Handling Chameleons

louiesowner

New Member
Very nice.

I keep hearing its not good to hold the chameleons. Then I see all these pictures in the gallery of people holding thiers. I want to take him out to get him use to me so I can hold him a few times a week. Is it a good idea to let him get use to his new home for a while so hes more comfortable? Or should I be taking him out now?

btw the first day I had him I had him out alot. He didnt hiss or turn brown. Does that mean he doesnt mind being held. He was trying to get away alot though.
 

roo_71

New Member
People taking pics of holding their chams sends the wrong message however I do understand that in order to get pics you may sometimes need to handle them – especially if they are shy and hide in their enclosure. But for the most part CHAMS DO NOT LIKE TO BE HELD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

btw the first day I had him I had him out a lot


Completely inappropriate. After being shipped in a box and/or put into a new home / unfamiliar environment …. This is last thing that should be done.

When acquiring a new cham the best thing to do is leave it alone and let it adjust – best to just leave the room which is hard I know – especially if its your first cham, but that’s the best thing to do. This “adjusting period” can take several days, a week, a month or more – it depends on the cham.


So to sum it up, don’t handle your chameleon unless it’s necessary. Here are some examples/reasons to do so ….

Cleaning out the enclosure
Showers (experienced keepers only for the most part)
Inspection (no not daily!!!! I personally do this with my pygmies once a month)
Photo opps – which should be rare
Administering medication
Vet visits

Get the idea? If you want a herp to handle then get a bearded dragon or a crested gecko – otherwise leave your cham alone as much as possible.

-roo
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Well said Roo.

Stress will likely shorten the lives of these animals.

Handling = stress.

The equation is pretty simple.

-Brad
 

firecat998

New Member
Thanks louiesowner. no reptile particuly likes beinging held but species like the bearded dragon tollerate it alot more than chameleons do.We had to get Yelina out for inspection and decided to take a few pics before we put her back into her house.:)
 
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Jerambis

New Member
To say all chams don't like being handled is wrong. Some hate it, some don't mind it, others know it means they get a snack. Depending on the personality of a cham they like different things. By no means do this mean a chameleon should be handled all day, but some chams dont mind being held 5-10 minutes a day. If you are properly taking care of your cham and have done your research, and the chameleon is thriving in their captive environment, then go ahead and hold them for 5-10 minutes a day, but if you notice they don't like it and it stresses them out, it would be a good idea not to handle them so much.

There is also no need to yell in order to get your point across he was simply asking a question, that was "completely inappropriate."
 
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Sal

New Member
To say all chams don't like being handled is wrong. Some hate it, some don't mind it, others know it means they get a snack. Depending on the personality of a cham they like different things. By no means do this mean a chameleon should be handled all day, but some chams dont mind being held 5-10 minutes a day. If you are properly taking care of your cham and have done your research, and the chameleon is thriving in their captive environment, then go ahead and hold them for 5-10 minutes a day, but if you notice they don't like it and it stresses them out, it would be a good idea not to handle them so much.

Why is it folks buy critters that don't want or need to be handled and then insist on doing just that? I have critters I have NEVER handled and if I needed to cage clean I either scooped them up in a cup for transfer to a holding tank or picked them up and moved them to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. But in no way have I sat there and held on to them and stared at them and stressed them out. The handling of exotic critters should ALWAYS be kept to a 'NEED TO' basis only.. and just because they are complacent in your hand does not mean they like it.. how many times have you put up with something even though you were miserable inside??
 

Jerambis

New Member
Why is it that folks don't read posts, then post a reply solely on what they think the person ment. Re-read what I wrote then tell me that I insisited on "critters" being held.
 

Sal

New Member
Why is it that folks don't read posts, then post a reply solely on what they think the person ment. Re-read what I wrote then tell me that I insisited on "critters" being held.

First of all - I didn't mean you specifically - that is why I said 'FOLKS'.

Second - I never said you 'insisted' (as in telling others).

If you reread what I wrote - you will see that I was making a general statement about folks that buy these critters and then, against advise, insist on holding them. Replace the word insist with 'are intent on'. Maybe it is a 'language interpretation issue' that led to you misunderstand what I meant...

I also used 'critters' because more than just chams don't like being held... and again I was making a general statement.. - perhaps you should take your own advice and REREAD MY POST!
 

Jerambis

New Member
This could go back and forth...

First - notice I said "folks" not YOU.

Second - "Why is it folks buy critters that don't want or need to be handled and then insist on doing just that?" Those were your exact words, I did not misread anything. Not sure where you are from, but insist and intent are too compeletly different words, again I did not misread anything.

Third - If you reread my first post, you will see that you STILL did not read it properly.

Fourth - The question was about chameleons, that it why it is on a chameleon forum, not a "critter" forum.
 

Kazza

New Member
Hey, come on you two, you've both got good points to put across.
Sal is saying that handling should be just an "absolutely necessary" practise and Jerambis is pointing out that there are some chameleons that will "tolerate" being handled where some won't at all.
( please correct me if i'm wrong )
But you are both coming to the same conclusion that chameleons should not be handled just "because they're cute".
 
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Sal

New Member
First - notice I said "folks" not YOU

Don't try to pinwheel back on me because we both know what you 'meant' by that statement.

Second - "Why is it folks buy critters that don't want or need to be handled and then insist on doing just that?" Those were your exact words, I did not misread anything. Not sure where you are from, but insist and intent are too compeletly different words, again I did not misread anything.

Depending on where you are from - those words can be used interchangeably.. you can insist by acting as well as saying. As forums know no boundaries, you will run into situations such as this from time to time.

Third - If you reread my first post, you will see that you STILL did not read it properly.

Believe me, yes I did.

Fourth - The question was about chameleons, that it why it is on a chameleon forum, not a "critter" forum.

This is the second time I will say this.. I made a general statement and it is perfectly applicable as it included chams (and this is a cham forum after all).

I find it odd that you have become so defensive and I believe you think some of what I said is applicable to you- otherwise you would not have taken what I said as a personal attack and be reacting the way you are.. At any rate, it will not go back and forth as I am not going to argue with you any further.. it is obviously an exercise in futility..
 

Jerambis

New Member
Wow...give it up buddy, just read posts the first time correctly. As people such as Kazza understood my point, it is clear to see you will never understand my first post. Drop it already.

In case you got sidetracked louiesowner...Gauge how your chameleon does when you take him out. Does he not mind it, does he get scared, does he puff up angrily? For example I have three chams and they all treat(ed) being handled differently. One runs on my hand as soon as I put it in because he knows he gets a snack when he comes out (So I handle him once a day for about 5-10 minutes. Another runs and hides when I put my hand in (so she does not get handled unless I have to move her for some reason). The third is youunger and more tempermental but will eventually calmly walk to my hand. The best thing is knowing your cham and knowing what he or she is comfortable with, and handeling them based on that.
 
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Heika

New Member
Hey, this is getting stupid.

Bottom line is this... even if a chameleon tolerates handling, and I have a few that do, it causes stress. Stress lowers the immune system and leaves the animal more susceptible to illness. As roo said, and as many, many before him have said, chameleons shouldn't be handled.

As far as the capitals that he used in his post.. do you have any clue at all how many times we all say this? It does get just a little bit old saying the same thing over and over again because some keepers seem incapable of accessing even the most basic care sheet on chameleons before they drag one home from the pet store. Maybe it will catch someone's attention where nothing else will.

So here, let me say it again. Chameleons are a pet you can't pet. You can watch them, feed them, interact with SOME of them, but the majority don't like to be handled. Even if they appear to enjoy being handled, it still causes stress. Stress makes their immune system drop, and that drop in the immune system makes them sick. Keep handling to a minimum.

No need to argue about it.. it is tried, tested and true.

Heika
 

Jerambis

New Member
Louisowner you can do what you want with your cham, some people will tell you not to touch them others will tell you it is ok. No one person is more right than the other in this case, every cham is different.
 

roo_71

New Member
This thread IS getting a bit out of hand but I want to make one last point.

I see a lot keepers get the impression that chams don’t mind handling and MAYBE that’s true for some of them however unless you can truly read a chams mind you CANT be positive about what you think so its BEST to be on the safe side and keep handling to a minimum. As mentioned there is a certain level of stress when handling, hand feeding, whatever - whether you notice it or not so again be on the safe side.

I am also not going to candy-coat my responses … when I see something wrong I am going to come right down to the point and say what I feel. I think its better off that way so that when people do research they take note of these responses – they will certainly get more attention then the candy coated ones.

I am not trying to be a jerk but am trying to keep true myself and it conveys how serious I take this hobby and lives of the chams – and that is all.

Peace.

-roo
 

Brian S

New Member
Thank you Roo and Heika for bringing some sort of sanity to this thread. And to everyone else, both Roo and Heika are very expirienced and they know what they are doing. We need not argue with people who have had great success in this field. Handling will cause stress, no matter what. It is just what degree of stress the chameleon expiriences. When chams 'Like' being held, they just have a lower degree of stress. When chams HATE being held, they have an extremely high degree of stress. Now, even in humans, too much stress will eventually have adverse effects on the body. In chameleons, these effects are magnified. So, handling will always cause stress, and therefor threatening the well being of your cham.
 

roo_71

New Member
For the record … I haven’t even been in the hobby three years and each day I find myself realizing how much more there is to learn. And b/c of that I BARELY consider myself NOT a newb. I guess my point is that I don’t want people thinking I am all knowing b/c I am certainly not and I only give advice/post on subjects I am pretty comfortable with but that certainly doesn’t mean I am always correct – at least not all of the time.

-roo
 

Heika

New Member
Hey, someone mistook me for an expert..? :eek:

I haven't been in the hobby for two years, and am still a newbie. If you do a search on this forum, you will see that I posted a picture of Spencer not long after I got him, as a young chameleon. He is the first chameleon that I purchased. If you read some of my early posts on this forum and others, you will see that I was.. erm.. still learning.. :D

I have only kept five species, and have managed to kill my fair share those. Luckily, my chameleons have produced more than my inexperience and mistakes have wiped out.

Like roo, I post when I feel pretty comfortable with the information I am giving, but I am wrong sometimes.

In another two years.. maybe I will consider myself to be an intermediate keeper.

Heika
 
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