How many crickets?


I have a ~5 month old female chameleon who I purchased three weeks ago. I had to wean her off of the mealworms that they fed her at the lame store I got her at, but now that she is eating medium- to large-sized crickets, it seems that she will eat as many as I put in the enclosure. What is a good amount to put in each day?
Also, I suspect that she may be gravid with an infertile clutch, so that may be a factor.
At 5 months old I was feeding my chameleon 12-15 1/4 inch crickets or 10-12 3/8 inch. Why do you suspect your chameleon is gravid? Could you post some pics?. It is possible, but she is young. Do you know how to prepare everything if she is?
Damn, that is expensive. Ah well, better than having her starve. Also, I am not actually sure that she is five months old, just a rough estimate. Here are some pictures of her (Apologies for the poor image quality):


Next to my hand, for size reference. Still not entirely sure how old she is.


Pretty good shot of the lump that may or may not be eggs.


Maybe a lump on her side?
She definitely isn't gravid, she is way to small. Looks like she might have a skin infection or burn. She is very thin looking in the one picture, So feed her however much she will eat, also make sure to use supplements for calcium, D3, and Vitamins. If you add wax or silk worms in to her diet it might help too. I would have a vet look at the bump on her left side as well.

As for her age I would guess she is going on 3 months.

Also if you could fill this out it might help everyone help you.....
Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
* Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
* Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
* Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
* Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
* Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
* History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:

* Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
* Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
* Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
* Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
* Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
* Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
* Location - Where are you geographically located?
Female veiled chameleon, about five months old. Owned it for two weeks. I handle her about two times a week. I feed my chameleon large mealworms and small crickets. I feed the mealworms bran, and the crickets fresh lettuce and carrots. On a normal day, she eats about eight or nine crickets. I dust them with Zoomed Repti Calcium without D3. I usually only dust the mealworms with these, and leave the crickets undusted. I will be dusting her food twice a month with Reptivite Reptile Vitamins with D3. I mist her twice a day with hot water, and I have a cup of water with a hole in it that I fill up about twice a day. I do see her drinking water from this. Fecal matter is dark brown, sometimes with a white section. I have never tested her for parasites. She received a burn on her left side on the second day we got her, but the situation that caused this has been remedied- I moved the lamp.
Cage is about 22x22x36 inches, screen. During the day, I use a 100W basking spot lamp from zoo med and a 15W UVB tube lamp (33% UVA, 10% UVB). At night, it can get pretty cold, so I use a 100W night basking lamp that emits dark red light. I switch it to daytime lighting at around 7:30 AM, and switch it to nighttime lighting at around 9:30 PM. I am using two live ficus in my enclosure, as well as a climbing vine, a large piece of driftwood, and a fake bush. I keep the temperature in the enclosure between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and I try and keep the humidity at around 60%. I have the cage located next to a heat fan that keeps the ambient temperature up, since it is winter. The table that the enclosure is resting on is about three feet off of the floor. I keep her enclosure in my room, and people do tend to walk around this room several times a day. This does provide the advantage of being able to keep an eye on her throughout the day. Her enclosure is next to a window, so she gets plenty of natural light during the day in addition to her two normal lights. I am located in California.
So how many crickets per trip to the store should I buy? Also, can I get a second opinion on the gravid thing?
She doesn't look gravid. She looks really skinny actually. You should check out one of the sponsors of this site for crickets it's cheaper to buy a thousand than going to the store all the time.

Edit: I know you're new, but there is a lot that needs to be changed in her husbandry. Maybe do some research, or someone please help. It's a long list. Here read this from jannb...
This is good information. I have read through the list and it seems like the only problems with husbandry I have right now are the amount I feed her, and possibly the basking light. It says that female veiled chameleons never need basking lights? This seems strange. Can I get a verification on this?
We have only been feeding her about eight crickets a day because feeding her is pretty expensive, but I guess if we need to feed her twelve a day we will do what we have to.
Also, a thousand seems like a lot of crickets. How do they sell those? Do you just refrigerate some of those?
you shouold have a basking spot...but the temps should be between 80-85 degrees not lower or higher.

and no you cant refrigerate crix.

you can buy online.

try buy 250 crix...they last awhile:),,you keep them in a plastic bin...and feed them fruits and that way the crix are filled with good stuff and in turn your cham gets good stuff:)
Thanks, Ace! Do you have any sites that you would recommend for cricket delivery? Also, is there anyone who raises crickets? Like, keeps enough of them that they can feed them to the chameleon and still have enough adult crickets laying eggs that you can have a self-refreshing supply of crickets?
To be honest chameleons are expensive and are a harder reptile to keep than say a snake. Crickets can be sold in the thousands, no you don't refrigerate them. I keep mine in an aquarium. You have to gutload them, and for that I use cricket crack. Trust me it's a lot easier to keep a bunch and it saves money.

You can purchase crickets by the thousand for cheap here. It's one of our sponsors.

Also, what part of CA do you live in? I'm in Riverside and I don't use any heat at night. My room temp can drop to the lowest of about 63 which is fine for your Veiled. So no heat at night. I'm told the red light bothers them even though they can't see it. 100 watt is actually a bit hot, you might want to switch to a 60 watt so your girl doesn't get dehydrated throughout the day or burned again. As long as her basking spot is about 80 degrees. Although, if you don't want her to produce infertile clutches you can keep her temps cooler the way jannb does. Her UVB light should be a 5.0 instead of 10.0.

Here is my current enclosure for Tiger, my male. just thought I might add it to show you. I just took it, hence the flash.


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Thanks, Ace! Do you have any sites that you would recommend for cricket delivery? Also, is there anyone who raises crickets? Like, keeps enough of them that they can feed them to the chameleon and still have enough adult crickets laying eggs that you can have a self-refreshing supply of crickets?

no problem

umm as far as sites check with the site sponsors here...."ghanns crickets", mullberry farms, lake hornworms, and others....

and yes....alot of people acutally breed their own crickets and a have a colony:) makes it less expensive but is something you have to get a hang of it....personally i havent bred them but you can other forum members that do.

i know a girl "Pssh" she breeds crix and roaches and other can ask her....or research yourself on how to breed crix...sorry cant be much help there.

good luck
This is fantastic advice. Gonna switch my bulb to a 60-watt. I live in Sonoma County, it can get fairly chilly but it rarely drops below 60 degrees. Should I buy a 500-pack or a 1000-pack of crickets?
This is fantastic advice. Gonna switch my bulb to a 60-watt. I live in Sonoma County, it can get fairly chilly but it rarely drops below 60 degrees. Should I buy a 500-pack or a 1000-pack of crickets?

You can probably decide that for yourself. You only have one chameleon. I have 10 and bought 2k the last time plus 1,500 supers. I just ordered 300 silkworms and have 100 atm. I'm going to start breeding the silkies soon. I just bred my first crickets and have an aquarium filled with pinheads. My goal is to no longer buy feeders, because as you know it does get expensive, haha.

Another thing, google is your friend. If you type in a question however long, you can usually find an answer.
She shouldn't be gravid...she isn't showing any mustardy/yellow splotches yet.

For veiled females I keep the warmest area of the cage in the low to mid 80's to help slow their metabolism so they won't be so hungry and as adults I feed the about 8 - 12 crickets every two or three days. You don't want to starve her but you don't want to overfeed her. Since yours is not full grown yet or sexually mature you can feed her a little bit more.

No heat is needed as long as the temperature doesn't drop below the mid to low 60's at night. If you need heat, I would recommend one of the ceramic heat emitters (they screw in like a bulb). Be careful about keeping the cage next to the could cause a fungal infection or a respiratory infection if the chameleon is getting a cold draft/chill at night.

See below regarding gutloading and supplements...IMHO you need to make some changes.

Here's some information you might find helpful......
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...

Hope this helps!
Another thing that you could look into is breeding blaptica dubia roaches, yes roaches are roaches but these are a little different. They don't bite,fly,smell,gut load well,easy to breed and get a colony started and going,and they can't climb flat surface.
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