Free range

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Forgive me if I’m totally wrong, but shouldn’t there be a whole section on free ranging in the main menu? I only say this because there is tons of info on this site about husbandry and Cham health, but large free range setups are often incompatible with advise given about standard enclosures. Not that I favor either, but as someone who has a free range setup, I often find useful info here that just won’t work for my set up. For instance, ‘use a t5 uvb bulb in the 6-12% range’. This, obviously, won’t work for a free range measuring lwh 10x10x7. One would have to use two dozen bulbs, placed at different heights and angles. Likewise, when feeder run cups are advised for picky charms, the specs always for a small, in-cage, setup. And don’t get me started on irrigation. My point is that there is an overwhelmingly large pool of information here that is correct in its focus, but insufficient in its scope. I think it would be great if there was a section devoted to free-rangers and their particular challenges.

Again, I’m perfectly aware that there are posts about free ranging; but, as far as I can tell, they are scattered across multiple topics/headings, rather than being all together. Moreover, I also know that the principles of supplementation, lighting, feeder prep and husbandry, that are contained in this forum are an immense resource. It would be wonderful if free-rangers could have a section to go and share how they applied these principles (eg lighting) to a large free range setup.

Hope I don’t ruffle any feathers. Ignore me if you hate this post.
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
With enough peoples interest I think a free range section would be created.. Like anything that requires common sense, how will your cham know where the feeders are, show him - her with a cup or hand feed. without lights a large open window would be required glass reflects uv light....etc... I am not a genius and I can figure this stuff out....
 
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do you mean this https://www.chameleonforums.com/forums/free-range.86/ ? Or something larger scale than that? I just think that simply not enough people do it full time. I free range my panther and have for years, but I only know of a few people that actually do this. I find a powerful MVB the best form of uvb. Drainage requires some creativity lol. I mostly hand/cup feed with free roam worms on branches.
 

MariaRusso

Member
Well, imho you just have to arrange it according to basic husbandry principles, like choose the right place, put the right plants, maintain the temperature and mist it couple of times to have the right humidity, provide the uvb light (don't think that dozen bulbs would be needed since chams intend to be high on the branch and close to the bulb anyway). If there's an open window option so that your guy can get natural light that's awesome too. And about feeding: free range isn't the place where you leave your cham like 24/7 right? You can feed him before his/her walks or right after, don't see any point feeding him while they are out: that's what i do anyway, my lil' guy enjoys his free range every day for about 3-4 hours goes straight up his huge ficus tree near the window, sits under uvb bulb and enjoys view from there and often goes back to his cage by himself. I think that's important to make your cham to like his permanent home and to get him attached to it by something like food for instance. And though i hand feed him and can easily do it while he's roaming around, still i choose the time when he's in his cage to feed him. So i guess my point is having free range on the menu is not that vital, though it might be nice to have a free range gallery or smth. to exchange our setups and tips how to make it more sufficient. But when you know how to take a good care of your guy while he's in the cage it isn't difficult to figure out what might be needed when he's out of it. And again, considering how delicate reptiles are everything should have some limitations i think, cos it's not a dog or cat to let them roam around your apartment as they please.
 

MariaRusso

Member
@MariaRusso I think OP is talking about full-time, permanent home free ranges.
Well in this case it would be quite a challenge, unless the owner stays at home permanently as well and will check on his pet every 30 minutes )) plus full-time free range within the room is basically a super huge cage for your cham that you can't fully adapt to his necessities. So what's the point of it ? If it's gonna be some space outside the house for example, that on 100% resemble nature, then yes, it would be something like aviary, but having it in an apartment among all the furniture and stuff doesn't make much sense, cos if the goal is to make it look like wildlife then obviously house or apartment isn't the right place, but if it's only to give your cham a bigger space to move then one or two big plants outside the cage somewhere in one spot of the room with the bulb above it will be more than enough to make him happy aaand easier for the owner to control and maintain it in proper condition.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well in this case it would be quite a challenge, unless the owner stays at home permanently as well and will check on his pet every 30 minutes )) plus full-time free range within the room is basically a super huge cage for your cham that you can't fully adapt to his necessities. So what's the point of it ? If it's gonna be some space outside the house for example, that on 100% resemble nature, then yes, it would be something like aviary, but having it in an apartment among all the furniture and stuff doesn't make much sense, cos if the goal is to make it look like wildlife then obviously house or apartment isn't the right place, but if it's only to give your cham a bigger space to move then one or two big plants outside the cage somewhere in one spot of the room with the bulb above it will be more than enough to make him happy aaand easier for the owner to control and maintain it in proper condition.

It's kind of hard to read what you're saying, but there are people, myself included that successfully free range our chameleons full time. He doesn't walk through the entire house, he has a section of the room with plants and branches, lighting, misting, drainage, etc.
 

MariaRusso

Member
It's kind of hard to read what you're saying, but there are people, myself included that successfully free range our chameleons full time. He doesn't walk through the entire house, he has a section of the room with plants and branches, lighting, misting, drainage, etc.
Mine has that too and he loves it, i leave his cage open every morning and when he feels like it (especially when it's sunny) he goes to that spot and comes back whenever he wants. But in the evenings if he's not in the cage by himself i take him back without any resistance till the next day, so everyone's happy ))
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mine has that too and he loves it, i leave his cage open every morning and when he feels like it (especially when it's sunny) he goes to that spot and comes back whenever he wants. But in the evenings if he's not in the cage by himself i take him back without any resistance till the next day, so everyone's happy ))

There's many people that do that. What I'm talking about is free ranging without ever having a cage. That's what I mean by full time free range.
 

MariaRusso

Member
There's many people that do that. What I'm talking about is free ranging without ever having a cage. That's what I mean by full time free range.
Yes i know, that's why i wrote what i thought about it in previous messages. It's just an opinion exchange, right :)
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes i know, that's why i wrote what i thought about it in previous messages. It's just an opinion exchange, right :)

Sure, I just didn't know what you were getting at. OP is talking about full time free ranges from my understanding. Telling them there's no point to free ranging because they'd have to stay home 24/7 doesn't make sense. There's correct ways to free range permanently and it helps to have some ideas out there for people that do it. Personally, when I was setting mine up, it was hard to get any information on them. Plus, the lighting may be all different depending on the set up. In my case, I need a Mercury vapor bulb, which we normally wouldn't use on a regular cage. Would have helped to know that earlier on.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would love to free range Larry one day. Currently my place right now isn’t big enough but he hates his cage and I hate making him be in there. Was even thinking about maybe a green house for him
 

MariaRusso

Member
Sure, I just didn't know what you were getting at. OP is talking about full time free ranges from my understanding. Telling them there's no point to free ranging because they'd have to stay home 24/7 doesn't make sense. There's correct ways to free range permanently and it helps to have some ideas out there for people that do it. Personally, when I was setting mine up, it was hard to get any information on them. Plus, the lighting may be all different depending on the set up. In my case, I need a Mercury vapor bulb, which we normally wouldn't use on a regular cage. Would have helped to know that earlier on.
That's great if you have it under control and all set up. I just wander if chams really need a full-time free range though? I mean does it make them any healthier or smth? Do they live longer that way? Because clearly it's more difficult to arrange and make it work right, so IF full-time FR has no obvious advantages then it's just a matter of owner's preferences weather have it or not.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's great if you have it under control and all set up. I just wander if chams really need a full-time free range though? I mean does it make them any healthier or smth? Do they live longer that way? Because clearly it's more difficult to arrange and make it work right, so IF full-time FR has no obvious advantages then it's just a matter of owner's taste weather have it or not.
If you don’t like free range that’s fine but you don’t need to continue to say what’s the point. Like James said he does it and may ppl on her do. The point is the Cham is happy to no be locked up
 

MariaRusso

Member
If you don’t like free range that’s fine but you don’t need to continue to say what’s the point. Like James said he does it and may ppl on her do. The point is the Cham is happy to no be locked up
Jeez, i never said i don't like it, cos i have one as i wrote before )))
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think total free ranging is an excellent option for Chams. When done properly there is no risk to the cham. It allows them to be out and move around as they would in the wild. To live a more natural life. I think it is like any animal. We as humans take them and fit them into their little box. These boxes are unnatural to them. Humans do it with dogs to reptiles. I do not think dogs enjoy wearing clothes and Chameleons that are arboreal living in trees with tons of room to move around would prefer not to be kept in a 2x2x4 cage.
Many of the experienced keepers such as @jamest0o0 free range. They are a plethora of knowledge in this subject along with basically any other subject pertaining to Chameleon Keeping.
 
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