ditches or Ponds
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 47
curved teeth on the roof of the mouth aid in preventing the escape of
The food is swallowed whole, for the mouth is large, and the
tube connecting it with the stomach can be stretched, so that a com-
paratively large animal can be swallowed.
The fundamental process of reproduction in the frog family is
the same as in all other animals, but there is introduced the tadpole
stage which makes the reproduction of the amphibians different from
that of any vertebrates.
The male frog has a pair of spermaries, one attached to the front
end of each kidney. Each spermary is yellow, and the sperms escape
through the kidneys. In the female the eggs are in th" ovary, and
break through their walls and enter the oviducts. As the eggs pass
down through the oviduct, they are coated with a jelly-like substance,
that swells in the water and protects the eggs. At the anterior end of
each kidney in both sexes is an irregular mass, the fat body, in which
is stored the energy that the frog uses as it begins to grow eggs or
sperms in the early spring, before there is plenty of food.
Frogs in general belong to a class of vertebrate animals called
Batrachia; this group, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts,
is of particular interest, because it marks the transition from aquatic
to terrestrial life in the group of vertebrates. All the true frogs of
America belong to the genius Rana, of the family of Ranidae, the most
specialized of all the Salientia.
The Ranidae family is quite an old one. It is quite possible that
they settled in the State as soon as it was at all habitable after land
appeared above the surface of the shallow waters of the Gulf of
Bullfrogs, like some other animals, have a low internal body
temperature. They can stand a water temperature near freezing for
prolonged periods, and during cold weather sleep in th mud in the
bottom of the swamps and ponds. From the first cold days of winter
till the first warm days of February, they are rarely seen. Hibernation
is governed entirely by temperature, however, and during prolonged
periods of warm weather they may be observed in mid-winter, dis-
appearing again as the weather turns cold.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Early spring is the season when the frogs emerge in large numb-
ers from hibernating. They rarely start their bellowing until late
March, and mating usually begins about the middle of April, and
continues during May. When warm weather sets in they are par-
ticularly active at night, their avoidance of sunlight keeping them
under cover during the day.
In April the large bullfrogs are ready to lay their eggs, but no
matter how warm it is their calls are seldom heard until after the first
heavy spring rains, which may occur during the latter part of March,
or early in April. The first male frogs to find a suitable breeding
spot (usually a deep section of the swamp) begin to call, and within
a few days a thousand or more may gather and sing in one deafening
Egg-laying begins immediately after the females, attracted by the
call of the males, find the breeding place, and large masses of many
thousand of eggs are laid by each. During the egg-laying time the
male embraces the female, but the eggs are fertilized in the water, and
are left to hatch by the heat of the sun. It is not improbable that eggs
may be laid on successive occasions, as laying is controlled by wet
weather and the condition of the swamp, and not by temperature; at
any rate, egg-laying is extended over longer or shorter periods accord-
ing to the conditions of moisture, though most of the eggs are laid in
April. The egg-laying habits of R. grylio have not yet been observed,
but it appears to take place at about the same time as that of R. cates-
biana. However, the final transformation takes place in May when
the tadpole is about a year old, as was the habit with the preceding
The eggs are surrounded by a jelly-like substance that holds them
together. As the eggs are being laid by the female frog, the male frog
spreads a large number of sperm cells over the whole mass. These
sperm cells make their way through the soft jelly, and one of them
must enter each egg, or else it will not be fertile.
As soon as the sperm cell enters the egg, it begins to change from
a solid, pointed body into a round nucleus, which is so much like the
nucleus already in the egg cell that none but experts in the study can
tell which came from the sperm cell and which from the egg cell.
These two nuclei come in contact and unite, leaving but one nucleus
in the egg. This last change is fertilization, which stimulates the di-
vision of the embryo into formations of the various life systems and
organs of the tadpole.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 49
As soon as the young tadpole hatches, which is in a few days. it
attaches itself to plants, and lives for the first few days upon the
food-yolk within its own body; the mouth forms, and horny jaws
develop. Then the tadpole feeds upon minute plants, and becomes
dependent upon its own skill to get food and escape its enemies.
For a time the tadpole breathes through its gills, two sets being
used. The first ones are on the outside of the body, and last only two
or three days, when the internal gills form in the throat and the tad-
pole breathes much like a fish.
While these external changes are going on, there are many com-
plicated internal changes taking place; internal gills are disappearing,
and lungs, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles are being formed to give
the new legs life and action. The internal lungs take place of the gills
in the throat before the legs are fully grown, and such tadpoles must
rise to the surface to breathe air.
Different species take different times for their metamorphosis into
frogs. The tadpoles of the leopard become small frogs in a single
summer. Those of the bullfrog transform into frogs in the fall of the
year; others transform the following spring when about one year old.
The green frog requires two seasons to complete its development, and
these tadpoles hibernate in the mud during the cold season.
The exact time that it takes a frog to reach the adult stage in this
climate is not yet fully determined, but from field observation it is
not more than three years. It seems to be able to spawn at about four
years. This naturally depends upon the food supply, and even during
the first year the frogs vary considerably in size.
The bullfrog appears to reach maturity in about four years and
probably spawns for several successive years. During the breeding
season the adults gather together in colonies, but by Mary or June the
chorus begins to disband and the individuals scatter over a large ter-
ritory in search of food. Until the first chilly days of fall the bellow
of the common bullfrog and the hog-like grunt of the lake frog, can
be heard, although not in the same intensity as during the breeding
Size is not a fair criterion of the age of a bullfrog or even its
identity. Variation in size is remarkable, and is dependent on the size
of the tadpole at the time of the metamorphosis and on an abundance
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
or lack of food thereafter. It is to be understood that tadpoles have a
tendency to transform in periods of drouth regardless of age or size
and the young frog is small or large at the beginning of its new life
Because of their color-mimicry and power to change their color to
suit surroundings, many bullfrogs are able to escape their enemies by
laying flat, as they are usually marked to resemble the shadows cast
by the sun or moon shining through the trees. This, of course, does
not aid them in entirely escaping their hunters at night as their eyes
are visible. They have other instincts which are of a distinct ad-
vantage, however; the sudden splash of one frog puts all others within
sound on the alert, and if one escapes the others will dive for safety
also. Furthermore, if a frog is caught or handled roughly it will ut-
ter a scream, and thus put all other frogs in the neighborhood on close
watch for an enemy, and makes them difficult to catch. Still another
social instinct puts frogs on the lookout for enemies. If many frogs
are singing together in a chorus and one is caught, the stopping of its
voice is a warning of danger, and not another cry is heard from a sin-
gle member of the colony until the danger has apparently passed.
In studying the frog it has been noticed that in places where frog
hunting is carried on extensively, that by summer large specimens are
difficult to obtain. It has also been found that where small sizes are
caught during the summer practically no large frogs are to be found
the following spring and the collector must seek new hunting
grounds. This sort of hunting, consequently, almost exterminates the
species in those localities, as there are no eggs laid to start the growth
of future generations, or if a few solitary pairs do escape, the few
thousand tadpoles which develop are scarcely enough to satisfy their
natural enemies which have not diminished in numbers.
There are three grades of marketable frogs-Jumbo, medium, and
small. Prices shot up startling during the World War, with disas-
trous effect on the species. The market originally took only Jumbo
and the next larger grades. At that time no R. grylio were sold. When
the large frogs became scarce the smaller sizes were marketed, and at
the peak of the high cost of living the extinction of the species seemed
threatened. This marketing of the small grades opened new terri-
tory, however, and new hunters appeared in new fields and these
caught only the larger individuals. This extension of territory ruined
the market for small frogs, and many dealers began to discourage the
taking of immature specimens.
The following table gives the living weights and those of the
dressed meat of a series of male bullfrogs:
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 51
Length of Weight of Increase of Weiqht of
head and body living frog weight dressed meat
Inches Ounces Ounces Ounces
51/2 8'/2 5/
6 102 2 6/2
61/2 13 2/2 8
7 17 4 11
With the females in the breeding season, owing to the weight of
the eggs, the living weights of a similar series would be relatively
higher, but this does not affect the prices paid, as bullfrogs are not
sold by weight.
An important fact clearly brought out by this table is that with a
uniform increase in the length of the frog there is a progressive
increase in the weight, which manifests itself in the dressed meat.
In conclusion, it may he stated that the regulations of the frog
industry, consisting almost entirely of two species of bullfrogs, and the
statistics on hand, although perhaps incomplete, have shown that the
frog industry is much larger than might have been expected.
The following figures show the yield in pounds in Louisiana and
the value thereof over average years:
1926 44,457 $ 6,668.00
1927 837.735 125,661.00
1928 715,540 107,331.00
1929 984,971 147,746.00
1930 1,044.036 261,009.00
1931 1,856,354 464,089.00
1932 1,206,355 301,589.00
1933 1,817,450 276,618.00
The following has been compiled from Bulletin issued by The Department of
Conservation of the State of Louisiana:
HISTORY OF BULLFROGS IN JAPAN
From a newspaper clipping we learn something of the history of
Louisiana frogs in Japan as follows:
"Millions of Louisiana bullfrogs are croaking in Japan today.
Frog legs are served at all the leading Japanese restaurants, and frog
raising in the Orient is becoming an increasingly popular industry.
"Six years ago Louisiana shipped 5,000 bullfrogs to Japan. Con-
flicting reports regarding the fate of these original croakerss' came to
the Department of Conservation from time to time, but no authentic
information could be obtained.
52 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"Last week, however, a Japanese farmer and fish culturist of Kobe
remained over in the city to consult a local biologist on the possibil-
ities of raising frogs in South America, and he brought news of the
frog consignment. Mr. Uchida was on his way to Buenos Aires, where
he hoped to start a frog farm. Two hundred frogs of the Louisiana
Courtesy American Frog Ccn.nng Co.
Live Bullfrogs Have Been Shipped to Many Parts of the World
shipment were purchased by him, and he has followed with great
interest the development of the frog industry in his country.
"Of the original 5,000 that left Louisiana, he said only 1,000
survived the ocean voyage. These were sold for breeding purposes at
prices ranging from $50.00 to $100.00 per pair. So well did they
become acclimated to their new home, and to such an extent did their
progency increase, he explained, that bullfrogs in Japan ar now sell-
ing for as low as 50 cents a pair.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 53
'Before the frogs had been in my country a year,' Mr. Uchida
recalled, 'the market price smashed to $5.00 per pair. By the end of
1927 the frog culturists had to get together to control the prices in
order to protect themselves. But by degrees they lost control, and
now frogs are very cheap.'
"The small green frog native to Japan, he explained, offered but
little prospect as food, but with the advent of the Louisiana bullfrog,
frog legs have become a national dish in the Land of Flowers.
'My people have developed an insatiable desire for frog legs',
the Oriental farmer explained in precise English. 'They never seem to
get enough of them. That is why, perhaps, there are now more than
2,400 families engaged in the business.'
"At first, he said, the people didn't know how to raise them, and
they increased and began to run wild over the countryside.
'The Japanese are very superstitious,' declared Mr. Uchida, 'so
when they would hear a Louisiana frog croaking at night, not being
accustomed to the sound, they would think it was a ghost. Thousands
would gather around in awed silence to listen to the weird sound.
'I remember one very funny incident,' he recalled with the
traditional bland Oriental smile. 'There was a pond near Kobe, from
which each night queer sounds came. The ignorant country people,
thinking it was a ghost decided to break the spell. Armed with crude
weapons of defense and religious symbols, they surrounded the pond.
No amount of persuasion, religious or otherwise, could induce the
ghost to come forth. Finally it was decided to drain the water off.
This was done with great and strenuous effort and when all the water
was removed the people were surprised to find only a big Louisiana
frog sitting complacently in the very middle of the pond.'
"By degrees, however, the farmers of Japan began to raise frogs
scientifically. The method employed was entirely different from that
used in this country. In the United States frogs are given a large pond
area. In the Orient, where labor is cheaper than land, they are raised
in crowded pens where they are fed vast quantities of mashed pota-
toes, grasshoppers, boiling of fish skeletons, and fly larvae.
"In spite of the fact that all frog books say it takes two years to
raise a bullfrog from the egg to the young frog stage, and that the
record held in this country by a biologist was five months, Mr. Uchida
declared that he personally raised frogs in three months' time.
"This quick development is due, he believes, to their method of
'The breeding spac is so limited,' he said, 'that nature takes
care of itself, and on account of the crowded condition allows the
54 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
frogs to merge rapidly from the tadpole stage.
'I have seen from 1,000 to 2,000 frogs reared in a space of 6 feet
by 6 feet. At first we feed them larvae,' Mr. Uchida declared, 'which
we obtain in the following manner: dead fish are piled in bamboo
baskets, and the frogs are placed under the baskets. The flies lay eggs
on them, these eggs are transformed to larvae, then to grubs. They
drop from the baskets to the ground. As they fall to the ground the
frogs eat them.
'When the frogs grow a little larger, they are fed small fish
instead of larvae. The farmers of Northern Japan feed them crawfish.
'At the suggestion from one of your biologists, I tried feeding
them land crabs and was delighted with the results.'
"Primarily, however, Mr. Uchida is interested in the common
b They are not only the largest frogs in the world,' he said, 'but
they make the best frog legs, and are the easiest to raise.' "
THE FROG INDUSTRY IN FRANCE
This short account of the "Frog Industry in France," covering
the domestic raising of the small green frog, offers some interesting
General Conditions of Breeding and Maintenance
The green frog* exists abundantly throughout France wherever
there are marshes, ponds, or sedgy margins of rivers or bays that con-
tain fresh or slightly brackish water. It feeds oni worms, the larvae of
aquatic insects, small mollusks, flies, insects of various species, and
especially the spawn and small fry of fish, which renders it an enemy
of pisciculture and expose it to the wrath of fishermen. It is an out-
law, for which the law provides no protection outside of privately
The supply of frogs for the markets of Paris comes mainly from
the marshes and stagnant waters in the neighborhood of Montmoren-
cy, Vincennes, and Boulogne, but they are also brought from the dis-
tricts of the Vendees and the Landes in southwestern France, and
also from Lorraine.
Most of the frogs sold in Paris are cought wild, but the demand
is so constant that during recent years some effort has been made at
various points to propagate and fatten them by more or less artificial
*This is a small frog.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 55
The process is exceedingly simple. The best outfit for frog rais-
ing is one or more shallow ponds or reservoirs, filled with grasses and
other aquatic plants and so situated that the water can be partially
drawn off so as to facilitate the labor of catching. Old disused quar-
ries and excavations along railways, and other constructions, are
sometimes used for this purpose. If, as is frequently the case, the
pond already abounds in frogs, they are simply protected and left a
year or two to propagate. If food does not prove abundant the own-
er throws in living earthworms, for the frog is a carnivorous animal
and prefers his food, whether worms, larvae, or insects, fresh and in
normal living condition.
Hatching and Growing
If no frogs exist in the water they are planted either living, or in
form of eggs, which hatch as the water becomes warm in April and
May. The green-frog spawns during early spring, the female deposit-
ing from 600 to 1,000 eggs, surrounded with the gelatinous substance
which holds them together. With no further care from the parent the
eggs hatch at the end of a week or 10 days, according to the tempera-
ture of the water. Each egg produces a tadpole (tetard), which is at
first like a fish with a long flexible tail, and respires by means of gills.
Subsequently the hinder, then the forward, legs appear, the tail
shrinks and disappears, and the creature develops into a frog with the
lungs and respiratory apparatus of a batrachian reptile, capable of
The hatching and transformation takes place within a period of
about four months, and the frogs hatched in April or May, although
not fully grown until the following year, is ready for market by the
end of October.
Method of Catching and Marketing
Securing the frogs depends on various conditions and somewhat
upon the temperament of the catcher. If he is a sportsman he will
prefer to take them by fishing with a hook baited with a bit of red
cloth, or with a "bob' of the same material. The frog is exceedingly
voracious and when cautiously approached will rush at the hook or
"bob," swallowing the latter and holding it until he can be drawn
into a net. Another method is to fish at night with a bull's-eye lan-
tern, the light of which distracts the frogs so that they may be readily
taken with a scoop net or even with the hand.
If the fisher is a market man, intent only upon meat, he will
probably use a seine or other form of dragnet, or, if possible, draw off
the water in his pond until it is reduced to a shallow pool into which
he can wade and scoop up the frogs with a net or basket.
56 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The main seasons for catching frogs are during the spawning
period in the spring-which is wasteful, improvident, and yields
mainly frogs in poor condition--and the late summer and autumn,
when they are at their best. Dealers collect them at this season and
keep them in reservoirs, so that the market can be supplied through-
out the year.
Frogs are brought to the Paris market both living and dead, and
are sold at the great "Halles" or central market to retail dealers and
to customers. The flesh of those killed and dressed where they are
caught is whiter and more valuable than those brought in alive and
killed after a period of confinement under more or less abnormal con-
ditions. This has the effect of giving the flesh a pinkish hue, which
reduces its value, so that dealers try to counteract the dark tint by
soaking in milk or by some other process, which is a secret of the trade
and not easily ascertained.
Frogs are sensitive to cold, and when transported alive in winter
must be kept secure from frost. When they are to be brought to mar-
ket dead they are usually killed at the place of origin, the hind legs
. and part of the backbone cut off, skinned, and strung by dozens on a
wooden stick or skewer, and the bunch thus prepared becomes a com-
mercial unit and can be transported, kept in refrigerators, and sold
like fresh meat or fish. These bunches or "sticks" are retailed in the
Paris markets at prices which vary according to season, state of sup-
ply, and especially the size and condition of the legs, from 20 to 30
cents per stick or dozen for small to 50 to 60 cents per stick for large
and well-fattened ones. When subsequently sold at retail provision
store, a profit of about 30 percent is added to the above open-market
Some General Considerations
Among the advantages of frog farming is the fact that it enables
persons of limited means to utilize marshes and ponds which are too
shallow and warm for fish culture and practically useless for any oth-
er purpose, and produce, on a comparatively small area, a large
amount of valuable food material for which there is always an eager
Frogs of all sizes have a multitude of enemies, and one of the
important problems in their propagation is to protect them, as far as
may be, from the hawks, owls, storks, rats, fish, snakes, and other
voracious creatures which constantly prey upon them. A sufficient
depth of water from which fish are excluded, a thick growth of grass,
reeds, or other aquatic plants to afford adequate cover, and a constant
warfare against marauding creatures are among the essential require-
ments of successful frog farming in this country.
The principal excuse for frog fishing during the spawning season
in spring is that they are then sluggish and easy to catch, but the
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 57
practice is destructive and wasteful, and should be prohibited by law
wherever frog farming aspires to the rank of an intelligent industry.
Protection and Propagation
M. Larbaletrier, in the Daily Consular and Trade Reports, No.
3446, April 3, 1909, p. 1-7, suggests the following method for raising
frogs for the market:
On account of its natural enemies, as well as its use as an article
of food, the frog, in spite of its fecundity, is said to be decreasing of
late years in France, and for this reason the subject of breeding has
become of importance. This, moreover, is a matter of extreme simpli-
city, and could be made more productive where facilities for sale
exist. It admits, furthermore, of the utilization of sheets of water
which otherwise would be absolutely unproductive. In fact, when the
waters of pools reach a temperature in the neighborhood of 77 de-
grees F. the majority of species of fish arc liable to die. This mortality
even applies to the "carassin" (a species of carp), which is the best
fish to place in waters of this description. Such a condition, on the
contrary, facilitates the raising of. frogs.
If the ponds which one has chosen for the raising of frogs already
contain this animal, the thing is much simplified. They only require
protection-the increasing if possible of the growth of water herbs.
protecting the frogs against their natural enemies, which are numer-
ous, among them being the duck, the heron, the stork, the pike, and
above all the adder. This latter is most destructive. Although the
frog is edible in its first year of growth in commencing a breeding
pond a closed time of at least two years should be allowed. If there
are no frogs in the water chosen, frogs for breeding purposes or eggs
should be placed therein, which should be taken from a pond re-
sembling as much as possible the nature of the one which has been
chosen. All ponds are not equally fruitful in frogs, those situated in
the midst of woods containing usually little food. A pond well placed
in the midst of a cultivated field is the best for the production of these
animals, and it must be remembered that they are a great friend to
the agriculturist in their destruction in insects. In this the red-brown
frog is the more effective, and for this reason in certain parts of Bel-
gium it is stated that the killing of frogs is prohibited by law.
58 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
FAMOUS WAYS TO SERVE GIANT FROGS
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.. New Orleans, La., Copyright. 1934.
Frog legs have always ranked first among the most exclusive of
Most persons found themselves forced to "dine out" when an
appetite for frog legs was felt as the meat is so rare, few recipes were
We, therefore, proudly dedicate the largest and most complete
number of original frog recipes ever published to those who like to en-
joy the best foods in the privavy of their own homes.
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Canned Frog Legs Prepared According to Recipe by Broel
The recipes, like our products, are absolutely original. There-
fore, preserve them and you will enjoy many rare treats.
Giant Frog Gumbo
Ibs. frog meat
lbs. smoked ham chopped fine
large ripe tomatoes, skinned and
cup minced onion
cans diced okra with liquor
pod red pepper, seeds removed
large green pepper, minced
tablespoons of butter
quarts boiling water
Salt and pepper to taste
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 59
Heat the butter in a kettle, add the frog meat, ham and okra. Brown well
but do not scorch. Then add all other ingredients and cook slowly until mixture
is well flavored and thick as desired. Serve hot. You may use canned or fresh
frog meat; if canned is used, use entire contents of can. If raw, be sure it is cooked
with the ham before serving.
Fried Frog Legs
Take a can of frog legs or two frogs. If fresh meat is used parboil it for
twenty minutes on a brisk fire. Then dust the meat in corn meal or flour and fry
in deep butter or fat. The canned meat may simply be dusted in the corn meal
Giant Frog Sandwich Spread
1 pound giant frog meat, minced 5 tablespoons of butter
fine through a food chopper 1/2 teaspoonful salt
It/2 cups condensed milk (not 1/4 teaspoonful black pepper
Mince the frog meat through the food chopper, cooked. Blend with the con-
densed milk. add butter, salt, pepper and then add i/2 pound cream cheese, a pinch
of paprika and beat until smooth. Heat on fire until mixture all becomes smooth,
then cool. Keep in covered jars, serve on crackers and between toasted bread.
Fricassee of Giant Bullfrog
Disjoin the frog in pieces, put into sauce pan with Just enough boiling water
to cover; salt and pepper to taste, add teaspoonful of onion juice. Boil slowly until
tender and seasoning mixed, add a little water from time to time to replace that
which boils away. If using canned frog, use entire can. thicken with one teaspoonful
of corn starch with equal parts of cold water, mix slowly in very small stream. Then
add one tablespoon minced parsley, serve with border of hot cooked rice. You may
use dumplings if you wish, rolled out thin and thoroughly cooked without much
stirring to keep whole.
French Fried Giant Frog and Soup Colbert
Separate pieces of giant bullfrog either fresh or canned. If fresh, wash and
dry enough frog to weigh 2 pounds. or three when dressed. Place in kettle with
enough salted water to taste, boil till tender with just enough water to cover frog.
then remove frog and cool thoroughly, dry the surface, dip each piece into butter,
and drop into hot fat, heated to 375 degrees F., or hot enough to brown a piece of
bread by the time you can count 50. Fry until golden brown. For canned frog,
heat can in hot water until hot. open can, remove contents to a pan, then remove
pieces of frog and dry and fry as above, saving the stock of broth, of either style
you have, for giant frog Soup Colbert. To 5 cups of well seasoned giant bullfrog
stock, add enough water, if necessary, to make 5 cups, add 2 tablespoons of butter,
I tablespoon of brown sugar. I can of diced cooked asparagus stock, and all blend,
1 tablespoon corn starch with equal amount of water and add to stock. Then bring
the soup to a good boil on slow fire. Remove kettle back ofl fire, put the soup in
plates, and into each serving put a carefully poached egg. Dust with a little minced
parsley or paprika and serve with the main course. It will probably take two cans
60 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
of biant bullfrog to get the 5 cups of stock. You may figure in the stock off of the
asparagus as part of the 5 cups of necessary stock.
Giant Bullfrog Cream Broth
4 cups American giant bullfrog
/ cup condensed milk (not
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper and mace to
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon cold water
Combine the American bullfrog stock, condensed milk, blend well, bring to
boiling point, add corn starch, add butter and other seasoning, and serve. French
fry the frog meat and serve.
Deviled Giant Bullfrog Meat
lbs. giant bullfrog meat
tablespoon apple vinegar
1 teaspoon worcester sauce
1 teaspoon tomato catsup
1 cup cracker crumbs, ground
Place bullfrog meat on a greased broiler and broil for 7 minutes, on each side,
then place in a heated meat pan, mix 4 tablespoons of butter with the salt, vinegar,
catsup, and worcester sauce, and spread over the giant bullfrogs. Melt the rest of
the butter and stir the cracker crumbs around in it. Spread the buttered crumbs
over the giant bullfrogs and bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F., or until the
giant bullfrogs are tender and the crumbs are browned. This gives a crusty, rich
surface. If using canned frog meat, only use enough salt to taste on frog meat.
American Giant Bullfrog Cocktail
Diced cold cooked giant bullfrog meat, fresh or canned. Season with a marinade,
1/2 teaspoon salt
21/2 tablespoons salad oil
1 tablespoon worcester sauce
Chill and put into cocktail glasses and cover with cocktail dressings, made
The amount to be made depends on the number of cocktails required and
the size of the glasses. Make the quantity you need, using the following
3 tablespoons tomato catsup
1 tablespoon worcester sauce
Blend thoroughly and chill before using. This may be varied by using in
addition a little chili sauce, lemon juice, horseradish, chopped celery, or finely minced
parsley. Set glasses on crisp lettuce leaf when serving.
American Giant Bullfrog Pie (Country Style)
3 lbs. American giant bullfrog 1 tablespoon finely chopped
meat, in pieces parsley
1 recipe for biscuits 4 tablespoons grated raw carrot
1 tablespoon corn starch
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 61
Cover the bullfrog meat with water. if using canned frog use the contents
of the can, cook slowly until tender. Remove bones, thicken gravy with corn-
starch and water equal parts, season well, place in baking dish. cover with fol-
lowing crust. Make biscuit dough. Use water instead of milk, adding minced
parsley and carrots to dry mixture. Roll out I/2 inch thick, cut in small squares.
place on top of mixture in baking dish, bake in real hot oven about 475 degrees F..
about 18 minutes.
Giant Bullfrog Mince Meat (For Pies)
Ibs. giant bullfrog meat
run through food chopper
lb. chopped suet
lbs. tart apples
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 lb. citron
1 tablespoon salt
Stew bullfrog meat in a small quantity of water, cool and run through
chopper, add beef suet. chopped fine, and apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
then sugar, currants, raisins, spices, oranges, lemons, minced citron, and salt.
thoroughly, cook one hour. Pack in jars and store in a cool dry place. It's
to use one-pint jars.
Giant Bullfrog Jellied
Mix 2 cups finely chopped
giant bullfrog meat with
14 cup chopped green pepper
I tablespoon onion juice
Dash of ground mace and
salt, as required
Soak 1 tablespoon of gelatine in 1 tablespoon cold water for 5 minutes and
dissolve in I cup boiling water, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of
worcester sauce, line the bottom o! a mould with 8 slices of hard boiled egg and
fill the mould with the giant bullfrog mixture, pour the jelly over all. Chill, turn
out on real crisp lettuce leaves and serve with any desired dressing.
Giant Bullfrog Club House Sandwich
To each person allow 3 slices of white bread, nicely toasted, trimmed, and
buttered and kept hot. Spread first piece with mayonnaise, on this lay shredded
giant bullfrog meat seasoned and hot, add a little shredded lettuce and more
mayonnaise and on it lay some thinly sliced raw tomatoes and 3 slices of broiled
lean bacon, add more shredded lettuce and mayonnaise. Top with the th:rd piece
of buttered trimmed toast, cut across the corner to form triangle and serve.
Giant Bullfrog Croquettes
cup light cream
teaspoon worcestershire sauce
teaspoon tomato catsup
cups chopped cooked giant
Melt butter, add flour and cold thin cream slowly, stirring until smooth and
creamy, add seasoning and parsley, boil 4 minutes, add cooked giant bullfrog
meat. Mix well and pour out on platter to cool. When cool enough to handle.
62 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
take a large spoon of the mixture in floured hands, shape into croquettes, put
into cold place until firm. Roll in finely crushed cracker crumbs. Then in egg,
beaten with 2 tablespoons of cold milk, then in cracker crumbs. Then fry in deep
hot fat at 385 degrees F., until golden brown.
Giant Bullfrog Meat With Dumplings
2 lbs. giant bullfrog meat Flour
3 tablespoons butter 4 teaspoons baking powder
2 slices onions 1 tablespoon worcestershire
1/2 bay leaf 1 teaspoon tomato catsup
Have the giant bullfrog cut in pieces, put into a kettle and almost cover
with boiling water, add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf and 3 table-
spoons butter, cover and simmer until the bullfrog is tender, (if frog was raw).
Mix 2 cups of flour with baking powder and sift, stir in enough milk to make
a paste, stiff enough to hold its shape (about a cup) and drop the dumpling
paste by spoonfuls on top of the bullfrog meat, cover and cook from one-half
to three-quarters hour. When the dumplings are thoroughly cooked, lift them
out with a skinner, lay around the edge of the platter and keep hot. Skim
out the pieces of bullfrog meat and place in the middle of the platter. If gravy
is not thick from the dumplings, mix flour and water and stir in very slowly in
a thin stream into the boiling liquid, using enough only to make it the desired
thickness. Let simmer, then add the worcester sauce and tomato catsup and
stir well. Strain a little of the gravy over the meat on the platter and serve the
rest in a gravy boat. If using canned frog, use contents of can and it is only
necessary to simmer meat on slow fire until dumplings are thoroughly cooked.
Grilled Giant Bullfrog Sandwich
Allow two slices of bread or a large split biscuit for each sandwich.
Toast one slice on both sides, butter, and serve as a garnish, toast the second
slice on one side. Then butter the untoasted side. Then cover with a layer
of shredded giant bullfrog meat, season it to taste with salt, pepper, and
worcester sauce; on the shredded giant bullfrog, lay a slice of cream or Switzer-
land cheese and across this, two short strips of broiled bacon, grilled under the
gas until the bacon is crisp and a sprinkle of tomato catsup, or if you desire,
use mayonnaise dressing instead of catsup.
Barbecued Giant Bullfrog Sandwiches
Between two slices of any kind of bread you like, or large split biscuit,
nicely toasted and trimmed of hard edge, lay shredded hot giant bullfrog meat.
This meat should be broiled over hot coals, covered with butter while cooking.
then shredded, if not possible, use the hot cooked meat fried in butter, after
shredding, and placing on the toast spread with barbecue sauce, made as
2 tablespoons butter 1 cup stock, off of canned frog
2 tablespoons apple vinegar (if fresh, use stock of meat
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vegetables)
1 cup finely minced celery 2 tablespoons salt
1 medium minced onion 1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced 1 cup tomato catsup
garlic 3 tablespoons worcester sauce
2 tablespoons dark molasses 1 tablespoon pulverized sage
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 63
Fry the minced onion and garlic in the butter. Add the other ingredients,
cover and simmer for one hour. This sauce will keep for a long time, placed in a
jar and sealed and heated over when wanting to use.
Giant Bullfrog Dressing
1 cup giant bullfrog meat,
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion minced
2 tablespoons minced parsley
I cup fine bread crumbs
1 tablespoon worcester sauce
I tablespoon tomato catsup
Cook the giant bullfrog meat and the minced onion and butter in a frying
pan for five minutes, stirring with a fork so that all parts touch the pan. Add
the bread crumbs and parsley and cook five minutes more, take from the fire and
stir in the worcester sauce and tomato catsup. Use for any lean meat or poultry.
Giant Bullfrog Meat and Rice (Chinese Style)
1 cup giant bullfrog meat
1 egg well beaten
1/3 cup chopped nut meats
4 tablespoons minced onion
1/3 cup boiled rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon tomato catsup
Add the diced frog meat to the egg, nuts. and onion, and combine with
the rice. Season to taste with salt, tomato catsup, and fry slowly in the butter,
turning the mixture occasionally, pressing it into omelet shape and let brown
on both sides. Serve hot.
Giant Bullfrog Chop Suey (Chinese Style)
11/2 lbs. giant bullfrog meat
1I tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups coarsely diced celery
3 medium size onions, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated carrots
1 can bean sprouts (pint can)
Salt and pepper to taste
I tablespoon worcester sauce
1 tablespoon tomato catsup
Cut the giant bullfrog in small cubes, dust with the salt, pepper, and
cornstarch. and brown in the butter, add all the ingredients, except the worcester
sauce and tomato catsup. Cook until meat and vegetables are tender by half cover-
ing with boiling water. Simmer on medium fire, then add the catsup and worcester
sauce. Serve in soup bowls over steamed cooked rice in bottom of bowls. If using
canned frog, use contents of can, cook only until vegetables are tender.
Jellied Giant Bullfrog Creamed Salad
cup whipped cream
tablespoon lemon juice
tablespoons cold water
112 cups cooked minced frog
1/3 cup minced celery
1/3 cup minced olives, stuffed,
minced, real fine
Combine the gelatine and cold water. Let stand for five minutes. Set the
dish in hot water until gelatine melts, add to the mayonnaise, fold in the cream
and add the remaining ingredients, transfer to small molds, rubbed with butter and
chill for several hours; arrange individually for service, turn out each mold on a
large slice of tomato. Top each mold with a stuffed olive, garnish with lettuce with
a little mayonnaise over the top of salad.
64 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Giant Bullfrog Salad
2 cups bullfrog meat, cut into
small cubes (cooked)
1 cup finely cut celery
/2 teaspoon salt
1/s teaspoon pepper
2 hard boiled eggs
1 cup mayonnaise dressing
Mix the cubed giant bullfrog meat with celery and the seasoning and one
egg cut into small pieces, marinate with little fresh dressing and let stand In
cold place one hour. Serve on cold crisp lettuce leaves and spread over top
with mayonnaise. Garnish with stuffed olives and remaining egg, cut into slices.
Dust with paprika.
Dominant Mayonnaise Dressing for Giant Frogs
cup lemon juice
cup melted butter
egg yolks (unbeaten)
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 package (3 oz.) pure
Melt the cream cheese with the butter, pour into a half-gallon jar, add all
the other ingredients in the order as listed, fasten top on jar tightly and shake
vigorously, until the mixture blends perfectly. Place jar with contents in re-
frigerator, it will thicken nicely. Serve on recipes of giant bullfrog meat, calling
for mayonnaise dressing.
Giant Bullfrog Luncheon With Tomatoes
2 cups canned tomatoes
/2 cup cream
'/2 cup whole milk (fresh)
1 cup diced giant bullfrog
1 cup diced toast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
Heat tomatoes to the boiling point. Add 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of
whole fresh milk. Blend well, add all other ingredients, except the grated
Swiss cheese. Cover tightly about 3 minutes, pour into serving dish. Sprinkle
top of mixture with grated cheese. Serve at once.
Giant Bullfrog Luncheon With Corn
1/2 cup pure cream 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
I tablespoon melted butter 2 tablespoons chopped pimento
1 cup diced cooked giant 1 tablespoon chopped onion
bullfrog meat I teaspoon salt
11/2 cups canned corn 2 eggs (well beaten)
Combine all ingredients in the order as listed. Have eggs well beaten. Pour
into buttered baking dish and bake 25 minutes in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F.,
and serve hot. If you use canned frog, drain part of the stock off of the corn and
use entire contents of stock off of the canned giant bullfrogs' meat.
Escalloped Giant Bullfrog With Celery and Potatoes
2 cups canned or cooked
1 cuD canned celery or cooked
11/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
3 cups well seasoned mashed
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 65
Blend the cornstarch and water, add it and the butter to the bullfrog meat.
Use the potatoes to line a casserole or baking dish. Pour the thickened bullfrog
meat and celery into the potato lined dish and bake in a quick oven about 375 de-
grees or 400 degrees F.. just long enough to thoroughly heat and to slightly brown
the surface of the potatoes.
Giant Bullfrog a la King
3 cups cubed giant bullfrog meat
I cup cubed mushrooms
1 tablespoon 'minced p:mento
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cream
1 cup whole fresh milk
3 egg yolks
1 level teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Buttered toast or buttered
Make a sauce by melting the butter, adding the cornstarch blended with
equal parts of water. Add the cream and wlhoe milk and seasonings. Stir in
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Frog A la Queen; A Brcel Recipe
the bullfrog meat, mushrooms, and pimentces. Slightly beat the egg yolks and stir
in a little hot mixture to this, add eggs. cook for a moment, stirring constantly. Serve
on the toast or rice.
Giant Bullfrog Pot Pie
2 lbs. disjoined cooked ',: teaspoon salt
bullfrog meat 1 teaspoon baking powder
11/2 cups stock off of canned 3 tablespoons butter
frog meat 1/3 cup m:lk
11/2 cups flour
66 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Turn the bullfrog meat into a shallow sauce pan with the stock, bring slowly
to a boil, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Rub in the butter and moisten
as for biscuit with the milk. Roll out to fit in sauce pan, lay it over the bullfrog
meat, cover closely and simmer for 25 minutes. Cut the crust into pieces. Arrange
the bullfrog meat on a platter and lay the crust over it. Serve. If desired, you may
add 1 cup of canned green peas or 1 cup of canned cooked celery to the bullfrog
meat when cooking.
Minced Giant Bullfrog Savory Sandwiches
3 cups minced giant bullfrog meat 3 teaspoons mixed mustard
Mayonnaise 1/2 cup chow chow
Slices of buttered toast. Blend the minced giant bullfrog meat, mustard, and
chow chow, working them thoroughly together to form a paste. If desired, the chow
chow may be passed through a food chopper with the frog meat. Spread the but-
tered toast with mayonnaise then cover with the bullfrog mixture. Cover with more
toast buttered and cut diagonally across in two sections. Serve.
Hot Giant Bullfrog Sandwiches With Newberg Sauce
5 tablespoons butter 3 egg yolks
1 cup cooked and diced giant 1/2 teaspoon salt
bullfrog meat 1 cup fresh cream
3 tablespoons sherry flavoring 2 teaspoons worcester sauce
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in frying pan and heat in it the bullfrog meat,
diced. Then make the sauce, melt the rest of the butter, add the salt and sherry
flavoring, then the cream and heat to boiling point. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl,
pour into them part of the hot sauce, stirring constantly. Then pour it back into the
sauce pan and cook for about 2 minutes in double boiler, stirring constantly. Add
worcester sauce and remove from the fire. Have ready for each sandwich nicely
toasted bread with hard edges trimmed and buttered. Spread the hot diced bullfrog
meat over one slice. Top with the second and pour the Newberg sauce over all.
Giant Bullfrog Meat (Russian Sandwich)
Butter a thin slice of nicely toasted bread, hard edges trimmed; spread with
minced stuffed olives, then spread this with shredded giant bullfrog meat, then with
mayonnaise. Then take the second slice of buttered toast and spread with pure
cream cheese, sprinkle with worcestershire sauce, press the two slices together, cut
in triangles. These are nice with cocktails or at bridge party, picnic, etc.
Giant Bullfrog Short Cakes
1 recipe for biscuits 1 cup shredded giant bullfrog
1 cup minced mushrooms meat
Make biscuit dough, roll out half-inch thick, cut with large biscuit cutter, bake
in hot over, 475 degrees F., about 12 minutes. Split while hot, butter, fill with hot
creamed giant bullfrog meat, shredded and creamed minced mushrooms, one on the
other. Serve hot.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 67
Giant Bullfrog Sandwich Loaf
Trim the crusts of whole loaf of small size sandwich bread, trim the crusts
thinly and slice lengthwise (4 slices, even). Place bottom slice on a platter, spread
with butter and then cover with minced giant bullfrog meat, then cover frog meat
with mayonnaise. Place another slice of bread on the frog meat, butter and spread
with one package (3 oz.) of cream cheese, mixed with two tablespoons of minced
pineapple. Place third slice of bread on top of this, butter, cover with crisp lettuce,
spread with Russian dressing, made with mayonnaise and chill sauce, place fourth
slice of bread on top. Cover entire loaf with softened cream cheese. This gives
appearance of cake frosting. Set in cool place for one hour or more. Before serving,
cut crosswise in slices to serve.
Giant Bullfrog Pineapple Salad
Shred one can of giant bullfrog meat. Add:
1 cup diced pineapple 1/3 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
Blend with mayonnaise dressing and serve on crisp lettuce leaves.
Creamed Giant Bullfrog and Mushrooms
I can giant bullfrog meat I can chopped mushrooms
shredded I tablespoon chopped
1 pint thick wh:te sauce pimentoes
Mix ingredients, heat thoroughly and serve on hot crisp buttered toast.
Giant Bullfrog Omelet
Make an omelet of three eggs and 3 tablespoons of milk, a dash of salt and
pepper. Cook in a smooth frying pan until ready to roll. Then spread with 1/3 cup
shredded giant bullfrog meat (shredded very fine) and mix with it a little seasoned
thick white sauce. Roll and serve hot. Oil skillet with butter when frying omelet.
Stuffed Eggs With Giant Bullfrog
Boil six eggs hard boiled, cut off slices of top and bottom. Remove yolks and
stand on crisp lettuce leaves, fill with the following stuffing:
1 cup finely shredded giant 2 tablespoons minced stuffed
frog meat, mince olives
Yolk of eggs 1 tablespoon minced celery
To mix, blend thoroughly, stuff eggs, then garnish with mayonnaise and
Baked Apples Stuffed With Giant Frog Meat
Wash and core six red apples, scoop pulp from centers, and cook until thick
with I tablespoon melted butter. Add one can of giant bullfrog meat, shredded and
blend well. Stuff apples, garnish tops with buttered bread crumbs and bake until
apples are tender in medium oven. Serve hot
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Stuffed Baked Tomatoes With Giant Bullfrogs
Peel six tomatoes, cut slices from stem end, remove pulp. add one can of giant
bullfrog meat, shredded fine. Flavor with salt and paprika to taste. Add two-
thirds cup of grated cheese. Blend well, cut rounds of bread one inch thick. Make
hole one and one-half inches in diameter in center of bread, place the stuffed tomatoes
in the hole in bread and dot bread and tomatoes with butter. Bake until tomatoes
are soft, serve hot, sprinkled with chopped buttered parsley.
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Picking Off Frog Meat for "Frog a la Queen"
Giant Bullfrog Au Gratin
Giant Bullfrog Meat With Asparagus
Drain and shred one can of giant bullfrog meat, add 1/2 cup chopped pimen-
toes, 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter. 2 cups of mashed potatoes, liquid of one
can of asparagus tips. All the giant bullfrog liquid from the can and seasoning.
Blend well. heat, and add 1 cup of chopped asparagus tips and 1 cup of chopped
canned mushrooms. Mold in a buttered ring. cook. brown in a medium hot oven.
Serve with green peas in the center of mold, hot.
3/4 cup cream
1 cup stock from canned
giant bullrog meat
1 small slice onion minced
stalk celery minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
cup chopped cooked canned
giant bullfrog meat
eggs. well beaten
Combine cream and giant bullfrog stock. Heat onion and celery in the creamy
srock rr.r: butter, add 2 tablespoons water to cornstarch and blend, add to butter.
Then add creamy stock. cook. and st:. :;r:t! creamy Then add eggs. well beaten
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 69
Then the seasonings, then the giant bullfrog meat. Blend, pour into well buttered
baking dish and bake 25 minutes in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F.
Giant Bullfrog Legs Italian
large size giant bullfrog legs
cups canned or fresh
tablespoons apple vinegar
Few grains mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
] tablespoon cornstarch, blended
w:th I tablespoon cold water
c/z cup canned tomato
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Broil the giant bullfrog legs with one tablespoon of the butter, if raw; if canned,
heat can, remove from can. diain on brown paper. In the meantime, cook the mush-
rooms five minutes in the vinegar and water with the cloves, mace and salt, then
slice the mushrooms and put in a sauce pan with the butter and brown sugar (2
tablespoons butter) and cook for five minutes, add the blended cornstarch and then
the tomato, lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the giant
bullfrog legs on a platter, pour the sauce over and serve with steam cooked rice.
Giant Bullfrog Paprikosh
I medium size onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 lbs. giant bullfrog meat
1 cup broth
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup thin cream
Mince onions f:ne. Sear with butter and paprika until slightly browned, add
giant bullfrog meat (disjoir.ed). 1/3 cup of broth. Stew for 12 minmites, occasionally
more bullfrog broth, so that the frog meat does not burn. Continue cooking until
frog meat is real tender. Salt to taste. Blend cornstarch and water, add to gravy
slowly, stir. Cook slowly for five minutes and add cream. Remove bullfrog meat
irom sauce, in which it has been cooking and put in warm place. Strain and mash
sauce so none of the onion remains in the strainer. Then serve giant bullfrog cover-
ed with the hot sauce. If using canned frog. use contents of can for the 1 cup of
broth. Don't cook the canned frog as much as the fresh frog. The idea is to get
the substance to make the cream sauce.
Giant Bullfrog Maryland
6 large size giant bullfrog legs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
]1/2 teaspoons salt
1/t teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup butter
I pint white sauce
I recipe giant bullfrog croquettes
(made as re: recipe No 11)
Note: (The croquettes w:.l call for one can of bullfrog meat in addition to
the six frog legs, above :n this recipe )
Dust the 6 bu!llfog legs with salt. pepper, and cornstarch. Then heat ihe but-
ter in a frying pan real hot and quickly b:own tile giant bulirog legs in i:. HRd' ic
:he heat. cover c:csely, and cook gently until tender; for se:v:ng arrange in :rnddle
of platter with giant bullfrog croq.;e:tes oaound the edge. Garn:shi with whi:- c. ir,'
70 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
tips made from hearts of celery and pass white sauce in gravy boat. Make this
sauce like this: Use drippings in pan which the frog legs were browned in and
add to them 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, I/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grains of black
pepper and 1 pint of thin cream (fresh). Cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Brown Sauce or Gravy for Giant Bullfrog Meat
I tablespoon butter, in which 1 cup stock from canned
bullfrog meat was cooked giant bullfrog
1 tablespoon flour Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the butter in sauce pan, add flour and brown. Add bullfrog stock and
stir until thick. Season to taste and simmer 5 minutes.
Add I/2 cup of grated cheese to cream sauce and stir in double boiler until
cheese is well blended. Add 1 teaspoon of worcester sauce. Stir and serve with
giant bullfrog meat.
I cup tomatoes 1/2 cup minced celery
1 green pepper, minced 1 tablespoon butter
I tablespoon minced onion 1 tablespoon worcester sauce
I teaspoon salt
Mix all the ingredients except the worcester sauce and simmer until all the
vegetables are tender, add a little stock off of canned giant bullfrog and stir from
time to time. Add the worcester sauce and stir just before serving. This is good
on any recipe served with giant bullfrog meat.
Three parts of melted butter and one part of worcester sauce. Prepare it in
any way you like by the addition of such flavoring as wine flavoring, onion juice,
tomato juice or minced parsley. Serve with most any recipe of giant bullfrog meat.
Bullfrog Meat With Deviled Ham Sandwich
Cover one slice of nicely toasted bread with deviled ham, cover with cold
diced giant bullfrog meat, then some shredded crisp lettuce hearts, then with some
thick mayonnaise dressing. Then cover with a slice of butter toast. All toast should
be trimmed after toasting.
Hot Diced Giant Bullfrog Meat (Canned) and Deviled Ham
2 parts deviled ham Diced giant bullfrog canned
I part butter meat
Nicely toasted bread, trimmed
Cream the deviled ham and butter together and spread on the toast some-
what thick, cover with diced giant bullfrog meat, then cover with another slice of
toast, arrange on platter. Garnish with cranberry or currant jelly. Pass hot bull-
frog gravy with the sandwiches on the table, made like this:
1 tablespoon butter, melted 1 cup stock from canned
1 tablespoon flour giant bullfrog
Salt and pepper to taste
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 71
Brown the butter in sauce pan, add flour and brown. Add giant bullfrog
stock and stir until thick and simmer five minutes. Place in gravy boat and serve
Giant Bullfrog Meat, Currant Jelly and Cottage Cheese
2 parts giant bullfrog meat, 2 parts cottage cheese
cooked, minced Crisp lettuce leaf hearts.
Salt and pepper shredded
Worcester sauce Slices of nicely toasted bread,
I part butter trimmed
2 paits currant jelly
Cream the seasoned giant bullfrog meat and butter together and spread on a
slice of the toast, then place a layer of currant jelly, then a layer of cottage cheese,
then some of the shredded lettuce. Place on top of slice of buttered toast, cut
triangle, and serve.
Giant Bullfrog Three Layer Sandwich
1 green pepper Deviled ham
1 onion 1 can giant bullfrog meat
Mayonnaise Slices of buttered toast
Chop onion and pepper very fine and season with a little salt and pepper.
Mix with enough mayonnaise to spread one slice of the toast with onion and pepper
mixture. Take the second slice of toast, spread on one side with cream cheese and
on the other side with deviled ham. Then spread on top of cheese a layer of chopped
giant bullfrog meat spread a little mayonnaise and cover with the third slice of but-
tered toast, cut triangular shape and serve.
Giant Bullfrog Charlotte
3 tablespoons melted butter 1 cake (3 oz.) cream cheese,
3 egg yolks melted
11/2 tablespoons flour Salt and nutmeg to taste
Blend these ingredients and cream well. Add i/2 cup cream and mix well,
then add the stiff whites of eggs. mix lightly. Dice 1 cup of nicely toasted bread.
dice 1 cup of giatnt bullfrog meat from canned bullfrog. Heat the stock from the
canned bullfrog. Soak the diced toast and diced giant bullfrog in the heated frog
stock for 5 minutes, then lay out the diced bullfrog and diced toast in a deep but-
tered baking dish, pour over the toast and frog the creamed mixture and bake in
a moderate oven, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.
Giant Bullfrog Fondue
Grate 1/2 lb. of Switzerland chees and melt on fire with 1 tablespoon butter.
Beat 2 eggs with 1 cup cream, salt to taste, and add to cheese mixture, stirring con-
stantly, then add 11/2 cup of chopped giant bullfrog cooked meat and mix well. Let
simmer on fire 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and serve on toast. You may garnish
with slices of hard boiled eggs.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Giant Bullfrog Meat June Salad
pint diced giant bullfrog
hard boiled eggs
level teaspoon salt
cold boiled potatoes
teaspoon prepared mustard
Crisp lettuce leaves
level teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
3 slices toasted bread
I medium green pepper.
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/0 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
Now place two lettuce leaves on a dinner plate; over to one side of the
dinner plate, lay some of the diced giant frog meat and spread over it part or two-
thirds of the mayonnaise or in the center of the frog meat, cut the 6 hard boiled
eggs in two lengthwise. Remove the yolks and mix with the one-third that's left
of the mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. When creamy, form into small balls
and replace in the egg whites. Then garnish with paprika. Cut the toasted bread
in narrow strips half-inch wide. Put 2 deviled eggs beside the diced giant bullfrog
meat with a strip of toast between the giant bullfrog meat and eggs.
Then make a salad of the potatoes; dice them, and mix them with the mus-
tard, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt. pepper, sugar, onion, green minced pepper, and
two chopped eggs you have left from Part. 1. Now blend carefully, using sufficient
mayonnaise to moisten well. Now arrange a generous helping of the salad on the
lettuce leaf opposite the giant bullfrog meat with another strip of toast between the
eggs and the salad, now take your sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and place these
next to the potato salad with a strip of toast between potato salad and the tomatoes
and cucumbers and between the tomatoes, cucumbers, and the giant bullfrog meat.
Now garnish the plate with mayonnaise and paprika and place the stuffed olives in
the center and serve real cold.
French Toasted Giant Bullfrog Meat Special
tablespoons chopped green
cups canned tomatoes, well
cup stock from canned giant
2 cups ground giant bullfrog
1 egg, slightly beaten
I level teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
French toast special
Now heat the butter, add the chopped green pepper and cook until soft, add
the I/z cup of giant bullfrog stock from can. Blend well and simmer 10 minutes. Now
add the 2 cups of ground giant bullfrog meat and beaten eggs, salt. and mustard.
Mix lightly and cook until mixture thickens, pour over prepared French toast special;
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 73
Spread slices of bread with butter and then with deviled ham. Put slices to-
gether in two's and dip them into mixture of egg and milk (2 eggs to 1 cup of milk)
and then saute the doubled slices in butter, and brown on both sides, then take one
slice of bread or one for each double sandwich you intend making and dip them in
mixture of egg and milk and then saute them in butter until brown on both sides.
Now place your double slices of French toast special on a platter and pour over them
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
Packing Frog Legs In Cans
part of your giant bullfrog mixture, then place the single pieces of French toast over
this poured mixture, then pour the rest of the giant bullfrog mixture over the :thrd
slice of French toast and serve hot.
SHIPPING LIVE FROGS
When shipping live frogs, the gig is not to be used. If any frog
is injured, or in any other way imperfect, it is best to kill and dress it
rather than ship it, at is would die in transit.
Most markets want their frogs delivered alive, so the frog raiser
would do better if he used the net or hand method of catching alto-
Holding Frogs For Shipment
You should not catch the frogs until you are ready to ship them.
Frogs that are closely confined will soon lose their fresh appearance
and get weak from lack of food. This is especially true in warm
weather. In cold weather, frogs can be held over for several days,
without much harm, but it is poor policy to catch frogs unless you are
ready to ship them right away.
74 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Slaughter "Pit"
In Europe, and occasionally in this country, frog shippers use a
deep hole in the ground, near the place where the frogs are killed and
dressed. The pit is sometimes 10 feet deep.
This pit is called the "holding" pit or "slaughter hole." On a
farm where most of the shipments are dressed, it is well to have some
ready to kill and dress, at any time, so by constructing a pit, the frogs
can be dumped into it, while awaiting the killing and dressing opera-
tions. This pit is usually about ten feet in diameter.
If water is allowed in the pit, it must be cleaned out often, other-
wise it will become foul smelling. The natural moisture in the soil
will be enough for the frogs, if not held too long. Water is not ne-
The principal value of this pit is the constant temperature, and
the natural moisture, which keep the frogs in a fresh condition. The
low temperature keeps the frogs from requiring little, if any food.
The top of the pit should be kept covered. In winter, frogs can
be kept in this pit, while getting enough ready for shipment, as the
depth of the pit is enough to prevent freezing.
Frogs Must Be Caught In Dark of Moon
In order to save patience, time and labor, confine your catching
activities to the nights that are darkest. Get acquainted with the moon
changes and be prepared to ship frogs when they are easiest to catch.
Controlled Water Supply Advantageous
In most large ponds, the water level can be lowered or raised at
will. It depends on local conditions, but normally, a low water mark
permits easier catching. It was mentioned before that shallow water
allows the frogs to catch food easier and you will usually find most
frogs near the best feeding grounds, after dark.
Boxes For Shipping Live Frogs
SHIPPING FROGS ALIvE.-In shipping frogs alive for stocking or
other purposes, they should be packed in shallow crates or boxes, in
which they should occupy not more than 50 percent of the floor space.
Free circulation of the air is necessary, and damp leaves or moss in
moderate quantity should be spread over the floor of the crate and
kept moist throughout the journey. Dealers who supply frogs for
breeding purposes use well-padded, shallow crates. A piece of burlap,
or other soft material, may be tacked in the crate, tightly stretched,
about two inches below the wooden top, to prevent injuries to the
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA
frogs as they jump and strike against the top. In winter live frogs
should be protected from freezing. As frogs take only living or mov-
ing food they cannot be fed when being held for shipment. They can
survive a considerable time without food in cold weather, but in warm,
weather, their time of greatest activity, they cannot be kept for more
than a few days without detriment.
Never ship imperfect frogs alive. It always spoils the quality of
your entire shipment. At the same time, don't try to dress a poor
Courtesy Americon Frog Canning Co.
Type of Box for Shipping Live Frogs
quality frog and get a big price for it. If a frog isn't good quality,
you should not expect to receive much for it.
Ship live frogs as soon after catching as possible. If getting good
prices, you will find it worth your time to insert a crawfish, or tadpole
in each frog's mouth, before shipping, to give it added strength for
the journey. Always feed a skinny frog anyway, but turn the weaker
frogs loose into the ponds again to fatten up.
If you are catching frogs one night and shipping them the next
morning, you can keep them in the burlap sacks overnight and until
76 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ready for boxing. Be sure to dampen the sacks, to keep the frogs fresh.
DO NOT KEEP MORE THAN TWO DOZEN IN A SACK FOR
ANY LENGTH OF TIME.
S Breeding frogs are shipped in special boxes to provide protection
from scratches and bruises.
The following shows the difference in shipping boxes for breed-
ers and for ordinary table frogs. Note that there are two partitions.
One side holds the males and the other the females.
Top of box is covered with slats, 2" wide and 1/4" apart. The
one in center is not nailed until frogs are all in the box.
Type of Box
To date, a cheap, thin, wood box has proven the best container
for shipping live frogs. Experiments are under way to permit frog
shipments to be made in combinations of burlap, wire and other
material, but have not been completed at this time.
SIZES: Thirty inches long, 18 inches wide and 6 inches high
MATERALS: Ends and middle partition 3/4" stock.
Sides and bottom 3/8" stock.
Top slats i/4" stock.
This size box will safely carry from six to eight pairs of breeders.
The sides and ends of this box are raised and extended so when
ice is placed on top of box in summer, it will not slide off. Examine
the box in which your breeders arrive, to get an actual view of this
The ends of the top slats are not nailed to the end pieces. In-
stead, there is a groove, on both end pieces, for the slats to fit in,
therefore nailed only at the middle section.
The purpose of this box is to carry frogs alive, with minimum
amount of weight from the box itself. The box must be strong, and
not weakened by water or dampness.
MATERALS: End pieces (including center partition) 1/2" stock.
Slats are about 21/2" wide. Sides, ends and bottom 3-16" stock. Slats
are 21/2" wide.
When sides, bottom and top are nailed on end center pieces,
always allow a 1/4" crack between one slat and another. This will
provide ventilation, eliminate weight and save material.
This box has no raised edges as ice is not always used on live
frogs shipped for table use. You may use ice, if you prefer, if ship-
ping in hot weather over a long distance.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 77
Packing The Frogs
BREEDERS: Bullfrog breeders are placed carefully in the box, the
females on one side, and the males on the other. After all frogs are
in the box, spread a covering of water moss, water weeds, or plain
long bladed grass over them. The water vegetation is best because it
holds water better. Put plenty of covering over the frogs, but do not
pack them tightly; the packing should be loose. Make sure that all
frogs are covered, and that they are not piled up in one corner.
Courtesy American Irog Canning Co.
First Operation in Butchering Bullfrogs
TABLE FROGS: Place the frogs in the box until the bottom is
covered. Then spread the same covering over them as with the breed-
ers. In cool weather, you can put more frogs in the box than in
When packing frogs, have the packing material "DAMP," but
not wet. Do not pour water over the frogs until the expressman has
billed them. Otherwise, you will be paying express charges on a lot
Take the "LIVE FROG" stencil and apply it on top of the box,
as well as on the sides.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
IN SUMMER: Use the "KEEP ICE ON THIS BOX" stencil and
apply iit directly under the "LIVE FROGS" printing on top of the
IN WINTER: Use the "POUR WATER IN BOX TWICE
DAILY." Apply in same manner as the "ice" stencil.
Get three (3) stencils as follows:
"POUR WATER IN BOX TWICE DAILY"
"KEEP ICE ON TOP OF THIS BOX."
KILLING: The quickest way to kill frogs is to pierce their heads
with a sharp instrument, such as a nail; then quickly cutting the head
off. To do this quickly simply drive a large nail through the edge of
your killing board, then bend up straight.
Grab a frog by its hind legs with your left hand and bring its
head down swiftly on the nail, which pierces it. Then hold the legs
Courtesy American Frog Canning Co.
tight while you make a downward stroke to cut its head off with a
sharp knife, held in the right hand.
Throw the headless frog in a tub of water, remove the head from
the nail with an upward push of the dull edge of the knife, and you
are ready for another one.
There are two methods of shipping dressed frogs. Some markets
want them with skins on, while others want them skinned.
BULLFROG FARMING IN FLORIDA 79
When skins are left on, you simply place the frogs in bundles of
one dozen each and place directly in a barrel of ice.
Frogs and ice are in layers.
Frogs with skins on are shipped in bunches of one dozen each
packed in ice.
Frogs without skins are shipped in cans with ice around the can.
In either case, it is understood the entrails are removed. When
skins are left on, the hand is inserted into the neck of the frog and
everything pulled out. Or, the frog can be cut down the belly side,
which makes it easier to get at the entrails.
The skin is always removed first, in fully dressed frogs. The
fingers are inserted between the skin and the meat, around the
shoulders, to loosen it. Then it is pulled off the frog just like a sack.
You do not cut the skin as it strips off the frog whole.
Frogs should be washed in pure cold water to remove all blood
and blood clots before packing.
Use crayon for putting name and address of person or company
on box. Ordinary paper shipping bags get wet and come off. Crayon
is unaffected by water.
If shipping to one company or individual mostly, you would save
time and labor by getting a stencil made of his name and address.
Be sure to label address correctly to avoid delay in shipment.
TELEPHONE NUMBERS: Always ascertain if your customer has
a telephone number. If so, be sure to mark it plainly on the box.
It will save from two hours to two days in getting the frogs delivered.
YOUR ADDRESS: Get a stencil of your name and address and
apply it on the side or end of box.
DEALERS IN FROGS FOR STOCKING PURPOSES, ETC.
Henry Boney ......................... ................ W auchula, Fla.
Florida Frog Farms Corp. ................. Highland City, Fla.
J. E. H arp ....................................... .... ..... W auchula, Fla.
Jumbo Bullfrog Corp. .................................... Longwood, Fla.
Gene Plowden ......................... ................ W auchula, Fla.
Southern Industries, Inc. ................................. Tampa, Fla.
The Department of Agriculture can assume no responsibility in
furnishing the foregoing addresses.
80 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
PUBLICATIONS ON FROGS
COCHRAN, DORIs M.-Our Friend, the Frog. In National Geographic
Magazine, May, 1932. (The article gives information, life his-
tory, etc., with a number of colored illustrations. Published by
National Geographic Society, 16th and M Streets, Washington,
DICKERSON, MARY C.-The Frog Book. (Gives information on habits
and life histories of frogs and toads of the northwestern States.)
Illus. $5.00. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, Page & Co. 1906.
HERRIMAN, M. W.-Commercial Frog Raising. 52 pages. Published,
1933, by the West Coast Frog Industries, No. Hollywood, Cali-
MEEHAN, WM. E.-Fish Culture in Ponds and Other Inland Waters.
(This little book contains a chapter embodying the results of the
experiments in frog culture referred to above.) New York, Stur-
gis & Walton Co., 1913. Price $1.00.
MUNZ, P. A.-A study of the food and habits of the Ithacan species of
Anura during transformation. In Pomona College Journal of
Entomology and Zoology, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1920.
RUFFNER, BENJAMIN M.-Practical Frog Raising. 80 pages. Publish-
ed January, 1933, by the Southern Frog Farms, Jennings, La.
$1.50. (Gives a summary of experiments made in frog culture,
with suggestions for practical work in pond construction, etc.)
STORER, TRACY I.-The Eastern Bullfrog in California. In California
Fish and Game, October, 1922, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 219-224. (Pub-
lished by Board of Fish and Game Commissioners, San Fran-
VIOscA, PERCY, JR.-Principles of Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) Cul-
ture. Eight pages. This, or a paper now in press, giving an ac-
count of Mr. Viosca's frog cultural experiments, may be obtained
at a very reasonable price from The Southern Biological Supply
Co., Inc., 517 Decatur Street, New Orleans, La.
WARREN, LAMAR, 106 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, Florida, has
recently published a book dealing with frog farming vocation.
WRIGHT, A. H.-Frogs. Their natural history and utilization. Ap-
pendix VI, Report U. S. Bureau of Fisheries, 1919. 44 pages,
illus. B. F. Doc. 888. OUT OF PRINT.
NOTE: Purchase Government publications direct from Superintend-
ent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.