Chameleon Buried Herself?

Hi all, my cham is ~ 2 years abd has never laid before, she’s not showing receptive colors but when I took her outside she buried herself hallway down into the soil of a potted plant. She doesn’t care about her lay bin at all which is moist sand, maybe should i switch it so something more similar to potting soil so she’ll like it better? Attached is a pic of her when she buried herself. Shes in the middle of a shed, but it’s supposed to be the last warm day for a while so I wanted to give her a chance to go outside one more time before winter. Maybe she just doesn’t like the lay bin substrate? When i put her back into her enclosure I set her down on the sand and she ignored it and just started climbing. Should I switch my lay bin to dirt? She’s never shown interest in digging before.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
What does your lay bin look like? She may have liked that there were plants in this pot. Some will mix 50% organic soil with 50% playsand in their bin.
 
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this is her lay bin, the hole is a “tester hole” i dug that, like i said, she has no interest in. Maybe I should move the plants out of the way? I just want her to be able to get in and out. And maybe I will try the half and half idea - is there any reason why you couldn’t do full soil?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
View attachment 312346
this is her lay bin, the hole is a “tester hole” i dug that, like i said, she has no interest in. Maybe I should move the plants out of the way? I just want her to be able to get in and out. And maybe I will try the half and half idea - is there any reason why you couldn’t do full soil?
No I think the plants are good. So your lay bin looks extremely deep. You want about 6 inches in depth no more then that. You would either do all playsand or half and half. You can not do all soil because the tunnels can collapse on them.
 
What does your lay bin look like? She may have liked that there were plants in this pot. Some will mix 50% organic soil with 50% playsand in their bin.
Also, how can I make sure she knows it’s there? My chameleon great and I love her but she’s not always the brightest, sometimes I have to show her the
No I think the plants are good. So your lay bin looks extremely deep. You want about 6 inches in depth no more then that. You would either do all playsand or half and half. You can not do all soil because the tunnels can collapse on them.
Okay, sounds good. I read somewhere that the bins should be a foot square, which seemed excessive to me but I wanted to get it right. I will change it asap. Does it have to be on the floor or can it be raised up a little? I’m just anxious for her to find it and acknowledge it- she’s not always the brightest (sometimes i have to rattle her bowl and show her there are bugs inside before she figures it out 😂). I’d hate for her to get sick. Will making it shallower and changing the substrate probably fix it? And do you think she’ll be more interested? (I know it’s a lot of questions I just want to make sure I got everything.)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
so look into the shallow bins... Link in this image... If you mix the substrate you should be able to actually plant some plants into it. If she is looking for digging in plants then she may prefer this. @MissSkittles has females and can give you more direction than I can. I have tagged her so hopefully she can help you.

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Are you able to put that plant in her enclosure next to her lay bin? Since she obviously sees it as suitable, let her lay her eggs in it.
I can see! The only thing is that it’s pretty big, but it might fit. Also, I’m not sure if it’s safe if she tried to eat it, It’s an outsdoor plant on my deck that i only let her climb on with supervision. But maybe I could repot something else in there and then use the soil?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can see! The only thing is that it’s pretty big, but it might fit. Also, I’m not sure if it’s safe if she tried to eat it, It’s an outsdoor plant on my deck that i only let her climb on with supervision. But maybe I could repot something else in there and then use the soil?
What is the plant? If she likes it just the way it is, I wouldn’t change it.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s is catmint and sweet william.
Found this related to bearded dragons. https://petcareadvisors.com/bearded-dragons/safe-and-harmful-plants-for-bearded-dragons/
Allow these reptiles to have only the leaves of Carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius), and sweet William (D. barbatus) all in the genus Dianthus.
Only able to find that catmint (aka catnip) is safe for beardie’s.
How attached are you to the plant? I’m thinking it’s the root ball and cover leaves that she finds attractive. Personally, I’d cut most of the plant down, leaving just the leaves that covers the soil and stick the whole pot it inside the lay bin. Not on top though but submerging the pot all the way so just the top pokes out.
 
Found this related to bearded dragons. https://petcareadvisors.com/bearded-dragons/safe-and-harmful-plants-for-bearded-dragons/
Allow these reptiles to have only the leaves of Carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius), and sweet William (D. barbatus) all in the genus Dianthus.
Only able to find that catmint (aka catnip) is safe for beardie’s.
How attached are you to the plant? I’m thinking it’s the root ball and cover leaves that she finds attractive. Personally, I’d cut most of the plant down, leaving just the leaves that covers the soil and stick the whole pot it inside the lay bin. Not on top though but submerging the pot all the way so just the top pokes out.
not super attached - it’s on the outs anyway since new england autumn would get it soon enough. what you’re saying it cut off the top part and just leave the bottom bits that provide cover on the soil?
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
It’s ot good to move them once they start digging but I guess you had no choice. I use a good 10 inches in my lay bins. After all in the wild they have the great outdoors and not a little pot. I’m not taking any chance on my girls getting egg bound.

Also you can put her in a large trash can with 10 inches of moist sand/soil, with no way out and she will most likely get to digging.

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yup. I’d trim the stems down to just about 4” or so and leave just a couple of leaves and all the dead stuff which provide cover for the soil.
 
@MissSkittles okay, so i moved the plant and trimmed it once i got it in the space. The place where she dug is rotated to the right (least active side of the room) so hopefully she feels safer because of that too. Do you think this is good? (poor baby- she’s a little freaked out that i just gave her a new piece of furniture) o
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