Considering a Jackson's - New to chameleons

werecat

Established Member
Hello chameleon lovers! I'm new to chameleons and to the forums. My husband and I are looking at getting our first chameleon and have been doing extensive research. We are considering Panther or Jackson's and leaning towards the Jackson's for both price considerations and also size. My husband prefers the smaller total size of Jackson's.

My main concern is that I keep reading conflicting info on these guys. Some say they are good for first-time chameleon owners, but some say they have special care requirements and are not recommended for beginners. I'm having trouble finding out what the specific additional care needs are. Any advice, especially from Jackson's owners would be appreciated.

Is this a good chameleon to start with?
 

pigglett79

Avid Member
My first chameleon was a Jackson. The difference is supplementation less often, cooler temps and higher humidity. It also takes my Jackson at least 2-3 minutes to drink after noticing water so its important to have a couple longer misting sessions each day and/or a dripper. There are good care sheets in the chameleon care section on this site,
 

InStitches

New Member
If you've done your research (I love the caresheets this forum provides) it'll probably be fine to have one as a first chameleon. Just be aware of their needs!

I had a gorgeous female Jackson I had to return to Petsmart (I recommend avoiding pet stores) and for the short while I had her she was fabulous. Ate well, drank well, and handled well.

I do like the size of the cage the adult Jackson needs better than the cages needed by larger chameleons. If space is an issue, definitely get a Jackson :) I'm losing my gorgeous custom desk to my panther's cage in a few months! I'm getting a Panther Palace, them things are hugenormous.
 

Psychobunny

Avid Member
My first chameleon was a Jackson. The difference is supplementation less often, cooler temps and higher humidity. It also takes my Jackson at least 2-3 minutes to drink after noticing water so its important to have a couple longer misting sessions each day and/or a dripper. There are good care sheets in the chameleon care section on this site,
My first was a jacksons as well, but that was in the late 1970's :eek:
before any husbandry info was available.

What pigglett says here, is very important to remember, about the drinking
thing. It's very true.
Lots of people have problems with it.
I was having problems to, unless I filled a guart spray bottle, and spray
over his head, the bottle will be nearly empty before he finally starts working
his mouth to drink!! :eek:

Even the MistKing didnt help, until I got the rain attachment, so rainlike drops would fall instead of a mist.

It's hard to keep them hydrated!!
 

z0mbies fear me

New Member
Like everyone else has already pointed out getting them to drink is the hardest thing. I have my mister set up to come on for 45 seconds then off for 1 min then back on for 4 or 5 min and it seems to do the trick. I also have a dripper set up on each cage. My male likes to sit with it dripping on his head.
 
I remember me having your same dilemma when doing research before getting my Jacksons Chameleon. I'll tell you one thing, if u set up your husbandry right, keep temps and humidity monitored and gut load feeders, you should have no problems. When it comes to Jacksons gutloading your crickets is more important than supplementation .

The secret to keeping a Jack healthy is being informed and following a care sheet found on this forum which is definitely helpful due to being written by someone with tons of experience...if u were ready to join and ask for more help not to miss anything, I can say that you will be a great Cham owner.

Don't stress too much about not having the humidy high 24/7 ...use a fogger and mistings ...basking spot is 85f max...better lower than higher!

Good luck and please post pics :)
 
Ps Also keep dripper running near the fog on the cool/humid side of the cage..please someone post solidsnake's bid as I'm writing from my phone...you will understand what I'm saying !
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello chameleon lovers! I'm new to chameleons and to the forums. My husband and I are looking at getting our first chameleon and have been doing extensive research. We are considering Panther or Jackson's and leaning towards the Jackson's for both price considerations and also size. My husband prefers the smaller total size of Jackson's.

My main concern is that I keep reading conflicting info on these guys. Some say they are good for first-time chameleon owners, but some say they have special care requirements and are not recommended for beginners. I'm having trouble finding out what the specific additional care needs are. Any advice, especially from Jackson's owners would be appreciated.

Is this a good chameleon to start with?
Where do you live and what's the climate like in your house during the year? If you are located in a hot or cold dry climate for example you may have to invest in a more elaborate cage setup to accommodate a jax. This isn't saying you can't do it, just that it might cost you more...getting a solid humidifier, modifying it to fog the cage, getting an auto mister, buying larger more bushy plants that hold water better, dealing with an AC to keep the room cooler, etc. So, consider this in your setup costs.
 

Jupiter

Member
I have no experience with them, but the way I understand it is that Panthers, Veilds and Jacksons are the three best starter chams (or gateway chams depending on how you look at it :) with the jacksons being a little tougher to keep then the other two, but still in the starter category.
 

pigglett79

Avid Member
My first was a jacksons as well, but that was in the late 1970's :eek:
before any husbandry info was available.

What pigglett says here, is very important to remember, about the drinking
thing. It's very true.
Lots of people have problems with it.
I was having problems to, unless I filled a guart spray bottle, and spray
over his head, the bottle will be nearly empty before he finally starts working
his mouth to drink!! :eek:

Even the MistKing didnt help, until I got the rain attachment, so rainlike drops would fall instead of a mist.

It's hard to keep them hydrated!!
This is so true. I changed my mist king to a rain set up because my Jackson would not drink w the mist, he drinks well with the rain drops though. It still takes a few minutes, but he drinks. I do a 10 or 15 minute session 1-2 times a day for him. Along w the other shorter sessions.,
 

little leaf

Avid Member
if you are willing to do the work ( and you are because you have done your research :D - YAY ) I do not think a Jax would be to hard, like the others said, its all about the water ~ I have 8 Jax, and 1 panther - BUT I would NOT get a wild caught, even tho you can get them pretty cheep at the shows, I would not - there are many breeders on here you can get a healthy, adjusted little guy from - they also have live birth- so you dont have the egg issue if you get a little girl :), but ya gotta love the horns on those boys !! ;)
Welcome to the forum :D
 

werecat

Established Member
Hi everyone, thanks for all the good advice! Especially about the drinking issue. I was planning on hand misting several times a day and having a dripper system and was kind of hoping I would not need to invest in a mister, but I guess I will re-think that.

I live in the Los Angeles area near the coast and weather stays pretty mild (mid-70's). We do not have an air conditioner though and I wonder if sometimes our apartment gets a little warm (80's) in the summer. I would not have a way to regulate this much. Is this a problem?

Lastly, a question on all this water that I'll be misting, and dripping into the cage. How do I collect it at the bottom? I hear about drainage systems but I'm not sure how they work. How does one set this up? Or does the water just evaporate throughout the day?

PS, I am only considering captive bred. :)
 

werecat

Established Member
One more question...

Just a general question about cage placement... We are considering putting the cage in our front room which is in fair proximity to the kitchen (about 10 feet). is this a bad idea? Otherwise we will put in our back room, but I want to avoid this since it's where I practice my saxophone and I'd rather not move my practice space. However, I'll do what's best for the chameleon of course. Too bad he won't enjoy sax music. :p
 

little leaf

Avid Member
here is my drain table - you can make it for 1 or 10 :p it is very easy, and does not cost much at all to make - as for putting him/her by the kitchen, I would not worry really, all my chams are in the family room ( they are family too ;) ) and if you get a tame one, he will enjoy watching you , and you him - all my babies are hand fed, so they are used to ppl - and activity- my ONLY wc took 6 mos of "quiet" time, but she is now also in the family room, and had adjusted well now :)
this table holds 2 18 X 18 - it is made of pvc, a closet shelf, and plastic poster board - you can have it drain into whatever - mine goes outside- it cost 1 1/2 hrs of time, and about $35 to buy all the parts - it works great :D
 
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little leaf

Avid Member
oh, forgot- I did not glue mine- just be sure you push it together really tight, then if you want to add on ( and I bet you will soon ;) - chams are addictive :p ) you can just add on another section - I am up to 4 sections now, from 1 !! LOL
 

little leaf

Avid Member
Just curious - why is it that Jackson's are so hard to get to drink?
they are not really "hard to get to drink" - they just take longer to get started w/ it- but they drink fine ( at least mine-) but I have one who I NEVER see drink, but she sits under the dripper all day - they can also "drink" threw their skin , and some start to drink as soon as the water hits them - I think it depends on the cham too - Olive will never drink for me - Oliver, in 30 sec, he is drinking :)
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
they are not really "hard to get to drink" - they just take longer to get started w/ it- but they drink fine ( at least mine-) but I have one who I NEVER see drink, but she sits under the dripper all day - they can also "drink" threw their skin , and some start to drink as soon as the water hits them - I think it depends on the cham too - Olive will never drink for me - Oliver, in 30 sec, he is drinking :)
No, jax don't really "drink" through their skin more easily than other cham species. When water drips on them their skin is still "hydrophobic": the water beads up and falls off. I think their sensitivity to humidity is more subtle and metabolic rather than physical.

In my experience, jax don't start right in drinking unless they are pretty thirsty. I also suspect the reason keepers find it harder to stimulate them into drinking actively has more to do with their innate behavior...they are adapted to areas that have lots of water available most of the time. There wasn't any big reason to grab that water immediately because there was no rush to take advantage of it. In a captive situation water is only available for specific times. Probably hard to get them to understand this unless they are already water-deprived. So, a jax that is lucky enough to be kept at the correct humidity all the time just isn't going to drink a lot.
 
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