Chameleon still hasn't laid eggs


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I've posted a couple posts about my chameleon but haven't really gotten much replies. Petrie has never showed signs of digging that we have noticed, and she still has a very big appetite (5-10 crickets a day). On the 15th of August we took her into the vet and they did a x-ray which showed she had eggs but they were very high up near her front legs and none down further. Since then her belly on the bottom is starting to appear like she swallowed marbles but she is no longer bright pink all the time, she is showing her stripes of brown along her back. We currently have a laying bin inside her cage that is mixed with sand and top soil that is 10 inches deep with vines and branches leading into it. I'm wondering how long it takes chameleons eggs to develop before they lay them, and also is there anyway I can tell when she is ready? Also, is the bin we are using good enough or should we use a garbage bin filled and add a light there?
Previous post w/ how to ask for help attached.
Hello. :) From your first post she definitely looks pretty and plump! It could be that she's just not ready yet. It took my female a little over a month. She gave me signs right away when she was ready. Naturally they will start searching for a good place to lay. Most times they will have a loss in appetite or just stop eating. Mine would only drink. Her bm's were very small too. This is all normal. The change in color could mean any day now. For my little girl it was like a light switch. One day pretty orange.. The next, pretty dark with the other changes. Hopefully very soon she will start to test her bin to make sure it's what she wants. I use playsand and leave a handprint in it so I can see when it's been scratched around in at least. My Olive took 3 days to lay once she started testing holes in her bin. So stressful to not know exactly what's going on!!!

I hope this helps even if just a little with my experience with my Olive. :)

Hi Laurenleeg, thanks for the information!
Here's a quick update on Petrie, she has been eating normally the last couple days, although her dropping seem smaller in size, and yesterday and today she has been running around her cage as if she is looking for something. We were unsure if she could get into her bin safely so I added another tree branch and placed her in her bin and she found her way out quickly. Hopefully all this pacing means she will lay soon! Such a stressful event on both of us it seems! She is now back pink so I'm not sure why the changes in her color. When I added the branches to her cage she climbed out onto my arm (she is very friendly and loves attention, but hasn't been handled since the x-ray other than cage cleaning) and I got to feel the eggs, so they are definitely down lower than before!
Hey Brittany! :D Just keep a close eye on her. Sounds like any day really. I think sometimes they know how much we worry about them and they giggle inside or something. Haha! :p I stressed more about Olive's first clutch than anything I can ever remember stressing over. :eek: I think I ate less than she did! I'm glad she's doing okay. Keep us updated. :)
Hello again!
Just an update on Petrie today, she is definitely pacing a lot! She is constantly running into her laying bin then back out again and repeats this over and over again. Would this be a sign that she doesn't like the bin conditions or just her pacing to get labour going?
i had a female veiled and she never lost appetite..she kept climbing around the cage non stop for nearly a got to the point of just sitting at the bottom. she didnt want the bin in her cage so i took her and put her in a black kitchen garbage can with topsoil and moss...put her in the basement and left her alone...didnt appear that she did anything. but she did after a two days...but unfortunately not to spook you...she didnt make it...she laid 43 eggs. i brought her to the vet to see if they could give her a dose of something to get her moving again but she passed 10 minutes after being there...i know its stressful for sure. but i hope she can do it and makes it through ok. good luck. just be will know when shes ready
Hi Nstoebs,
Thanks for the reply and I am very sorry for your loss! Petrie has eaten 8 crickets so far this morning, and has had a very small dropping, about three times less the size than normal if not smaller. She is getting very plump, I will add a couple photos later today. She still hasn't started to scratch at anything or go to the bottom of the cage, just pacing around and still a peachy color. I hope she lays soon with no issues, I'm definitely soft hearted for pets and don't take losing one easily!
entrance exit

Make sure her pathway is sturdy and secure. vines may not be her choice. i use bird ladders after finding out some of my gravid females couldn't make it up or down branches. Especially afterwards, it will hard for her to leave. you wil see the exhaustion on her physically. Give her food & water asap afterwards. good luck.
Hi junglefries!
Thanks for the advice!
Petrie still hasn't laid eggs yet, she is still eatin and drinking, looks healthy, continues to have small droppings and still pacing around her cage. She enters her laying bin several times a day and leaves again, not sure why she does that. Her vines and tree branches are secured so they don't move around when she walks on them since I've noticed her grip isn't as good as before, they're also small enough branches so she gets maximum grip on them. I will take some pictures of her and her cage and upload them shortly!
Thanks for your help.
What are you using for substrate in your lay bin?

How deep is it?

How wet is it?

How wide is it?

Is it covered in front and sides so no one can see in, or is it wide and open?
Here are some photo's, I can only upload 5 at a time, will add the other three in next post.

What are you using for substrate in your lay bin?
- Top soil and play box sand mixture
How deep is it?
9" deep
How wet is it?
Wet enough to hold a tunnel without it collapsing in on itself
How wide is it?
13" wide, 12 and 1/4" long
Is it covered in front and sides so no one can see in, or is it wide and open?
Not covered, she turns dark whenever I put a sheet over her cage to give her privacy, she is left alone in a room all day and we only enter the room at night when she is asleep.


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More photos as promised.

Also more information in case you haven't read the first post:
Petrie hasn't begun scratching at the cage or hasn't gone to the bottom of the cage, although there appeared to be a couple scratch marks in the sand two days ago but thats all we noticed. We had x-rays done at the vet on August 15th that showed she had eggs very high up in her belly but none down low that they could see. Since then she has begun eating again, drinking lots (her urates are now back to white with every dropping) and she has been very active the last week. She does enter her laying bin often, she constantly walks into her laying bin then back out, I started a tunnel for her to see if that would help.


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First, her bin isnt deep enough.

All my females laid eggs 10 inches down.

So that might be part of her issue.

Next- if the lay area is too out in the open for her, she wont do it, as she will fear a predator seeing her, and while digging and laying they are vulnerable.

I suggest get a deeper bin, and add some vines or something to hide the bin from sight.

Or just cover her cage, she might stress for a bit, but most prefer the privacy while laying.
Hi there,
I can add more sand to the laying bin to make it 13 inches but then it will be filled to the top of the bin, is that okay or should I leave one-two inches from the top of the bin? We also have a garbage bin we had tried to use for laying that has top soil in it, but when we placed her in there she stressed a lot and wouldn't move from her branches. I can place the sheet back over her and see if that helps.
Thanks for the information.
Theres no need to leave a lip.

Just fill it up, and get her some privacy.

SHe also, may simply not be quite ready to lay.

once a female begins developing eggs, it can take 4-8 weeks for them to lay.
Okay I will fill up the remaining of the bin this evening when she is asleep so I don't bother her during the day. I will also add the sheet at this time to give her privacy. I kinda have a feeling she isn't ready to lay yet since she hasn't begun digging but I just want to make sure we are doing everything right to keep her healthy and keep her from becoming egg bound. She is our first chameleon and we initially thought she was a boy!
Thanks for all your help. I will continue to post updates about Petrie!
Those beautiful pinks scream receptive to me. Has she been mated? I would highly recommend a laying bin in her cage at all time but normally they turn a dark color when they have eggs. Check out this video by Dez.

You might also find my egg laying blog helpful and Dez's video on how to make a laying bin. Both are linked below.
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Hi jannb,
No she has not been mated since we've had her but we don't know if she had any contact with any other chameleons before we had purchased her. As posted previously the vet did take x-rays which showed she had eggs so I'm not sure if thats the case or not. She does have a laying bin in her cage at all times since we were told about the x-ray as well.
Thanks for the information and the links, I will definitely look into them!
Just an update on Petrie:
She stopped eating crickets a couple days ago and yesterday she stayed on one branch the entire day and didn't move, we've been providing her water and she is not drinking anything and she is dehydrated. She started walking around today and I put her sheet back over her, she ate a couple crickets this morning and I've had her dripper on all morning and have been spraying down her cage. She still hasn't begun digging at anything. She turned dark when I put the sheet over her cage, she doesn't seem to like it but I will keep it on to see if it helps. I'm hoping she either lays her eggs soon or the vet that provides better service for chameleon's opens back up before she becomes egg bound. Every time I put my hand into her cage to clean up poop, dead crickets, etc. she runs to my hand and begins climbing up my arm, I am unsure what this could mean.
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