Housing Experience?

Housing Experience?

  • screen cage

    Votes: 365 83.5%
  • glass terrarium

    Votes: 119 27.2%
  • free range

    Votes: 90 20.6%

  • Total voters
    437

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
What chameleon housing methods listed below do you have experience with? This poll is multiple choice - choose all options that apply.

# Screen Cage
# Glass Terrarium
# Free Range

Let us know if you have experience with something unique or a thoughtful observation.


Note:
Free range discussions at Chameleon Forums can sometimes attract strong and conflicting opinions. A common view believes that the open environment provided by a free range setup offers mental health benefits and reduced stress for chameleons. People belonging to this camp will often argue that chameleons are happier when living in a free range setup. The general opposing view acknowledges that standard enclosures cause stress; however, this group is of the opinion that the possible dangers and increased complications of a free range system far outweigh the possible benefits. One common point of agreement is that free range setups are for advanced keepers and should only be attempted by those with sufficient experience, time, and floor space.

Credit: Thank you Motherlode Chameleon for the poll idea.
 

draetish

Avid Member
I have experience in both screen cages and free ranges. Personally I prefer the free range if done correctly and safely. It's against my nature to cage any kind of animal but understand there are reasons why they should be.
 
While in florida I did somewhat of a free range. I had a huge screen porch encasing my pool and tons and tons of plants that were so thick you couldnt see through them! anyways I had 10 panther chameleons that peacefully live out there for most of the year and we always would find hatchlings all over the screen and plants over the 5 years they were kept out there we had found hundreds of babies. And for those of you interested in was a 4.6 group of panthers so there were scuffs nothing bad though as there was plenty of room for them to move about however it was so cool to watch them establish there own territories and protect them!
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Nicholas, that's really interesting. Do you have photos of what it looked like?

I do only free range now, but I had screen cages before. Edit. I want to add that, like others, my chameleons have been dramatically better physically now than they ever were in their cages. I always seemed to have petite chameleons, and in the couple months that they've been in free ranges (with the same bulbs and same feeding schedule) I've had one guy in particular nearly triple his weight and size. From what I've observed the added exercise and room to roam is doing wonders for their systems and metabolisms.
 
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jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have experience in both screen cages and free ranges. Personally I prefer the free range if done correctly and safely. It's against my nature to cage any kind of animal but understand there are reasons why they should be.
I agree with Donna that it's my nature to not cage an animal unless it is absolutely necessary. I free range all my animals and they are much happier and healthier than caged animals. Even thought my vet, one of the best if not the best chameleon vet in the US always says that his clients with free ranged chams are the happiest chams that he sees and that we must be doing something right.
 
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bridgofaith

Avid Member
I actualy use all three methods currently. Glass terrariums for 2 different species (no pygmies), screen and free ranging. All are successful, but free ranging has been the most successful for me. Those animals are healthier and more active. Not to mention extremely friendly and social.
 
wel i have vivs of glass and water resistant wood and their on the big size for viv's.

Well i think al ways are ok if you can provide enough food water climbing constructions and lighting.
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
I actualy use all three methods currently. Glass terrariums for 2 different species (no pygmies), screen and free ranging. All are successful, but free ranging has been the most successful for me. Those animals are healthier and more active. Not to mention extremely friendly and social.
Can you please explain me how a chameleon can be more "friendly" and "social" if you free range it ?
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you please explain me how a chameleon can be more "friendly" and "social" if you free range it ?
One example, Luie comes over to the edge of his tree every time he sees me and reaches and grabs for me and I hold him and ride him around on my shoulder for awhile and when I try to put him back on his tree he refuses to go....holds on to me tighter and I feel sad when I have to force him but somethings I do throughout the day, it's not safe for him to be on my shoulder.
 
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eisentrauti

Avid Member
One example, Luie comes over to the edge of his tree every time he sees me and reaches and grabs for me and I hold him and ride him around on my shoulder for awhile and when I try to put him back on his tree he refuses to go....holds on to me tighter and I feel sad when I have to force him but something’s I do throughout the day, it's not safe for him to be on my shoulder.
probably he expect food when he sees you
 

draetish

Avid Member
One example, Luie comes over to the edge of his tree every time he sees me and reaches and grabs for me and I hold him and ride him around on my shoulder for awhile and when I try to put him back on his tree he refuses to go....holds on to me tighter and I feel sad when I have to force him but something’s I do throughout the day, it's not safe for him to be on my shoulder.
I agree Jannb, I think they feel safe and secure and it's all a part of their everyday life. It's called FREEDOM!
 

Cainschams

New Member
Sheesh, no love for those who keep animals outdoors?:p:)

I have always used screen enclosures. I have also free ranged one panther chameleon. I do feel the free ranged chameleon was happier because he was always rubbing his nose to get out of his cage even when in a huge cage. I will argue that just because you free range does not mean your animal will be more "social".

This is a "housing" thread and I do think outdoor housing should be included. I will also argue that housing your chameleons outdoors when possible beats any other scenario out there. Of course you must know your chams needs and meet them in the cages. Provide them with plenty of cover and water when hot etc. Using cages is a must when outdoors although there are other methods (netted bushes and trees and or barriers around bushes and trees). Either way it requires some sense of confining the animal and is the best way, hands down, to keep a chameleon. Not forgetting about green houses also;)
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
I have even an example: I used to keep and breed Phelsumas, one of my favs were klemmeris. Where nice animals, they even licked honey or yoghurt from my finger.
But when one of them managed it to get out of the enclosure they changed their behaviour completely, they were shy again and not so easy to catch
 

bridgofaith

Avid Member
Can you please explain me how a chameleon can be more "friendly" and "social" if you free range it ?
How many examples would you like??

I have 3 males (2 panthers and 1 veiled) free ranging in the same room. No barriers of any kind between them. Not one single time have they ever attempted to fight or defend territory against each other. They see each other, walk past each other can easily get in the others areas if they wanted to. When these exact same animals were caged, just the sight of another male in another cage sent them into their territory defending attitudes. Now they share the same area. Interesting.

Before when they were caged, I could not put my hand in the cage at all because I would get bit. Typical cham behavior. I experimented with free ranging. I wanted to test for myself what people were saying about the change in attitudes and temperments. I tried it first with my male Nosy Be. Even my dad wore leather gloves when he had to be taken out of the cage. The difference is amazing. Even my vet, Dr Alfonso, said he is the most laid back, non-stressed chameleon he has ever seen, including Luie (sorry Jann :)). I asked him if he was stressed or harmed in any way by my handling, he assured me he was not. He even went freely to Dr A and sat on his arm the very first time he saw him. Dr A tried to put him back on his tree, he would not go. He said he had to admit, he had rather be with me, than on his tree. Intersting.

The same thing has happened with the other male panther that is free ranged. He was nicknamed the devil because he was actually WORSE than the Nosy Be! These animals NEVER attempt to hide when they see a person or run away. They come to us. They will literally climb out of their tree and cross the room (17ft) to climb the chair we are sitting in. They do this to my daughter all the time. She has NEVER fed them.

It really bothers me when people that have not tried this for themselves, automatically know for a fact it can't work. I am not saying this because it sounds good, but because I have actually done it, tried it and it worked exactly as I have explained. I didn't believe it either, but I gave it a try. If you have never tried something for yourself to prove it right or wrong, how can you be so certain you're right? Do I believe this will work for every single aggressive cham out there? No. They are individuals, nothing works exactly the same way for everyone or everything. But don't make fun of something that I have tried and have been successful with in my own keeping.
 
well good for you it worked but i have a panther and a veiled here in big viv's and in the summer their in the garden end they arent agressive at all it depents on how you manage them.

they always want to walk on me and if i want to put them bach in the viv they alway's walk right back into it.
 

Cainschams

New Member
Note:
Free range discussions at Chameleon Forums can sometimes attract strong and conflicting opinions. A common view believes that the open environment provided by a free range setup offers mental health benefits and reduced stress for chameleons. People belonging to this camp will often argue that chameleons are happier when living in a free range setup. The general opposing view acknowledges that standard enclosures cause stress; however, this group is of the opinion that the possible dangers and increased complications of a free range system far outweigh the possible benefits. One common point of agreement is that free range setups are for advanced keepers and should only be attempted by those with sufficient experience, time, and floor space.

I also think sometimes, or actually most of the time, chameleons are generalized too much as only being panthers and veileds (and of course melleri when talking about free ranging). Dont get me wrong, this is a good thread! It should spark some good discussions.

I also think the statement "free ranged chameleons are happier and more social" is a false hope to people who want a chameleon to be able to handle even though they are not social animals. This also becomes a problem for new owners who might not be able to see that the animal is getting enough water, UVB, heat etc. They see the statement and feel this is what they need to do to have a handleable chameleon.

And yes, as stated, I had to free range a panther male and he was not what so ever more impressed by me. I can also say in the 16x16x30 cages my ellioti are in should seem somewhat free range to them. They are small and are not very active. They stay on the plants and do not climb the screen. However, they do not come to me and if I were to free range any of the given animals I have I guarantee they would not "warm up" to me. If anything it would cause them more stress. Have I tried no, do I know my animals, yes. This is where I think generalizing chameleons as panthers and veileds can cause problems.
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
I praise you Jared ! Chameleons are not social, they are not friendly, chameleons are emotional stupid reptiles. That's it- and it's no wonder when a chameleon doesn't want to be taken from a high place (should / arm) on a lower place (terrarium). It's just natural.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I praise you Jared ! Chameleons are not social, they are not friendly, chameleons are emotional stupid reptiles. That's it- and it's no wonder when a chameleon doesn't want to be taken from a high place (should / arm) on a lower place (terrarium). It's just natural.
Benny, my guys live on 7 and 8 foot trees......I'm 5 foot tall.
 

draetish

Avid Member
I praise you Jared ! Chameleons are not social, they are not friendly, chameleons are emotional stupid reptiles. That's it- and it's no wonder when a chameleon doesn't want to be taken from a high place (should / arm) on a lower place (terrarium). It's just natural.
What a terrible thing to say "chameleons are emotional stupid reptiles" that is your opinion only. Fundamentalists is were everything starts and only from there can anyone become an expert.:cool:
 
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