First timer, trying to gain all the knowledge I can ...


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Hey! I am a first time cham owner (I just got my first veiled cham, her name is Shelby.) I built her a cage (2x4x7ft) and put all the fixins' she needs (humidifier, palm tree, tons of vines, mister, UVB light and her basking light). She's very young. I was told she was 6 months old, but she's only 3 inches long, so I think she's way younger then that...couple months at most.

Anyways, I have noticed that the humidity stays where it should (around 50 percent or higher) and the temps are good too ... 89 cool side, 102 basking. However, I have not been able to keep moisture on the plants so she can drink. I have both the mister machine and humidifier in an attempt to get some water to bead up on the plants ... but have not been able too. I have been hand misting it as well, every couple hours. I am worried that when the plants go dry during the nights, she isn't going to get water and become sick on me.

I have owned leos, croc. geckos, an iguana, a bally python and Oregon knewts ... but as all the others, she different. Anyone got any advise? Right now, I am just raising my two leos (Gex and Sweetie) and Shelby. (Well, two cats and some fish ... haha).

ANY advise would be welcomed. Thanks - in advance!
Welcome to the forums :)

Most chameleons I have had freely roam the cage and have no problems finding water. However, I have had a few where I had to work to get the chameleon's attention and get it drinking. In these situations I have had good success with basic drippers. I recomend a dripper that has a tube at the end. This way you can create multiple holes over a wider range of area. Have the water drop on branches and leaves near your chameleon's favorite sitting spots. What are you feeding Shelby? Silkworms and most other worms can provide some extra moisture for your cham.
pics and answers to your questions, Brad

First off, thanks for replying. Secondly, I am currently feeding her crickets and waxies (only to fatten her up ... I got her to save her from a bad pet store. She was very thin. I will post pics and please let me know what you think of her.) I ordered some silk worms this weekend, so she will get them soon too. I don't have a pet store near me who sells them (yeah, but they sell chams!) Nice huh?

Here are some pics of Shelby and her new home ...

Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon!


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Nice setup you got there. From what I can tell she looks good. The images of Shelby are a little out of focus, and I cant see enough detail to give my true opinion on her health.

My local stores usually dont have silk worms either :(
Update ... is she still too thin?!?!

Here's some new pics (from this am ... 04/23/05). She's put on some weight, but I think she is still to thin. Brad?! :)

I have had her one week and two days now and I think she’s still a lil thin. A couple of the pics make her look VERY thin, but the other show a truer outlook.

For those who don’t know ... I saved Shelby from a pet store that was starving her and not taking care of all her needs. I admit, I am a first time Cham owner and didn’t have time to research like I should have ... but Shelby needed attention ASAP. I brought her home last Thursday and on Saturday, I built her a 2x4x7 ft cage (pics in my profile of her new home) and have been pumping her full of crickets and silkworms, with adding some waxies for fattening purposes only. I have a humidifier, two misters, a UVB bulb and a basking light, with veins and a huge palm for her to explore.

She seems so happy in there...but I need to know how much more weight she needs. I don’t want her too heavy, but I don’t want her too thin either.

Thanks guys! I have been a pain, asking a lot of questions on here, but it’s only because I didn’t have three weeks to research...she would have died while I did that.

I hope you understand!


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These are much better pictures. I am not an expert by any means, but she looks like she is doing well. Especially if she was in such bad shape before you bought her.

In the first picture her closed eyes look slightly sunken in. This could be caused by dehydration. It could just be the picture angle though, as it does not look too bad. In a couple of the pictures her tail is visible. One sign of a chameleon who has been eating and drinking well is a healthy tail. If you look closely you can see a crease along the middle of her tail. The less visible that is the better. Her ribs show slightly in a couple pics, but not too bad.

Overall, it looks like she is well on her way to recovery. Have you been able to catch her attention with water yet? How much is she eating? I would not worry too much about her being over weight until you know she is 100% healthy and drinking well.
Eating and Drinking ...


Thanks ... I hope she continues to get better and better. I haven't seen her physically drink yet, but I did see her eat crickets and waxies right after I got her. So, she was eating good the second day I got her. However, since I moved her into her new home I haven't been able to give an exact amount of food she has consumed. I put a small dish of waxies in there (not thinking to count them first, I just wanted her to have a huge food supply) and crickets in another deeper cup. (My local pet store manager said that would be the best way to keep the crickets contained, yet allow her to eat at will since her toungue is long enough to get to them.) I did not count them either, again, just wanted to add a bunch of food last weekend. The waxies have gone down, I know for a fact ... so she for sure is eating them. I dunno about the crickets, but it looks like they have been consumed too.

Thanks! :)
All of the chameleons I have raised have shown varying behaviors when it comes to eating. Some of them would quickly move near the feeding cup when I walked into the room. They would usually eat most of what I offered within a few minutes. Yet other chameleons would be less assertive, sometimes not eating from the cup at all. In these situations I use a little trial and error to find out a method that my chameleon prefers. One technique that sometimes worked would be to put a twig in the cup, allowing the cricket to escape. This can be done in different ways, some of which could slow down the speed of the cricket escape. I have not had a chameleon yet that could resist a live cricket crawling out of the cup. Sometimes these chameleons would learn to eat from the cup itself.

Similar behavior differences in watering. Some are attracted to the water immediately. Others require some experimenting to find an approach that works for your specific cham. You will not see them drinking as much as eating, but you should see some drinking. I recommend trying different watering spots. Let the water drip onto different plants/twigs. The more light going into the water drops that have collected on items in the cage the better.
Ok, She looks great, slight dehydration " very slight " What watt bulb are you using? How many times you mist daily? Have you ever considered switching out the plant? I think your basking bulb is little close to vine, maybe put it on top of setup. Whats is the humidity and heat levels? Does the plant support her? Also pending where you live, why is your cage next to window, at night if they are to cold they wont sleep and stress until heat is provided.
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