chameleon food info


New Member
hi, im fifteen and have wanted a chameleon as long as i can remember. i have a friend who keeps a panther called cosmo and she loves him. They're perfect pets for me except I have one problem.

I go to my fathers house for 2 days every two weeks and therefore would have to leave my chameleon for two days every two weeks. I have been told that automatic misters and drippers are fine for watering as wel as automated lighting and heating control, my friend uses these anyway. My problem is feeding.

I have been told that if i leave enough crickets /locusts in a feeding bowl in the enclosure for two days but pull of one side of their legs, the chameleon will feed as and when it needs to but the locust/cricket cannot attack it due to it not being able to move properly.

Is this true or does anyone know of any other solutions?

Thanks all.
Hey noah,
By the way...nice name. You must have had very smart parents. lol

Anyway, onto your concerns. Unfortunately, it sounds like a chameleon might not be for you. Chams are very delicate, and definately need daily attention. They need fed everyday, and at the very least, at least checked on to make sure they aren't dehydrating, or coming down with any other physical problems so that you can try and fix them before they become a real problem. Your idea with feeding may work to an extent, but for the most part, what will probably end up happening is most of the feeders will die in the cup. Plus, if they've been in there for a day or two, that means they havn't been eating anything. So even if you cham does eat them, he's eating a food item with no real nutritional value.
Other problems you could run into is, your timers messing up and not turning the lights and misting system off and on as they should. Even a small power outage could mess your hole cycle up if your not there to make sure everything is ok.
I think it would be fine if you could get someone to do a quick check up and a feeding for those 2 days that your gone. Maybe you have a neighbor who you'd trust enough for this?
i had my suspisions about the pull off legs theory. My mum could prbably check up on a cham for me whilst I'm gone its just the odd occassion when noone will be home.

I'll ask my neighbours see what they think bout feeding or at least checking up on them before i go for a cham. thanks for your help!

Great idea. Its really not to hard to keep a chameleon. You just have to make sure you have the time and resources to do everything right before you dive in. Your doing the right thing asking around before you make the big move. Kudos to you!
asking neighbours and so far everyone have said that they either have a fear of reptiles or would never touch a "creepy crawly" in their words. I've tried explaining about tweezers and feeding bowls and how cool it is to watch a Chamleon feed but so far no joy. :(

We are planning on moving soon so, new neighbours, with a bit of luck Chameleo.... but at the moment I am stuck. I will not give up on a chameleon but I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of any reptilians that xcan be left for 1-2 days without worry or at least won't mind missing a feeding.

thanks again.

I have always been a fan of snakes. They are beautiful creatures and very fun to handle/observe. I was about 50/50 between getting a new snake or a cham. I decided on the cham. Snakes can go a very long time without eating. Also you can get snakes that eat frozen/thawed mice. They sell packs of frozen mice all over the place, we get ours from petsmart, and all you do is take one out of the freezer and thaw it. Some snakes may need the mouse to be dangled around but overall snakes have one of the easiest feeding requirements around.
I have an aluminum enclosure where I don't have to worry about the crickets getting loose in the house. I just release a handful every couple days and they hop all around in the enclosure.

I also have silkworms that I place on branches in the ficus tree and I have a plastic feeding cup set up that my chameleon has learned to check and empty out each day. I keep phoenix worms and sometimes wax worms in that cup.

Also, a sprinkle of fruit flies is fun for your chameleon.

I think with lights and a mister on a timer you would be fine. Just as long as your mom occasionally looks in on the chameleon for you and could possibly set out some worms if need be.
Thankyou all so much for your replies. I looked into snakes and thought they looked wonderful but my step father has a phobia and couldn't have snakes in the house even under lock and key. They also live for dramatically large amounts of time 15 years + and as i will be going off to universtity in 4-5 years i couldnt have a pet for that long.

I'm particularly interested in shelly's reply. How often do you put crickets in the enclosure? My friend with a Chameleon doesn;t keep hers in an enclosure he lives in a tree in their livong room with heat lamp and mister and he goes towards or away from it depending on what he wants. They on the other hand don't seem to mind having crickets and locusts jumping around their house whereas I definately do!

These are all fantastic responses thankyou so much, Shelly you have rekindled my hopes!

sorry Shelby not Shelly! My mistake! and I also forgot, don't you worry about the feed attacking your Chams if left in there??
Last edited:
You can have a food dish in the cham cage. And whenever your gone for the 2 days or whenever, your mom can just put in some silkworms/waxworms etc since their easier to handle to put in the dish. You can also have some live plants that they can munch on aswell...
Silkworms are a great idea. They're a bit more pricy but they'll keep you from having to deal with crickets constantly running around.
But the idea of realeasing a few days worth of food all at once in a chams cage is a little risky in my opinion. Sure you may be able to get away with it, IF the crickets have something besides your cham to chew on. Such as a carrot, or maybe even a ficus tree. But the problem you may run into even if you do get away with realeasing a bunch at a time is that there is no way that your crickets will still have the gut load in their stomachs after a couple days of being in the cage. Aside from the feeders chewing on the cham, the gutloading would be my biggest concern.
would the gutloading problem be that bad if it is only for two days every 2 weeks. I can gutload the crickets for the rest of the time.....
good point. And I'm sure if you used highly nutritious feeders such as silkies, wild caught stuff, and gutloaded crickets, you'd be just fine. So long as you can keep them from making your cham their meal.
would it be possible to, for times away put enough silkies to last two days into a feeding bowl with feed for them to keep them alive and conventionally feed i.e. hand feeding or bowl feeding every day for the rest of the time, then ithe chameleon would still get a varied diet, with a silkworm treat every two weeks.
Personally I'd be more comfortable with a bunch of silkies running around my cage than a bunch of crickets. As far as I know, silkies wont try to eat anything but mulberry leaves, or mulberry chow made specifically for silkworms. I've had silkworms stay alive and crawl around a cage for more than a day, so that just may work.....

Anybody else have thoughts on this??
yes, this information is good and noah aka 2by2 is being great but it would be cool to get some other view on these ideas. so far I've been really impressed and pleased bt the effectiveness of forums, everyone is so nice and helpfull!
no worries

I think you're fine. I always have crickets roaming around my cage. If you released some crickets and some silkies before you left there would be plenty of food for your chameleon. Also I'd just be sure to feed him once you got home. If I were you I would probably get veiled or panther (veileds are much cheaper) because alot of the other species are very tempremental. Also make sure you get a sub-adult so that it is well established and won't be affected so much if he goes 1 day without food (worst case scenario). Do you have the $ needed to purchase all necessary items for your cham and is your mother fully aware of all aspects of owning this cham. If so then I think you're well on your way to becoming the proud owner of a brand new cham. Hope everything works out for you, good luck.
Thankyou!! I was thinking of getting a panther, they are gorgeous and from my limited experience they are very nice to handle and have good personalities.

between birthdays, christmases and my own money I'm sure I'll be able to afford one to start with and I'm quite a keen photographer, maybe I can win some vouchers to help....... lol
Another little tip, especially for baby and smaller chameleons - put some slices of oranges in a cup and poof before you know it, you have fruit flies sprouting on their own. I also do this with baby chameleons as it brings all the feeders to one spot for them to easily find in their cage. I currently have an orange slice in a small 1" tall deli cup for my one week one veiled I have. He loves to stand on the edge and have a feast with all the fruit flies and baby crickets gathered on the orange slice :D .
Good luck with that. I love the photo contest! I'm looking forward to seeing your pics.
Before you buy, just make sure you have all the supplies you need to properly set up a cham....then make sure you have a good bit of cash left over for food.....I forget how nice it must be to only buy like 30-50 crickets a week.....but alas....I remember it was much cheaper than 4,000 a week, plus supplies for gut load....roach food...and silkworm eggs....silkworm chow.....supers....and bug catchers..... lol. I fondly remember the days of $5 a week gets you by without a problem.
Top Bottom