Is it normal for a new chameleon to not eat the first few days?

HUBSonDUBS

Established Member
I bout a flapneck chameleon a few days ago, hes pretty big compared to the other ones i saw. He has not eatn or drank yet and it is his third day home. I have crickets and wax worms. At the pet store the chameleons would eat from his hand. Is this normal for him not to eat for the first days adjusting to his new home?
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I would think on average, three days is probably too long. He should be interested in eating and drinking by now. Most new chameleons I have had were stressed for a few days (sometimes a week or more), but started to eat and drink on the first or second day. I have never had a flapneck before, but assume they would be similar to other chams. Give us a description of your setup (cage type, lighting, temp range, humidity range, watering techniques, etc). What differences can you think of between his old setup and his new one? Are you handling him? For the first couple weeks, you should do your best at not stressing him out. This means you might want to restrain from holding or hand feeding for a while. How are you feeding him?
 

HUBSonDUBS

Established Member
I will get a picture up in a day. I am only handling him to bring him outside and put him on a tree (i live in FL) that i let him soak up sun in which he seems to like alot he changes to bright colors and doesnt like leaving. I mist the cage with a spray bottle and when hes on the tree i spray it down with the hose so it drips water. The cage setup is much better then the one he was in when i bought him it is farly big with a 2foot 5.0 uvb full spectrum light bulb and a 100 watt basking light. This has the cage temp at 80 deg. Il take a picture and mayb you will have some suggestions. I think im going to leave him alone and keep him in his cage until he starts eating.

Thanks
 
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Lady cham

New Member
i'm sure the temp is a lot highter under his basking light but I do know that reptiles need a temp of at lease 85 to digest food. has he gone to the bathroom sense you've brought him home? if not make sure he's drinking a good amount of water and try turning up the heat you can give him a drop of mineral oil if needed.
 

HUBSonDUBS

Established Member
no he hasnt gone to the bathroom yet. How do i do this mineral oil thing. I think im going to wait one more day and then mayb talk to the pet store. I dont know if i trust them that much about the knowledge of raising chameleons tho.
 

Lady cham

New Member
First and most important I'd try to get his temp up in his cage. Do you have A/C maybe he's under a vent. Make sure he can get to his basking light. Give him At least a day or two in temps above 85. if that doesn't do the trick you can try a little bit of mineral oil. You can get mineral oil just about any where, it's a clear oil. A vet that I trust very much told me about it and I've had to use it. Mix just a little bit with his water you can spray it on the leaves or you could use an eye droper and squirt water/oil on his lip. Be sure not to get it in his eyes. If he seem sick in any way I'd Take him to the vet. try offering him food in different ways
 

HUBSonDUBS

Established Member
He looks very healthy I got the temp of the cage right at 85 deg and his basking area brings it higher im afraid of over heating him because yesterday I came in and he was all purched up and bright in color but he had his mouth open and I know that is a sign of over heating correct? So I turned the basking light off for an hour. Here is a picture of the cage and my setup.Is spraying the cage down stressing him b/c he does not seem to like it very much?
 

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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
im afraid of over heating him because yesterday I came in and he was all purched up and bright in color but he had his mouth open
What you want is a temperature gradient within the cage. This way your cham can regulate its own body temperature by moving to different areas of the cage. I looked it up and this was the best flapneck caresheet I could find: flapneck caresheet. It is not uncommon for a cham to open his mouth like you described. I usualy notice my chams doing this sometimes right before or right after leaving their basking area. However, this action is similar to what chameleons do when more serious problems are present (ex lung infection), so watch for anything unusual.

Is spraying the cage down stressing him b/c he does not seem to like it very much?
It can, but it is a great way to water your cham and provide additional humidity. Use hot water, the hottest you can get. By the time the water is made into a fine mist and hits your cham it will not be very hot (test it out on your hand first). They dont seem to mind the warm water as much as they do the cold.

After looking at your pics again, I want to add that you should check the temperatures at the basking area and in other areas. I do not know your situation, but a 100 watt light directly on top of the cage could be creating too much heat. I usually have my basking light 6"-12" away. Also, you will proably need some live plants in order to keep the humidity up and to provide more places for your cham to hide. They are cheap and your cham will like them.
 
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HUBSonDUBS

Established Member
HE ATE!!!! I will keep you posted thanks alot for the help. I think im goign to stop at home depot and look for some plants and mayb a way to hang my light.
 
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ChamFreak

Avid Member
when you can afford it, you should get him a bigger cage and more foilage. I know many people who have increased these and the chameleon will be happier.
 
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