Dusting- the do's and don'ts

herpluv

Member
No, I am not referring to spring cleaning. I was just dicussing the art of dusting crickets and other food with vitamins and calcium. Does anyone have a routine that works for them, or knows a routine that is supposed to work. As a general consensus, too much supplementation can be very unhealthy, but not enough can be bad as well. Thanks for your comments.:D
 

Drake

New Member
Well usually I've been dusting my crickets with some HerpCare cricket dust every other day. I've been wondering myself how many times should I dust the crickets too. Maybe someone like Jenna :D can help hehe.
 

Shelby

New Member
I was wondering if the "dust" was still on the crickets by the time the chameleon chases them down to eat them. Sometimes I still see crickets on the screen the next day so I don't add more till I see them mostly all gone. How long will the "dusting" stick on the crickets?
 

lele

Avid Member
herpluv said:
No, I am not referring to spring cleaning. I was just dicussing the art of dusting crickets and other food with vitamins and calcium. Does anyone have a routine that works for them, or knows a routine that is supposed to work. As a general consensus, too much supplementation can be very unhealthy, but not enough can be bad as well. Thanks for your comments.:D
do you mean frequency or the actual act of getting the dust on the crickets? If the latter I have a great method! I put however many crickets to feed into a large deli cup and put them in the freezer for 5 minutes - NO MORE (I don't suggest this with any less than 1/2"). The reason for this is to simply make for fewer escapees!

I then put my calcium or vitamin dust (never at the same time) into the container, swirl it around, then dump crix and dust into a strainer. Any excess dust is removed and you can then place in cup or cage.

Another way is to just push the belly of the feeder onto some dust. As you've mentioned, too much can be a real problem so less is better ;)

lele
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Dusting, dusting, dusting! Everywhere you look there is a new answer on how you are supposed to dust your chameleons. Never a straight answer is there? And the truth of the matter, is that no one really has a straight forward "recipe" on how to properly give your chameleon their nutrients.

In nature, there is no such thing as dusting... Brad, Herpluv, and I laughed about this last night at chat, can you imagine a forest duster for chameleons in Madagascar, Africa, Tanzania, or where ever your chameleon is from?!? :D . Let's all run through the forest and "dust." ;) But, that joke aside, it is a very important aspect to keeping a captive chameleon healthy.

Nutrients and supplements for captive chameleons are basically to give them back what we take away from them in the wild. We can give them what they need by doing these things:

1) Proper UVA and UVB lighting (simulated sunlight that they don't receive in indoor care). I can't stress this enough about lighting. PLEASE make sure you have proper lighting for your chameleon and replace the bulbs at least once every 6 months or so, as they lose their UVB/A density through time. If you don't, you will have a very sick chameleon.

2) Nutritious feeders - GUTLOAD and make sure your gutload is a good gutload. Good gutloading is filled with the proper vitamins and nutrients that your feeders eat, which ultimately goes into your chameleons digestive system that in return, gives your chameleon it's vitamins.

3) In addition to gutload - give your feeders nutritious vegetables and fruits as their water supply. Carrots, lettuce, oranges, apples, potatoes... I've even given my crickets/worms eggplant, broccoli (I call broccoli baby trees :)), and celery! All these vegetables and many others have vitamins and nutrients that go INTO your feeders along with a good gutload, which ends up in your chameleons tummy.

Now the first thing I will say about dusting is this: DO NOT DUST YOUR CHAMELEON EVERYDAY! I'd like to say that again in cap's but I won't... I think you get the point =). It can be toxic and make your chameleon very ill, if not a deathly experience.

Here is a general consensus of what I have heard, read, and talked to other breeders about dusting your chameleons.

NOTE: Indoor chameleons need calcium with D3; Outdoor chameleons get D3 from the sun and only need the calcium without D3 supplement.

Babies, juveniles, and gravid females: Basically, they need two things: Calcium and vitamins. Basic rule of thumb are multivitamins twice a week and calcium with D3 4 times a week. I would personally not dust as often as this. It is too easy to over dust and cause harm, however, growing chameleons do need these supplements as they are growing fast and/or carrying eggs. I go on the easy side and dust every other day.

Adults: Adult chameleons only need dusting once a week. They are finished growing, and you are gutloading and feeding your feeders good vegetables right? And you have the proper lighting with UVB and UVA rays? Perfect. Once a week guys.... that is all they need.

In a PERFECT situation, these supplements shouldn't be needed at all with adults, as long as you provide EXCELLENT lighting, FANTASTIC gutloading, NUTRITIOUS water food for your feeders with good vegetables and fruits, and periodic light bulb changes. And some real sunrays as often as possible! But, if you can't keep up with these things and even if you think you can, it is just safer to give them a dusting once a week.

What I wrote is no Bible to how to "dust" your chameleons. And like I said earlier, no one seems to have a good grasp on the proper dusting procedures. But, I have used the above method with my chameleons, with success.

Others out there may have some other views or suggestions, and that would be greatly appreciated to try and end the mystery of what proper dusting is and how it should be applied.

I hope this helps! If I missed something there, please feel free to add on or make any comments. :)
 

fullhouse

New Member
thanks, very helpful

i have read a million things on dusting too... i think i am doing too much. will cut back right away and also need a new bulb for one of my enclosures... thx a lot.
 

herpluv

Member
Liquid Calcium

Thanks Jenna, once again:) I was talking to one of my professional Forest Dusting buddies and he said that sometimes they give gravid females some liquid calcium supplement, I guess by dropping drops of it in their mouths. Does anyone know about this practice and is it good, and why would it be better than just dusting(obviously I can see its more concentrated)? Thanks:eek:
 
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