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Toad meal


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Toad meal, raw toads, cooked toads, uncooked toads


In areas where toads are abundant, toad meal could be a viable alternative source of protein to replace other animal protein sources. Toad meal from Bufonidae species have been tested in poultry and African catfish, with variable success.

Nutritional aspects
Potential constraints 

Consumption of some toads, frogs and their tadpoles is potentially harmful due to the presence of alkaloid toxins concentrated in the skin and other parts of the animal. These alkaloids have been sequestered and retained from dietary sources (such as arthropods) during the life cycle of the toad (Sogbesan et al., 2007; Daly et al., 2002). Treatments such as boiling, skinning and oven-drying have been proposed to decrease toxicity (Basuel, 1983; Bekibele et al., 1995).


In the Philippines, meals that were prepared from skinned, unskinned, cooked or uncooked cane toads (Bufo marinus) performed similarly to fish meal when fed to broilers. It was concluded that these processed toad meals could entirely replace the conventional fish meal in the diets (Basuel, 1983). No differences in performance were observed when toad meal was fed at 5, 10 or 15% of broiler diets (Aradanas et al., 1989).

In Nigeria, toad meal prepared from eviscerated toads (species unknown, probably Bufonidae), smoked-dried at 40°C for 3 days, crushed and milled, was fed to young broilers at 0%, 5% or 10%. Cost-benefit analysis showed that it could be included in the diets of young broiler chicks up to 10% with improved results. No evidence of any toxicity or poisoning was observed but any effects on prolonged feeding needs to be evaluated (Esonu, 2002).


African catfish (Clarias gariepinus and Clarias lazera)

Clarias lazera fed diets containing between 10 and 40% toad meal (Bufo sp.) all produced similar growth rates and feed conversion ratios (Annune, 1990). However, Clarias gariepinus gave an inferior outcome when toad meal was compared to fish, frog and tadpole meals. This was related to poor protein digestibility (Fagbenro et al., 1993). In a later trial, toad meal (Amietophrynus regularis), prepared by oven-drying at 103°C, replaced up to 100% of the fish meal (59% of the diet) and maintained performance (growth, feed intake, survival) without detrimental effects. Possibly, the higher processing temperature inactivated skin poisons (Bekibele et al., 1995).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 93.5 92.4 94.6 2
Crude protein % DM 54.7 7.8 45.7 59.3 3
Crude fibre % DM 3.6 1.5 5.6 2
Ether extract % DM 10.2 1.4 8.7 11.5 3
Ash % DM 16.5 3.3 12.7 18.5 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 21.9 1
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.1 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 3.8 1
Potassium g/kg DM 2.4 1
Sodium g/kg DM 1.9 1
Magnesium g/kg DM 0.2 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 17 1
Iron mg/kg DM 11 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Bekibele et al., 1995; Esonu, 2002; Ojewola et al., 2005

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:45:44

Datasheet citation 

Tran G., 2015. Toad meal. Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://feedipedia.org/node/667 Last updated on June 4, 2015, 10:25

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)
Image credits