4 yr old veiled chameleon eating issues

Vested

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, Male, right around 4 years old, had him since he was a few months old.
  • Handling - Weekly, he'll usually come to the screen trying to get out and I take him out to let him sit in the window and look outside (which he seems to enjoy very much)
  • Feeding - Dubia roaches (no adults only ones still without hard shell), crickets, horn worms, the crickets and dubias eat a mix of carrots, squash, cucumber, potatoes, celery, apples, etc. and I feed the horn worms with the stuff in the bottom of the container (peanut butter looking mixture) I'll just put fresh veggies/fruits in when they've eaten everything or the food gets old.
  • Supplements - ZooMed repti calcium, national geographic reptile calcium supplement powder, national geographic reptile multivitamin supplement powder, I try to dust the repti calcium from zoo med every feeding and the multivitamin at least once a week the other supplement I dont really use unless I think hes not getting enough d3 because this supplement has a lot of it.
  • Watering - I use a climist misting system, and a dripper system i made myself that turns on at the same time so he has the option from mist or dripping (also to water the pothos plant), ill turn it on everyday for different periods of time depending on how he is receiving the water (sometimes hes just obviously not in the mood to drink) I see him drinking most of the time.
  • Fecal Description - Normal poop from pictures I've seen, dont have any fresh poop to look at right now so hard to describe lmao he hasn't been pooping very often recently though from what i can see, haven't seen a poop for at least 3 days. He has never been tested for parasites.
  • History - a year ago now I made a huge mistake with a heat bulb that was way to hot and burned the top of his head, treated it with silvex and neosporin healed as well as It can, havent had any issues obvious issues from that.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Largest reptibreeze i believe 2ftx2ftx4ft
  • Lighting - ubv: zilla slimeline tropical fixture with a 18 inch 15 watt 25 uvb t8 fluorescent bulb heating: 50 watt normal heating bulb about 7-12inches from nearest branch
  • Temperature - cage range between 70-90 f I dont think it gets colder then 70 degrees overnight i do have a fan running all the time in the room though so with a breeze that could make it slightly lower
  • Humidity - humidity between 40-50 on the gauge i have i measure both that and temperature with the same one just a cheap plastic zoomed thermostat
  • Plants - Just one very large pothos (can see in picture)
  • Placement - The cage is in my room, im in here all the time on my computer and have a fan runnning 24/7 (not on highest setting just a slight breeze not directed at the cage) the top of the cage is 83 inches from the floor.
  • Location - US, Colorado
Issue Description:
Hello! Hopefully I am doing this right feel free to let me know if there is anything else information wise that you need to help me, I attached a picture of the cage and feeding methods I use. So Chamo is about 4 years old now and id say for the past 4 months it has been such a struggle to get him to eat, it started after I fed him only horn worms for a good 2 weeks and then the only thing he wanted to eat was horn worms. I thought this was kind of normal and him being a bit of a brat haha, but it did worry me and since then hes gone on multiple hunger strikes for 3-5 days and inbetween will only eat 1 large dubia roach (roaches are right before adult stage) every other day (sometimes everyday) but again whenever I offer some horn worms he has no problem eating multiple large worms everyday. I remember he used to eat a few large roaches a day a year ago, so I don't know maybe its normal to only eat one large roach every other day now at his age? Personally seems like its not enough though, and another issue is that I haven't been putting the vitamin powder on said feeders nearly as much because it seems like then he 100% wont eat the roach. Now to actually feed him I have a cut out jug thing (see in picture) that I always keep feeders in if he wants to eat out of it, he RARELY actually eats out of that jug though and will only eat out of a green cup that I have to hold below him (im fine with this method btw just letting u know incase it helps). TDLR: is it normal for a 4 year old veiled chameleon to only eat 1 large roach every other day, what are some methods I can try to avoid hunger strikes, and what are some signs of an underweight veiled chameleon?
 

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Vested

New Member
Looks like he just pooped to add a little update to this, his urate is actually very orange which I know signals not enough water could this be a cause? Going to start leaving water on for much longer now
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
Looks like he just pooped to add a little update to this, his urate is actually very orange which I know signals not enough water could this be a cause? Going to start leaving water on for much longer now


So longer watering will likely help. Sometimes they take a bit to drink.

Can you give a front pic?

My guess is he is fat. It is common. It will show in cask and cheeks. 4 days of not eating is no big deal, especially if older Cham. I only feed every other day. Amount can vary do to temp and activity, so an exact amount is tough to say exact feed amount.

Do you weigh him?

Uvb seems low.
 

Vested

New Member
And to answer your other questions, I've never weighed him don't have a scale if you have any cheap recommendations I'll look into it (I also have a turtle so could be useful for her as well) and with UVB same thing the readings on the box say at 12" up to 25 Microwatts UVB and UVI index 1- 3 at 12" you think I should aim higher?

edit: theres a desert version of the bulb from zilla that is double the output, that would be around 3-6 uvi index should I replace the current bulb with this?
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
And to answer your other questions, I've never weighed him don't have a scale if you have any cheap recommendations I'll look into it (I also have a turtle so could be useful for her as well) and with UVB same thing the readings on the box say at 12" up to 25 Microwatts UVB and UVI index 1- 3 at 12" you think I should aim higher?

edit: theres a desert version of the bulb from zilla that is double the output, that would be around 3-6 uvi index should I replace the current bulb with this?

So the UVB D3 relationship is a mysterious magic only wizards know.

I see no signs of MBD I am not going to suggest a change against what is working.

Now the food. yep he fat, that is why he can be picky.

Scale supper cheap. $13
13F71FA6-E067-44ED-B841-4BCD29211FBF.jpeg


Just reduce diet to 1-2 crickets per 3 to 4 days,

Weight is relative to length, but you are probably looking at 120g to 180g for healthy range

Once weight is good 1 to 2 cricket sized meals every other day.
 

Vested

New Member
So the UVB D3 relationship is a mysterious magic only wizards know.

I see no signs of MBD I am not going to suggest a change against what is working.

Now the food. yep he fat, that is why he can be picky.

Scale supper cheap. $13
View attachment 264669


Just reduce diet to 1-2 crickets per 3 to 4 days,

Weight is relative to length, but you are probably looking at 120g to 180g for healthy range

Once weight is good 1 to 2 cricket sized meals every other day.
Thank you so much for the info! Just ordered a scale should be here in a few days and ill double check how close he is to that range, very happy to hear hes not starving lmao
 
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Vested

New Member
@CasqueAbove Just weighed him and hes 169 grams, he hasnt eaten in a few days though but it is in that healthy range? Lemme know what you think I should do from here
 

Vested

New Member
Use look quite healthy..and not thin at all.
Maybe you could entice him to eat with a different selection of insects for a change...BSFL, silkworms, etc?
He loves hornworms so i think silkworms are definatly worth a shot, do u have any recommendations for where to order them?
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
@CasqueAbove Just weighed him and hes 169 grams, he hasnt eaten in a few days though but it is in that healthy range? Lemme know what you think I should do from here

I would say that is a good weight. And like @kinyonga says try different feeders.
Weight is good so no big deal if he doesn’t eat every time. Now that you a weighing you can track and adjust.
If you do it every 2 weeks you will notice change if there’s a problem. Like weight loss even though eating.
 

Vested

New Member
I would say that is a good weight. And like @kinyonga says try different feeders.
Weight is good so no big deal if he doesn’t eat every time. Now that you a weighing you can track and adjust.
If you do it every 2 weeks you will notice change if there’s a problem. Like weight loss even though eating.
Sweet, thanks again I agree I'm going to try silkworms and start weighing him every couple weeks.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
He loves hornworms so i think silkworms are definatly worth a shot, do u have any recommendations for where to order them?
Check out the site sponsors for silkworms. Just try not to order the small sized ones...you’ll have to wait for them to grow. If you can overcome any ickyness you have about roaches, dubia and discoid are really great feeders and very easy to breed yourself.
 

Vested

New Member
Check out the site sponsors for silkworms. Just try not to order the small sized ones...you’ll have to wait for them to grow. If you can overcome any ickyness you have about roaches, dubia and discoid are really great feeders and very easy to breed yourself.
His staple has been dubias for a few years now, I breed them already got over that awhile ago haha issue is how he isn't enjoying them as much anymore I will try silk worms for the first time with him though soon! ~will check those sponsors
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
His staple has been dubias for a few years now, I breed them already got over that awhile ago haha issue is how he isn't enjoying them as much anymore I will try silk worms for the first time with him though soon! ~will check those sponsors
Yup! You did mention dubia & I missed it somehow. He should love the silkies.
 
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