Feeding Schedule at 6-8 months and on

Twunkles

New Member
Hey everyone! I am a first time chameleon owner! I bought myself a veiled chameleon from PetCo at around 6-8 months old (employees there not quite sure on age) I recently got him this last Sunday (10/21/18) and he has been doing great these past few days. I'm just curious as to a feeding schedule that chameleons have around this age. I have heard to let them eat as much as they want and that they will sometimes eat 20 crickets in one sitting, but I dont know how much longer in their juvenile stage that they keep eating that many. He has recently eaten about 7-8 crickets and 1 or 2 mealworms in the past 2 days, and PetCo said they fed them well the day before I got him. Is this an okay schedule??? Just not sure how many they eat at this 6-8 month stage.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey everyone! I am a first time chameleon owner! I bought myself a veiled chameleon from PetCo at around 6-8 months old (employees there not quite sure on age) I recently got him this last Sunday (10/21/18) and he has been doing great these past few days. I'm just curious as to a feeding schedule that chameleons have around this age. I have heard to let them eat as much as they want and that they will sometimes eat 20 crickets in one sitting, but I dont know how much longer in their juvenile stage that they keep eating that many. He has recently eaten about 7-8 crickets and 1 or 2 mealworms in the past 2 days, and PetCo said they fed them well the day before I got him. Is this an okay schedule??? Just not sure how many they eat at this 6-8 month stage.
The veiled care sheet here has info on how much and when to feed. Don’t feed mealworms! Could you fill out the ask for help form in my signature below, please?
 

Twunkles

New Member
https://www.chameleonforums.com/how-ask-help-66/
Chameleon Info
-6-8 months, veiled, male, cared for by me for 3 days (first time owner)
-I handle Pascal about 2-3 times a day each for about 20 min or so
-I am feeding Pascal crickets and SUPERworms (pretty sure they aren't mealworms) He has eaten 7-8 crickets and 1-2 worms in the past 3 days.
-I am currently not supplementing my crickets or worms right now. I plan to offer some fresh fruits and veggies if you think that would work
-I mist the enclosure about 3-4 times a day (enclosure is all screened), and I have a small drip system in case I miss a misting session.
-The past two focal matter depositing have been brown, white/yellow, and moist looking.
-Dont know any previous history expect that PetCo took very good care of him

Cage Info
-Enclosure is all screened on all sides except the bottom. About 10 x 10 x 18 in. (I know this is smaller than normal, I plan to make a bigger one in the next month or so)
-Dual lamp fixture of 13w UVB and 60w halogen heat bulb. Both lights are on for 11-12 hours every day
-I have no way to measure temperature right now, but my house stays from 72-76 all day and the baking temp "feels" around 85 (I know this isn't exact)
-I also dont know the exact humidity levels but I know that since my enclosure is completely screened, I need to mist it more often to keep a relatively high humidity
-No live plants
-Enclosure is near the window but I do not rely on UVB through the window
-I live in South Georgia so maintaining temp and humidity levels are not difficult to do.

I am concerned if my cham is eating enough. I hand feed him but not sure how long they go without eating at 6-8 months of age.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
https://www.chameleonforums.com/how-ask-help-66/
Chameleon Info
-6-8 months, veiled, male, cared for by me for 3 days (first time owner)
-I handle Pascal about 2-3 times a day each for about 20 min or so
-I am feeding Pascal crickets and SUPERworms (pretty sure they aren't mealworms) He has eaten 7-8 crickets and 1-2 worms in the past 3 days.
-I am currently not supplementing my crickets or worms right now. I plan to offer some fresh fruits and veggies if you think that would work
-I mist the enclosure about 3-4 times a day (enclosure is all screened), and I have a small drip system in case I miss a misting session.
-The past two focal matter depositing have been brown, white/yellow, and moist looking.
-Dont know any previous history expect that PetCo took very good care of him

Cage Info
-Enclosure is all screened on all sides except the bottom. About 10 x 10 x 18 in. (I know this is smaller than normal, I plan to make a bigger one in the next month or so)
-Dual lamp fixture of 13w UVB and 60w halogen heat bulb. Both lights are on for 11-12 hours every day
-I have no way to measure temperature right now, but my house stays from 72-76 all day and the baking temp "feels" around 85 (I know this isn't exact)
-I also dont know the exact humidity levels but I know that since my enclosure is completely screened, I need to mist it more often to keep a relatively high humidity
-No live plants
-Enclosure is near the window but I do not rely on UVB through the window
-I live in South Georgia so maintaining temp and humidity levels are not difficult to do.

I am concerned if my cham is eating enough. I hand feed him but not sure how long they go without eating at 6-8 months of age.
Don’t handle that much! Chameleons are like fish, look but don’t touch. If he comes to you, it’s different, but still limit it. Handling should always come with a reward, like going to a free range set up, handfeeding, or going outside. Superworms should only be fed as occasional variety and as treats. Don’t feed mealworms. You can try more variety, like multiple types of roaches, black soldier flies and larvae, silkworms, hornworms, butterworms, snails, painted lady butterflies, mantids, stick insects, blue bottle flies, etc. Variety is best! Just make sure your feeders are appropriately sized. Gutloading is key! It is a must, you can’t skip it. It benefits your cham more than dusting with supplements. Use organic fresh fruits and veggies or a quality commercial gutload, like Cricket Crack, Pangea, Mazuri, Repashy, etc. Don’t forget to water your feeders, too! You can do so by either using water gel/crystals, blending puréed fruits and veggies into an unflavored gelatin, or adding water to your commercial gutload to make a paste (following the instructions on the package). Some feeders, like hornworms, silkworms, and snails, have their own specialty diets, while others, like stick insects and mantids, must be fed only certain foods. The veiled care sheet here has the appropriate amount of feeders listed for your cham’s age. You also need to dust each feeder right before feeding with supplements! Coat your feeders in phosphorous free calcium without D3 every feeding, phosphorous free calcium with D3 twice monthly, and a multivitamin twice monthly. How long are you misting for (it needs to be at least 2 minutes per session)? You need a bigger cage now. Go for one that’s at least 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall, so you won’t have to upgrade again. Zoo Med Reptibreezes, Dragon Strands, DIYCages.com, or a custom build are all great! Is your uvb linear (tube) or compact (coiled light bulb)? Go to the hardware store and pick up a digital temp gun to measure basking temps, a timer for your lights (they need 12 hours of uvb and basking and 12 hours of complete darkness), and a digital hygrometer/thermometer combo for ambient temp and humidity. Uvb can’t pass through glass.
 

Twunkles

New Member
Wow, I prepared myself for a couple months to get Pascal, but I still have a lot to learn. Thank you very much for this info! And in response to the handling, he usually comes to me when I handle him. I will handle him less now or supplement it with reward like you said. I am looking for a bigger enclosure to fit my budget. I completely understand that it has to be bigger, but how long do you think he could be in the enclosure now without bad repercussions? I'm trying to make my own that will be plenty big enough. Also, my bulb is coiled, and I do mist for about 2 min like you mentioned. Thank you again for helping me!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow, I prepared myself for a couple months to get Pascal, but I still have a lot to learn. Thank you very much for this info! And in response to the handling, he usually comes to me when I handle him. I will handle him less now or supplement it with reward like you said. I am looking for a bigger enclosure to fit my budget. I completely understand that it has to be bigger, but how long do you think he could be in the enclosure now without bad repercussions? I'm trying to make my own that will be plenty big enough. Also, my bulb is coiled, and I do mist for about 2 min like you mentioned. Thank you again for helping me!
When you get the money, upgrade to a t5HO linear uvb bulb and fixture. You can get an automated mister, too, once you have the money. A cham that age needs either an 18” by 18” by 36” tall or preferably 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall minimum. You can build a 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall cage out of window screen frame for about $80 and you can do it in day or weekend. Building out of 2 by 2 wood is also doable, but you must seal the wood. eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook are good for finding used cages that you can repair and sanitize for dirt cheap
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
When you get the money, upgrade to a t5HO linear uvb bulb and fixture. You can get an automated mister, too, once you have the money. A cham that age needs either an 18” by 18” by 36” tall or preferably 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall minimum. You can build a 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall cage out of window screen frame for about $80 and you can do it in day or weekend. Building out of 2 by 2 wood is also doable, but you must seal the wood. eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook are good for finding used cages that you can repair and sanitize for dirt cheap
$80 if you buy the kits and link them together, if you buy just the framing material, it’s cheaper
 

Twunkles

New Member
Thanks again, I'm now planning to build and have my entire bigger enclosure up and ready within this month. For now, could I turn the enclosure I have now into more of a free range to give more space until then? (I need to buy supplies and find time throughout my college career schedule)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks again, I'm now planning to build and have my entire bigger enclosure up and ready within this month. For now, could I turn the enclosure I have now into more of a free range to give more space until then? (I need to buy supplies and find time throughout my college career schedule)
I personally wouldn’t recommend it to new keepers because you must make sure your cham basks under the uvb light and basking spot. Feeders can also escape, along with your cham, easier. What’s your budget for a cage right now? I feel you about the money, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. I’m in the middle of building 2 massive bioactive enclosures and have made the screen cage my ambilobe is in right now. It just takes planning. Buying second hand and patching the screen and sanitizing the enclosure is a great alternative to buying new.
 

Twunkles

New Member
I know I'm gonna need to get feeders, misters, a bigger enclosure, a few supplements, and other small important factors, but I hoping to cover EVERYTHING in a budget of max $100. Now I dont mean everything from here on out, I know that once I earn some more money I could get better bulbs and whatnot, but for now, max of $100. (Again, thank you so much for your help, I guess I didnt realize how lost I was and I really do want the little guy to be the healthiest he can be)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a plan to buy a secondhand curio cabinet and transform that into an enclosure
Make sure to seal the wood with preferably epoxy paint. It’ll be easier and quicker to buy second or first hand or build from scratch than to convert furniture for this current cage right now, to me at least.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know I'm gonna need to get feeders, misters, a bigger enclosure, a few supplements, and other small important factors, but I hoping to cover EVERYTHING in a budget of max $100. Now I dont mean everything from here on out, I know that once I earn some more money I could get better bulbs and whatnot, but for now, max of $100. (Again, thank you so much for your help, I guess I didnt realize how lost I was and I really do want the little guy to be the healthiest he can be)
You can probably get an enclosure for minimum of $50, minimum of $30 if you build probably, and unless you build a mister, you can’t get a quality one for under $75-$100. Not trying to shock you, but prioritize. Get a bigger cage, gutload, and supplements first. Then when you get more cash flow, invest in a better uvb and an automated mister. If you could squeeze in a temp gun and hygrometer/thermometer combo in the first group, even better
 

Twunkles

New Member
Also, I know you mentioned some sites earlier, but where could I find a secondhand cage? Isn't that a little specific? Or is there a site I dont know about filled with secondhand cages?
 
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