Food strike

dholman01

New Member
My Vieled Chaneleon seems to be on a hunger strike. She seems healthy, but is completely uninterested in crickets for almost a week. She also is in a wandering stage - when food is brought in, she ignores that and instead tries to climb on you and out of the cage, and she is also wandering around the cage quite a bit. Any ideas from anyone? I am starting to get a little concerned as time passes - any help is appreciated.
 

Drake

New Member
Welcome to the forums!

Well, she could just be tired of eating crickets everyday. It would be like you eating pizza everyday, you'd get tired of that too :p. Maybe try some wax worms, meal worms, roaches, fruit flys, etc etc. as a treat but not as a staple food source. Also, more info is required. Like how old is she? What type of enclosure is she in? Temps? Refer to this link so we can have a better understanding :D https://www.chameleonforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66
 

Jam

New Member
is she still pooping and passing urates on a regular basis?
She could be just bored, but I'd be concerned.
If you could get a gram scale and weigh her at home on a regular basis, that's a good way to catch problems early. At a young age my vet says that they should not be loosing weight or even maintaining weight for a long period of time, and if so it's a good clue that something is wrong.
 

dholman01

New Member
conditions

She is in a 30"x30"x18" open-air enclosure with live plants (Philodendron, ficus, couple other things) and climbing vines - heat lamps and a sunlight lamp - the humidity level could probably be better, but we try to mist occasionally - there is a constant water drip available. It is located in a low traffic room, with no mirrors, and far enough from the window not to be a problem. She is approx. a year-old, and I have been feeding her almost exclusively gut-loaded crickets, which I dust regularily with calcium supplement and vitamins. Recent droppings appear normal to what we are used to, and I think she is drinking, however I rarely see her drink just because they do it pretty infrequently. I have thought about getting something else (food source), but the way she is acting toward the food (totally ignoring it) I wasn't certain that was the problem.
 
if she is a year old you might want to put a nest box in her cage so she doesn't get egg bound. is she fat. female chameleon will still produce eggs without breeding and the number 1 death for single females is eggbinding
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Have you bred her? What you described sounds like she's possibly carrying eggs (gravid) and is looking for a place to lay them. When a female is gravid, they will stop eating a few days or so before they are ready to lay eggs. They will also get restless and start wandering their cage to look for a place to lay.

Two things I suggest:

1) If she is easy to handle, gently feel her tummy area and see if you feel some "lumps" inside her tummy. If you feel some, and more than one, more than likely she is carrying eggs. If you do feel eggs, then go to step 2.

2) Prepare a container for her to lay her eggs in. In the picture below is how I set up a nesting area for my chameleons:



If your cage is big enough, try putting in a container such as above inside her cage. I use sand, as it is easier for the female to dig her nest (I've found soil much more difficult for the female which makes her very exhausted). You can mix a bit of potting soil in with it if you wish. Moisten the sand with water just enough for you to be able to build a sand castle with (not too wet, but not too dry). If you can, put a plant in there with it, as it makes it more natural feeling for her. Predig a hole for her at an angle and make sure the sand doesn't fall (this ensures the sand is moist enough to not fall on top of her) and many times, my females will start digging in the hole that I've already done for her. Sometimes however, they will start to dig their own hole anyway. Make sure the sand is at least 8-10 inches deep for her to dig into to.



If she isn't gravid, and this isn't the problem, well at least you know what to do when your female does become gravid :D .

But, from what you have described, it sounds like she's looking for a nest.

Keep us informed...

Smiles
 

dholman01

New Member
Thanks for the advice...we have eggs! And a slim fast chameleon. Within minutes of putting a container of sand in her enclosure she started digging a hole to lay her eggs.

Thanks again!
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Woohoo! I'm very happy to hear that I was able to help and that she was looking for a nest, rather than something serious going on! How many eggs did she lay? Do you know what to do when she is done laying her eggs?
 

dholman01

New Member
No we don't, she is still working on burying the eggs. Patting the sand down and moving sand around. We welcome more advice.
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Ok... here is what you do. When she is done burying her eggs, she will be exhausted, dehydrated most likely because of all the work she did, and hungry. Do you have a shower system set up? If not, put a small tree or plant into your shower and have the water BARELY turned on to resemble tropical rain falling. Make the temperature luke warm.... not too hot, but not too cold. Then place her in the shower on the tree/plant to get a nice good long drink... this will also help rinse her of all the sand and/or soil she will have over her.

While she is in the shower, take the container out of her cage and put her cage back into the original setup that existed prior to you placing a container inside. Maybe even add a plant or something if you have one handy. This way, her cage is ready for her to return to after she is done drinking. Also, once she is inside her cage, give her some of her favorite treats (she deserves it!). She will probably start to eat right away as she will be very hungry.

Find a container to place her eggs into, something that has a lid on it (photo below will give some examples of what you might use). I use Perlite as the substrate for my eggs to lay in. You may also use a mixture of soil and perlite together as well. Pour the Perlite into the container for the eggs and then slowly add water to it. You want the Perlite moist, but not so wet as to have water dripping from it if you were to squeeze the Perlite in your hands. You also don't want it too dry (yeah, I know... you are scared to death wondering if you get the moisture right - I was too!). You want it just moist enough for it to feel wet to the touch, but not dripping with water.



NOTE: In the picture above I used Perlite mixed with soil. In my other containers below, you may see I only used the Perlite alone. Both are acceptable.




Then comes the fun part! Treasure hunting!! Gently dig where she has dug the hole and find her eggs. Take them out, one by one and then place them about an inch apart in the container you've made to incubate them. Do not rinse the eggs (this will drown the babies) and just slightly secure them in place (don't bury them) so that they will not roll or move. Once all the eggs have been placed, cover the container with the lid.

Now, I'm going to let the Veiled experts on this forum take over from here as to what temperature and where to place your container. With panther chameleons, I put them in a closet I have and keep them at room temperature and check them about once a week or so to be sure the Perlite is still moist so the eggs do not dry out. All species of chameleons have different needs and currently, my expertise is on panther chameleons.

Congratulations! You are proud parents of baby Veileds! :)
 

Tara

New Member
Wow Jenna..so the panther eggs don't have to be incubated?

I loved reading this post. Great pictures. So you are saying that the panther eggs do not need any special heating? Can I ask what your room temperature is? What is the safe temperature range for the eggs to be in?
I also saw someone post somewhere to be extra careful when you move the eggs not to "roll" them because this will cause the air bubble to move an suffocate them? Do you know if this is true? Tara
 

Chamomile T

New Member
Jenna, I just gotta say you are totally awesome! You are like a chameleon midwife! Great pictures, and if there is ever a day I choose to breed chameleons I know who to come to for all the answers! A+++ :D :D :D
 

Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Tara said:
I loved reading this post. Great pictures. So you are saying that the panther eggs do not need any special heating? Can I ask what your room temperature is? What is the safe temperature range for the eggs to be in?
I also saw someone post somewhere to be extra careful when you move the eggs not to "roll" them because this will cause the air bubble to move an suffocate them? Do you know if this is true? Tara
No special heating is required for incubating panther chameleon eggs and room temperature is sufficient. My house is usually around 70 to 72 degrees. When placing the eggs in their container, it is important to place them securely (I usually make a small indentation with my finger in the substrate used that I put the egg in) so they stay in place.

Panther chameleon eggs go through what they call a "diapause" stage, which essentially is just a period of rest. During that time, it is okay to move eggs, however, I always recommend not moving eggs once placed, because once they are out of the diapause stage, the embryo can be harmed if the egg is moved in direction. It is difficult to determine when the egg has changed out of it's diapause stage, which why I recommend just letting the eggs stay in their original spot and direction once you have placed the eggs in their containers.
 

veiledmarkla

New Member
same thing

My female started doing the same thing!last thursday she stoped eating and began walking around her enclosure over and over. she must be close to a yr. old (cant be sure I rescued her). I read the info in this thread and followed it. I removed her very carefully didnt really feel any eggs but she is a little plump.she now has a 10inch deep bucket with moist sand. she begain to eat the sand is this normal? she now left the bucket and is sleeping in a bush. not sure what type of behavior to look for if she is gravid and going to lay eggs:confused:
 
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Prism Chameleons

Established Member
Not sure where you live, but if it is night time where you are, she may just be sleeping for the night. Usually females will begin to dig their nest in the mornings and work throughout the day if they are gravid and are ready to lay eggs. Observe her behavior the next few days. Let us know what she does...
 

veiledmarkla

New Member
We live in Los Angeles. she is out for the night I will let you know.What is she doing when she is hitting the sand with her tounge?
 
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Tara

New Member
good to know!!!!

Prism Chameleons said:
Panther chameleon eggs go through what they call a "diapause" stage, which essentially is just a period of rest. During that time, it is okay to move eggs, however, I always recommend not moving eggs once placed, because once they are out of the diapause stage, the embryo can be harmed if the egg is moved in direction. It is difficult to determine when the egg has changed out of it's diapause stage, which why I recommend just letting the eggs stay in their original spot and direction once you have placed the eggs in their containers.
Thanks Jenna! You can just call me "Infinity++ question girl" !:D
So carefully dig them up, put them in their new indented little spot and to be safe, do not move them after that.
Just to be clear...you said the after the diapause stage the embryo can be harmed if the egg is moved in any direction....do you just mean moving/rolling the individual eggs .....or does this apply to moving the container as a whole?
Do you just leave the container in the same spot for the entire 9 months..even when checking the moisture?
Also how do you add your moisture...spritzing..or just with maybe a dropper squirting in between the eggs? Do you use warm/cool or room temp water. I only ask because someone mentioned drowning their eggs.
I'm ??????????????????????? girl! LOL...Sorry I didn't respond to this thread sooner! Somehow I had missed you posting an answer. Tara
 
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