~3 mo old hardly eating

ashley029

New Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - RBBB cham, around 3-4 mo old. I've had him for two weeks.
Handling - He does not like to be handled, I will handle him to move him to another plant to clean his cage
Feeding - Feeding crickets, have tried mealworms
Supplements - Repashy
Watering - Spray bottle 3-4x day. yes he drinks quite often.
Fecal Description - Black with a white tip? He does poop regularly, for not eating
History - No

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Screen, 18x18x20
Lighting - Regular incandescent, 40w bulb, 12hr day. Also a 5.0 Reptisun fluorescent light, the long one not the compact/bulb one.
Temperature - The 40w bulb gives off around 80 at top, around 82-83 basking. He did have a 60w bulb but that was giving near 90at top and near `100 at basking! The 40w seems to keep around 80 which I read is good for a juvenile chameleon. Our house temp is always 75.
Humidity - Humidity is always 60-70. It's humid where we are and spraying gets it up to 70.
Plants - It's live. It's chameleon safe based on this forums list, however I forgot the name!
Placement - It's probably 4 feet off the ground, in the dining room near 2 windows. Not near vents. Not very high traffic, around 4x day it has traffic.
Location - Virginia

Current Problem - When I got him from the breeder, he immediately ate 8 or so crickets. The next day he ate more crickets but since then he will eat maybe two or three every 2 days for the first week, but this week he has hardly ate anything at all. Initially I had more plants in his cage, but switched to just the one with a lot of climbing sticks because less seems to be more with juvenile chams so they can hunt. I added a feeder from the advice of people in the feeding forum b ut will still put a few free roaming crickets. He will not eat out of the feeder although he does look in it and will not eat free roaming either.
Yesterday I put him outside on a hibiscus plant I got for him. He was part sun part shade but stayed in the sun. It was around 89 outside and the second he got out there he ate a fly, then another, then one more but spit it out. So I put a worm on the plant and he ate it. I know it's not good for them to eat flies, but I put him outside thinking the sunlight would maybe make him eat when he got back in his cage? I was desperate to make him eat.
I am really at a loss as to how to get him to eat I have tried everything I can think of. The crickets are the exact size the breeder was using. He is still very active, but I don't understand why he won't eat because I've heard that chameleons eat very well especially young ones.
I do have bearded dragons that have only done this when they were young and molting, however this cham does not look to me to be molting.
 

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panther67

Established Member
I usually will keep their basking a little warmer than what you have it at. Between 85-88 for that age. I would add some more branches and def some foliage, plastic plants and maybe some of the Zoomed vines. At that age they can extremely stressed by you and the foliage everywhere can make them more comfortable and feel like they have more escape routes. Always use a good and proven Gutload.
 

ashley029

New Member
Okay, so maybe put the 60w back in there? Or look for a 50w if they make those?
I had a hibiscus plant in there that is pretty large, I took it out becasue my husband and I thought that was the issue after seeing many other cham cages that were really simple with only one plant and a lot of sticks. You would have to look around 1 min just to find him with the other plant in there, we thought it was making it too hard to hunt. He wasn't eating with all the plants in there, I thought taking out the large plant would cause him to eat.
I use bug burger, I heard about it on this website while researching.
 

Video Master

New Member
From the looks of the enclosure, I don't think he is getting near enough UVB. That light is way too far away from him. A UVB light will lose half of itself going through a screen. I would suggest getting more branches up near the UVB or switching to an Arcadia 6% in the T5-HO format. That will penetrate the cage better and provide him the UVB that he needs.
 

ashley029

New Member
The reason i bought the Reptisun is because I read that was the only one that anyone should buy for a cham. My husband actually came home with the Acadia you mentioned, but I took it back b/c I read you must have that UVB style bulb. Everything for chams is so contradictory it gets to be incredibly confusing.
 
I usually will keep their basking a little warmer than what you have it at. Between 85-88 for that age. I would add some more branches and def some foliage, plastic plants and maybe some of the Zoomed vines. At that age they can extremely stressed by you and the foliage everywhere can make them more comfortable and feel like they have more escape routes. Always use a good and proven Gutload.


I fully agree- the Cham needs more foliage, if you live by a Fred Meyers you can pick up a very thick healthy schefflera for around 12$
Just be sure to take it out of the cheap plastic pot and use organic potting soil, you can add in worm castings too which will help the plant thrive. For food use a 5-1-1 organic fish fertilizer for food, this can be found at nearly any hardware store.

Also LLLREPTILE offers very inexpensive vines either in 6-7 ft lengths or there is an option to buy 50ft for around 40$
Which sounds excessive but you can wrap the vine around itself and double the width and just place it in the cage how you wish and it will be sturdy enough to support even an adult Cham
 

ashley029

New Member
Olivia, I don't have that store near me but I will look for some vines.

This is my only question.. I once had a lot of plants in there like a large hibiscus plus the plant that is in there now with plenty of sticks, it was very dense it was hard to find him. And he still was not eating so I read that young chams need less so they can hunt. I just don't feel like the vines will help because having more plants in there did not help. Am I wrong because vines are different or something?
 

Video Master

New Member
The reason i bought the Reptisun is because I read that was the only one that anyone should buy for a cham. My husband actually came home with the Acadia you mentioned, but I took it back b/c I read you must have that UVB style bulb. Everything for chams is so contradictory it gets to be incredibly confusing.

The Arcadia if purchased the correct one is a UVB bulb as it will say on the package. The Arcadia only needs to be changed 1 time a year versus the Reptisun which needs to be changed every 6 months. The T5-HO is a much brighter and better bulb then the T8 Reptisun bulbs. It puts out much stronger UVB for the chameleon. Check out www.lightyourreptiles.com. This is the product I bought from him. It has the UVB light and also a really good plant light. http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/24hot5dobufi.html
 

ashley029

New Member
OK so he is only eating flies. That is literally all he will eat if I put him outside he gobbles them down. I am buying small crickets at the store and small mealworms but he is only eating flies? is the other food too large?
 

Video Master

New Member
No, my 3 month old male panther is eating small to medium crickets no problems. The prey can't be any wider or taller than the space between the chameleons eyes. It can be longer though without a problem.
 

ashley029

New Member
The smalls at the reptile store are near as big as the space between his eyes, if you are including legs then they are most definitely wider. some were what I would consider almost larges. What are pinheads? Are those really tiny crickets? Breeder said he was feeding 1/4 to 1/2 size crickets I assumed those were smalls b/c all the store sells are small and large.
 

Bubby

New Member
You should get more leaves in there so he can hide. And if he poops a lot then that means he is eating
 

Video Master

New Member
The smalls at the reptile store are near as big as the space between his eyes, if you are including legs then they are most definitely wider. some were what I would consider almost larges. What are pinheads? Are those really tiny crickets? Breeder said he was feeding 1/4 to 1/2 size crickets I assumed those were smalls b/c all the store sells are small and large.

1/4 to 1/2 would be smalls in that case. You could order them online and get a better size. Most places like Petco and Petsmart only have Large and Small, but I am not a fan of those stores. The store near me that I go to offers 5 sizes. From smallest to largest is:

Pinhead
X-Small
Small
Medium
Large
 
Olivia, I don't have that store near me but I will look for some vines.

This is my only question.. I once had a lot of plants in there like a large hibiscus plus the plant that is in there now with plenty of sticks, it was very dense it was hard to find him. And he still was not eating so I read that young chams need less so they can hunt. I just don't feel like the vines will help because having more plants in there did not help. Am I wrong because vines are different or something?

you can purchase an umbrella plant and prune it back a little bit. They will have trouble hunting at that age in most enclosures, thats why most people will cup feed or hand feed. I do that the first month until they have gotten used to the cup feeding, then i move to inside of the enclosure and let them watch me place the food in it. i usually have a stick placed in there so they can climb in and out as well. Make it a routine so they know where the food is, after they have had 2 sheds and are bigger i take the cup away and let the feeders free roam which by then isnt an issue because they will be big enough and know the enclosure well enough.

its best to have more foliage so they can roam easily, have more leaves to drink from, and it helps humidity.

where are you located? i can probably help you find a place that would offer that plant
 

panther67

Established Member
Is he defecating?? Is so how does it look maybe post a pic.

Are you freeranging or trying to cup feed?

Try putting in maybe 8-10 and then count the remainders at the end of the day. If they are on the large spectrum for his size he may only eat a few. I like to offer sizes that are a little smaller than what most would for the same size Cham. Sometimes these guys can be little buggers.
 

TIMMYBOY

New Member
Flies

Hey, I have a 4 month female vieled Cham and was going thru the same prob she will not eat anything else but flies and she is doing well...no crix or worms ...she didn't eat for a week before I figured out the fly thing.....so now I started breeding my own flies in some tubberware on the deck....gotta keep lil Nahla alive and don't care wat anyone says ....but the info on this forum is priceless...we can get each other thru most issues ....later
 

TIMMYBOY

New Member
Setup

There a tinitiny lil Cham in there
A nice ficus with beddable flukers vines and some branches...she feels nice and safe...
 

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Saldarya

Established Member
Ideally you want Cham to learn to cup feed so you can track how much they are eating.

It may be that the crickets you are feeding are to large and she knows that she cannot eat them.

You may want to consider ordering some 2 week old crickets from an online vendor in bulk, say 1000. You can feed her more, and they will grow as she grows ( to an extent).

You want to get a feeder cup in the cages (search on here as to different types) and then place a few of the small crickets loose in her cage so she can hunt. Once you see that she is interested in the small crickets, then teh next day, offer a few free ranged, and a few in the cup. Repeat this daily until she discovers and eats the ones in the cup (wont take long).

At that point it is clear sailing.

Don't be concerned about to much foliage in the cage for the 3 month old. You want them to feel secure at this stage. The goal for them is that you CANNOT see them!! ;)

You might find that as she feels more secure, she is more apt to be a more aggressive feeder.

As has been mentioned, get some height on the foliage, at least on one side of the cage.

Bobby
 
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