Big Cages

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is something that should be mentioned. If you keep your chameleons in an enclosure and are not free ranging them I recommend going as big a cage as you can. 4X2X2 (feet) cages can adequately house mid sized species such as veilds, panthers, quadricornis and deremensis. However, if you have got the means and space to go bigger I recommend it. One point to mention is that normal 4X2X2 cages have got good verticle structure however lack horizontal strucxture. Horizontal structure allows chameleons to cruise and revieve more exercise this is a normal and healthy habit that chameleons are fond of as seen with panthers, quadricornis and veilds. This is something that is lacking in normal 4X2X2 cages. Plus these chameleons in larger cages looks even more impressive. A point to note I regularly keep my panther chameleons in 4X4X2 and 8X4X4 cages. Where they are capable of cruising all day long, which is something that would be denied to them in a 4X2X2 cage.

Jeremy
 
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Ace

Avid Member
Trust me, if i have the space (which i will soon have:D) i would:cool:

im looken at a 6L x 4 W x 8 H --4 cage unit that i can make into one big cage:cool: for a future melleri:cool:..but i am getting ahead of myself....
most likely i plan to built my enclosures:cool:. Todnedo needs to send me those dang blueprints of his enclosure:rolleyes:

great advice and topic...:)
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have my cham in a 18 X 18 X 36 but that is just one cage. He is able to freerange on my patio and also I have a very large outdoor cage. I cannot remember the demensions but it is nice and used to house an Iguana at one point. I live in Florida so he is out there in the sun in that cage every change I get. What I am trying to say, is that I totally agree with you!;)
 

robertc

Member
Honestly, very big cages also have several disadvantages. It is almost impossible to keep inside the temperature which is considerably different than the room temperature and it is more difficult to reach proper ventilation. And of course, sometimes it is difficult to find the cham inside. Finally, there is also a bit dark in the lower parts (and thus for example ficus benjamina lose the lower leafs). My cages for adult animals have 1m*1m*1.9m.
 

fluxlizard

New Member
I think valid points both sides of the argument.

One thing I think about nowadays- many times we think because chams are arboreal the cage should automatically be taller than it is long. But if cages are as long or longer than they are tall, it gives more room for actually going places besides up and down. For example- 4' high x 2 x 2 is pretty good, but 4' x 4 x 2 gives more room for horizontal movement. Chams are very beautiful when stretched out and moving horizontally...

I also think height of the top of the cage from the ground is more important than the idea that the cage be taller than it is long (either outdoors or indoors- the ground I walk on, not the floor of the cage). I think most chams would much rather have a 30" tall cage on a shelf so the top of the cage is 5' or 6' off the floor than a 4' tall cage sitting on the floor for example...

I don't think size need be taken to extremes though. Size does make certain parts of husbandry more difficult, at least in my mind. Temperatures, water and feeding, light, humidity, catching if needed, etc, all become more difficult the larger the cage gets.
 
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jcal

Member
i was thinking about giving my cham more horizontal movement today. i though about putting the cage really high and turning it horizontal instead of vertical but im not the if that would work. i guess they still need vertical movement.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
My large cage is outdoors here in Florida so I do not worry too much about the husbandry cause it is almost always humid and sunny! I have the best of both worlds!!!! As far as catching as fluxlizard spoke of, I never have to "catch" my cham. Alls I do is open the door and he comes right to me!!!!
 

fluxlizard

New Member
As far as catching as fluxlizard spoke of, I never have to "catch" my cham. Alls I do is open the door and he comes right to me!!!!
My melleri are like that too, because I hand those feed most of the time, which takes me 30 or 40 minutes. I don't have time to hand feed everything though, and if an animal needs to be moved- well anyone who has had to move several 6" veileds out of a 4'x30"x30" cage to start keeping them individually with a big potted plant right in the middle they can hide behind and foliage everywhere knows what I am talking about. They can move pretty fast LOL.

Outdoors like you is best. I dream of moving to Florida so I can keep everything outdoors year round instead of only from may to october...
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Actually, I don't keep my cham outdoors all year, and I don't think most of us who live in Florida do either. My cage is more for him to get some good sun during the day. Although the weather is nice pretty much year round, the summers are brutally hot and we do get some pretty cold days and nights here lately. The past few years the climate seems to be changing and we are getting more and more cold days here in Florida. The nights have been especially cold, and enough where you could not keep a cham outside. The summer is a constant 90 degrees plus and I will take my cham outside but there is really no place for him to cool off with those temps. I suppose there are people in Florida who do it and maybe they will respond to this and say differently. I just have always been afraid. The cold is a no brainer, but the heat is something that I suppose they could survive in, but not too comfortably. I don't know if you saw the thread of the guy who lost his cham in Arizona for like 3 or 4 months this summer and found it alive. You would never think it would have survived those temps and not having access to water but it did. Maybe they are more durable than we give them credit for!
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've always wondered why people don't utilize this forum more often:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/open-enclosures/

(it may be closed to junior members)..

I think Brad mentioned it including large cages depending on who is defining it. :)
I was not aware that Brad made open enclosures for for big screen cages.

I have always been of the opinion that the standards (4X2X2) cages sold today are to small since they offer no horizontal movement for midsized chameleons. I prefer for midsized chameleons that they should be 4X4x2 and at that size cages are still practicle for many keepers. It would be great to see some cage companies to build 4X4X2 screen cages as not all of use are handy in regards to building custom cages. If you start going bigger than that it does become more advanced chameleon keeping. With my giant cages (Rhinos cage) cleaning and rearranging branches is much more difficult (I have got to climb into the cage). However when it is all done with I think it is worth the effort.
 

robertc

Member
For me, it is much less comfortable to clean small cages. I really hate cleaning my cages for babies equipped with living plants (80cm*40cm*60cm, the last is height).
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Since I free range my guys in a room that has a lot of horizontal space as well (I have rope and vines criss crossing over my head from wall to wall so they have a high "level" to roam and be high up on) and I can tell you that they use the horizontal space a lot more than the vertical. They only come down to waist level to eat but they spend more of the day roaming forward, not upwards or downwards. And if I had to build cages for any of them I would defintely build them something wider.
 

svinyard

New Member
I was not aware that Brad made open enclosures for for big screen cages.

I have always been of the opinion that the standards (4X2X2) cages sold today are to small since they offer no horizontal movement for midsized chameleons. I prefer for midsized chameleons that they should be 4X4x2 and at that size cages are still practicle for many keepers.
Ditto, I think this should be the standard recommended size. I can't tell you how many pics and you tube videos you see with 18x18x24 inch cages. Disappointing. Even as a 13yr I was able to easily build large screen enclosures easily and knew enough that a cham would need something like that. Still a retard at 13 but still it seemed like common sense to a kid.

Had Jackson, 7 yrs back in a the 175gal reptarium and still too small. It always seemed like the guy was so confined horizontally.
 
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