6 Week Veiled Questions

steveo

New Member
I just purchased a 6 week old veiled cham (photos attached).

This is my current set up:
Fresh Air Screen Habitat 18 x 12 x 20 http://www.zilla-rules.com/products/fresh-air-screen-habitat.htm

Little Dripper drip setup (http://www.zoomed.com/html/drippers.php
-dripping about 1 drip/5 seconds all day.

Reptisun 5.0 18'' UVB Fluorescent bulb.
http://www.zoomed.com/html/fluorescent_lamps.php

Exo-Terra Heat Glo 75 Watt Infrared heat lamp
http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/heat_glo_lighting.php

Mutliple fake plants

A live ficus plant, which the dripper feeds into.

no substrate on bottom.


We are attempting to feed it small crickets Calanpro Reptile TriCal (Triple-Calcium, fortified with Vitamin D3 ingredients: calcium carbonate, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, cholecalciferol (d3), available calcium by weight 35.85%) , cricket size was recommended by local breeder.

We have put a couple crickets in the cage but it does not seem to be eating. I tried placing a cricket on an egg carton in front of it and it did not eat it either. I'm starting to worry that it is not eating. I have heard that it takes some time to get adjusted to its new home but I want to make sure it is eating. I just went and purchased some wax worms to try an alternative.

He was being fed flyless fruitflies but nowhere around sells them. I may be able to pick some up on monday.

So, all you cham. pros out there, what should I do? How should I feed him? I've heard of setting up little cups/feeders in the cage for him, how do I do this? Is there somewhere where I can find out how to feed him in a more appropriate way. The cage is quite large and free-range may be quite hard for the little guy. See attached pictures of him and his cage.

Thanks,

Steve




 

Cherron

New Member
I would just throw a few crickets in.. and let him be. Don't get him out.. or take pictures.. or hover around ;)

He is scared and stressed. Moving to a new place is a bit overwhelming for these little guys. He will come around. Just be sure he is getting enough water and mainly through several long misting sessions.. the babies don't seem to "get" the dripper idea for awhile :)

Good luck!
 

VerteX

Avid Member
Good evening steveo,

Congrats on your new awesome super-charged chameleon. Since you asked questions, I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

Assuming at you are holding him(?) on your index finger in the past picture, he should be capable of eating about 1/4 inch sized crickets now. To be exactly sure, a general rule should be stated for crickets: The crickets' size should not be longer than the width of your chameleon's head. He should be zapping crickets like crazy.

That said, he might not be eating crickets for two reasons that I can think of:
1. He is having a hard time finding them in the enclosure.
2. They are big for him.

But since you said, you placed some right in front of him, and he wasn't interested, it kind of eliminates the first possible reason. And you also said, the size of crickets were recommended. I'm at a loss there I guess. So, please let us know what size of crickets you have. As for wax worms, they should be fed in low quantities. It's more like a dessert for chameleons. They contain very high fat. So, 1 every couple of days is enough. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about wax worms)

I support your idea about cup feeding for the time being. This was of feeding has both advantages and disadvantages. For your situation I think it's very beneficial. First, cup feeding will provide a localized source of food. Second, you'll know exactly how many crickets he's eating. To start off, i recommend opaque colored (not red outside preferably) generic party cups. Cut the cup approximately in half that you end up about 2.5 inch mini-cup. Be sure the crickets don't crawl out. Place this cup somewhere that he can comfortably reach or somewhere he hangs around the most. You should supervise him at a distance for the first times.

About the heat lamp: Chameleons associate visible light with heat. They move to lit places and turn their skin color darker to absorb more light thus heat. A 60 watt soft incandescent bulb will yield far much better results than a heat lamp. The basking temperature (the place that your chameleon sits) should be no more than 89F. Baby chameleons are less tolerant to heat than adults. They become dehydrated quicker too. Please keep a very good eye on his temperature, because he might get burnt without you noticing. As silly as it seems, they don't really move out of the heat even if they are getting burned. As a general rule, the basking spot should be 12 inches away from the light bulb. Since the heat output changes with wattage of the bulb you are using, best practice is to get a temperature reading of that spot. Also keep in mind that, they open their mouths if they are hot under the basking lamp to help their body cool through evaporative cooling. It may also mean it has URI
(upper respiratory infection).

It's great that you are providing him a dripper but know that it's no substitute for misting. For the size of your chameleon, it is recommended that you spray around your chameleon, but not him directly. One of the reasons is that their small nostrils can become clogged with water very quickly. Since this is a little bit of experimentation, you could try gently spraying his body (excluding the head) from the top. See how he reacts.

Watch out for root rot since the drips are falling in the plant pot. If you decide to put a cup to collect water, never ever place an unscreened cup to collect water. Your chameleon may fall and drown. (I'm just saying, I'm sure you already thought of that)

Dusting should be done regularly and lightly. D3 can build up in the system, so be careful. Search the forum for baby dusting schedules and products.

I think you are providing a nice environment for your little guy/girl. I'm sure I missed a lot of things, but I wanted to share my experiences. I hope fellow members would correct me if I'm wrong about something.

Good luck
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy Steveo,

Lots of good advice so far :). Here's photos of babies only a few days old cup feeding. I did both cup and free range feeding with babies and was successful. If you are wondering if he(?) is eating, check for his poops. When you find his little poops here and there you know he's eating.

Although it is possible to get water drops directly on their nostrils and maybe even plug them, they seem to be able to cope with it from their first day out of the shell. From day one, all of my babies have been under automated misting twice a day for 20 minutes. Some are drawn to sit in the mist, others move out of it. Having done this with several clutches for many months, I feel pretty comfortable with recommending a combination of indirect and direct mistng with up to 100F warmed water. If you aren't ready to spend the bucks for an automated mist system, I really like the hand-held pump-up $7 misters from places like Home Depot or Lowe's. Just make sure that you've got your enclosure drainage enabled :). (I hatched this clutch for a friend who was out of town at the time.)

 
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