Feel Good Chameleon Keeping stories

Im sorry i can not edit the post to say this is how it was in the 90's. We have come a long way. Still even in 2010 this forum was recommending not getting T8 10.0 and sticking with T8 5.0. And i feel we still had healthy chams back then.

I still cant nail down how beginners get it so wrong. Its not a very hard recipe, but still we get MBD posts when that would have been cured with just about any calcium with D3 reguardless of lighting. We still get URI posts but i got by 20 years without a mister, we have only had hobby misters for about the last 10 years, with a wee bit of diy kits before that uses RO pumps.

I guess the newest is just edema, and distance issues with the new high power lights. And correctly cleaning the mister/humidifier. We didnt have those issues 10+ years ago.
Perhaps the difference is that you were more serious about the hobby and monitored things more closely. Even the fact that you took your chameleon to the vet annually and had blood work done shows this. How difficult is it at times now to convince people to even get a basic fecal for parasites? Now with chameleons being popularized in animated movies and so easily available at all chain pet stores, it’s no longer serious hobbyists and is people wanting pets, thinking chams are easy.
 
I am not an experienced chameleon keeper, but I would love to share as well.

My name is Eliza, I live in Utah and I got my first chameleon on May 20th, 2022 from PetCo. My daughter and I saw this adorable little veiled chameleon in a tiny glass box and we both fell in love right away. We went home and spent hours researching chameleon care before returning the next morning to purchase her along with all of the things she needed aka the 'chameleon kit', per the pet store. We decided to name her Kitty Kat, because my daughter desperately wants a cat but alas, my hubby and I are not cat people. My guess on her age is she is most likely about a year old at this point.

Luckily, within a few weeks of her being in our home, I found the Chameleon Academy (podcast and website) and Neptune the Chameleon (YouTube channel) and did my best to update everything for Kitty Kat to have the proper husbandry, which I will share below:

Enclosure: ExoTerra Large Extra Tall enclosure, its measurements are 38" x 18" x 36". This enclosure costs $235 on Amazon. I have turned this all-screen enclosure into a hybrid by wrapping the 2 sides and back wall with white corrugated plastic ($30), sealed off with clear silicone sealant ($10). For the front screen doors I have used the window insulator kit ($10). The bottom screen flap, and screen top I have left alone to create a chimney effect to allow airflow. This enclosure comes with a substrate tray, I have drilled holes in the bottom to allow water from my misting, dripper, and fogger to fall below to a drain tray I purchased at a plumbing and HVAC supply store ($30). I use a turkey baster ($8) to suck out the water from this drain tray once a week. Because I live in Utah, and it is a dry state, I am able to maintain proper humidity levels for Kitty Kat by making the above-mentioned changes to her screen enclosure. I do plan on getting a hybrid Dragon Strand enclosure hopefully within the next year because they are so awesome. I have all live plants in her enclosure as veiled chameleons tend to eat their plants and live plants will help with humidity levels

Inside the enclosure: I have all live plants that I purchased at Home Depot ($100), the branches in my enclosure are all natural ones I found in my backyard (non sap producing), they were washed with dish soap and then left to dry. I am able to secure all the pots and branches with zip ties ($8) to the corrugated plastic walls and I have melted the ends so there are no sharp edges to hurt her.

Lights: I have two 22" HO T5 UVB lights above her enclosure that are 12" away from the nearest branch. These specific lights give off a higher UVB strength (10%) so I have to be careful to keep the lights further away from her branches so she doesn't get an overload of UVB rays. I purchased both these lights for $70 each on amazon. Her heat lamp was luckily given to me for free, but they usually are about $20. I use a common house light, GE brand, clear 72 w bulb for her heat bulb. All lights I like to keep replacement bulbs in case one goes out for whatever reason.

Food and Supplements: Because Kitty Kat is about a year old, I feed her 3-4 small feeders no bigger than the width space between her eyes every other day. I have a dubia roach colony and a cricket colony, and regularly purchase hornworms, silkworms, BSFL, and super worms. All bugs are gut-loaded with leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, and peppers every other day. All feeders are dusted with a supplement before feeding. I probably spend about $35 - $50 every few months on feeders
My supplement schedule is:
phosphorous-free calcium without vitamin D3 - on every feeding
phosphorus-free calcium with D3 - 2x a month (every other weekend)
Multivitamin - 2x a month (every other weekend)
Total cost for supplements $35

Temps and humidity: I keep Kitty Kat's enclosure at an ambient temp of 72 degrees F. during the day. The day humidity is kept around 50%. The night temperature is usually around 63 degrees F. and the humidity at night is around 90%. Her basking temp is between 80-85 degrees F. I track the temperatures and humidity levels with a hydrometer/thermometer I got at Walmart for $24, and for the basking temp, I use the thermometer with a probe ($15). I keep the humidity high at night with a fog machine for reptiles ($40) with R.O. water. I hand mist her enclosure in the morning before her lights come on and again when the lights turn off with a pump/spray bottle I got at PetCo for $15. The dropper is handmade from a water bottle with a hole poked out of the bottom with a thumb tack (free). On top of misting 2x a day, I use my water bottle dripper 3-4 times a week to ensure she has plenty of drinking opportunities.

All lights and fog machine is kept on a mechanical outlet timer, they are about $5-$8 each at Wal Mart.

She sees an exotic vet with chameleon experience, visits with her are about $65 to start, bloodwork is around $300 and yearly fecal checks for parasites are $85. She will get a vet visit and fecal check every year minimum for checkups and general health.

So far I have spent around $650 on proper husbandry supplies, around $200 on feeders, and around $150 in wellness vet visits. I do plan on purchasing Arcadia jungle lights and a Solarmeter down the road so the amount I spent on my husbandry supplies will go up from what I have shared above.

I have very much enjoyed watching this little one grow, chameleons are fascinating, beautiful creatures. It's been a fun bonding experience for me and my daughter, we both love watching Kitty Kat chill in her enclosure. I love Kitty Kat's personality, she is spunky, and silly and always knows that my hands have a bug in them. I have always had a soft spot for animals that need good homes, so my ultimate goal is to continue to build on my chameleon-caretaking skill set and then take in a few chameleons that need re-homing and give them a good home with my family.
Thank you for sharing! Inspiration for other new keepers and a pure joy for those of use that have been here helping everyday to see a new keepers do everything possible to make a beautiful enclosure and provide great husbandry! ❤️
 
Perhaps the difference is that you were more serious about the hobby and monitored things more closely. Even the fact that you took your chameleon to the vet annually and had blood work done shows this. How difficult is it at times now to convince people to even get a basic fecal for parasites? Now with chameleons being popularized in animated movies and so easily available at all chain pet stores, it’s no longer serious hobbyists and is people wanting pets, thinking chams are easy.

Maybe we can re rail this thread by talking about how we have over come "modern problems".


Edema
Distance issues with the new high power lights
Correctly cleaning the mister/humidifier


I corrected edema by adjusting my supplement of D3 to match the new high power lights.
I corrected my distance issues by getting a meter and cross referencing my findings with chameleon academy
I never corrected my humidifier cleaning. No matter the additive i got pink slime. Using just distilled/DI water did reduce it, but the pipes still ended up as nature's air filter and stuff/dust was able to grow things in the line.
 
Maybe we can re rail this thread by talking about how we have over come "modern problems".


Edema
Distance issues with the new high power lights
Correctly cleaning the mister/humidifier


I corrected edema by adjusting my supplement of D3 to match the new high power lights.
I corrected my distance issues by getting a meter and cross referencing my findings with chameleon academy
I never corrected my humidifier cleaning. No matter the additive i got pink slime. Using just distilled/DI water did reduce it, but the pipes still ended up as nature's air filter and stuff/dust was able to grow things in the line.
Night, how about we not make this thread about husbandry and issues and how to fix them. I know you are just trying to share your story... I was a bit taken back by the fact that you would not put up that those pics were taken in 95. And it is 2023 now and the advances in how to keep chameleons has come a long way. But you also put that it was the minimum someone can do. Which in my opinion is not responsible being as we are in 2023 now and not 1995. I have helped in multiple threads where chams kept in aquariums caused RI or death. I think it is good that your post was pointed out so that newbies reading that would not think that was ok to do in 2023.

Some of us are here every single day helping in threads and watching chams slowly die. This takes a toll and for those of us constantly helping others get on the right track I did this thread to be a positive post. Where we can share our stories and other new keepers can share their positive stories of growth in this hobby. I did this so that Newbies reading this thread would see great examples and know that not everyone starts out as a Chameleon expert. In fact most of us that are constantly helping started out here with no idea wtf we were doing. That in itself shows newbies that they too can be successful with the correct husbandry and set up.

So lets just drop the back and forth about your post. I really want this thread to remain what it was meant to be. And it is going sideways now.
 
Ok lets try this again...

My two generations of setups. First setup is the normal reptibreeze XL. I was one of the first in the usa to get the arcadia T5HO. I had to go black market from Todd from LYR before we even had hoods, i had to use a tropical fish hood. Plenty of live plants and some silk vines as a visual barrier from the other family members, and to help with water evaporation.

Second setup is a custom "semi free range" that is 7ft tall. I recycled most of it from the other cage. Upgrades are a now defunct aquazamp mister. And this was before i had a rotation of hibiscus "trees" since even with 2 T5HO's and a 45 watt halogen, it was not enough light to keep them happy. For a super feeder, i used a 2.5 gallon carboy. I also used 1/2" mesh, so he could climb all over the cage vs window screen that doesnt work well for adults.

Pothos and dracaenas are impossible to kill, so i would start with those.

I did not have to run distilled water through the mister, our hard well water was fine just going through a normal filter. Misting was a rotation of 2min every hour to keep humidity up in the winter with a big soak in the evening and the morning. A note i never had to drain the open basins during the winter, all the water would just evaporate lol.

For some husbandry notes, i always had sticks at angles to the UVB bulbs so the chameleon could auto adjust. And i always had the basking bulbs at angles so i had ovals instead of hot spots, and if i needed more heat i would just add bulbs, not increase wattage.

arcadia small.jpg


new tank day.jpg





And as a bonus, here is how far we have come. Here is an excerpt from my 1990 reptile guide book.
IMG_20230210_111814.jpg
 
Ok lets try this again...

My two generations of setups. First setup is the normal reptibreeze XL. I was one of the first in the usa to get the arcadia T5HO. I had to go black market from Todd from LYR before we even had hoods, i had to use a tropical fish hood. Plenty of live plants and some silk vines as a visual barrier from the other family members, and to help with water evaporation.

Second setup is a custom "semi free range" that is 7ft tall. I recycled most of it from the other cage. Upgrades are a now defunct aquazamp mister. And this was before i had a rotation of hibiscus "trees" since even with 2 T5HO's and a 45 watt halogen, it was not enough light to keep them happy. For a super feeder, i used a 2.5 gallon carboy. I also used 1/2" mesh, so he could climb all over the cage vs window screen that doesnt work well for adults.

Pothos and dracaenas are impossible to kill, so i would start with those.

I did not have to run distilled water through the mister, our hard well water was fine just going through a normal filter. Misting was a rotation of 2min every hour to keep humidity up in the winter with a big soak in the evening and the morning. A note i never had to drain the open basins during the winter, all the water would just evaporate lol.

For some husbandry notes, i always had sticks at angles to the UVB bulbs so the chameleon could auto adjust. And i always had the basking bulbs at angles so i had ovals instead of hot spots, and if i needed more heat i would just add bulbs, not increase wattage.

View attachment 334778

View attachment 334779




And as a bonus, here is how far we have come. Here is an excerpt from my 1990 reptile guide book.
View attachment 334782
Thank you for sharing. This is a wonderful addition to this thread. I appreciate you sharing your extensive experience in this hobby.
 
I became a chameleon fan in the 1980's. I had the good luck to work at a couple of vet practices that treated reptiles and birds along with the regular small animals. We almost exclusively treated MBD in reptiles. Iguanas, turtles, tortoises and the rare chameleon all came in with fractures and almost no bones showing on x-ray. I don't recall if it was due to lack of availability of supplements, a quality issue or thriftiness but we had clients grind up human calcium supplements to dust their feed. It was probably a combination of the three. Lighting was an issue but I was in southern California so outdoor keeping was a possibility. Ultimately because I was renting, I opted to wait until I had a more stable living arrangement.
My friends son got a chameleon several years ago and while researching for them on an eye problem stumbled across the Forum and rekindled my desire for a Jackson's Chameleon. I lurked for quite sometime and read everything. I ultimately joined just to contact a member for the purchase of "Scimitar" my avatar. I know it's unusual to start with a more difficult species but I was prepared. I ran my cage for a month before I moved him in so I could dial it in.
I've now raised a few clutches that were given to me and those from the breeding of "Falchion" and "Trident". "Falchion" and "Jian" I've had since they were 2 & 3 months old and they are about to turn 5 years this month and next. "Falchion" is going strong and is as feisty as ever. "Jian" has a minor tongue issue but still eats well.
I could breed another generation as I have 8 healthy adults, several that are not related but life is a bit too challenging right now. Perhaps next year will be better and I can get to that third generation.

P.S. I use commercial supplements, misting systems, Climist and MistKing, live plants, fogging at times of the year, gut loaded feeders, T5HO lighting monitored with a UVI meter and a host of other modern conveniences. Yes, I know we are starting to see diseases of affluence, obesity or over supplementation, in chameleons these days. It will take time but we will reach a balance if we continue to work together spreading what we have learned.

IMG_3713.jpg

"Trishul" son of "Trident" and "Falchion"
IMG_2450.jpg

"Bowie", "Bayonet", "Falchion" and "Jian"
 
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I became a chameleon fan in the 1980's. I had the good luck to work at a couple of vet practices that treated reptiles and birds along with the regular small animals. We almost exclusively treated MBD in reptiles. Iguanas, turtles, tortoises and the rare chameleon all came in with fractures and almost no bones showing on x-ray. I don't recall if it was due to lack of availability of supplements, a quality issue or thriftiness but we had clients grind up human calcium supplements to dust their feed. It was probably a combination of the three. Lighting was an issue but I was in southern California so outdoor keeping was a possibility. Ultimately because I was renting, I opted to wait until I had a more stable living arrangement.
My friends son got a chameleon several years ago and while researching for them on an eye problem stumbled across the Forum and rekindled my desire for a Jackson's Chameleon. I lurked for quite sometime and read everything. I ultimately joined just to contact a member for the purchase of "Scimitar" my avatar. I know it's unusual to start with a more difficult species but I was prepared. I ran my cage for a month before I moved him in so I could dial it in.
I've now raised a few clutches that were given to me and those from the breeding of "Falchion" and "Trident". "Falchion" and "Jian" I've had since they were 2 & 3 months old and they are about to turn 5 years this month and next. "Falchion" is going strong and is as feisty as ever. "Jian" has a minor tongue issue but still eats well.
I could breed another generation as I have 8 healthy adults, several that are not related but life is a bit too challenging right now. Perhaps next year will be better and I can get to that third generation.

P.S. I use commercial supplements, misting systems, Climist and MistKing, live plants, fogging at times of the year, gut loaded feeders, T5HO lighting monitored with a UVI meter and a host of other modern conveniences. Yes, I know we are starting to see diseases of affluence, obesity or over supplementation, in chameleons these days. It will take time but we will reach a balance if we continue to work together spreading what we have learned.

View attachment 334783
"Trishul" son of "Trident" and "Falchion"
View attachment 334785
"Bowie", "Bayonet", "Falchion" and "Jian"
AH! It took me so long to find all your chameleons. They are just hanging out near their feeders!
 
@Ghostbirb You have a wonderful story to share. 🤗
Oh this looks like a fun thread ! This is going to be one long story!

Hey everyone! My name is Mia and I’m probably one of the younger members of this forum and some of you probably know my spunky pink mittened girl.
Ok some a backstory on me. I’ve always been a bird kind of person, and I’ve owned 4 budgies over my not no long life (I’ll introduce them later). I love all kinds of animals but never expected to adopt a chameleon before college!
So this story begins around one year ago, December 2021, at the beginning of winter break. I had just gotten home from school and my mom had called me to telling me that there was a pet sitting opportunity. My mom works at a elementary school and as some do, one class had this small chameleon as a class pet. During breaks kids would take this chameleon home in her small wire enclosure. During this break though, the kid ment to taken the chameleon home wasn’t at school, so my mom knowing I love animals, asked me if I wanted to take care of the little reptile.
Annnnnd that’s how I officially met Nachito. When I first got her I noticed her enclosure was incredibly dull and empty, so I decided to do some research to figure out what I was getting myself into and I stumbled upon this amazing forum.
Long story short I was informed that so many things were wrong with her husbandry. I did my best but was only able to care for her for 2 weeks before she was shipped back off to the elementary school again. I’d tried to help more and inform the teacher but of that point Nachito wasn’t my pet and i was told it wasn’t really my business.

Flash forward like 3-4 month later I get a text from my mom again about the little chameleon. Her teacher/owner had left for surgery and had not been back to school for 4 days. On the fourth day Nachito was found, severely dehydrated and probably a bit hungry. My mom decided that she could come home with her due to me already having taken care of her once.
After a few days (or weeks, I can’t remember). The teacher decided I could keep Nachito as she already had a bunch of stuff going on in her life.
Along side that my parents agreed to let me keep her as long as I took care of all her supply’s with the money I earned from work.
I was so lucky to be apart of this forum as all you guys helped me so much with all the changes and care that she desperately needed.
Now she had a nice and big dragon strand hybrid enclosure with a automatic watering system, live plants, correct lighting and temp, a lay box and a good variety of food.
Even though she started out with some developed MBD and calcium deposits along her ribs, with the help of the right supplements Nachito has Lost all the calcium deposits and has a incredible bite force and no more progression of MBD.
Things have been rough along the way, plant stress, bug stress and a abscess, but Nachito is going strong, grip and all.
And she has yet to go receptive and lay any eggs at the estimated age of one year and five months (give it take A few months)

I never expected to adopt a reptile, or any more pets before College but here I am with this special girl and I know I’m going to be hooked on reptiles for the rest of my life.
Nachito is about to hit one official year with me and I plan on doing a special post about it within the next month or two!

00B1EBF3-042C-4D88-BC7A-CCB34D95C58C.jpeg

6B32265E-B922-46F7-9297-ECF796A583D9.jpeg


Along side Nachito, she has 4 house mates,
3 being budgies! 2 females from cregslist named Mango and Cobbler who are around 3 years old and one male from a breeder named Pickles who is turning 10 this April, Pickles also had a brother who was named Cookie who unfortunately passed away due to liver failure 2 years ago.
3222F68B-5326-4745-8FBB-1331449910F5.jpeg
41BAD0D5-FEA2-4BAD-980C-9A42142F1C75.jpeg

7AE858A9-C1D1-4B0E-A091-4A66F5CDB1D5.jpeg


And lastly Nachitos final house mate, my only other official rescue animal, a rescued bulldog named Gertie who is also around 10 years old!
5B36116B-C2CF-4095-AC79-FEAC6F89D575.jpeg


I’m so thankful for this forum and all the people in it and I hope every new or established forum member will the most excellent experiences with all the amazing Keepers here.
A big thanks to all of you for the support and advice given along this journey. 🤗
 
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Oh this looks like a fun tread! This is going to be one long story!

Hey everyone! My name is Mia and I’m probably one of the younger members of this forum and some of you probably know my spunky pink mittened girl.
Ok some a backstory on me. I’ve always been a bird kind of person, and I’ve owned 4 budgies over my not no long life (I’ll introduce them later). I love all kinds of animals but never expected to adopt a chameleon before college!
So this story begins around one year ago, December 2021, at the beginning of winter break. I had just gotten home from school and my mom had called me to telling me that there was a pet sitting opportunity. My mom works at a elementary school and as some do, one class had this small chameleon as a class pet. During breaks kids would take this chameleon home in her small wire enclosure. During this break though, the kid ment to taken the chameleon home wasn’t at school, so my mom knowing I love animals, asked me if I wanted to take care of the little reptile.
Annnnnd that’s how I officially met Nachito. When I first got her I noticed her enclosure was incredibly dull and empty, so I decided to do some research to figure out what I was getting myself into and I stumbled upon this amazing forum.
Long story short I was informed that so many things were wrong with her husbandry. I did my best but was only able to care for her for 2 weeks before she was shipped back off to the elementary school again. I’d tried to help more and inform the teacher but of that point Nachito wasn’t my pet and i was told it wasn’t really my business.

Flash forward like 3-4 month later I get a text from my mom again about the little chameleon. Her teacher/owner had left for surgery and had not been back to school for 4 days. On the fourth day Nachito was found, severely dehydrated and probably a bit hungry. My mom decided that she could come home with her due to me already having taken care of her once.
After a few days (or weeks, I can’t remember). The teacher decided I could keep Nachito as she already had a bunch of stuff going on in her life.
Along side that my parents agreed to let me keep her as long as I took care of all her supply’s with the money I earned from work.
I was so lucky to be apart of this forum as all you guys helped me so much with all the changes and care that she desperately needed.
Now she had a nice and big dragon strand hybrid enclosure with a automatic watering system, live plants, correct lighting and temp, a lay box and a good variety of food.
Even though she started out with some developed MBD and calcium deposits along her ribs, with the help of the right supplements Nachito has Lost all the calcium deposits and has a incredible bite force and no more progression of MBD.
Things have been rough along the way, plant stress, bug stress and a abscess, but Nachito is going strong, grip and all.
And she has yet to go receptive and lay any eggs at the estimated age of one year and five months (give it take A few months)

I never expected to adopt a reptile, or any more pets before College but here I am with this special girl and I know I’m going to be hooked on reptiles for the rest of my life.
Nachito is about to hit one official year with me and I plan on doing a special post about it within the next month or two!

View attachment 334881
View attachment 334882

Along side Nachito, she has 4 house mates,
3 budgies! 2 females from cregslist named Mango and Cobbler who are around 3 years old and one male from a breeder named Pickles who is turning 10 this April, Pickles also had a brother who was named Cookie who unfortunately passed away due to liver failure 2 years ago. View attachment 334887View attachment 334886
View attachment 334884

And lastly Nachitos final house mate, my only other official rescue animal, a rescued bulldog named Gertie who is also around 10 years old!
View attachment 334888

I’m so thankful for this forum and all the people in it and I hope every new or established forum member will the most excellent experiences with all the amazing Keepers here.
A big thanks to all of you for the support and advice given along this journey. 🤗
You did an amazing job rehabbing her. Makes me so happy to see people like you grow in this forum. ❤️
 
Oh this looks like a fun thread ! This is going to be one long story!

Hey everyone! My name is Mia and I’m probably one of the younger members of this forum and some of you probably know my spunky pink mittened girl.
Ok some a backstory on me. I’ve always been a bird kind of person, and I’ve owned 4 budgies over my not no long life (I’ll introduce them later). I love all kinds of animals but never expected to adopt a chameleon before college!
So this story begins around one year ago, December 2021, at the beginning of winter break. I had just gotten home from school and my mom had called me to telling me that there was a pet sitting opportunity. My mom works at a elementary school and as some do, one class had this small chameleon as a class pet. During breaks kids would take this chameleon home in her small wire enclosure. During this break though, the kid ment to taken the chameleon home wasn’t at school, so my mom knowing I love animals, asked me if I wanted to take care of the little reptile.
Annnnnd that’s how I officially met Nachito. When I first got her I noticed her enclosure was incredibly dull and empty, so I decided to do some research to figure out what I was getting myself into and I stumbled upon this amazing forum.
Long story short I was informed that so many things were wrong with her husbandry. I did my best but was only able to care for her for 2 weeks before she was shipped back off to the elementary school again. I’d tried to help more and inform the teacher but of that point Nachito wasn’t my pet and i was told it wasn’t really my business.

Flash forward like 3-4 month later I get a text from my mom again about the little chameleon. Her teacher/owner had left for surgery and had not been back to school for 4 days. On the fourth day Nachito was found, severely dehydrated and probably a bit hungry. My mom decided that she could come home with her due to me already having taken care of her once.
After a few days (or weeks, I can’t remember). The teacher decided I could keep Nachito as she already had a bunch of stuff going on in her life.
Along side that my parents agreed to let me keep her as long as I took care of all her supply’s with the money I earned from work.
I was so lucky to be apart of this forum as all you guys helped me so much with all the changes and care that she desperately needed.
Now she had a nice and big dragon strand hybrid enclosure with a automatic watering system, live plants, correct lighting and temp, a lay box and a good variety of food.
Even though she started out with some developed MBD and calcium deposits along her ribs, with the help of the right supplements Nachito has Lost all the calcium deposits and has a incredible bite force and no more progression of MBD.
Things have been rough along the way, plant stress, bug stress and a abscess, but Nachito is going strong, grip and all.
And she has yet to go receptive and lay any eggs at the estimated age of one year and five months (give it take A few months)

I never expected to adopt a reptile, or any more pets before College but here I am with this special girl and I know I’m going to be hooked on reptiles for the rest of my life.
Nachito is about to hit one official year with me and I plan on doing a special post about it within the next month or two!

View attachment 334881
View attachment 334882

Along side Nachito, she has 4 house mates,
3 being budgies! 2 females from cregslist named Mango and Cobbler who are around 3 years old and one male from a breeder named Pickles who is turning 10 this April, Pickles also had a brother who was named Cookie who unfortunately passed away due to liver failure 2 years ago. View attachment 334887View attachment 334886
View attachment 334884

And lastly Nachitos final house mate, my only other official rescue animal, a rescued bulldog named Gertie who is also around 10 years old!
View attachment 334888

I’m so thankful for this forum and all the people in it and I hope every new or established forum member will the most excellent experiences with all the amazing Keepers here.
A big thanks to all of you for the support and advice given along this journey. 🤗
I love love love your story! You and the lovely Nachito have come such a long way from the beginning. Thank you for sharing. Your feathered dinosaurs are beautiful and so is Gertie. 🤗 🥰💗
 
I love love love your story! You and the lovely Nachito have come such a long way from the beginning. Thank you for sharing. Your feathered dinosaurs are beautiful and so is Gertie. 🤗 🥰💗
You did an amazing job rehabbing her. Makes me so happy to see people like you grow in this forum. ❤️
We wouldn’t have been able to make it this far without all of your guises help
 
Oh this looks like a fun thread ! This is going to be one long story!

Hey everyone! My name is Mia and I’m probably one of the younger members of this forum and some of you probably know my spunky pink mittened girl.
Ok some a backstory on me. I’ve always been a bird kind of person, and I’ve owned 4 budgies over my not no long life (I’ll introduce them later). I love all kinds of animals but never expected to adopt a chameleon before college!
So this story begins around one year ago, December 2021, at the beginning of winter break. I had just gotten home from school and my mom had called me to telling me that there was a pet sitting opportunity. My mom works at a elementary school and as some do, one class had this small chameleon as a class pet. During breaks kids would take this chameleon home in her small wire enclosure. During this break though, the kid ment to taken the chameleon home wasn’t at school, so my mom knowing I love animals, asked me if I wanted to take care of the little reptile.
Annnnnd that’s how I officially met Nachito. When I first got her I noticed her enclosure was incredibly dull and empty, so I decided to do some research to figure out what I was getting myself into and I stumbled upon this amazing forum.
Long story short I was informed that so many things were wrong with her husbandry. I did my best but was only able to care for her for 2 weeks before she was shipped back off to the elementary school again. I’d tried to help more and inform the teacher but of that point Nachito wasn’t my pet and i was told it wasn’t really my business.

Flash forward like 3-4 month later I get a text from my mom again about the little chameleon. Her teacher/owner had left for surgery and had not been back to school for 4 days. On the fourth day Nachito was found, severely dehydrated and probably a bit hungry. My mom decided that she could come home with her due to me already having taken care of her once.
After a few days (or weeks, I can’t remember). The teacher decided I could keep Nachito as she already had a bunch of stuff going on in her life.
Along side that my parents agreed to let me keep her as long as I took care of all her supply’s with the money I earned from work.
I was so lucky to be apart of this forum as all you guys helped me so much with all the changes and care that she desperately needed.
Now she had a nice and big dragon strand hybrid enclosure with a automatic watering system, live plants, correct lighting and temp, a lay box and a good variety of food.
Even though she started out with some developed MBD and calcium deposits along her ribs, with the help of the right supplements Nachito has Lost all the calcium deposits and has a incredible bite force and no more progression of MBD.
Things have been rough along the way, plant stress, bug stress and a abscess, but Nachito is going strong, grip and all.
And she has yet to go receptive and lay any eggs at the estimated age of one year and five months (give it take A few months)

I never expected to adopt a reptile, or any more pets before College but here I am with this special girl and I know I’m going to be hooked on reptiles for the rest of my life.
Nachito is about to hit one official year with me and I plan on doing a special post about it within the next month or two!

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Along side Nachito, she has 4 house mates,
3 being budgies! 2 females from cregslist named Mango and Cobbler who are around 3 years old and one male from a breeder named Pickles who is turning 10 this April, Pickles also had a brother who was named Cookie who unfortunately passed away due to liver failure 2 years ago. View attachment 334887View attachment 334886
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And lastly Nachitos final house mate, my only other official rescue animal, a rescued bulldog named Gertie who is also around 10 years old!
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I’m so thankful for this forum and all the people in it and I hope every new or established forum member will the most excellent experiences with all the amazing Keepers here.
A big thanks to all of you for the support and advice given along this journey. 🤗
I love your story. Nachito is very lucky to have you!
 
My name is Carlos I got my first chameleon some time in 2021 after I got my first one them I just kept add more. Reptiles to my collection right now I have 12.
 

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@Ghostbirb …you said…”I’d tried to help more and inform the teacher but of that point Nachito wasn’t my pet and i was told it wasn’t really my business”….I don’t like that teacher’s attitude. Love the birds too!

@JacksJill said…”I became a chameleon fan in the 1980's”…I didn’t realize you‘ve been into chameleons that long! I got my first one in the 80’s. What town/city did you work in when you first got interested?
 
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In the 80’s, I was looking in pet stores …just because I loved animals… and was amazed at the chameleon that was there. I had absolutely no idea of how to keep one but was so fascinated by its ability to change colours and by its google eyes and decided to take it home. I still don’t know what species she was.

I was given all kinds of information…none of it was right, except that she ate bugs and needed a UV light. There was almost no info on the internet then but luckily I “accidentally” did a few things right and she was with me for quite a bit more than a year. She was an adult when I got her…but I don’t know how old she was. She was very friendly…never tried to bite…came out easily on my hand.

She got me hooked on chameleons…and it wasn’t long before I was hooked on many reptiles!

Luckily I stumbled on an excellent vet…he said he’d treated 2 or 3 chameleons, BTW…so we learned together!
 
@JacksJill said…”I became a chameleon fan in the 1980's”…I didn’t realize you‘ve been into chameleons that long! I got my first one in the 80’s. What town/city did you work in when you first got interested?
I didn't own any in the 80s I only worked on them. I worked at practices in Stanton and Laguna Niguel California that treated exotics.
 
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