Are branches from my back yard safe for my chams?

Tara

New Member
I'm in a bit of a jam since my pet store will be out of bendavine for at least another week. One of my new babies fell of a wet leaf and I urgently need to provide them with some more options to get where they need to go.
I just gathered a bunch of branches from my back yard. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if they are safe for my chams? And do they need any special cleaning other than a rinse with hot water?
I don't know what tyoe of tree it is other than it is HUGE...very very tall and the branches span out very wide. I live in West Virginia.
Also, is falling of a branch a common occurance for a chameleon. I am concerned to whether this may have hurt him. Thanks Tara
 

Drake

New Member
I am using branches that are off my bush outside my house (I forget what its called). I was told by the breeder who I bought my Chams off of, said to make sure there is no buds on the branches since the Cham may eat them, and some can be poisonus to them. All I did was cut them off the bush, and let them warm up over night (Since its cold, I didn't want to put cold sticks in their cage) and cleaned them off with soapy water.

I don't think its normal for a chameleon to fall off a branch. How high was he when he fell? It could have just been water from the leaf making it slippery for him to get a good grip, but I'm not sure about that. How has he been acting after he fell? Has he been climbing around regularly without falling? Does anything look swollen or broken? Has he been eating and drinking? I'm not to sure about the falling part, maybe someone else can post some better info. If you think its bad, then I suggest maybe a Vet visit.
 

Heika

New Member
I use sticks and branches from my yard. I baked what would fit in the oven at 350 degrees for a half an hour, and wiped the large ones down with bleach water and rinsed them really well.

Heika
 

Chameleon

New Member
Like Drake said, you should visit a vet if your chameleon starts to act up. I've got a chameleon guide and it says that branches and sticks from outside have a chance of carrying ticks or other dangerous things. But if Drake and Heika's chams are fine with their branches, then your's might be fine too. Just clean them very thoroughly with bleach. Even the slightest remains of bleach can harm your chameleon. Their is a chance that your chameleon could've fractured or broken a bone. Search for irregular shapes in the chams legs or ribs; these bone could be damaged.
 

Tara

New Member
Thanks! So much help!

Ok, I think he was only around 12 inches up at the time. But he is soooo tiny. I think they BOTH tried and fell off the same leaf..I hope it wasn't the same one! They tried to walk out onto it and it didn't have any support. I have since cleaned the temporary branches and placed them inside. I have moved that leaf so they will not make the same mistake. They had just arrived maybe only 12 hours before and were exploring everything. I haven't noticed anything unusual since then. I went to get the crickets that I had purchased to find only 3 had survived..( I had bought them the night before I had first expected my cham to arrive-only to have to purchase them from somewhere else) but I see no sign of the 3 I put in there with them so they must have been eaten. I plan to get more first thing tomorrow and watch to see them eat.
They seem to like their new home and were much happier with the new branches...I can't wait to add the bendavine soon and make it even better. I will do away with the branches eventually to be safe.
I am worried about future falls though now. Maybe I should try and wrap all of the plant stems and leaves around individual vines or something for support?
Also, I have just posted their first photos. These were taken after the fall and if you look and notice anything unusual please let me know. Anything you notice at all as I have no frame of reference and am afraid to miss something important about thier health. I took them at high resolution not realizing they had to be at a lower one to post so now they are a smidge fuzzy. I will try to take some at a lower mega pixel to hopefully get some better ones. Ok, I am off to bed. Thanks again! Tara
 

Tara

New Member
Forgot to mention...

Forgot to say...yes they have both been very active since. Like I said I know I saw it happen twice, but am not sure if the same one fell twice or both once. I did notice however that both times they were on their way back up climbing in seconds. One did open his mouth and I think he at least found a cricket out of the fall. It looked to me like he was crunching.
When I saw the first one checking out the leaf...he seemed nervous about it and I didn't have anytime to react before he was down. With the second I saw it only as it dropped.
It's funny how both already seem to have different personalities. One doesnt' seem to mind when I come near of have to mess around near, but the other prefers to be out of the way.
I haven't settled on names yet and I really have to be certain before I name them. With my green water dragons I ended up with the names backwards. you know...boy having the girl name and girl having the oby name. So if you have any ideas from looking at the pics, I'd love the help. Most are of the outgoing one moving all around..and it's the same one that is sleeping kindof peeking at me. The other one I didn'ty get a good pic of till was sound asleep and she didn't budge when I took the pic-this is the one sleeping vertically. Nite all! Tara
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Tara,

The advice that Heika and Drake gave are the correct answers about using branches from the outside. They should be treated. Washed thoroughly with bleach, rinsed very well, and baked. Then you have a safe branch for your chameleons to climb on, as well as some nice decorative touches in their habitat.

As long as your chameleon is still climbing and using his limbs properly, he is probably just fine. :)
 

Shelby

New Member
Do you have something soft at the bottom of the cage like paper towels in case they slip and fall again?

I used grape vine wood with those reptile vines in my baby panther cage and lined the bottom with paper towels in case of a fall.
 

ydktdborg

New Member
My chameleon has fallen from around that hight a few times but he seems to be alright. He's still very active and never stops. Also i was told with the branches to use fruit trees and the guy at the pet store told me to use boiling hot water and poure it over the branches!

I think the best thing is to bake them though because that will kill everything on there!
 

lele

Avid Member
soak, not just wipe

Tara said:
I urgently need to provide them with some more options to get where they need to go. I just gathered a bunch of branches from my back yard. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if they are safe for my chams? And do they need any special cleaning other than a rinse with hot water?
the reason I say soak is because many things live INSIDE branches. It can be the winter home of the larval stage of many beetles and other insects. Much of this depends on the health of the branch itself (the more sickly the wood, the larger the apartment house ;)). Not that these will necessarily hurt your cham, and may even offer a meal, you do not want to take chances. You may also end up with some unwanted bugs in the house

The best way is to soak in a 1:10 (bleach:water) solution for several hours or overnight. then RINSE! RINSE! RINSE! be sure to rinse them well and if possible let them sun dry for a few days. You also should find out what the tree is. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I will leave that up to you. Personally, I take the better safe than sorry track.

All that said, here is a great baby cham branch tip...if you have a good florist nearby see if they sell untreated (no sparkles, colors, oil, urethane) Kiwi branches. They are naturally curly and are a lot of fun to play with in a setup. Here is Cyrus' new setup (he is just 3 months)

you can also see if they have any other thin branches. Tell them what you are using them for and say you need to be sure they have not been treated. I have used these for gecko, anole, leaf chameleon setups.

have fun!
 

Heika

New Member
Lele, the picture isn't showing on your post... and darnit, I wanna see! It sounds perfect for a pygmy enclosure, too.

Heika
 

Wendy63

New Member
Would the baby bottle sterilising fluid called Milton be as good as bleach to use on branches?.
 

Emanuelt

New Member
My chameleon has fallen from around that hight a few times but he seems to be alright. He's still very active and never stops. Also i was told with the branches to use fruit trees and the guy at the pet store told me to use boiling hot water and poure it over the branches!

I think the best thing is to bake them though because that will kill everything on there!
But how long to bake?
 
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