enclosure question


New Member
I live on Maui (upcountry). I found a nice male jackson in some bamboo at work so I went down to home depot and bought stuff to build an enclosure. I was wanting to run my plans by some people who know more about care. My plan is for a 4ftX2ftX4ft screen outdoor enclosure. I bought a couple local dwarf trees and plants for the inside, but here is my conserns. I would like to keep the bottom open to the dirt so that the plants will be easier to care for. Would this cause any problems? Should I let grass grow around the plants? Im new to this and want him to be happy does anyone have any tips?
Thank you
It would be probably best to keep your cham outside since it is known to survive in hawaii. Also, if you do this, your gonna want to make sure no other animals can get to it. Make sure the screen is tough enough to keep cats out and that other animals can't dig under the cage. Maybe even place 1 foot of aluminum sheeting in the ground around the cage. You can dig the aluminum into the ground. Also, If your area is pesticide free, I would make the screen mesh big enough so that bugs can get in. That way the cham could have a similar diet to what it eats now. There is so much that you need to learn still. Here are some good sites to get you started.
We do have a couple cats that roam around so I will be sure to bury something under that cage to prevent them from coming under. I need to run to the hardware store tomorrow to get some bigger screws so Ill see about some bigger holes in the mesh to bring in some of the bugs that are allways eating my flowers :) Thanks for the links and ideas.
Howzit Puka, Your definetly starting off the right way by asking questions. You got a place to keep your Jack for the time being? Your cage design is very important, but just as important is how he's being kept now. If he isn't comfortable from now until his cage is ready, he could be traumatized for a long time. I made that mistake before.
Right now I have him in a little pet carrier type thing with some leafy plants for him to hide. He seems allright, he isnt turning black and he is loving it when I drop some food in. Are there any signs as to him being unhappy?

I also returned my fiberglass mesh for some metal chicken wire type screening to allow bugs to come in on their own. Im still unsure on how to do the floor, I read about them eating dirt so I was thinking of using landscaping bricks as a floor and put them around the trunk of the trees. Also I was wondering how I would find out if Hawaiian Schefflera plants would be safe for him. Thanks for the feedback.
Finally someone in Hawaii that is on the right track...

Use the plants you find in the local area where the chameleons would be found. Do not restrict yourself with toxicity- this is silly. Besides toxic plants almost always have a warning taste for those creatures that want to eat them.

Go back to the area where he was found. Write down what types of plants and things you see around the area. Make it as natural as possible but putting each of the things you note are around. Open soil, grass, weeds, worms in the soil, grubs, what ever. The jacksons seem to be thriving in Hawaii, so the ideal cage, is a sectioned off piece of the land.

I do propose you make it larger though, consider the options of cohabitating more of the species and working to research and document their "semi-natural" "wild" behavior.Take the largest section of your home, and build the cage the length of it, to 5' away from the wall. Leave a 2 foot stone walkway against the side of the cage for a path to walk within the cage.

Living in their Habitat: By Mary Lovein
(As you can see in the first photo, nearly a dozen chameleons live in a ~20-25 yard square area- so consider a nice large cage for a small group.)

The Story of a beloved Jackson’s Chameleon, Spunk Bob, wild in Hawaii: By Mary Lovein
I would love to build a huge cage against the house, but as of right now I live in a studio off the side of a house. My landlord is really cool and let me make flower beds and such, but I dont think they would like the side of their house as a cage. I plan on moving into a house in a few months and would really like to make something like that, but for now I will have to settle with the one I just built. He is still small, his horns are still a little nubby so for now 4ft high 2 ft wide and 4 ft long should be good for him yeah? I found him in some landscaping by a pool. He was up in some bamboo but there must have been 10 of them in the same area, so I think ill plant the ones I bought in the front and get some bamboo to line the back.

here are pics of the plants

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Hey Ryan, I live in Kahului. If you want, I got a 18.5 x 30.5 x 30.5 screened cage you can borrow till you get done. LMK
Thanks for the offer spud, but I should have the cage finished after work (crosses fingers)
Ive been reading about people using misters and was wondering if I would need one? It gets pretty windy up here sometimes (well alot recently) and Im worried that the spraying of the leaves would just dry out to fast.
My next concern is his food. I bought wire screening to allow bugs to come in, but I am worried that the ones I put in will get out before he gets a chance to eat them. Should I feed him with some feeding tongs or just drop them in and hope for the best. Sorry to bug you guys with silly questions, I just dont want to kill him.
Build a feeding trough, to put bugs in. Almost like a roof rain trough, have it gor around the sides and back so the bugs you put in can spead out, and he can still somewhat "hunt" instead of picking from a small cup.
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