How do I take care of baby toads? Why are they all dying?

“Hi. I have baby toads I was wondering the best way to care for them? I been feeding them pinhead crickets but seem to be dying off. Please help!”

Baby toads can be tricky to keep because of their tiny size. Several things are especially important:

  • Food. They need a lot of it and at the start it needs to be tiny.
  • Moisture. Small frogs and toads are prone to desiccate. Keep it moist, but not wet.
  • Enclosure size. In a big tank, the baby toads may have trouble finding food.

Try keeping them in a small enclosure with a substrate of moist paper towels or leaf litter. Feed them flightless fruit flies or pinhead crickets daily. Provide a shallow water dish for soaking at night, such as the lid of a plastic container or jar. And last but not least, ensure the temperature stays within a suitable range (depends on the species, but probably anywhere in low to mid the 70’s is okay).

“Hello again, I sent you email about a week ago, you were very helpful with my baby toad…I have another question to ask, I’m doing everything right like you said to do. What would cause them to die? Please if you can help let me know.”

Many things, but my first thoughts relate to diet and moisture. If the crickets were too large or there were not enough readily available that would do it. Try collecting handfuls of moist leaf litter from the area the toads were collected. Adding a handful or two a day to the enclosure could possibly help provide the abundance of tiny toad food they need.

Moisture. Keep it damp. Mist the cage with water as often as needed to keep the substrate from going dry. You don’t want to flood the cage, if there are standing pools of water it is too wet, but speaking from experience tiny amphibians desiccate very easily and if the cage is not humid and the substrate moist you can lose them fast.

Good luck.

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