Couple of newbie questions

spottea

Member
Bought some hornworms today for little Pico, my 5 month old Jackson's, who lives outside. I know the hornworms don't last that long, so I put them outside for tonight, where it's cooler. Question is, how many do I give her? One or two? Is that OK?
Also bought some more dubias in the hope that they will breed, but it hasn't been that warm here yet.
Phoenix worms purchased too, how many of those can she have?
One more question!
I haven't supplemented her with calcium D3 at all yet, and I was dusting the crickets with plain calcium, but now I haven't used crickets in a week, so the calcium dusting stopped. What other bugs are good, dusted? I don't want them to stop wiggling as they sometimes do.
Also bought a MistKing for when the weather gets hotter, or we get Santa Ana winds. Good time at the Reptile show, despite the thousands of people!
 

bbprinting

New Member
Hornworms are more of a treat or a way to rehydrate your chameleon and not really meant to be a staple in their diet. Maybe one every couple of days. Dubias and phoenix worms are great to put in a rotation with crickets to keep the food well rounded. A 5 month old can probably eat about 5-6 phoenix worms a day. I'll let more of an expert handle the D3 questions since yours is kept outside, but you do need to be dusting regular calcium daily except on the Phoenix worms they probably don't need it. If you area not running the Mistking what are you doing to supply water for him to drink also what about your humidity how does it look.
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the world of cham-owning!!! I will start by saying that I've never kept Jackson's (one day though...), nor have I ever kept my chams outside full time. With that in mind I'll try to answer a couple of your questions.

Hornworms are great feeders - the problem is that they grow VERY quickly. Your little one can eat 1 a day, but probably not even that many depending on how big they are now. I buy a cup every so often, and I have 3 chams to eat them, and I still end up giving a few to the beardies because they are just too big. The hornworms will fill up a cham very easily. Phoenix worms are great, as are roaches, crickets, superworms (I use them once a week, no more than that because they have chitin - what your fingernails are made of), silkworms, and the list goes on. Have a nice variety of feeders and save yourself some money and raise your own. There are a ton of blogs on how to do that easily on here.

As for your dusting, if I'm reading your post correctly, you are dusting the crickets for the week and then feeding them over a period of days. If that's what you are meaning, then you need to dust only the feeders you are feeding at that exact time. For example, this morning is feeding time for my crew - I will pick out the crickets that I will use for today, dust them, feed them, and the rest of the crickets are left in their 10 gal. container where they live, without any dust on them. The reason is two-fold - first the crickets will knock off the dust just by moving around naturally. Secondly, the dust will block them from breathing and could kill them. When you dust you only want s SMALL amount - don't turn your feeders white, instead turn them 1 shade lighter than they were before dusting.

The last thing is humidity - I don't know California's geography very well, but you mentioned that you have a mister but aren't using it yet. How are you misting and how are you measuring your humidity and temperatures? Jacksons are a montane species, meaning they like it more humid and cooler than panthers and veileds. Hope this helps, and remember we LOVE seeing pictures of baby chams! :D
 

spottea

Member
Welcome to the world of cham-owning!!! I will start by saying that I've never kept Jackson's (one day though...), nor have I ever kept my chams outside full time. With that in mind I'll try to answer a couple of your questions.

Hornworms are great feeders - the problem is that they grow VERY quickly. Your little one can eat 1 a day, but probably not even that many depending on how big they are now. I buy a cup every so often, and I have 3 chams to eat them, and I still end up giving a few to the beardies because they are just too big. The hornworms will fill up a cham very easily.
You're right about the hornworms. I put 2 in her cage, and she ate one. The other one is wandering around like a fart!

Phoenix worms are great, as are roaches, crickets, superworms (I use them once a week, no more than that because they have chitin - what your fingernails are made of), silkworms, and the list goes on. Have a nice variety of feeders and save yourself some money and raise your own. There are a ton of blogs on how to do that easily on here.
She also had some Phoenix worms, and some bean beetles that I got from Sticky Tongue Farms. I'm surprised she even saw them, as they are so small, and thought they would disappear through the mesh. So, that's good. Another easy food source to breed. Yay!

As for your dusting, if I'm reading your post correctly, you are dusting the crickets for the week and then feeding them over a period of days. If that's what you are meaning, then you need to dust only the feeders you are feeding at that exact time.
No, I was dusting the crickets at each feeding time, and at first I was dusting too much. Like 'white ghosts' as someone said. As I don't have any crickets now, I was wondering what else I could dust without suffocating it. I only need tomdo this twice a week for a Jackson's apparently.
For example, this morning is feeding time for my crew - I will pick out the crickets that I will use for today, dust them, feed them, and the rest of the crickets are left in their 10 gal. container where they live, without any dust on them. The reason is two-fold - first the crickets will knock off the dust just by moving around naturally. Secondly, the dust will block them from breathing and could kill them. When you dust you only want s SMALL amount - don't turn your feeders white, instead turn them 1 shade lighter than they were before dusting.

The last thing is humidity - I don't know California's geography very well, but you mentioned that you have a mister but aren't using it yet. How are you misting and how are you measuring your humidity and temperatures? Jacksons are a montane species, meaning they like it more humid and cooler than panthers and veileds. Hope this helps, and remember we LOVE seeing pictures of baby chams! :D
It's pretty humid here at the moment, around 70%, and I'm hand misting two to three times a day when I'm home. The temps are also 78 roughly. But, it will get hotter and drier next month, hence the MistKing. I just need to figure out where I'm going to plug it in! Also have a dripper going.
I will post some pics I promise!
 

spottea

Member
Hornworms are more of a treat or a way to rehydrate your chameleon and not really meant to be a staple in their diet. Maybe one every couple of days. Dubias and phoenix worms are great to put in a rotation with crickets to keep the food well rounded. A 5 month old can probably eat about 5-6 phoenix worms a day. I'll let more of an expert handle the D3 questions since yours is kept outside, but you do need to be dusting regular calcium daily except on the Phoenix worms they probably don't need it. If you area not running the Mistking what are you doing to supply water for him to drink also what about your humidity how does it look.
Yeah, I can't see myself using hornworms much. They're gross, and mostly too large. She did eat one though! She also had some Phoenix worms today, and some bean beetles.
Trying to grow some dubias, and bought some new eggcrate yesterday.
I'm handmisting several times a day when I'm home, and I have a dripper.
I know I need to dust with calcium a couple of times a week, just not sure what to dust. The dubias? I don't want to smother the insects ormthey won't be so wiggly!
Humidity good at present, around 70%, and temps around 78 to 82. But it will get hotter and drier, hence the MistKing!
Thanks so much for your input.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
The dubias would be great dusted. Just a light coating will do, they don't need to be smothered in calcium.

And I see a lot of dislike towards poor hornworms on this thread! Lol when I buy a cup the chameleons will get several a day until I run out. They grow quickly so they may each get 3-4 daily, depending on my number of chameleons. They're not as low in nutrition as people think, and a few days of extra hydration never hurts. Hornworms are definitely a favorite in this house, and they go fast when I have them!

As for D3, you don't need to use any at all if he's living outside. The sun provides plenty of UVB to make D3 in the skin, so you don't need to supplement with dietary D3.
 
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