Chameleons without natural sun

Alexander1

Avid Member
Obviously veiled chameleons would do much better exposed to natural sunlight, but ever since I put my 7 month old veiled in his adult enclosure it's very hard to remove him from there, he gets extremely stressed, I haven't taken him out yet since then to get natural sun light because it's been very hot here in Chicago recently. I'm wondering if it's worth the stress he goes through when I try to catch him. Will lack of real sun have detrimental effects on his health?
 

xarctic

New Member
How hot is it there? It wouldn't be truly detrimental with the correct lighting hat being said it would however be extremely helpful to be getting real sunlight. We should try to recreate their natural environment as much as possible, and strive to make them happy and healthy. My panther would get all worked up about me but if you do your best to make it less less stressful and build trust it gets better. Also as you pick him up to take him outside he will make the link between your hand and something fun and he will be more eager to come to your hand! I suggest you read up on taming and work with him. http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/to-handle-or-not-to-handle.html I suggest that article :)
 

Alexander1

Avid Member
How hot is it there? It wouldn't be truly detrimental with the correct lighting hat being said it would however be extremely helpful to be getting real sunlight. We should try to recreate their natural environment as much as possible, and strive to make them happy and healthy. My panther would get all worked up about me but if you do your best to make it less less stressful and build trust it gets better. Also as you pick him up to take him outside he will make the link between your hand and something fun and he will be more eager to come to your hand! I suggest you read up on taming and work with him. http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/to-handle-or-not-to-handle.html I suggest that article :)
Thank you for your quick reply, it's currently 88 degrees Fahrenheit up here, I really want him to benefit from the natural sun but I do worry he may be getting too stressed out, thank you for the link
 

xarctic

New Member
I live in central florida and its regularly in the mid to high nineties and my cham loves it, most people here keep their chams outside all year long. I wouldn't see the heat as a problem but a good thing rather! As you become more experienced with handling you will understand more how to improve the way you respond and approach him. The more you work with him the easier it will be. If he's that stressed it may take you a bit of time for him to get more comfortable it's okay to wait. My vet says 15 minutes a day is best, obviously in Chicago that will be hard to do all year so I would take advantage of the heat while you can.
 

Alexander1

Avid Member
I live in central florida and its regularly in the mid to high nineties and my cham loves it, most people here keep their chams outside all year long. I wouldn't see the heat as a problem but a good thing rather! As you become more experienced with handling you will understand more how to improve the way you respond and approach him. The more you work with him the easier it will be. If he's that stressed it may take you a bit of time for him to get more comfortable it's okay to wait. My vet says 15 minutes a day is best, obviously in Chicago that will be hard to do all year so I would take advantage of the heat while you can.
Thanks for the fm great info, I tried getting him out and he dove to the bottom of the cage, he seems fine but I think that's enough stress for today, I'll try again tomorrow after I read that link u sent me
 
I read this on the blog " much ado about chameleons".
Leave the enclosure door opened with a vine going to a tree outside the enclosure. Whenever you are home leave the enclosure door opened. Get him used to just coming out. After he does this awhile offer him a treat when he's on his tree ( butterworms ). Once he's used to it a bit you can pick up the tree and walk it outside for a little sunshine. Hopefully he will start to associate coming out with good stuff. I'm having the same issue with moving to his big boy enclosure. In his small one he couldn't wait to come out. Now it takes a little more work.
 

xarctic

New Member
I read this on the blog " much ado about chameleons".
Leave the enclosure door opened with a vine going to a tree outside the enclosure. Whenever you are home leave the enclosure door opened. Get him used to just coming out. After he does this awhile offer him a treat when he's on his tree ( butterworms ). Once he's used to it a bit you can pick up the tree and walk it outside for a little sunshine. Hopefully he will start to associate coming out with good stuff. I'm having the same issue with moving to his big boy enclosure. In his small one he couldn't wait to come out. Now it takes a little more work.
That's the link I sent him :)
 
I read this on the blog " much ado about chameleons".
Leave the enclosure door opened with a vine going to a tree outside the enclosure. Whenever you are home leave the enclosure door opened. Get him used to just coming out. After he does this awhile offer him a treat when he's on his tree ( butterworms ). Once he's used to it a bit you can pick up the tree and walk it outside for a little sunshine. Hopefully he will start to associate coming out with good stuff. I'm having the same issue with moving to his big boy enclosure. In his small one he couldn't wait to come out. Now it takes a little more work.
 

Wowbango

Established Member
As stated by Jannb, I think it's always best to have natural sunlight exposure, but it won't necessarily negatively affect them if they do not have it as long as their lighting is optimal. Do you hand feed at all? If not, definitely try this so that your chameleon gains confidence being around your hand. They'll learn that usually something positive comes with your hand being present. Give good snacks that they love (hornworms, superworms). Try to make every time you take them out a positive experience, like basking in the sunlight. Hand feeding can take some time for them to get used to. At first they resist...and once they realize you're not going to harm them, they'll start shooting off your hand. It's a really cool experience the first time they do it :)
 

JaxyGirl

Avid Member
Mine love being outside. It seems to really brighten them up and it makes them feel good. I think once your Cham knows that your taking them out m abs something good it will become easier. My Chams didn't like to be touched either sometimes you have to just do it. I'm actually sitting on th deck with my male Nosy Be right now. He just raced down his true to grab a grasshopper off the railing. I love watching him and he loves hunting and he gets some sun in the process. It's. A win win for both of you :D

Also living in Maine the winters are long here so I want them to have as much vitamin D from natural sunlight as possible because once it cools off it won't me warm enough to take them out again till next April or May.
 
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greenwitch7

New Member
sunshine

Hi Alexander , I am a relative newbee but heres my 2 cents worth. The trick is , in my opinion: doing the very same thing every time. I've had my panther about a year now. He didn't like me very much in the* beginning. Every day he would see me come to his cage to mist him with warm water. I would turn his lights on. Bring yummy bugs in a little bowl. After a while he started to run over to meet me. After he grew a little I got a bird cage for outside. I just don't trust screen much. Now he runs up to meet me when I bring the birdcage up. I open his door almost jumps into my hands. It does take some time, but it will happen. Good luck. The same every time!
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
My panther would get all worked up about me but if you do your best to make it less less stressful and build trust it gets better. Also as you pick him up to take him outside he will make the link between your hand and something fun and he will be more eager to come to your hand! I suggest you read up on taming and work with him. http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/to-handle-or-not-to-handle.html I suggest that article :)
I can confirm that your cham will come to recognize that he is going to go outside and he will become eager to leave his indoor enclosure.
Have to admit I feel bad in the wintertime when they are eager to go out, but when they see me they're getting fed anyway, so it isn't all bad.


I also think that it makes chams feel better when they get some outdoor time, as JaxyGirl mentioned.

I have used aluminum screen cages outdoors for years.
You want to set it up outside so that it is high enough above ground to deter ground dwelling predators.
Access to shade and water are also necessary.
A small towel strategically placed atop the cage will often work nicely to create a shady zone.
If you set up a patio mister like the Misty Mate or Arizona misting hoses, then you can make the area cooler--though you don't want to keep the cham wet for hours or have him out when it is dangerously hot.
Typically, your cham will get some UVB even in lightly shaded areas.
Either way, the heat wave should be over in the next day or so.
 
I usually just move my cham's entire enclosure outside everyday for about 3 hours and give him a good misting either from 10am-1pm or from 4pm-7pm. I live in Texas so it gets REALLY hot here lol. If you keep them in their enclosure with all of their plants they can hide under shade but mine never does he just basks.
 

Bush baby

Avid Member
I have a small reptibreeze cage outside, and place my cham outside in it whenever the weather permits it.

Chameleons seem to glow when exposed to natural sunlight.

I own a Jackson's named 'Kamino' (because he loves water) and in the year i have had him, i have never supplemented his diet with D3. He's been exposed to the sun during the spring months, on days when the temps don't go above 85 during the summer, and now that fall is almost here, he'll get more outside time as the temps stay between 70 and 85, until winter hits. At that time, i'll consider getting him a new UV bulb for his inside enclosure(which i turn off when he's outside to preserve the UV)….

..but bottom line is, the more UV they get the better. Just make sure his food has enough calcium in it, so he can use the D3 his body will make from the sun exposure to absorb it.
 
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