First time Chammy owner!

actingcaptain

New Member
So new, in fact, that I probably sound really silly calling him "chammy" 😂

Anyways! I work part-time at a (local/franchise) pet store and had the absolute pleasure of falling in love with my boy, Chili Cheese Fries.

I did tons and tons and tons of research and someone I work with is incredibly educated in pretty much all reptiles.

But I have a kind of strange question?

I've read here and there that chams are typically very shy (especially when being brought home/moved to new environment) and won't eat, drink, etc. in front of you, but Chili has been eating from my hand since day one, and drinks water all the time. Is this something I should be worried about??

I'd like to think it's a good thing but have seen a lot of info that suggests they don't thrive as well if they're handled too much? I used to handle him at work (I'll include pictures if I can figure it out) because anytime we opened his habitat, he would climb on someone. But since I've got him home and in a new enclosure, I don't touch him or pick him up and I never immediately start off with trying to hand feed him every meal, he usually just only seems interested if I'm holding the food.

Sorry if this is a silly question and thank you for anyone who chooses to provide me with some input!
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

They all have their own personality...some tolerate handling better than others and some look at you as a safe tree so they will come out on you easily.

Also, he may get "attitude" once he's full grown.

Does he have a tarsal spur on the heels?
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
hi And welcome! I wouldn’t worry about him eating and drinking in front of you. It’s not the norm but its ok. Now as far as handling him, I wouldn’t do a lot of that. Chameleons are for watching and admiring but not for handling. What size cage did you get for him? He needs a 2x2x4 foot cage. As for uvb light he needs a long linear t5ho fixture with either an Arcadia 6% bulb or a reptisun 5.0. The compact uvb bulbs don’t give off enough uvb. You might want to fill out the “how to ask for help” form pinned on the health forum so that we can help make sure you have everything perfectly set up for him to live a long and healthy life. I will tag in some people here that keep veiled chams .to help you out.
@Beman @MissSkittles
 

actingcaptain

New Member
hi And welcome! I wouldn’t worry about him eating and drinking in front of you. It’s not the norm but its ok. Now as far as handling him, I wouldn’t do a lot of that. Chameleons are for watching and admiring but not for handling. What size cage did you get for him? He needs a 2x2x4 foot cage. As for uvb light he needs a long linear t5ho fixture with either an Arcadia 6% bulb or a reptisun 5.0. The compact uvb bulbs don’t give off enough uvb. You might want to fill out the “how to ask for help” form pinned on the health forum so that we can help make sure you have everything perfectly set up for him to live a long and healthy life. I will tag in some people here that keep veiled chams .to help you out.
@Beman
Thank you for the info! I absolutely understand he is NOT for handling and is solely for admiring (and I do, quite a lot!) The only time my hands are even somewhat near him is during feeding times, when he chooses to eat from me. I was actually incredibly excited when I brought him home and he wasn't desperate to escape/be held! I just wanted to make sure there weren't any behavioral/underlying issues I was unaware of with him willing eating and drinking around me.

For the moment, he's in a 16x16x32" because it's what I had on hand. He's currently getting his 2x2x4 enclosure built! I do also have a reptisun t5-HO UVB! He also has a basking bulb, humidity system and water dripper system in place :)

I will always, always take in any more info that is offered. Thank you SO much!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! :) Since there’s so very much misinformation out there about chameleon keeping, it’s often hard to know what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s just outdated. If you’d like, we’ll be happy to review all of your husbandry just to make sure all is as perfect as can be. Just need you to answer the following (copy &paste) and provide some pics of your enclosure.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

actingcaptain

New Member
Welcome to the forum!

They all have their own personality...some tolerate handling better than others and some look at you as a safe tree so they will come out on you easily.

Also, he may get "attitude" once he's full grown.

Does he have a tarsal spur on the heels?
Absolutely understand that! I had just never intended to handle him once he got home and with him eating/drinking so freely I just wanted to make sure this wasn't some behavioral/underlying issue I had never heard about 🥰

He does have a tarsal spur!

Thank you so much for the response!
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum.
So new, in fact, that I probably sound really silly calling him "chammy" 😂
Then I won't tell you about the dog & cat we called Doggo and Catto (or which we called which. :LOL: )

I did tons and tons and tons of research
No offense, but we do hear that a lot, and realities can be mixed.
You can learn just about anything you need to know regarding husbandry from the Chameleon Husbandry Program & Caresheet.

But I have a kind of strange question?

I've read here and there that chams are typically very shy (especially when being brought home/moved to new environment) and won't eat, drink, etc. in front of you, but Chili has been eating from my hand since day one, and drinks water all the time. Is this something I should be worried about??
Not all that strange—I've seen similar questions from other forums regarding various reptiles.

They're the same, but different.​

  1. They are all different
  2. They are all individuals
You already have experience with this fellow; he already knows you, so he isn't worried about your wanting to EAT HIM (the main concern of every chameleon first being handled).

So nothing to worry about at all. In fact, I think you're ahead of the game.

I'd like to think it's a good thing but have seen a lot of info that suggests they don't thrive as well if they're handled too much? I used to handle him at work (I'll include pictures if I can figure it out) because anytime we opened his habitat, he would climb on someone.
This can also indicate (among other things) a too-small enclosure.

But since I've got him home and in a new enclosure, I don't touch him or pick him up and I never immediately start off with trying to hand feed him every meal, he usually just only seems interested if I'm holding the food.
Hand feeding can aid in "taming," but isn't always necessary. I can't often hand-feed due to disability, but my little fellow still runs up my arm because I occasionally give him some time on my Missus' plant table, which he seems to enjoy immensely.

However, in general (and this may have been part of what you've read) chameleons are not a reptile to "chill" or "hang" with you. They're more a "look, but touch as seldom as possible" kind of reptile. Fascinating just to watch.

For folks who want a reptile who'll spend some time with them (without becoming too stressed), I'd recommend a bearded dragon. ;)
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
My boy was friendly right out of petco as well walked right out onto my hand. Not the norm but it can happen. Fill out the form when you have a chance just so we can make sure you got all the correct info.
Hand feeding with a Veiled is a very good thing. They are far more territorial as they mature and you will need to make a bond so that you can handle when needed. But make sure your not giving him all his food that way. They can learn and depend on you for food instead of eating on their own.

I would also love to see some close up pics of his back feet to confirm gender. I am not seeing a male. They would be quite pronounced like in the pics below. My male was 6 months old when I took these. Even at 4 months he had a smaller one there.
 

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