Jackson chameleon not eating a lot

Ariangilbert

New Member
I've had a new chameleon for about three weeks. He's a juvinile male jackson. For some reason, he's eating, but not a lot. I feel like he eats when he wants to, but again, it's not a lot. No matter how hard I try he only seems to eat every other day, and when he does eat, it's not a huge amount by any means.
He has proper lighting, around 80 degrees in the day and low 70's during the night. He drinks a good amount of water and I mist his cage at least 5 times a day. He has a normal sleep schedule and he wakes up around the same time every day. He's active and he likes to climb around his cage every day.
When he first arrived, he was extremely stressed and very upset, but still ate. Now, it's kind of a hassle to feed him. I've tried every method of getting him to eat more with no luck.
Should I just stop worrying and let him eat when he wants? No matter how little it is? Or should I be kind of concerned?
I'm feeding him medium, I believe 3/4 inch sized crickets. With him only eating at the most, 2, every other day. He just doesnt seem that thrilled to eat all the time. He doesnt seem ravenous and starving. He's not skinny, he seems about a normal weight. He has a good amount of energy.
He seems very happy otherwise, not too stressed. He's not very happy when he's handled but tolerates me. Not anyone else, though.
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello welcome to the forum. Signs of not could be a sign of many things parasite, incorrect husbandry. Especially since he is still young he should have an appetite like a pig. I’ll give you this form to fill out so maybe other people on the forum can help you out if they see anything might need corrected.

  • 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?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:

  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
What is "proper lighting"? Please be more specific. What type and size cage do you have him in? What are you gut loading with?

You need to fill out the help form in the Health Clinic tab in great detail and include pictures so when our jacksons specialists get to your post they have all the info that they need.

Also just for some peace of mind at the moment, when I first brought my cham home he hardly ate for almost a month. He is not growing like a weed. It's not to say you shouldn't worry, but as long as EVERYTHING in your husbandry is correct and you are keeping a close eye it can be your cham just getting used to his surroundings. But again, everything needs to be perfect.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello welcome to the forum. Signs of not could be a sign of many things parasite, incorrect husbandry. Especially since he is still young he should have an appetite like a pig. I’ll give you this form to fill out so maybe other people on the forum can help you out if they see anything might need corrected.

  • 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?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:

  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Man.. I'm too slow :LOL:
 

Ariangilbert

New Member
Alright. So,

Your Chameleon - jackson chameleon, male, juvenile. I'd say about 2 ish months. Has been in my care for about three weeks

Handling - I handle him a few times a day just to get him accustomed to it. I also handle him to take him out of his cage.

Feeding - i would love to feed him more. Right now I try to feed him 3/4 inch crickets. I also tried mealworms but they're not good for him so I stopped. I feed my crickets an assortment of fruits and vegetables, also, food designed for crickets.

Supplements - the brand of calcium I use is called repti calcium without d3. I dont dust my crickets all the time, maybe a few a week, he doesnt eat much.

Watering - i use a misting system and most only natural spring water. I mist him at least 4-5 times a day

Fecal Description - his fecal matter is a light yellow, and brown for the poop. He goes to the bathroom at least once a day. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. He's never been tested for parasites becuase the closest reptile hospital is really far away.

History - we ordered him through a website. He came very stressed and in a paper bag. Also, he was late in the mail. I though he had died in shipping but he was alright. Not sure of anything else before that

Cage Info:

Cage Type - screen cage. Taller than it is wide. I think 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet.

Lighting - not sure of the brand, but I know I got it from petsmart. I use two different bulbs, one for heat and one for emitting some other thing I'm not sure of.

Temperature - the highest temperature is on the top of the cage, about 80, I'd say the bottom is about room temp. Maybe 74 ish. Night temp goes to about 70.

Humidity - not sure of the humidity levels, becuase he lives in my room, but I mist him very very often. I make sure his cage is of high humidity.

Plants - I use live plants and fake plants. The live one is called a money tree, not sure of the actual scientific name.

Placement - his cage is in a very low traffic area. No fans, no air vents, but good air flow. By a window

Location - I'm located in Michigan's lower peninsula
 

teen

Member
Gotta try some other feeders to entice him. Dubias. Bsfl. Small horn worms, wax worms and super worms. Doesnt matter if theyre considered "treats" you just want him to start eating more considering you make it seem like he wasnt well off when you got him. Also, big retail pet stores know next to nothing about lighting so your gunna have to give some more info on bulbs or provide some pics. Pick up a hygrometer or something to measure rh. Need to have some idea of what the rh is peak to peak.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
So you need to figure out your lights. I'm assuming from the fact you got it from PetSmart and that you dont even know what it does, that means you have a double dome fixture with a heat bulb and a coil/compact. Also what wattage is your heat bulb? Do you know? It says it on the bulb. See the graphics I'm attaching.

Everything else someone with Jacksons experience will chime in on.
 

Attachments

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
You also need to get a thermometer to measure your temps. You cant just be guessing. Between guessing the temps and the RH you're readings are probably all over the place. This hobby relies on precise measurements not just willy nilly let's wing it I'm sure itll be fine measurements.
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your Chameleon - jackson chameleon, male, juvenile. I'd say about 2 ish months. Has been in my care for about three weeks. 2 months is pretty young to be sold chameleon unless you really know how to care for them at that age. Post some pictures of him so we can possibly determine his age. If he is in fact 2 months old shame on the breeder/pet store who sold him. Jackson chameleons are very fragile in their first 5-6 months of age.

Handling - I handle him a few times a day just to get him accustomed to it. I also handle him to take him out of his cage.

Feeding - i would love to feed him more. Right now I try to feed him 3/4 inch crickets. I also tried mealworms but they're not good for him so I stopped. I feed my crickets an assortment of fruits and vegetables, also, food designed for crickets. If he is in fact 2 months of age 3/4 inch crickets are far too large for him. He should be eating fruit flys, very small crickets, mini Dubia roaches, BSFL larvae, and very small silkworms to name a few. They need very small food items at that age. This could be why he’s not eating.

Supplements - the brand of calcium I use is called repti calcium without d3. I dont dust my crickets all the time, maybe a few a week, he doesnt eat much. Your schedule should be calcuim WITHOUT D3 twice a week. And a multivitamin like reptivite preferably with preformed Vitamin A in it once a month. Calcuim WITH D3 should also be given once a month. Montane species like Jackson chameleons are very finicky when it comes to supplementation so you want this to be correct.

Watering - i use a misting system and most only natural spring water. I mist him at least 4-5 times a day Jackson chameleons do like to drink a lot. You will want around 40-50% humidity during the day. And around 80-100% at night. We accomplish this high humidity at night with ultrasonic humidifiers fogging the cage. DO NOT FOG DURING THE DAY. This can cause respiratory infections if you have high humidity and heat during the daytime. Fog only during the late evening, late night, early mornings. Here are some links on fogging and misting.
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-110-fogging-and-airflow-with-mario-jungmann/



Fecal Description - his fecal matter is a light yellow, and brown for the poop. He goes to the bathroom at least once a day. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. He's never been tested for parasites becuase the closest reptile hospital is really far away. Would probably be a good idea to get a fecal done just to rule out any parasites or disease. I can’t really help you on the vet side of things but you should really have a vet for these guys before buying one.

History - we ordered him through a website. He came very stressed and in a paper bag. Also, he was late in the mail. I though he had died in shipping but he was alright. Not sure of anything else before that Where did you buy him from sounds like? Sounds like the breeder/store really was not a reputable place shame on them. A paper bag seems pretty cruel to package them in.

Cage Info:

Cage Type - screen cage. Taller than it is wide. I think 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet. Can we get a picture of the enclosure if possible?

Lighting - not sure of the brand, but I know I got it from petsmart. I use two different bulbs, one for heat and one for emitting some other thing I'm not sure of.We really need to know this information. It’s recomended you have a linear T5 or T8 fixture with a 5.0 or 10.0 reptisun linear bulb or 6% Arcadia bulb. The coil type uvb bulbs are insufficient at putting out uvb in a wide area.

Temperature - the highest temperature is on the top of the cage, about 80, I'd say the bottom is about room temp. Maybe 74 ish. Night temp goes to about 70. His basking area should stay at 78-80 degrees for his age do not go any higher than this. The ambient during the day should be around 70-75. His nighttime temperatures your going to want to find away to get it down into the low 60s these guys need a cool temperature drop at night to keep them healthy. Digital thermometers or a temperature gun are good to check your readings.

Humidity - not sure of the humidity levels, becuase he lives in my room, but I mist him very very often. I make sure his cage is of high humidity. Read above on what I said in the watering section of the form. How are you measuring these ranges? It’s best to have digital hygrometers for precise readings.

Plants - I use live plants and fake plants. The live one is called a money tree, not sure of the actual scientific name.

Placement - his cage is in a very low traffic area. No fans, no air vents, but good air flow. By a window

Location - I'm located in Michigan's lower peninsula
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
What @Rlc1994 said ^^. I would also add skip the handling for now. Jackson's seem very chill but they are freaking out on the inside. Only handle him if he climbs on you of his own free will to get a bug or wants to climb you. I only handle mine for medical reasons, weigh ins and to transfer to outdoor cages weekly.
I would like to see a picture of him and a picture of his feeders with a coin or something for size reference. I'm hoping he's not eating much because you are feeding jumbo feeders but I can't confirm that yet.
 
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