Egg laying help!!!

Kelly47

New Member
We were told we bought a male veiled chameleon but were so surprised a few days ago to discover the restlessness and digging meant we had a female! I took her to vet to confirm and x-ray showed A LOT of eggs.... Estimated around 50. She will not go near the bucket so we put the coconut substrate in a mound in the middle. We've been given liquid calcium and an emergency gruel to give her. She has dropped 7 eggs from the top of her cage over the last 8 hours. Does egg laying take this long??? She's about 7 months old and this is her first time and ours.... Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums!

Respectfully, you’ve made every mistake in the book here. I understand you thought she was a he, not trying to bash you over the head. #1 rule with gravid girls is to never disturb them, especially pulling her off her tunnel.

As Jann mentioned above, dropping eggs is a big deal. Recommended substrate for lay buns is clean play sand. I can almost guarantee she’s older than 7 months if she’s already at the end of her first reproductive cycle. I’d put money on her already being egg bound. You MUST monitor her closely without disturbing her. When she starts to go down hill it will happen fast.

Typical laying time is about 24hrs.

Pictures of everything?
 

Kelly47

New Member
I would give her a proper laying bin with sand or soil or a mixture of the two. Below is a video about making a laying bin. Dropping eggs is usually not a good sign. Also once she starts to lay she will need to be covered and must have complete privacy or she can abandon her hole and become egg bound.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/
I actually saw your video when I searched Google when it first started. Thanks for doing that it was extremely helpful! We used a bucket and she wanted nothing to do with it. The vet suggested everything else... I'll be calling them in the a.m. to see what she suggests we do. I really don't want her to become egg bound because surgical options sound scary!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
What was in the bucket? How deep was the substrate? For years I have used a certain playsand that is moistened just enough to hold a tunnel. It's produced by Kings and comes in a white bag with red, blue and yellow sand box toys pictured on it. I use this sand because it has never caused an impaction...holds a tunnel well...etc.

Don't let her see you watching her while she's digging.

Dropping eggs is usually not a good thing because even if she does lay her eggs the next clutch she may not be able to lay.

This is the way egg laying should go...she should start digging. She may dig more than one hole or just dig the same one for several days. When she's happy with it she should turn around butt down in the hole and lay the eggs. This often happens in the evening. She may lay them quickly or may stay in the hole overnight...she should lay all the eggs in one sitting and when she's done she should fill the hole...tamp it down and return to the branches hungry and thirsty and thin.

If it doesn't go this way then she's likely in trouble and needs to see a vet.

How old was she when you got her?
What supplements do you use..please be specific...(what is the source of vitamin A...do they have D3 in them, phosphorous, calcium?) and how often for each?
What do you feed/gutload the insects with?

When you get through the egg laying etc you might want to slow her down so she won't produce so many eggs.

I find it interesting that the vet gave her some liquid calcium. I hope it helps.

Good luck with it all.
 

Kelly47

New Member
Welcome to the forums!

Respectfully, you’ve made every mistake in the book here. I understand you thought she was a he, not trying to bash you over the head. #1 rule with gravid girls is to never disturb them, especially pulling her off her tunnel.

As Jann mentioned above, dropping eggs is a big deal. Recommended substrate for lay buns is clean play sand. I can almost guarantee she’s older than 7 months if she’s already at the end of her first reproductive cycle. I’d put money on her already being egg bound. You MUST monitor her closely without disturbing her. When she starts to go down hill it will happen fast.

Typical laying time is about 24hrs.

Pictures of everything?
I have to disturb her though. The Dr has me giving her critical care gruel as often as she'll let me. Most times I can do it without stressing her too much but this last time we had to handle her to do it. She is not actively straining at all. She was digging and one egg was in the substrate. The vet said it was possible that she'd pass eggs from her branch. PetSmart is the one who told us we were buying a 4 month old male back in April! I'm calling vet in the morning to fill them in on her progress. Hoping an injection to help contractions will help.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Most vets have no clue how to deal with chams, you shouldn’t be disturbing her at all right now.

I don’t blame you for being skeptical of a lone voice on the internet being better informed than a vet but I promise you disturbing her is a death sentence.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Their "desire" to dig will only last for so long...them they get past that urge and become egg bound...so you want to give her every chance you can for her to dig.
 

Kelly47

New Member
What was in the bucket? How deep was the substrate? For years I have used a certain playsand that is moistened just enough to hold a tunnel. It's produced by Kings and comes in a white bag with red, blue and yellow sand box toys pictured on it. I use this sand because it has never caused an impaction...holds a tunnel well...etc.

Don't let her see you watching her while she's digging.

Dropping eggs is usually not a good thing because even if she does lay her eggs the next clutch she may not be able to lay.

This is the way egg laying should go...she should start digging. She may dig more than one hole or just dig the same one for several days. When she's happy with it she should turn around butt down in the hole and lay the eggs. This often happens in the evening. She may lay them quickly or may stay in the hole overnight...she should lay all the eggs in one sitting and when she's done she should fill the hole...tamp it down and return to the branches hungry and thirsty and thin.

If it doesn't go this way then she's likely in trouble and needs to see a vet.

How old was she when you got her?
What supplements do you use..please be specific...(what is the source of vitamin A...do they have D3 in them, phosphorous, calcium?) and how often for each?
What do you feed/gutload the insects with?

When you get through the egg laying etc you might want to slow her down so she won't produce so many eggs.

I find it interesting that the vet gave her some liquid calcium. I hope it helps.

Good luck with it all.
We moistened the coconut substrate that she's been used to in her cage. We tested it to see if it held a tunnel and it did. She wanted nothing to do with the bucket even though we placed a favorite branch of gets in it to get in and out. Then we tried a different bucket. That's when the vet suggested dumping it out since she would dig in the corners of her cage. The vet did suggest the sand. I didn't do it today because she had started laying an egg. Then she went up high and only passed 6 more.

We buy calcium fed crickets from PetSmart that we dust with Flukers Repta calcium. She gets a couple of support works too. She stopped eating on Friday. So very wanted to keep her energy up with the gruel.

After reading several conversations from past forums, we will definitely be slowing down the amount of food so she doesn't have so many eggs! I just want us to all get through this one.

This was her xray from Tuesday.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You need to get the egg laying substrate and depth right asap...as I said...she will only have the desire to dig for a few days. You need to disturb her as little as possible.

At least she doesn't have severe MBD....so that's a plus.

iMHO you should not rely on the pet store to have fed the insects properly. They don't usually/often do that. I feed crickets, roaches, super worms a wide assortment of greens and veggies and a small amount of fruit such as carrots, collards, dandelions, kale, squash, zucchini, apple, pear, etc.

What are support works?

She should be getting insects dusted with phosphorous free calcium at most feelings. Twice a month they should be dusted with a phos free calcium/D3 powder and twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene source of vitamin A. You may chose to give her a does with preformed vitamin A in it...I don't but many do. Vitamin A and D3 can lead to overdoses so that's why we recommend this way of doing it.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
How deep was the substrate in the bucket?

in the supplement...what is the source of vitamin A...do they have D3 in them, phosphorous, calcium? How often do you dust?

Did you put the moist sand in a container in the cage yet? It should be about 6" deep.

How's she doing today?
Are you leaving her alone as much as possible?
 
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