Why am I killing pac man frogs?

In the last months I have been unwittingly transformed into a serial killer of pac man frogs, also known as Cranwell’s horned frogs, scientific name Ceratophrys cranwelli. I have managed to kill three, and the fourth current one isn’t in its best state. Yes, I manage to kill that frog which is a synonym for tenacity and hardiness.
I am killing them because I am trying to make them eat a lot and grow to a big size quickly. My first frog grew normally, and because I didn’t know at first how large a meal he could it, I wasn’t confident to force-feed him. He grew well, passed through a hibernation, proved to be a male afterwards, and then something bad happened. I got a large mouse for him, and because he didn’t wanted it, I force-fed him and broke his jaw. Then I couldn’t do anything, and just passed him through an estivation to sort out his own problems. After two months that he woke up, the bone had set again, leaving only a small bump. A month later, I gave him a mouse the snake had refused, although he was carrying food and feces in his belly. At that time, he was too accustomed to get food from me, that he would not hunt on his own. The days he would spring from within the soil and catch everything were gone sadly. Anyway the frog didn’t accept it, I fed it to him again, and he choked on it.
The same happened with my other subsequent pac man frogs. Now I was giving them food based on the proportions an adult would take, and they had difficulty eating it. I didn’t let them get hungry enough to catch their own food. Both choked to death. The first was a light colored specimen with light browns and greens, and the second a vividly green frog, with a little brown. The current one is a beautiful mostly brown young specimen that underwent the same treatment, just to be sure that he would be able to eat the size of insects and inverts I have to offer. His willingness to open his mouth to everything tempts me also to force-feed. His belly was already full, so he had problem swallowing the new prey item. Today he is still alive, but I am leaving him for two more days undisturbed to monitor his progress.
In this case, their instincts work against them. These animals are incredibly stupid, you must have one in order to realize how stupid they could be. It is a myth though that they cannot spit a very large item out. They can perfectly do it, but if you insist on feeding it to them, they will finally try to swallow it. And here is the time their instincts work against them. When they swallow, they shut their mouth and try to push whatever further back. If you open their mouth at this stage, either to help them swallow or remove the mouthful or add another food, they just clamp down on your finger continuously, preventing you of helping them. They clamp down so hard, that they deform their lower jaw. The current frog clamped down on his own tongue without realizing anything. I am worried he will have some damage, although his tongue seemed normal today. They just cannot understand that the thing they are trying to do is impossible. So the mouthful stays for a lot of time in their mouth, blocks their airway, then they get less and less oxygen, their lungs and body collapse, they loose the strength to either swallow or spit the mouthful out, start releasing urine, their eyelids fall, they go limp, loose the ability to right themselves and can even die. At this stage, if you try to push the mouthful back to help them, they might regurgitate material from their not empty stomachs and make the situation worse. Then they usually die. And you notice it the next day, when they start to smell rotting.

If my current frog dies, I don’t know what to do. I am overdoing it because I don’t trust their own instincts. I believe that they eat to little on their own and cannot grow. My first frog was acquired at spring, where the natural improving of the weather helped him, while the current frogs are supported with a heat pad, which creates uneven temperature and humidity gradients in the soil. If I am not careful enough with humidity, the frogs will start to cocoon. I am going to leave them to cocoon eventually, but before that they must grow. What should I do? Should I feed less?

I think you should stop trying to raise Pac-Man Frogs. Or, really, any other living thing given what you posted…

I have plenty of other animals, I have bred animals, I have animals for years, mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, only pac man frogs have this problem. The problem is that they are capable of eating insane amounts and I haven’t figured out yet how much is fine and how much is too much. If I leave them unfed, I fear they will lose growing time. Also I think they are too primitive and stupid to feel anything, yu know. That is the reason I make them pass through force-feeding procedures so often.

So what if they lose growing time?

I fear they will remain stunted. Like an adult of 7 cm or less. I have read cases where they just stopped eating for no apparent reason and stayed in the soil with temperature and humidity right. In some circumstances of less than suitable environmental conditions they can make a cocoon and hibernate, this is bnormal, but else going off food for unpredictable times seems abnormal.

What is your reason for wanting them to grow? You planning on eating them or selling them by the pound?

Here’s a thought, they probably know how to eat without dying and/or injuring themselves a lot better than you know how to forced feed them without killing and/or injuring them. SO STOP FORCED FEEDING THEM!

So what if they do?

If your current frog dies, don’t get any more.

All the other pac man frogs will make fun of them, duh.

Oh yeah, and top force feeding animals. Duh.

I want them to reach record size and be able to consume very large prey. My first frog was a male and grew up to 11 cm, not a record size as he was a male, but still pretty impressive. I killed him because I didn’t want to waste the rodent. The other were killed in an attempt to promote their growth. All of my frogs were actively growing, in contrast of those still remaining in the store I bought them, which grow slowly. This store cares well for its animals, just I am under the impression that they try to cut down on feeding costs for commoner species. I will update you on the progress of the current frog.

But why? If I force fed my dog (not likely to happen, he’s like Wile E. Coyote, eatius everythingus), I’d be up on animal cruelty charges.

Moderator Action

It seems to me that the OP needs advice on a lot of things, more than just factual information on how to keep frogs alive. Let’s move this to IMHO for froggie medical/caring advice and other advice pertinent to the OP.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

By the way, if anyone knows the legalities involved here (i.e. does this actually violate animal cruelty laws) please post the appropriate info to the thread.

He gives his location as Greece, so the laws there would apply.

It’s clear that your priorities are fucked. Are you force feeding them in order to produce froggie paté? You say you’re not trying to kill them, but that seems to be the only thing you’re succeeding at.

Did your parents force feed you as a child? Did they break your jaw? Did they try to kill you because they didn’t want to waste the food? Were you too primitive and stupid to feel anything? Did you cocoon? Inquiring minds want to know.

I think the OP should [del]maybe[/del] stick to raising pet rocks, and leave the living breathing, eating-when-damn-good-and-ready living creatures alone.

No, I don’t want to force-feed them in order to eat them later. I just want to have a large frog that will live a very long life, because it is capable of living very long. It seems that many people lose these frogs prematurely for the wrong reasons and I wanted to make it break the record on longevity as well. And no, no one force-fed me. Although my parents believe that if I had children, I would force-feed all of them until they get fat. On the other hand, I believe that I would have done good work by force-feeding prisoners in Guantanamo. Force-feeding is no good, but sometimes you get extra-worried about an animal and feed it more.
That part about me cocooning made me laugh. No, cocooning isn’t a tortured method or whatever. It is a response of some arid-living frogs to cold or dry conditions. They create a cocoon of skin around themselves and lie dormant until rain comes. An adult pac man frog can be kept at this state for 4 months or more, and that is necessary for reproduction.

Anyway my current frog died as well. I am not going to buy anymore in the short-term, although with a ready tank and food available that is difficult to implement. Probably I must first remove these items so to make it difficult to get another frog again. Also I would have trouble explaining to the store owner that I need another frog. Until now, he believs that I am for a grandiose breeding project. The only death he knows is the death of the first adult frog.

The fact that you assume the pet store guy would think something was very strange about so many frogs dying should really tell you something, shouldn’t it? About YOU and your amphibian husbandry methods, I mean.

It seems to me that force feeding frogs for longevity by breaking their jaws and making them choke to death is a self-negating way to go about it. Please don’t get any more frogs.

Ya sure not the Pit?