Baby Cham bored with Crickets

Teed101

New Member
Hi guys & gals! I'm new to the forum. We just got our baby Chameleon right before Mother's Day. It turned out to be my Mother's Day present because I totally fell in love with her.

Here's some back story... My family has 2 dogs, a 100 lb female solid white Great Pyrenees that we adopted & an 8 yr old Chihuahua. The day before we got our Chameleon, I found a young Texas Spiny Lizard outside while watering the grass. The next day we decide to go over to a Petsmart to get some goodies to raise this young baby and..........

I wander over to the reptiles, I was interested in looking at Bearded Dragons and Chinese Water Dragons & the Petsmart associate was misting them. I just happened to ask her if I could see the Veiled Chameleon. She was actually VERY knowledgeable (that was nice) and as soon as she gently scooted the Cham out of her enclosure onto her hand-Dear Lord, I fell in love.

So...... while in Petsmart hubby decides that we should let the Texas Spiny Lizard go when we get back home & we buy things for the Baby Cham. I think she's about 2/12 months to 3 months. The lady at Petsmart said they had had him about a week.

We were going to purchase the all-screen enclosure but they had sold out THAT morning, the associate is the one that mentioned them. And she even went back to the store room to look for more. So we got an Exo Terra Glass Terrarium with the vent flow to keep the air from getting stale. (I had concerns about a glass enclosure but after reading a lot and seeing how the air does go in at the bottoms and lifts up and out the screen top and how it can hold the humidity better since it's in our house, I'm better with it.)

The sales associate also made sure we got the terrarium liner and told us not to use substrate and that Chams love to climb. So we got some bendy limbs with a fake ivy to wrap around it (washed it all down in the shower and let dry before we used them.).

Exo Terra Terrarium is 18"L x 18"W x 24"H (45 cm x 45 cm x 60 cm)
Use a Exo Terra Combo Thermo & Hygrometer
Temperature ranges from about 85 basking to 72ambient
Humidity: as in her terrarium of this moment 62% (outside here in Louisiana... TOO much)
Lighting: Zoo Med Combo Deep Dome with Repti Glo 5.0 UVB and 100 W InfraRed Basking Light
We do have the lights on a timer, UVB 12 hours basking light goes on and off.
Also, I've read that we should not use the red light at all during the 12 hour night/lights out. Right now we have it coming on for 30 min for every 1 1/2 hour.
Water: I mist about 7 times a day... She does drink a good bit. I also bought a Little Dripper (for a slow, slow drip) to use with a water catcher at the bottom of the terrarium. She seems well hydrated & can definitely poop.
Live Plants: small Dracaena and small Croton that were washed and wiped down prior to placing in the terrarium.
Food:
When we purchased the Cham we got feeder crickets. Which we were giving the Fluker's Cricket Food and water gel (I've seen read that the Fluker's cricket gutload is not the best, so will replace that.) I also have been reading up on what foods I can use to gutload the crickets with. I dust the feeder crickets every other day with Calcium (4 medium crickets in a bag, shake & bake style). I also give the crickets some chopped carrots and fruit.

Our Cham LOVES (stress on loves) Mealworms. I bought a container of them at a small local petstore. And I warmed them up in my hand. I've never seen her move so fast to get near the front of the terrarium to eat them straight out of my hand. For the past 3 days, she won't eat ANY crickets. Zero. She actually looks like she frowns at them. Before she was eating about 3-4 medium to small crickets a day and about 4 mealworms. She looked well-fed.

I was free ranging the crickets and she'd catch them, sometimes I'd offer her one by hand and she'd snarf it down. (After reading more on here, I have let two crickets free range and 2 in a cup feeding. Each night I take them out and put them up with the other crickets.) But lately...nothing. Unless I offer her meal worms....

We've had a show down the past couple of days. I was only offering crickets because I know she needs the nutrients... and I broke down and gave her meal worms when she still had not eaten any crickets. I'm a mom and worried about her not eating at all. I have dusted the meal worms with calcium in order for her to get her calcium.

*So, how do I get her to eat some? The closest Petsmart & Petco is an hour away, but the local pet store does offer great medium-sized crickets and gets them in fresh each week & they also offer the meal worms and super worms. But the super worms look too big for my Cham. Any suggestions? If I order online I know it can get pricey and not even sure if I should try to get silkworms or horned worms and would they only last 2 weeks? I've thought about going through our field with a net...

(Also, we have not named our Cham. She was small & we weren't sure if she was a male or female. I hate to say, but I was hoping she was a male because reading about females going into egg-laying really scares me.)
Baby Chameleon2.jpg

Baby Chameleon1.jpg
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
blue bottle flies and waxworms, they love it, try to have variation, chams get tired of the same food really quickly, also the temperature is a bit too hig try to keep it about 23-25 C and droop t to 18 at night
 

Teed101

New Member
Eureka! No wonder when I looked at pictures of baby Veiled Chams online I kept saying.."This doesn't look right...." And funny, when I went to the reptile area at Petsmart I asked the associate if I could see the Jackson Cham first. But after checking the enclosure she said they must have sold it that morning. Then I asked if I could see the Veiled... So, either they put the Jackson back in the enclosure with the Veiled and I got the Jackson, or the Veiled had been sold and the Jackson was put in its enclosure. But whatever happened... we got a Jackson (that we at the time thought was a Veiled) for the Veiled price.

Thank you Leedragon! It all makes sense now..and thank you for the information regarding the temp and females Jackson's being non-egg laying. Just finished reading about that.... And now we can name her too. She's been very, very tolerant of me. When I do handle her, she is calm and will sleep some. We do keep her in an area that doesn't have much traffic but she likes to see what's going on.

Also, I forgot to mention in my first post, she started shedding today. It looks to be going very well, all over. Could that cause her to slow down on eating?
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
yes they can be a bit shy when shedding skin, you are welcome btw.

btw, I am from the school of no handling your chameleon unless it is necessary I wanna just tell you that you should think about if you are interpreting her right, if she stands still and close her eyes while you are handling her thats a reaction to stress, chameleons are very sensitive to that, and can cause problems in the long run for instance no eating
 

Teed101

New Member
You're right. I've read about the handling and have backed off. But she actually stopped eating the crickets since I've stopped handling her. (When I was handling her-once a day, she never turned a dark dark green like I've seen in pictures where Jackson's are stressed. She was always a light green or light green patterns.)

I haven't taken her out of her enclosure at all this week and it's been the past 3 days that she's not eating crickets. Before that, she had a much better appetite. I'm hoping that it's the fact that she's shedding right now that has caused her to slow down on her eating. I'll keep offering her the crickets. And see if we can find some other types of insects for her. Thank you!
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would guess that you need to changes the incets you are feeding her with P nivea is a favorit too
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
and other thing take out the 100 W InfraRed Basking Light, you should use a ordinary bulb as a basking light, the infrared disturbeds chameleons, you needa a uv A source too
 

imcurt

Avid Member
A couple adjustments to your set up and your little girl should do quite well.
As stated,get rid of that red bulb.......Chameleons are visualy stimulated.They need to see there basking light.A household bulb 40-60 watts will do fine.Depending on how close it is to the basking branch.Make sure you have no night heat source.Chameleons need to cool down at nite. And Jackson's can handle nite temps in the 50s.Did you say your enclosure was planted? It is best to keep the plants in pots and slightly elevated. This makes there enclosure easy to keep clean.The other thing about substrate on the bottom is it can cause a ton of problems,from molds that cause resptory problems to breeding grounds for parasites. It can also cause an impact if the chameleons are eating off it.Keep in mind they live most of there lives high in trees far, from the ground.
 

Teed101

New Member
Yep! The red bulb is gone. I do have two smaller plants in the enclosure, they are in pots. They were washed and wiped down well before I placed them in there. Also I use Zoo Med reptile carpet in the enclosure, which can be taken out and washed/dried and put back. I was told not to use substrate...is this type of carpet ok?

I've been reading a LOT today too.. since finding out that we have a Jackson cham instead of a Veiled...seeing what I need to change up a bit-they need more humidity for one. Thinking I want to changed out the Repti Glo UVB light we're using as well.

And now that I see the pics of young female Jacksons, we can definitely see she is one. ;) Btw... we named her Matilda.
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
no no, you need both uv B and uv A for her, you already mist 7 times a day, thats good enough with water, check out her pop, is there any yellow or red parts in it?
 

Teed101

New Member
hmm.. Ok I'm confused about the lighting.... What should I use in the Zoo Med dome I have? Should I keep the Repti Glo UVB bulb in the one side and replace the basking bulb in the other side with something else? (I saw some comments in the forums where Repti Glo wasn't the best bulb to be using...)

I've also read now that the linear bulbs are better, but I can't really afford to replace the hood/dome for the lights right now. I can change out the bulbs though, so any suggestions would be very appreciated!

Also, her poop is dark brown/black looking....
 

chrisnoluck

New Member
i think my cham is getting bored with crickets too.. first few days he would eat 5-6 per day.. i started giving him mealworms as a snack and like yours, he loves them. past few days he seems uninterested in the crickets.. if i'm lucky he will eat one but other times he just opens his mouth at me which makes me feel like he wants left alone so i give him some space.
 
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