Chameleon trying to escape habitat

#1
We've had this little guy for about 3mo now and I'm going to guess he was already 6mo old

Once we got heat and light sorted out together with nutrients based on feedback in this forum he seemed to settle down although for the most part he only eats crickets. We tried the odd super worm and horned worms, but I guess he just likes to hunt the crickets, so.....

Anyway, we have him in a started habitat 16" x 16" x 30" elevated off the ground about 2' He has a drip and gets mist 2 x daily (which he hates). The habitat has plenty of places to hide, climb and bask in the lamps with artificial plants, no real plants. Heat and lights on timer cycle which he follows religiously. he eats between 5-10 crickets depending on size a day from semi-transparent bins but also hits the ones that escape. We rarely leave any food in the habitat once he goes to rest in a corner or under some foliage.

Over the last week, he started to act strangely. When placing food in his habitat, he climbs towards the door and once it's opened he climbs up and out. I put my hand out and he climbs onto me. if I let him he'd climb up my arm and head for my head, but I'll let him continue hand over hand for a while. If I hold him high on one hand he'll rest and look around but will eventually start climbing down. He really doesn't stop until I put him back in the habitat but if I go close during the day he'll move in readiness to climb out again.

All I could think was that maybe he's outgrown the habitat. Outstretched he's about 4-5" long plus the tail additional. Looking at him, I'd think he should be good in the 16" x 16" x 30" for a while, but I was wondering if there may be some other reason he wants to get out.

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#3
Cage is too small and is looking for a girlfriend. Minimum cage is 2’x2’x4’.
Ugh, guess we need to look for a new habitat, if he's already outgrown then maybe even something bigger than you suggest.

Is there anything we can do to relieve his frustration other than advertising for someone who wants to breed if mating is on his mind?
 

Leiv

New Member
#4
From what i can see you need to add more Branches and cover so he will have places to hide when he feels scared and larger cage too. It should look like a jungle lots of places to hide, and when he feels safe he will come out.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
#5
Definitely agree with above^ but before you start spending money can we review your entire set up so we can make sure you get the right upgrades the first time so you don’t waste any money?

Please fill out the “how to ask for help” form and post your answers back here. Quality pictures will help us help you.

Chameleon Info:
◦Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
◦Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
◦Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
◦Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
◦Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
◦Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
◦History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
◦Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
◦Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
◦Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
◦Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
◦Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
◦Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
◦Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
1The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
2Photos can be very helpful.
 
#6
Yes, he needs a 2 x 2 x 4 and even I think that is almost too small. I am knew to this but want to get a large atrium eventually for mine.
 
#7
Chameleon Info:
◦Your Chameleon - Vaileds, Male, I'm guessing 1yr old. 6mo with us. His body is about 5" long plus tail.
◦Handling - Currently the little fellow is pretty much begging to get out of his habitat, so he gets handled multiple times a day currently.
◦Feeding - Primary diet is crickets eating between 5-10 medium size per day. He'll take his main feed at about 9:00am and may snack later in the day Crickets are gut loaded with Flucker's cricket quencher.
◦Supplements - Reptisafe instant water conditioner in the mist and drinking water.Reptisafe calcium with and without D3?
◦Watering - Misting 2 x a day for 30 secs, we also use a drip and yes we see him drinking off the plastic leaves.
◦Fecal Description -Regular brown and white droppings daily. Has NOT been tested for parasites?
◦History - Once we got his habitat right, he settled down and seemed pretty happy coming out to eat in the morning and basking during the day.

Cage Info:
◦Cage Type - Screen 16" x 16" x 30"
◦Lighting - ZooMed Reptisun T5 High Output Terrarium Hood with 15 Watt 12" UVB, 75 Watt Repti Basking spot lamp, ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 UVB lamp 12hrs on 12hrs off using a timer
◦Temperature - Habitat remains at around 80-83 Deg during the day and doesn't drop below 75 at night
◦Humidity - We do not measure humidity, honestly I'm curious to know how humidity can be controlled in a screen habitat in a large well-ventilated room.
◦Plants - No live plants, just plastic. We have considered adding some live plants but not really sure what is appropriate and easy to maintain.
◦Placement - The habitat is located in our living room which is open plan, so that would make it well ventilated. The habitat sits 2' above the floor on a coffee table about the same size as the enclosure.
◦Location - We live in Dallas, TX.

The problem we are experiencing is that out chameleon has recently started to try and escape, mainly when we try to feed him or while cleaning the habitat, he'll climb up the screen and sit on the top edge of the open door. If you put your hand out, he'll immediately climb onto it but won't sit still for long, he soon starts walking up your arm and will continue walking if you put your hands repeatedly in front of him. He doesn't hiss or make any aggressive stance, just walks...

If I take him into my study in the afternoon, I can put him on my desk cantilever lamp and he'll bask in the sun happily.

When back in his habitat, he'll move down under one of the two feeding tubs about 1hr before the lamps go out. I suspect he sleeps where he does to avoid getting wet with the mist spray in the night. He absolutely hates getting wet even in the day.

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#8
Some constructive criticism. your cage is too small, you need a minimum of a 2 x 2 x 4, your uv light serves no purpose, you need a 10.0 linear uv light either a t-5 or t-8, your night time temp is too high, it should be 60-65 night and 80 day with basking spot of 90
 
#9
Some constructive criticism. your cage is too small, you need a minimum of a 2 x 2 x 4, your uv light serves no purpose, you need a 10.0 linear uv light either a t-5 or t-8, your night time temp is too high, it should be 60-65 night and 80 day with basking spot of 90
It's all cool; I don't think you're criticizing since the reason we posted was to ask for advice which you're giving :)

So based on previous replies, we'd pretty much assumed a new cage was needed. The question we have is.... could he outgrow the 2 x 2 x 4 cage if so better we plan for the long haul :)

Regarding the lamp, we do have T5, that was mentioned in the questionnaire.

I'm surprised about temp, even though we mist I doubt we're accomplishing much of an increase in humidity in the habitat. I guess we need to get a meter to be sure, but any suggestions on how to raise the humidity in a screen cage which naturally has plenty of ventilation.

Thanks for the input, it is appreciated, more suggestions from anyone else at this time are welcome.

Regards,
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
#10
Adult male veiled cage min size is 2'x2'x4' but bigger will not hurt if you can fit it. I have also read wider is good too since a veiled can reach 2' long which is the same as the width of the cage. I noticed with both my boys they tend to wander the cage but since I went wider my veiled doesn't try to get out unless he wants me to take him to his free range spots. That's decreased in the winter though since he wants to bask more and it's been too cold to take him outside.
 
#11
So far, apart from the comment on night vs. daytime temperature, it seems there was an early comment about our chameleon looking for a mate, but the recurring comments have been related to the size of the habitat. I just need someone to say categorically that the reason he is probably clamoring to get out when I walk near his cage is that he wants more space. Are there any other possibilities.

Thanks in advance, I'm very grateful to everyone that's commented so far.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
#12
No one can say categorically if it is one or the other. He is biologically driven to patrol his turf and find a girlfriend, you can’t turn that switch off. Even if you mated him tomorrow he’d be looking for a new piece the next day, he’s a guy! They are just like us, if you put a new piece in front of him he’s gonna want to tap it. However there is no doubt that he NEEDs a 4x2x2 viv, it is the absolute minimum. We actually recommend all our members start with a 4x2x2 viv from the get go...
 
#13
No one can say categorically if it is one or the other. He is biologically driven to patrol his turf and find a girlfriend, you can’t turn that switch off. Even if you mated him tomorrow he’d be looking for a new piece the next day, he’s a guy! They are just like us, if you put a new piece in front of him he’s gonna want to tap it. However there is no doubt that he NEEDs a 4x2x2 viv, it is the absolute minimum. We actually recommend all our members start with a 4x2x2 viv from the get go...
Thx, that tells me what I was looking for. I fully understand that with the info I've shared that a precise diagnosis is pretty much impossible. He appears healthy/ normal based on our limited experience so far, but it was alarming how active he'd become, especially in wanting to get out of the cage. We'll get his habitat attended to this weekend, and take it from there.

Thx again to all that had responded.
 
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