Eggs here, there, EVERYWHERE!

LandBeforeTime

New Member
Hi there! First time poster, long time lurker. Need some advice on female panther egg laying and reducing clutch size. NO interest in breeding my gal; just enjoy her as a pet. But Ducky REFUSES to use her lay bin (out of spite, I suspect). She's had no issues laying eggs so far, and the vet has given her a clean bill of health every year at the wellness exam, and twice specifically after egg laying. But just... dropping eggs wherever?! She's never once used a lay bin. I've tried washed play sand (1st time), all sand and 50/50 sand and dirt (2nd time), and then all three (sand, sand/dirt, and all dirt) this time around. Lay bins are black or very dark, 8-12 inches tall, with either 6 or 8 inches of material at the bottom. Just moist enough to hold a tunnel. And still - no interest AT ALL! 🤦🏽‍♀️ She just drops eggs, wherever she happens to be, during the day, ZFG for normal chameleon rules LOL. The vet isn't worried, since she successfully lays all her eggs... but I can't help but worry. Assuming it's not just her being spiteful, I was hoping you all might have some insight and/or advice. Also, any insight into decreasing clutch size? I've reduced the temps and feedings since she started laying, but the clutch size keeps going up These are all unfertilized eggs, so I just want her happy and healthy! I've creeped every post I could find here, and follow all advice from here and Chameleon Academy as close as I can. Our vet studied under Stahl Exotics in Fairfax VA, a fantastic vet clinic... But she seems to dismiss my concerns about Ducky just dropping eggs wherever she is, and rubbing her right eye often. Hoping the keepers and/or experts have some additional insights. I'll attach pics of the most recent Easter (I mean, Chameleon) egg hunt she sent me on this time, if I can figure out how. Husbandry form below for more details.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Female panther chameleon, 1 year and five months old
Handling - Deep cleaning days only, and ONLY during cage cleaning time.
Feeding - 5 large food items, every other day (crickets and dubias mainly, occasionally a super worm, horn worm, or pupated BSF). Free feeding while gravid.
Supplements - Calcium w/o D3 every feeding, WITH D3 twice a month, Reptivite twice a month (alternating with D3 weeks). Rapeshy Vitamin A added recently for eye rubbing (which the vet dismissed).
Watering - 60ish ounces dripper a day. Fogger overnight. Mistings at
1 AM, 5 AM, 8 AM (following Chameleon Academy schedule).
Fecal Description - Brown, soft, white urate.
History - Born February 2020. I've had her since May 2020, when she was 3 months old. No health issues, clean fecal, yearly exam, all is well per vet. Started laying eggs as of February 2021 (9 in Feb, 19 in May, and 21 yesterday).

Cage Info:

Cage Type- Zillla Large. 30 L, 18 W, 30 H. Upgrade to Reptibreeze XL (24x24x48) is on the To Do list in the next few months.
Lighting - 75w basking light in one corner, Arcadia 6% UV light and Jungle Dawn diagonally across the top.
Temperature - 85-90 basking decreased to 80-85 since February (to decrease clutch size). Ambient temps between 70-75. Night time between 65-70.
Humidity - 50-55 daytime. 75-80 nighttime (can't get it higher, even with fogger 😞)
Plants - All real and Cham Academy approved. Pothos, climbing fig, few accents like polka dot and nerve plant.
Placement - ~3 ft off the ground, across the room from windows (for daytime "real" light). Across the room from drafts and the door.
Location - Rixeyville, Virginia, USA
 

LandBeforeTime

New Member
Updating to add pics of:
1) The egg hunt (top and side views)
2) Ducky's pudgy self before laying
3) Her skinny self after laying
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. To help further decrease clutch size, I’d reduce her feedings to 3-4 med sized feeders, 3 days a week and decrease her basking temp a bit to 80. You don’t say how many eggs she’s been laying.
How big is your lay bin…length and width? When she’s close to laying or starts dropping eggs, do you cover her enclosure so she has total privacy? Is she in a high traffic area of your home?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I agree with @MissSkittles about lowering the temperature and amount you're feeding her.

How many eggs has she laid each time she has laid them? How many times has she laid a clutch.

You're lucky she has t become eggbound yet...most of the ones that don't lay the eggs properly end up eggbound. Something may be bothering her about the lay bin.

You don't watch her when she's laying do you?
 

LandBeforeTime

New Member
Thanks for your input! I'll adjust her temps and feeding schedule for sure. She laid 9 eggs on 2/20, 21 eggs on 5/6, and 24 eggs this time around.
First bin - Black bathroom trashcan, 10" l x 8" w x 14" h with 8 inches of play sand
Second bin - Blue 5 gallon bucket, 8 inches of sand/dirt
Third bin - Opaque plastic tub, approx 14 l x 10 w x 8 h with 6" just dirt

Her "background" is a rainforest-printed cloth shower curtain on three sides. Should I add a sheet during egg laying? Maybe it's more see-through than I think? She's in my bedroom, so she has total privacy other than lights on/off and filling the dripper mid-day. I definitely don't watch any egg business, and I sneak into bed after lights out. Maybe me sneaking in is still disturbing her? The bedroom is the lowest-traffic spot in the house, and toally off limits during laying time.

I'm terrified she'll end up eggbound, which is why I've been trying different lay bins, substrate, etc. The vet doesn't seem concerned since she's still laying all her eggs, but it's definitely not normal. Any other bins or substrate I should try? I will absolutely sleep on the couch during egg time, if that's what it takes! I've kept chams over the years, but she's my first female and I'm super paranoid about this abnormal egg-laying business.
 
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for your input! I'll adjust her temps and feeding schedule for sure. She laid 9 eggs on 2/20, 21 eggs on 5/6, and 24 eggs this time around.
First bin - Black bathroom trashcan, 10" l x 8" w x 14" h with 8 inches of play sand
Second bin - Blue 5 gallon bucket, 8 inches of sand/dirt
Third bin - Opaque plastic tub, approx 14 l x 10 w x 8 h with 6" just dirt

Her "background" is a rainforest-printed cloth shower curtain on three sides. Should I add a sheet during egg laying? Maybe it's more see-through than I think? She's in my bedroom, so she has total privacy other than lights on/off and filling the dripper mid-day. I definitely don't watch any egg business, and I sneak into bed after lights out. Maybe me sneaking in is still disturbing her? The bedroom is the lowest-traffic spot in the house, and toally off limits during laying time.

I'm terrified she'll end up eggbound, which is why I've been trying different lay bins, substrate, etc. The vet doesn't seem concerned since she's still laying all her eggs, but it's definitely not normal. Any other bins or substrate I should try? I will absolutely sleep on the couch during egg time, if that's what it takes! I've kept chams over the years, but she's my first female and I'm super paranoid about this abnormal egg-laying business.
I would stick with the opaque bin with about 6” of moist play sand. Make sure she has at least 2 sturdy branches or vines to easily get in/out of the bin. Even though your room is low/no traffic, she may still feel vulnerable. You could try covering just the lower area of her enclosure with a light sheet and maybe that will give her some confidence to use her lay bin.
 
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