The American Journal of Sciences and Arts, published under the auspices of one Professor Silliman during the 1840s, once made this remarkable observation about a novel agricultural application for a live frog:
"I once knew a farmer, if the weather was hot and his oxen disposed to loll, as is not uncommon when much heated, who would send his plough-boy to the nearest brook to collect frogs, and on his return with them the farmer would open the mouth of an ox, and let one or two live frogs leap down, and it served always to cool the ox in a moment, so that he could immediately resume his ploughing without the danger of overheating the ox. I mention this fact here merely with the hope that it may be useful to farmers as a means of preserving their oxen from a surfeit of overheating."
The author of this astonishing bit of agricultural wisdom was the Reverend James H. Lindsley, and it was conveyed as part of a catalogue of the reptiles of Connecticut that he presented to the Yale Natural History Society. While it would be news indeed to find amphibeans grouped with reptiles under modern scientific nomenclature, it would be odder still to find other proponants of feeding live frogs to livestock and indeed I have never heard of any. One wonders why the oxen were not merely led to the water from which the frogs came. It is my understanding that ample drinking water is essential for animals to avoid heat stress. But then, I am not an old farmer, and the state of agronimy has progresses considerably since the 1840s.
Though it must be said that I do know of a dairy farmer, not far from here, who once fed his herd an entire container truck of condemned Twinkies. Apparently this sort of thing is encouraged :
"Due to the high price of grains (corn, barley, etc.), any opportunity to feed cows energy and avoid these grains would be beneficial. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, this includes the use of potato waste, where in some instances cows can be finished on a potato-based diet absent of grain. “With the growing ethanol industry, biodiesel industry, and use of waste cooking oils, it is likely that by-products from these industries may provide a lot of energy at a reduced cost vs. traditional grains,” Ahola notes.
In the Northeast, Mike Baker, PhD, PAS, Cornell University, says there is access to bakery and other food processing byproducts such as sweet corn silage, beets, carrots, bagels and pastries. “The most economical feed will be refusals from the milking herd as well as mildly spoiled silages that are separated from the main ration,” Baker suggests. “Any economical energy sources can work.”
I say slip 'em a crunchy frog or two and see what happens.