Adjustment Period Length

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by zygodactylenvy, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. zygodactylenvy

    zygodactylenvy New Member

    Hi all,

    Noticed the request for a newbie form often in these threads so here you go:

    Chameleon Info:

    ◦ Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    Male veiled, likely 6 to 8 weeks judging by size. Have had it four days.

    ◦ Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    Only to move it from the transport container to the enclosure.

    ◦ Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    Crickets am and pm. First couple days dusted until they had time to gut load. He's eating about 4 each time. Have been putting meal worms in but he isn't eating those.

    ◦ Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    Have only dusted the first few at this point. Using National Geographic Reptile Calcium Supplement powder with Vit. D.

    ◦ Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    Have set up a drip system in the tank. I have seen him drink on multiple occasions. Misting twice daily for 1 to 2 min at a time.

    ◦ Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    Feces seems normal. White with dark colour mixture, roughly 1/10th of an inch in length. I've never parasite tested him.

    ◦ History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    No other previous history.

    Cage Info:

    ◦ Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    Screened cage. Currently in smaller enclosure (16"x16"x30").

    ◦ Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    ZooMed lighting. Both UVA and UVB lights. Set on a timer for a 12 hour on/off cycle.

    ◦ Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    Have a dual thermometer/hygrometer in the enclosure. Upper tank peaks at around 85 F during the day and drops to about 70 - 75F at night.

    ◦ Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    Humidity hovers around 50%. Maintained with misting, live plant, drip system, house environment. (I don't have an automatic mister if that's what this is asking.)

    ◦ Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    Yes, a mix of live and plastic plants. There is a live gerbera daisy in there currently as well as multiple plastic vines and branches.

    ◦ Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    The enclosure is in a low traffic area of the house. No fans or air vents close by. It is roughly 3' off the ground (mid cage is about my shoulder height).

    ◦ Location - Where are you geographically located?
    I'm in southern Ontario.


    Current Problem - Not a concern as much as looking for an estimated time length. Things are going well, cham is adjusting nicely to his new environment but at this point has no interest in mealworms which I was under the impression were a fan favorite for them. I do have 15 years of reptile experience though this is my first cham. I have done the research (for the last 15 years...working up to feeling comfortable enough to try one out) and I'm just wondering if anyone else found that they will avoid certain foods during the adjustment period. I know he'll need a week or two before I can get a really good idea of his 'normal'. I'm debating leaving out the meal worms though and just giving the crickets. Thoughts? Keep trying the worms? Wait until he's adjusted? I've attached a picture of him and his enclosure currently.
    enclosure1.jpg escher2.jpg
     
  2. Gingero

    Gingero Member

    Hi! Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new chameleon! To answer your original question, I'd stop trying with the mealworms. Mealworms are not a recommended food source for chameleons so crickets and even dubia roaches are the way to go when your chameleon is that small.

    Thanks for filling out all of your chameleon info! This helps make sure you're doing everything you can to best raise your chameleon. You're off to a great start. I noticed a few things that need a little changing to help get your new guy settled in:

    - Make sure you are both dusting AND gutloading your feeders with every feeding. Also chameleons need calcium WITHOUT vitamin D3 daily, calcium WITH D3 once every other week, and a multivitamin WITHOUT D3 once every other week.
    - It's also recommended to feed you cham in the morning and not at night to allow time for them to digest their food.
    - Nice job with the dripper and make sure the urates are staying white. If they start turning a yellow color, your cham is dehydrated and needs more/longer mistings.
    - Current enclosure size seems find for now, just keep in mind that you'll want to upgrade to a bigger size once they are around 6 months old.
    - Linear UVB lights are recommended over compact UVB. (I can't see your lighting fixture, but figured I'd mention this just in case)
    - Temps and humidity look good
    - You'll want to add more foliage sooner, rather than later. You want to give your cham lots of hiding places. Not only from you :)P) but also from the UVB.

    Overall, not to shabby. If you make some of the changes above, your chameleon will be in great shape. Please ask questions if need be!
     
  3. zygodactylenvy

    zygodactylenvy New Member

    Thanks for the feedback.
    I do have plans to run out and grab some more live plants for in the enclosure (I know it's a little sparse at this point but finding nice plants that aren't struggling to survive at this point in the year is a little more difficult).
    I will definitely start dusting and gut loading (I hadn't seen any references to doing both other than the weekly with calcium/vit D so believed that gut loading was the alternative to regular dusting). Curious, what are the chances of throwing off Ca: P ratio if too much Ca is supplied?
    Also understood that hatchlings/juveniles needed twice daily feedings until about 5 to 6 months. His cycle is 8am to 8pm and feedings are generally 8am and 5pm. It does give 3 hours for digestion before bedtime.
    This is his starter enclosure. The plan is to move him to a full size 24"x 24"x 48" in a few months when he's bigger. This will likely become his occasional outdoor basking enclosure during the summer months.
    Lights are good, sorry, was hard to fit them in the picture and still get a good idea of current set up.
    Will hold back the mealworms. They were never intended as a constant meal source, more of a settling in bonus if that makes sense. Upset children get chocolate cake, stressed chameleons get offered meal worms. Thought it was worth a try. lol

    He has seem to develop his favorite spots to an extent so I'm fairly confident he's slowly coming around.
     
    #3 zygodactylenvy, Sep 11, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  4. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    @Decadancin check this newby out! I think he deserves a reward!
     
  5. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Since chams are growing so fast at this age you can really just let him eat as much as he wants. You should start cutting back on his food intake around 6-7 months old.
     
  6. zygodactylenvy

    zygodactylenvy New Member

    I started with 4 at a time just because of body size. He starts to lose interest around the third cricket and it takes a few minutes for him to even make the effort to go after number 4. I could start upping it a cricket at a time though and see how it goes. Thanks!
     
  7. zygodactylenvy

    zygodactylenvy New Member

    Aww... thank you. Not sure I deserve a reward though. I started out with newts and toads years ago, worked up to geckos (leopard and golden), moved on to corn snakes and ball pythons, have kept RES for years (though really don't recommend them as pets) so at this point I've spent so much time with various reptiles that I know what to research, how to make adjustments quickly and I've got a reptile vet on speed dial if anything goes wrong. I also have a very understanding husband who not only supports my hobby but is always eager to learn about new
     
  8. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Kind of an inside joke, not at your expense, you just have good timing! I got smacked down by the man yesterday(kidding!) for suggesting that we shouldn’t be spoon feeding answers to newbies that refuse to fill out the form. And then you come along and not only fill it out, you took the time to find it and fill it out without anyone asking you to. Good job!

    Your husbandry will be up to par if you implement the suggestions mentioned above. Keep us posted, we love to see our members blossom!
     
    dshuld likes this.
  9. zygodactylenvy

    zygodactylenvy New Member

    Understand completely. I use to be fairly active on a few different reptile forums. The questions in your form make perfect sense. You can't address a problem without a good history. Kudos for having it. It was always painful to have to go back to the basic questions over and over to offer advice. I also want to say that so far all the posts I've seen have been very respectful which isn't often the case. This says a lot for the moderation here.

    One last quick question, I'm wondering if there's any benefit to suspending a feed tray halfway up the cage as opposed to having it on the bottom? If I'm making changes I'd rather do them all at once and minimize the amount of stress on my cham.
     
    dshuld likes this.
  10. Brodybreaux25

    Brodybreaux25 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I don’t know if I’d actually call it a benefit but most keepers put their food bowls in the top half of their viv since that is where your Cham will spend most of his time.
     
    zygodactylenvy likes this.
  11. zygodactylenvy

    zygodactylenvy New Member

    UPDATED ENCLOSURE:

    So, made those few adjustments. He still seems good. Not nearly as nervous anymore. Eating, drinking, defecating normally and thriving. Here's what I've done to the enclosure to increase the coverage. 20180915_145920.jpg
     

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