Eating Hibiscus branches?

So I just caught Ren eating the branches of his new hibiscus tree. I've read about chameleons eating the leaves and the flowers but never about eating the branches. He's had a hibiscus before and he didn't ever eat that ones branches but this is a much healthier hibiscus than the last. He's chewed rocks and has tried to eat dirt before but now that I've covered that I guess this is his new thing?
Has anyone else heard of it before, my girlfriends freaking out cause she said she watched him rip off about an inch and a half of branch off and swallow it..Then he tried to get more but I just blocked him from getting to the piece he was snapping at..

I'm gonna fill out the husbandry in a sec.

My Chameleon: 7month old, male Panther Chameleon, have had him about 3 months.
Handling:Every day just to get him from free range to cage and I let him wander and I'll handle him if he needs some help.
Feeding: Crickets, Hornworms, silkworms all gutloaded with fruits and veggies and cricket crack
Supplements: Cal w/ d3 1st and 3rd monday of the month, Cal w/o d3 every other feeding, Multivit every 2nd and 4th monday, Vit A once a month.
Watering: Mister on two hour intervals from 8am-4pm for 3minutes each.
Fecal Description: Always brown but its been getting softer.. and he has been a little dehydrated this past week with a pinkish urate yesterday and a white but slightly orange urate today. Also it has been kind of watery.

Cage Info: All screen aluminum enclosure, 24x24x48

Lighting: 1 Reptisun 5.0 UVB lighting and a clamp lamp with a 60w bulb

Temperature: lower cage around 75 top of cage and basking temp 80-85

Humidity: Around 50's when drying and 80's when misted.

Plants: 1 umbrella plant medium size.

Placement: on a shelving unit in the back of the living room next to the kitchen, not near any windows.

Location: Fort Myers, Florida

Current Problem:
Renly has been trying to eat rocks,dirt, hibiscus branches and a wooden/bark ladder. His poops have not been the healthiest and his eating has slowed. He only ate 4 medium sized crickets today and I even offered him more before I let him onto the hibiscus to begin with. So why would he ignore crickets and go eat a branch off the hibiscus tree? and he just continued to keep snagging off little pieces of branches and ate them. So we removed him from the tree and cut off and little thing he could bite off leaving only the large branches..
 

rcdrivertim

New Member
Mine will nibble on leaves not branches. Maybe he needs some bran flakes. LOL Is his poop normal? Is he getting hydrated enough?
 
Okay so this morning I put Ren on his free range hibiscus again and he immediately started gnawing on the branches again.. I just dont get why he does it, if I give him a multivit and gutloaded crickets how can he be still craving a certain mineral or something in the bark or dirt.. He does kinda lick the branches while he's gnawing on them, but I've seen him do this with rocks before also. When I first caught him trying to eat rocks they were wet and he was licking them too but as he continued doing this for days he would even do it do dry rocks. So I am not sure if he's looking for another source of hydration even though he has his mister, a dripper and was previously eating hornworms and silkworms this past week.
 

Psychobunny

Avid Member
Wow, sounds like veiled cham behaviour!

Anyway, does he still chew stuff if you stop dusting his feeders for a few days?
Besides crickets, what else do you offer him, and does he eat it?

I have a cham that will not eat anything covered with ReptiCal brand calcium.
He just hates the stuff, switch to repashy, and he is fine with that!! :rolleyes:

Try feeding him a fresh, washed piece of kale or Romain, see what he does.
 
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I use Rep cal with d3, rep cal herpivite then Repti calcium w/o d3. I guess I'll stop dusting to see if he starts eating normally again. But he's been taking these supplements for 3months now and he was fine eating the dusted crickets for the first two months.

He had a healthy and hydrated poop today :) I guess he's just got some veiled behavior in him..I just wish he'd eat the leave and flowers instead of branches

Edit: So I left Ren in his cage this morning and first tried cup feeding him 5 crickets but he had no interest so I threw them in his cage for him to hunt down.. he took his time and only ate one. Almost 3 hours later I finally let him out cause he had absolutely no interest in the crickets. I put him on his free range and made my breakfast and came back to him eating a piece of branch probably the size of a large cricket and maybe a half an inch wide..I dont know how to keep his mouth open but I tried to and managed to get some pieces out of his mouth but he was able to crunch up the branch pretty easily and swallowed most of it. So then I went back to his cage and collected all of the crickets and tried hand feeding him one which he targeted rather quickly and ate it but then by the time I got another cricket between my fingers he was disinterested.. So I guess I'm just going to try to hand feed him
 
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