3-month baby not eating much (or drinking); otherwise SEEMS healthy?


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Ok I'm getting a little worried...I picked this little guy up from LanceCham 3 days ago. He is only 3 months old and is extremely active (I am actually surprised by how much he likes to climb on me and won't get off my hand to go onto his tree oftentimes!). His colors are always nice and bright, except in the early morning sometimes before I turn on his heat lamp.

Also, I cannot get him to drink at all. Everytime I mist, he runs away (at a really high speed, almost recklessly!! I worry he will fall off the plant at the rate he's "running away" from the water). I am using a pressure-garden mister; it is a fine mist. I have also tried using the classic spray bottle but no luck either.

His stool on days 1 and 2 looks perfectly fine. Solid brown lump with a small white chunk next to it. However, his stool this morning did not look as good. The stool itself looks fine but the urate is white with a big blob of yellow in it.

I have a reptisun 5.0; a daylight bask lamp with a temp gradient from 90-70. I mist him multiple times a day at various intervals but he ALWAYS just runs away from the water immediately.

Also, I can't confirm if he is eating or not. On day 1 he cup fed as soon as I introduced him to it, but since then I haven't seen him eat a single cricket. I put 10 in this morning before class, and I can still count 5 in the cup and at least 3 in his enclosure, meaning he ate at MOST 2 (they could very well be hiding in the enclosure). I am dusting his food with Calcium w/o D3 daily (and plan to use +d3 and multivit once every 14 days or so.

It almost seems like he can't see the crickets...

Yesterday, he ate ~5 small (1/2" or less) crickets. Same with day 1.

In terms of behavior, he shows absolutely no negative signs and is quite active and brightly colored; I take this to be a good sign, but I still feel like he is heavily under-eating...any suggestions?

I currently free-range him during the day and have a 5.5 gal tank (8"x10"x16") I put him in at night. I know this is too small for him; it is only for 3 more days until I can get my mesh reptarium out of storage. He *clearly* does not like the tank though; he is often dark inside and immediately brightens up when I take him out, even when the temperatures are ok. Can this be a cause of him not eating?

Perhaps I should feed him something other than crickets...? Any advice appreciated; I hope I'm not being overly concerned :p

EDIT: Here's the "general help info" in more compact form:

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Owned him for 3 days. He is 3 months old from LanceChem (son of AmazeJrJr)
Handling - Often/daily; he seems to love it
Feeding - 1/4-1/2" crickets; fed Flukers Cricket Diet as well as fresh veggies. I put 7-8 crickets in his enclosure in the early morning (I begin free-ranging him around 11-12). I also place 2-3 crickets in a cup on his ficus, but so far he hasn't taken any and I just have random escapees around...
Supplements - RepCal Calcium. I've only had him 3 days so I havent used +D3 or MultiVit yet (figure I do that ~14days)
Watering - I mist using a pressurized garden mister several times a day (5-10); I have also tried using larger-droplets via a standard bottle sprayer. He always runs away; have yet to see him even remotely enjoy it.
Fecal Description - Solid brown with a white bit until today; todays had an orange blob in the white part.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Free-range ficus on my desk throughout the day; 5.5 gal (TEMPORARY) enclosure at night when I sleep.
Lighting - 18" reptisun 5.0; 75W heat bulb
Temperature - 70-90 during the day, 65-75 at night
Humidity - Haven't recieved my probe yet, but I mist several times a day at various intervals; I also thoroughly mist the 5.5gal tank before I put him in it at night and again in the morning.
Plants - Free-range: Large Ficus; Inside enclosure: Small Hibiscus
Placement - On my computer desk; very low traffic area.
Location - Orange County, California (southern cali)




This last picture is right when I got him home on day 1. Its only been a few days but he is developing some colors quickly!
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He's probably still stressed from his move and the new territory. Also, the switches between the tank and the free range are also a bit confusing for him. He may feel very exposed and vulnerable in a free range at this young age. Those "bright colors" are actually signs of stress. A calm content cham will not be so bright.

I would give him the screen cage, lots of bushy plants for cover, and stop changing things around once it is set up. Also, don't overwhelm him with too many feeders. Little chams can just sit mesmerized by all the movement and can't isolate one to shoot at.

As for drinking, check with the breeder...how did he offer water to his babies? Chams can be fussy about how they drink. When you spray, don't spray him, spray the foliage around him (maybe there isn't enough, so he feels he isn't hidden) with warm water...if you put fairly hot water in the sprayer the droplets will cool before they hit the cage. Cool water ends up cold which no one wants to be hit with.
Thx for the reply Carlton. He isn't blushing, just a good tone (not dark).

As for the free-range, its only 1 plant so its not exactly like he has a ton of room (just a large ficus in a tall enough pot that he doesnt' crawl down). He mostly hangs out near the top (but not very top) and just goes to the hot/cool sides on and off. The main reason I am keeping him on the ficus is that he HATES the tank. He is always black inside it and lightens up the instant I bring him out, and he seems to constantly climb to the top and keep trying to push up against it; he sleeps snug against the top. Granted the cage situation will be dealt with in a few days, but just in general the way he has been acting on the ficus I find it difficult for him to be stressing on it.

What I mean is, when I put him in the tank he shows that he doesn't like it very quickly (coloration, movement, etc). On the tree, he acts completely differently (calm, explorative, good color)

He has never hissed at me or shown any defensive/aggressive behavior except for one hiss right when I got him. I don't know what you mean about the too much movement though, the crickets barely move....but even if I present 1 at a time he still doesn't eat them. I am assuming he is eating the ones in his cage at this point as I just looked through it and found only 3 corpses but I have put in at least 15 crickets by now. I can only hope...but still not sure on the water.
I agree with Carlton. It isn't uncommon for them to not eat for a few days as he adjusts to his new environment. You are making it a little confusing for him by the switching where he stays during the course of the day.
If he is pooping, he is eating. I am sure he is drinking as the pictures don't show any signs of dehydration. I am sure he is drinking when you are not around.
My misters go on 4 times a day for a few minutes each time.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
haha yea :D which one? I got way too many email responses on that CL ad!

@Lance: Thanks for the reassurance. I think I am just being overly paranoid, I have already become so attached! I realize the moving thing can confuse him but he *clearly* dislikes that tank and I have no other housing until I can get into my storage unit on Sunday. He seems generally happy on the ficus and I try to minimize the time I put him in the tank (basically only for about 5 hours a night while I sleep until my girlfriend wakes up).
I agree with the rest. Get him his new cage ASAP and stop messing with him! The half inch crix might be too big for him. Maybe not. Not all animals take to cup feeding. I would suggest free ranging the crix once you get his cage set up. As was said, he may not want to drink because he does not feel secure or something is watching him or he could do it when the big bad predator is not watching. Get the new cage, let him settle in, as hard as it may be stop handling him.
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