Beginner Owner

zeeko

New Member
Hi all-

I'm currently in the process of getting ready to purchase a male baby veiled chameleon. He is going to be a little upwards of 2 months old.
Before I purchase him, I am trying to get everything completely ready and be confident about my ability to take care of the little guy. This will be my first reptile, and I know chameleons are not recommended for beginner reptile owners but I have been doing extensive research and this is something I really want and also want to be responsible about!
I'm currently pretty confident with my environment setup, but have a few quick questions that I think would be nice to hear from first hand experience aside from books and blogs.
Firstly, I'm wondering how far up the cage I should but my vines and branches/how far away they should be from my basking light and UVB light? I have a 16x16x30 reptibreeze cage, and I want to make sure I don't burn the little guy!

Secondly, I'm more concerned about the feeding process. Since this is my first reptile I don't have any experience with handling crickets, etc. I have read a lot about impaction, so I'm assuming I should start him off with crickets- but since he is so little, is there a certain type or size of cricket I should get? And how do I go about "gut-feeding" them? I'm assuming place the food in a plastic container with them? And also how often should I feed him dusted crickets?
And also- I plan on trying to hand feed him, but I don't plan on it until he is comfortable and adapted to his environment- so until I attempt this, do I just leave a few crickets in his cage?

Okay- I think that's it for now. Thanks to anyone who reads all of this in advance- I am totally the type of girl that will be hysterical if my little guy dies on me so I want to go into this new ownership responsibly so I can keep a happy and healthy little guy!
 

creep

New Member
I will try to answer your questions as thoroughly as possible while at work.

The cage itself is fine for a small cham and your vines should go all the way to the top, The cham need to have the heat lamp on one side or corner, and a place to cool off on the opposite side. Given you have enough plants and vines he will climb as close to the light as he needs. Dont forget your cage is made of screen so he can climb anywhere he wants to anyways. Better to have him bask on the plants then on the screen.

Feeding will be a little trial and error. Crickets are kinda stinky to keep and easily die if you dont give them enough food and water or drown them with a water dish. There are water based gel things you can buy at the pet store to water the crickets safely. I purchase about 50 at a time and that last me a few days.

Gut loading is fairly straight forward and if you search you can read plenty about it so i wont cover that.
Same with dusting, Do calc with d3 once every two weeks and the same with the multi vitamin. Use calcium every feeding but not necessary.

Impaction is an issue if it is eating dirt, little gravel, or wood chips from the enclosure. Make sure any potting soil is covered with large rocks to keep him from eating dirt..

hand feeding takes patience and is like fishing. You need the right bait to get him to trust you. And wiggling the cricket around will help to entice him. Cham's are attracted to the movement so the more the cricket is wiggling and flailing the harder time the cham can ignore it.

Watering and misting is important so make sure you have a good set up or plan with how to keep him hydrated

Hope this answers some of your concerns.
 

camimom

New Member
Calcium without d3 IS NECESSARY on every feeding.

DO not use the gel stuff from petsmart or petco. It can cause some issues if somehow your cham ingests it. Not to mention, its not that good for gutloading.

Sandrachameleon has some great blogs on gutloading. fresh fruits and veggies are key to a good bug food. which in turn is a key to a good healthy cham.

you can keep your cham in that size cage until hes about 4-6 months old, then as an adult he needs a 2x2x4 ft cage.

you need a basking and a uvb bulb, 12 hours on, 12 hours off (or set it for the rise and fall of the sun)

your cham can eat all bugs at his age, so long as they are properly sized.

Crickets should be no longer than the space between the eyes of your cham.

for feeding the crickets- its best to cup feed. get a container thatis deep enough the crickets cant get out, but shallow enough your cham can reach in with his tongue.
 
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