Chameleon Eating Sand

I bought my female veiled chameleon in December, the pet store did not know the age of her but she seemed fairly small. Last week I noticed she was laying on the bottom of her cage, she was not scratching or trying to get out but I decided to put a laying bin in there anyways. For the past few days I notice she is going down by the laying bin and eating the sand, she has not been digging in it though. Should I take the bin out or leave it in?

Also, if anyone knows a lot about chameleons and would like to try to estimate the age of my chameleon by the picture I have of her that would be great. I don't know if I'm putting the laying bin in too soon or not.

Thanks :)
If it's the one in your avatar I'd say it's not too early to have the bin in.
She could be somewhere around 8months plus.

Hard to say from that pic for sure.
I attached some more images so you can get a better look at her. I have been reading some other forums on here and some say that their female veiled chameleons eat sand too. Do you think it is harmless or should I use a different substrate?


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If she is eating it-take it out immediately. I lost a female about 2 months ago, and I did a necropsy and she was completely packed with sand. I had been seeing her eat it as well. It was horrible. Definately take it out.
I have used this brand of sand for many many years and lots of my chameleons have ingested it and it always comes out the other end without ever causing an impaction...

Its a tough decision...if you take the sand out and have no place in the cage for her to dig and you miss the signs of impending egglaying then your chameleon could die eggbound. If you use sand or soil or any other substrate and it causes an impaction you will end up with a dead chameleon.
I use the play sand as well and my female veileds do eat it, and they poop sand turds!! I put the buckets in because they were hanging around the bottom alot. Better safe than sorry!! After a couple of days, they quit eating it!
Chameleons have Gizzards?!

If your veiled chameleon is eating sand, it might be because reptiles DO have gizzards, like female eats a little sand almost every morning, and her poops reflect this. It is Home Depot playsand, with no lime or other caustic substances, and is in a box for her to begin digging if she needs to lay eggs...She seems fine, happy in fact, no other signs of stress, so I think it might be ok for her to pop her tounge into the moist sand. I think it helps regulate her digestion? Ask a good reptile vet if you really want to know
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