Advice

Sleavy

New Member
Hello forum ,

So my wife and I just got a veiled chameleon. He’s about 9 months old and is in a large screened in enclosure. 2 feet by feet by 4 ft tall with 3 fake hanging plants, two fake vines , a wooden dowel, section of rooted tree branch with two sections going up the cage. A black light for the night basking light for day and UVB lamp. Picture to follow.

Just looking for some advice we have never owned a reptile before. Today when my brother came over he went close to the cage. I told him not to get too close for he can get stressed and is adjusting , he listened. However Jasper our Cham has been ripping around the cage climbing every where since he got here and left. He started to nibble his fake plant leafs so I added some fortified crickets to his cage , he’s currently hunting them ( assuming enjoying life ) he also had a horn worm this morning along with about 8 crickets. I am not sure if he was just hungry and this is typical behavior because he was trying to hunt and find some? Now that he has eaten and my brothers long gone he is in his resting spot just chilling. Other than this he has been very calm ( I believe ) he figured out the dropper on one of the plants is a water source , beyond healthy appetite, healthy bowels and urination. He goes to bed every night around 5:30 and wakes up at about 7:00am. His cage is at about 60% humidity and 75-80 for temp. I am trying to think if I left anything out. We just want to basically make sure this little guy lives a happy healthy life with minimal stress. We understand holding him is not a good idea for a while or prolonged period of time so other than him coming home that’s his spot until he maybe warms up ( a month or so ) he has been home with us for 4 days and hands down is one of the coolest pets I have ever owned.
 

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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You need to raise those branches and vines. The UVB lighting will do no good with him spending that much time well at the bottom or mid cage. Need a lot more horizontal branches as well. I would like to see more pics of your Cham but from the one you posted does not look 9 months maybe 5 or 6 months. Are you sure he's a he? Does he have spurs on the back of his back feet?

This is my 5 month old Male Veiled taken today
20190330_112536.jpg
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello forum ,

So my wife and I just got a veiled chameleon. He’s about 9 months old and is in a large screened in enclosure. 2 feet by feet by 4 ft tall with 3 fake hanging plants, two fake vines , a wooden dowel, section of rooted tree branch with two sections going up the cage. A black light for the night basking light for day and UVB lamp. Picture to follow.

Just looking for some advice we have never owned a reptile before. Today when my brother came over he went close to the cage. I told him not to get too close for he can get stressed and is adjusting , he listened. However Jasper our Cham has been ripping around the cage climbing every where since he got here and left. He started to nibble his fake plant leafs so I added some fortified crickets to his cage , he’s currently hunting them ( assuming enjoying life ) he also had a horn worm this morning along with about 8 crickets. I am not sure if he was just hungry and this is typical behavior because he was trying to hunt and find some? Now that he has eaten and my brothers long gone he is in his resting spot just chilling. Other than this he has been very calm ( I believe ) he figured out the dropper on one of the plants is a water source , beyond healthy appetite, healthy bowels and urination. He goes to bed every night around 5:30 and wakes up at about 7:00am. His cage is at about 60% humidity and 75-80 for temp. I am trying to think if I left anything out. We just want to basically make sure this little guy lives a happy healthy life with minimal stress. We understand holding him is not a good idea for a while or prolonged period of time so other than him coming home that’s his spot until he maybe warms up ( a month or so ) he has been home with us for 4 days and hands down is one of the coolest pets I have ever owned.

Get RID of the black light. They don't "bask" at night. They also need darkness and a temperature drop at night. Where did you get your husbandry information? If someone recommended the black light they have no clue how to care for a chameleon. I'd suggest reading the husbandry articles located under the forum's Resources tab above. There is great info about nutrition, proper lighting, humidity controls, etc. I suspect you'll find that some of the information you were given is wrong.
 

Sleavy

New Member
Get RID of the black light. They don't "bask" at night. They also need darkness and a temperature drop at night. Where did you get your husbandry information? If someone recommended the black light they have no clue how to care for a chameleon. I'd suggest reading the husbandry articles located under the forum's Resources tab above. There is great info about nutrition, proper lighting, humidity controls, etc. I suspect you'll find that some of the information you were given is wrong.


Awesome thank you very much, we have been told so many different things. I think we have the humidity and cage set up down to a T but the lights have been questionable along with how much we should feed him.
 

Sleavy

New Member
You need to raise those branches and vines. The UVB lighting will do no good with him spending that much time well at the bottom or mid cage. Need a lot more horizontal branches as well. I would like to see more pics of your Cham but from the one you posted does not look 9 months maybe 5 or 6 months. Are you sure he's a he? Does he have spurs on the back of his back feet?

This is my 5 month old Male Veiled taken today
View attachment 227256

This is very good advice thank you. Here are some photos , I just moved the vines around a bit and gave him a spot in the UVB. Here is a picture of (him) I believe? We bought him from a local pet store in which the man told us it was a male who was any where from 6-9 months ? He is not a fan of me being in his cage for he turns that dark color when I start messing with his home. I try very hard to stay out of his cage unless it is to feed him or clean the bottom.
 

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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You have a female not a male. You will also need a lay bin for her. Chameleons, other than the live baring species, lay infertile eggs like birds.
Sounds like whoever sold you her wanted to get rid of some product and told you anything. Or the person is that clueless.
 

Sleavy

New Member
Okay so we have a female. What is the best type of den for her? Also I feel like if that’s the case she may be wanting to lay eggs. She has been running around all day going to the bottom and coming back up. She was just basking with her mouth open also..should I shut off the light?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh you would definitely know if she was gravid, with eggs, she would be showing some gorgeous coloring and looking chunky. A good lay bin is something 12"x12" filled with moist play sand. This is good to keep in her enclosure at all times. I'm sure shes not gravid but stressed from her incorrect husbandry. A chameleon will turn dark to retain more heat, they will gape when they're too warm. Her basking spot should not exceed 85* at her age. Humidity 40-70% being higher at night.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think it would be best for you to fill out all the answers in this form so that we can give you feedback. You have been given some very poor information and Chameleons have very specific needs to their husbandry.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Sleavy

New Member
I think it would be best for you to fill out all the answers in this form so that we can give you feedback. You have been given some very poor information and Chameleons have very specific needs to their husbandry.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.

Veiled Chameleon , Female , 6 months , living with me now for 4 days.

Other than car ride home has not been handled

Feeding : its gets 8-12 crickets in the cage , she got a horn worm today

Watering : big dripper along with a litttle water fountain dispenser that has fake leaves on it she can drink from. Cage gets misted morning , afternoon , evening , before bed.

Fecal : healthy solid dark for waste and then the white discharge for urine

Cage : 2x2 feet wide 4 ft tall mesh with plastic wrap around both sides and back to help keep humid. Located in the corner of my living room with two windows projecting light from the sides and shading her corner.

Lighting : UVB that spread the length of the top about 4 inches wide , basking light 100 w resting on top and black light for night. When I wake up at 7am lights go on and at about 6 lights go off, black light goes on. Last night my wife got held late for work so our little girl got 5 extra hour of light ( I felt terrible I work 24 hr shifts as a firefighter so I was unable to come home , solution ... light timer )

Temp: 80 with humidity between 40-70 higher side last two days. I have a temp thermometer and humidity gage in upper left hand corner. The dripper and spraying seems to keep cage very humid.

Plants: all fake. 3 hanging bunches of leafs , two vines ( one large , one small, leading to basking spot and uvb light ) wooden dowel going kitty corner up to UVB. Fake drift wood at bottom with two pieces branching off to left corner and right corner.

Location : I wouldn’t consider it a high traffic area due to my wife and I having opposite schedules. It is in our living room. Fairly quite, small dog that sleeps all day lives in house also. Average temp 70. Good lighting. Minus her corner, it’s shadowed.

Current problem : dark in color and hanging out towards the bottom of the cage, she originally was running all over it today and stoping to bask then opening her mouth. Now she is about 6 inches from the bottom in a corner dark in color.

Today has been the busiest day in the house since she has been home. We switched up her lights last night due to my wife coming home and the red night one breaking so she had no light at night last night. She ate a lot of food today and seemed to be doing really good? I could 100% be over thinking this. I feel maybe her cage is a little to warm for her due to this new 100w bulb which is making her retreat to a lower section ? So since it is close to her bed time it is off. She seems slightly more comfortable with less running around. She’s just hanging out hiding right now. Just worried because she is pretty low in cage.

Thank you everyone for your help. I am willing to take any advice, I have owned exotic pets before however not a reptile. I want to be the best parent I can be and give this little girl a comfortable enjoyable home. Something is telling me she is stressed today.

Also cage cleaning , she currently just has paper towels at the bottom that are very wet. I have been changing them every other day. I am hesitant to change them out today because of her color and location I do not want to stress her out more.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so I will go through the sheet one by one touching all areas that should be corrected :)
water fountain needs to be removed. They are a bacteria breeding ground. Misting should be done for at least 2 minutes 3 times a day on the leaves not the cham. I highly recommend an automatic misting system due to your being a fireman. This ensures misting is done every day at all times.
Get something like this for a drain pan under the cage. Drill a few holes in the bottom plastic portion of your cage for the water to drip out into the pan. https://www.amazon.com/DiversiTech-...SV2D0V11G1B&psc=1&refRID=48GR67TZ8SV2D0V11G1B

How are you checking the actual basking temp at the branch level? She should not be any warmer then 85 degrees if she is gapping this is most common when it is too hot. As mentioned no light at night at all. Not in her cage or coming from the room. They need 12 hours light and 12 hours no light. They need the temp drop at night as well. So as long as it is not colder then 50 degrees she/he is good.

Do you have a 5.0 or 10.0 UVB bulb and is it a T5HO or a T8 fixture/bulb?

You need many more horizontal vines and branches of multiple sizes. You want to add live plants as well. They will help balance humidity and provide hiding spots. Tiny zip ties can me used to secure stuff to the screen. Live plants should be re potted with organic soil and the leaves should be washed off. Put 1 inch or larger river rock on top of the soil so she does not eat it and it will help keep feeders out.

What are you gutloading your feeders with? What supplements are you using for her and what is the schedule that you were told to do?

She is going to be very stressed. Her cage is not optimal giving her any place she can retreat to and this is a totally new environment for her. Once you iron out all the husbandry issues and what you need to have she will settle and the day to day care gets easy. It can be a little overwhelming at first though :p

I am going to add some helpful graphics for you and include my list of essentials for the new keeper. Everything I wish someone would have told me about when I started out. Some will be repeat info for you some will be new.

The things I recommend:
Cage 24x24x48 like this https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Rept...&sprefix=extra+large+reptibre,aps,204&sr=8-11

Drip tray you can buy for these like a hotwater heater pan...

or you can spend more and get a better quality cage with drip tray for the water to collect in. These come in screen or clearside and are made by www.dragonstrand.com. The dragon ledges help attach potted plants higher in the cage. But he builds in a schedule so you have to pre order them unless he has some in stock. Or you can buy the drip tray from dragon strand and the ledges and get the reptibreeze cage.

https://dragonstrand.com/screen-cages-2/

It really depends on your species needs and gender. As well as how quickly you need the enclosure.

FYI When using a screen enclosure you may want to wrap at least the back and one side panel if not both of the cage in clear plastic like a shower curtain and attach with magnets so the water does not spray out. Unless you live in a high humidity area then just do the back panel.

Lighting for UVB and plant growth is dual or quad T5 HO fixture. You can look on lightyourreptiles.com These fixtures should be purchased in the length that your cage is. UVB bulb you get will depend on the species of cham you get.

Heat lamp I would recommend a: https://www.amazon.com/Flukers-Rept...&s=gateway&sprefix=fukers+dimm,aps,208&sr=8-1

bulb for it is your preference but I am partial to zilla brand day light white: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SRUU32/ref=twister_B07C8WY1XN?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

May need timers for different fixtures as well. 12 hour on and off for lights on chams.

Dimming Thermostat for Heat lamp can be used with any dome light and ensures you will not bake your cham as it will keep your bulb at the exact temp you need it at basking. Please ensure that you are getting a dimming thermostat. Herpstat and Vivarium Electronics both make dimming thermostats.

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/vivarium-electronics-ve-200-thermostat.html

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/vivarium-electronics-ve-300-thermostat.html

https://www.pangeareptile.com/store...MIw4mU17-b4QIVENvACh0Y8g1MEAYYASABEgLusPD_BwE

Automatic mister a must have in my opinion. https://www.amazon.com/MistKing-222...=gateway&sprefix=mistking+stra,aps,206&sr=8-1

hydrometer and thermometer to measure heat and humidity, you want a few to get different levels. Most use a wired thermometer at basking level then a non wired in other areas: https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-drt-1...reptiles&qid=1552311763&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2

and https://www.amazon.com/Alfie-Pet-Pe...eptiles&qid=1552311838&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-18

Live plants like Pothos or dwarf umbrella plants. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/

If you get a veiled you have to put large 1inch or bigger river rock in the top so they don't eat the soil. :)

Vines and branches for horizontal pathways in different sizes for grip: https://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Ju...nes&qid=1552311902&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1&th=1

And then you need a multivitamin to give 2 times a month every other week, Calcium with D3 to give 2 times a month the opposite every other week, and then a calcium without D3 used nearly every feeding. See image below.

Feeders: Need to offer variety. See image below. You can buy feeders from a site sponsor or rainbowmealworms.com

Feeder containers: I have bought my own as well as converted plastic tubs to hold them. I like these but the large size only if I buy one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073KOGOG/ref=twister_B06X9LKF3Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Feeder food: something like Repashy Bug burger, cricket crack, or insect fuel from Arcadia brand if you want a predone gutload instead of fresh veg and fruit everyday. See image below for feeder food.

Link to veiled care sheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/





Supplements pic.jpeg
Gutloading 101.jpeg
Basic Feeder pic.jpeg
 

Sleavy

New Member
Okay. Waterfall is out. Ordered the vines you suggested from amazon. The mister I can not afford at this time or the temp regulator, however we stay up on the misting and I am thinking a 75w basking bulb might do the trick rather than 100w. 10uvb bulb fixture T8. Going to purchase some more fake plants , look into live plants. She was yellow and brown spotted yesterday, looks very similar to gravis like almost identical. So we are adding the eco soil once it absorbs more water, could not locate play sand. I feed her in the morning I do the vitamin coating every other day and then the once a week one on Saturday ( today ) for gut loading. Umm trying to think if I am missing anything. Her lights are going off now to ensure she gets her proper 12. Tomorrow I won’t be touching anything in her cage and will be letting her eat and do her thing with minimal disturbances, hopefully that will help. I think today was a lot for her. We had 3 additional people in her general area and naturally they wanted to look at her so I am going to let her rest and be easy.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay. Waterfall is out. Ordered the vines you suggested from amazon. The mister I can not afford at this time or the temp regulator, however we stay up on the misting and I am thinking a 75w basking bulb might do the trick rather than 100w. 10uvb bulb fixture T8. Going to purchase some more fake plants , look into live plants. She was yellow and brown spotted yesterday, looks very similar to gravis like almost identical. So we are adding the eco soil once it absorbs more water, could not locate play sand. I feed her in the morning I do the vitamin coating every other day and then the once a week one on Saturday ( today ) for gut loading. Umm trying to think if I am missing anything. Her lights are going off now to ensure she gets her proper 12. Tomorrow I won’t be touching anything in her cage and will be letting her eat and do her thing with minimal disturbances, hopefully that will help. I think today was a lot for her. We had 3 additional people in her general area and naturally they wanted to look at her so I am going to let her rest and be easy.
I totally get it. The items add up quickly and it is expensive. My entire set up is at 2k.
Can I have a bit more info on what you are dusting her food with? Take pics maybe of the containers so we can make sure you are giving the right thing at the right times. Feeding in the morning is perfect and gives her all day to digest. I would get a temp gun. It is in that list and is only 15 bucks it will be the easiest way to make sure that the basking area which is the highest area in her cage and should sit about 7 inches below her lights is the right temp.
And the UVB fixture do you know if it is a T5HO or a T8 and which bulb strength you got a 5.0 or a 10.0. This will make a big difference if it is not correct.
As far as laying... You do not want to use the eco earth. They have to be able to dig a tunnel and the tunnel has to hold or it will cave in on them and smother them. Here is a great link on lay bins. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/egg-laying-and-the-laying-bin.345/
 

Sleavy

New Member
Will eco soil work for tonight anyways? It is very moist with a nice tunnel at the moment. She’s sleeping right now also tailed all curled up much much lighter in color. Repashy super food calcium plus once a week And zoo meds reptivite with D3 every other day. Light UVB 15w T8.. lost the box but I looked at the specs on the bulb. Just ordered some more hanging plants. I have a 3 season porch that is full of tropical palms and vines, doing research to make sure they are safe. She could potentially have a very very cool outside cage space. Picking up sand tomorrow at a near by store.
 

Sleavy

New Member
Do you think the heat from a black/red light would be appropriate for her? I noticed the five off about 80 degrees which is pretty much what’s she needs. However it’s not bright it’s colored so I am not sure if there is a snafu to that. The light in her basking lamp now is a zoo Med 100w. I also have for spares zoo Med 10.00 uvb reptisun 60 w zoo Med blue light 120v. She went from a 60w basking to a 100 w do you think that could also be it? She was very content yesterday.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Will eco soil work for tonight anyways? It is very moist with a nice tunnel at the moment. She’s sleeping right now also tailed all curled up much much lighter in color. Repashy super food calcium plus once a week And zoo meds reptivite with D3 every other day. Light UVB 15w T8.. lost the box but I looked at the specs on the bulb. Just ordered some more hanging plants. I have a 3 season porch that is full of tropical palms and vines, doing research to make sure they are safe. She could potentially have a very very cool outside cage space. Picking up sand tomorrow at a near by store.
Ok With the supplements which ones say with D3? Calcium with D3 is ONLY given 2 times per month alternating weeks on the alternating week you give just a multivitamin with no D3 in it. That way the vitamin is given 2 times a month as well. Then at nearly every other feeding you only give calcium WITHOUT D3.
If you give her more D3 then recommended you will have an issue of D3 overdose and since D3 is stored in there fat and organs it is much harder to clear from their system.
The bulb should be fine. So you will want to replace the bulb in about 9 months with another T8 10.0 bulb.
I would not worry about the lay bin until you have the right stuff for it. You will know when she is close to laying because she will show gravid colors. This is not my area of expertise though so go by the info in that blog link I gave you.
These plants are safe for Veileds https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/
They like to eat their plants so be careful what she has access to.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you think the heat from a black/red light would be appropriate for her? I noticed the five off about 80 degrees which is pretty much what’s she needs. However it’s not bright it’s colored so I am not sure if there is a snafu to that. The light in her basking lamp now is a zoo Med 100w. I also have for spares zoo Med 10.00 uvb reptisun 60 w zoo Med blue light 120v. She went from a 60w basking to a 100 w do you think that could also be it? She was very content yesterday.
So no compact UVB bulb for her heat bulb. You can do a regular incandesant household bulb that is 75 watts and see what you get. I am sure that the 100 watt is actually much hotter in the basking area then what your gauge in the corner is measuring. Never use any colored basking bulbs it is not good for their eyes. :)
 

Char333p

Avid Member
I didnt read every comment. But, you kind of want a significant jungle gym of connecting branches and vines from mid way to top of the enclosure. Its rare youll find your chameleon prefers being lower then that. Unless its cooling down or sleeping. And yeah definitely NO night light.... 12 hours on 12 off is typical. Even with a dripper a few misting sessions is neceassary. You may want a pothos vine to put under your dripper so that the water pools onto the leaves and have the vines go through up to the leaves... take a look at my enclosure for ideas.... after even just type in enclosure photos in past posts... everyine has unique ideas and setups you can get inspiration from. But live plants are def great for multiple things.

Welcome to the forum tho! You have a question youll get an answer quickly! Usually in minutes! Very great people here
 

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Sleavy

New Member
Ok With the supplements which ones say with D3? Calcium with D3 is ONLY given 2 times per month alternating weeks on the alternating week you give just a multivitamin with no D3 in it. That way the vitamin is given 2 times a month as well. Then at nearly every other feeding you only give calcium WITHOUT D3.
If you give her more D3 then recommended you will have an issue of D3 overdose and since D3 is stored in there fat and organs it is much harder to clear from their system.
The bulb should be fine. So you will want to replace the bulb in about 9 months with another T8 10.0 bulb.
I would not worry about the lay bin until you have the right stuff for it. You will know when she is close to laying because she will show gravid colors. This is not my area of expertise though so go by the info in that blog link I gave you.
These plants are safe for Veileds https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/
They like to eat their plants so be careful what she has access to.


I can’t thank you enough for all this great advice this is amazing. I hope very soon she will be happy and content. So just a house hold bulb for her heat/basking? I’ll keep an eye on the plants I can imagine she will be in her cage for a bit I want her to be more comfortable before I even attempt to take her out.
 
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