Baby Food...pinheads vs. fruitflies

nosferatu

New Member
Hi everyone...I have a question(s) concerning what is the recommended initial food source for newborn baby veileds? It looks like I will have at least 3 hatching very very soon (after approximately 8 months of incubation). I have read that pinheads and/or fruitflies are usually the preferred feeders but was wondering which of these from your experience may be better (nutrition..convenience...cost...etc). I have tried D. melanogaster briefly when my female ("Mango") was young (she was scared of baby crickets as an infant and seemed to prefer fruit flies)...but they were very "messy" as even the "flightless" ones seemed to possess extraordinary jumping powers which made them difficult to control (it was a miserable experience). I have read that D. Hydei are considered perhaps the best source of food. Anybody here with experience with the D. Hydei? Also, how many D. Hydei would an average baby be expected to consume/day? I need to order some baby food pretty soon...

Thanks,
nosferatu
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Hello nosferatu,

I don't have experience with chameleons as young as you will be dealing with, but there is a link below that might help. I received most of the chameleons I have raised at around 2-3 months of age. When I first received my current chameleon Ezhno, I fed him pinheads, silkworms, and fruitflies. Silkworms were definitely the easiest to feed.

Chameleon News has a great article on feeding babies as well as a 'prenatal and neonatal care' section that would be worth a read if you have not already. I am not sure about the nutritional value of fruitflies, but pinheads and silkworms are both good.

Would love to see some baby pics :)
 

nosferatu

New Member
Brad,

Thanks for your reply...and the link (I actually read the article last year...should have reread it again sooner and prepared some cultures ahead of time). It looks like I will probably try starting with a combination of Black Hydei and melanogaster (found some iffy evidence they may be higher in protein than the hydei...but of course they are smaller and jump everywhere...seems like the consensus among cham owners is hydei are the best though)...I am not the biggest fan of crickets. I have some silkworm eggs in the frig that are about 6 months old (well...not sure if they are good anymore because they were exposed to room temperature for a few hours last month due to electrical problems)...interesting little creatures but they were very labor intensive to keep alive last time...I guess I could feed them off pretty quickly to the babies.

4 have hatched and are running around with 7 more in the hatch process (had many eggs from the same clutch kept in a different area die early due to A/C dying in the Spring while I was gone for 2 weeks...). These guys/gals are so tiny!

I am not really good with forums so I posted some pics (if anyone wants to see some of the hatching process) in my user gallery.
 

Lady cham

New Member
Wow!!
That's so amazing. thanks so much for sharing them!

I wish I had some feeder advice for you but babies are not something I have any knowledge about.

We'd love to see them grow up though. What are your plans for them?
 

nosferatu

New Member
Hi Chamgirl and Lady Cham,

Thanks for viewing my pictures (I have more but seems like 90% of all the pictures I take always come out blurry and unviewable lol...will try to get some more).

I have had 10/11 (well out of the eggs I knew were probably still viable... as I lost many a few months ago which were fertile but had not developed) already hatch during the past 36-48 with the last one on its way. The eggs definitely produce some chemical which synchronizes hatching (I had heard to space them far appart do avoid this but not sure if that would change this due to diffusion through the medium). I had 3 that maybe came out too early (guessing this more on their behavior than any physical characteristics such as size) as they seemed to fluctuate in their state of consiousness (wrong word) being completely active for a few minutes then turning dark/purple and resuming the chamaleon "fetal position" for a few hours. I actually thought they were dead but they appear to be exhibiting normal activity patterns now (hope this does not have any bearing on future health/prognosis). Anyway, I am still learning much about these new hatchlings as I have never bred any vertebrates before.

...not sure yet what I will do with them yet...right now I guess I plan to raise them at least 2-3 months...I am curious to see what colors they will display!
 

nosferatu

New Member
Well...I got my fruitfly cultures yesterday (a couple melanogaster + a black hydei and a golden hydei) and the little ones certainly seem to prefer the fruit flies to pinheads (...they just don't seem to be interested which is fine by me because I don't like keeping crickets). I have only tried the melanogaster so can't really compare those with the hydei yet (the hydei are a little larger). I will probably start separating them into smaller enclosures to see how each is eating. They definitely lose moisture quickly and have high hydration requirements.

I added a few more images yesterday. I also added some interesting ones today of their mom ("Mango") eating a large hummingbird that she zapped while I was taking the babies outside for some sunlight. It is rare that a hummingbird even comes by where I live (last time I saw one was 10 years ago) so it was amazing that I was able to witness Mango actually strike the hummingbird from the air and consume it. I felt sorry for the hummingbird but there was not much I could do. Mango did not seem to have any problems with such a large prey item either. I wish I had my camera outside at the time it happened to get better pictures...

[Brad...is there any way for me to edit/delete any of the pictures I posted...lol I posted too many and did not compress them so I ran out of space. Also I would love to see more of everybody's chams...especially Ezhno! He and his relatives are so beautiful]
 
what temp did you incubate the eggs at and what is the genders of your babies. new born male will have that spur on the hind feet. when i had a baby chameleon i feed them termites and pinheads because they are easy to dust compared to fruitfly. rember new born are harder to keep then adults so make sure you give them the proper vitamis an calcium. i have 9 fertile eggs out of 44eggs laid by my female
 

neil nosy be

New Member
nosferatu


Regarding fruitflys, ive had loads of babys in the 9 yrs ive been keeping panthers(will have to check records) and have always started them off on melanogaster and then moved on too hydie.You should also try pinhead cricket regardless if you dont like keeping them.Be sure to dust all feeders with a vitamin and mineral supplement rich in calcium and D3.Ive always kept my hatchlings in sweet jars with full spectrum lighting hanging over the top,just unscrew the lid of the jar cut a circular hole in it and replace with screen.These i keep them in till around 1 1/2 months of age they are then ready to go into slightly larger cages

Neil
 
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hilohi

New Member
Fruit flies or crickets

nosferatu,

I agree with Neil. I think that pinhead crickets are essential. When my first clutch of veileds hatched, I just fed fruit flies for the first week but I quickly noticed that some of the babies looked small and thin. So I separated the babies into plastic containers and added pinheads to the menu and they all got plump and active. Now my main food items for babies are pinheads, small silkworms and small superworms.

The reason that I moved away from fruit flies is because they tend to get everywhere. I started off with flightless ones that jumped all over the place and then eventually they learned to fly and I had them in every room of the house. :mad:
 

Seeco

New Member
4 realz?

I added a few more images yesterday. I also added some interesting ones today of their mom ("Mango") eating a large hummingbird that she zapped while I was taking the babies outside for some sunlight. It is rare that a hummingbird even comes by where I live (last time I saw one was 10 years ago) so it was amazing that I was able to witness Mango actually strike the hummingbird from the air and consume it. I felt sorry for the hummingbird but there was not much I could do. Mango did not seem to have any problems with such a large prey item either. I wish I had my camera outside at the time it happened to get better pictures...
Is this just a legend or what?
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I have baby quads and they won't yet eat anything but fruit flys. I have tried putting ever type of fruit to keep them in the baby bins but the sh**s are all over the place. I can't even take a cup of coffee in to watch the babies eat first thing in the morning!!! I offered pinheads but they are still too small.:(

When I had baby veileds I offered both ffs & pinheads. Within 2 or 3 weeks they were on only pinheads - my choice don't know what they thought.
 
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