Jackson chameleon wont eat

Ariangilbert

New Member
Hello, I just got a juvinile jackson chameleon a couple of weeks ago. I'm new to owning a chameleon and it gets confusing at times. I ordered from a website and when he arrived, he arrived in a paper bag. He was extremely upset, very dehydrated, and overall just sick. Within a week he kind of calmed down and began adjusting to his new home. He's still really skittish and gets stressed extremely easily. I found a chameleon in hawaii a few months ago, she was always so happy and always ate immediately when I fed her. No problems with her. I didnt even have proper lighting or a cage because I was only keeping her for a week. She was actually really happy.
My chameleon now, on the other hand, is always so stressed and upset. The problems is, he won't eat, and when he does, it's not enough. When we first got him, he ate, but still not enough. It's been two weeks and we've only been able to get, at the most, three crickets a day in him. Today he ate one, yesterday he ate two. He's just not interested in the crickets.
He has the right amount of light, and humidity. He just seems really upset. He has a pretty stable sleep schedule. Usually sleeping from 9:30 PM (when it gets dark) to about 8 or 9 AM.
Everything about him seems ok other than the fact he gets stressed easily and he wont eat very much. Please help
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there! What you’re describing could be due to many factors. The best way to get the answers you need is to fill out the help form. I will tag an experienced Jackson keeper to this post (@JacksJill) The easiest way to fill out the form is to Copy and paste then fill it out.
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?
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.
 

Ariangilbert

New Member
Alright,
  • My chameleon is a juvinile, male, jackson chameleon. I'm not sure of the exact age but probably 2 ish months old
  • He's been in my care for almost 2 weeks
  • I try to handle my chameleon as little as possible to not stress him. But also, I'd like him to get accustomed to handling, so i probably handle a couple times a day
  • I feed him medium sized crickets dusted with calcium. I'm going to branch out and also start feeding him mealworms. I would like to feed him 3-5 a day but he refuses to eat more that 3
  • Supplements - I dust the crickets with repti calcium. I try to feed him in the morning and a few more times during the day, just to give him time to digest
  • Watering - i use a misting system. I mist him around 5-7 times a day. I watch him drink and make sure he's not getting dehydrated
  • Fecal Description - the color of his most recent droppings has been a light yellow. He doesnt seem constipated as he goes to the bathroom at least once a day. I've not yet taken him to be tested for parasites
  • History - i just got him 2 weeks ago, I'm not sure if he was captive bred or captured in the wild becuase the website mixed up my order. He seems captive bred because of the way he acts
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - he has a screen cage, I think its 2.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. But I'm not sure
  • Lighting - I'm not sure of the brands of light but I turn on his lights at around 10 AM and turn them off at 9 or 10 PM
  • Temperature - the temperature range underneath his basking is about 80 degrees and the bottom of his cage is around 70-75 degrees. My thermometer just stopped working yesterday so I ordered a new one
  • Humidity - I'm not 100% sure on the exact humidity. He's getting misted quite frequently. Its definitely not dry in my house, it's more humid than dru.
  • Plants - I'm using both live plants and fake ones. I am a plant collector and have massed a large amount of plants in my room, so I like to let him walk around on the ones I know are safe for him. He spends his time mostly on pothos plabts and money trees
  • Placement - he's on a 2 ish foot high dresser next to a window with natural light. Nothing disturbs him, he isnt in a high traffic area.
  • Location - i live in Michigan's lower peninsula. The summers are hot and the winters are cold
 

Ariangilbert

New Member
Alright,

My chameleon is a juvinile, male, jackson chameleon. I'm not sure of the exact age but probably 2 ish months oldHe's been in my care for almost 2 weeks
I try to handle my chameleon as little as possible to not stress him. But also, I'd like him to get accustomed to handling, so i probably handle a couple times a day
I feed him medium sized crickets dusted with calcium. I'm going to branch out and also start feeding him mealworms. I would like to feed him 3-5 a day but he refuses to eat more that 3
Supplements - I dust the crickets with repti calcium. I try to feed him in the morning and a few more times during the day, just to give him time to digest
Watering - i use a misting system. I mist him around 5-7 times a day. I watch him drink and make sure he's not getting dehydrated
Fecal Description - the color of his most recent droppings has been a light yellow. He doesnt seem constipated as he goes to the bathroom at least once a day. I've not yet taken him to be tested for parasites
History - i just got him 2 weeks ago, I'm not sure if he was captive bred or captured in the wild becuase the website mixed up my order. He seems captive bred because of the way he acts

Cage Info:

Cage Type - he has a screen cage, I think its 2.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. But I'm not sure
Lighting - I'm not sure of the brands of light but I turn on his lights at around 10 AM and turn them off at 9 or 10 PM
Temperature - the temperature range underneath his basking is about 80 degrees and the bottom of his cage is around 70-75 degrees. My thermometer just stopped working yesterday so I ordered a new one
Humidity - I'm not 100% sure on the exact humidity. He's getting misted quite frequently. Its definitely not dry in my house, it's more humid than dru.
Plants - I'm using both live plants and fake ones. I am a plant collector and have massed a large amount of plants in my room, so I like to let him walk around on the ones I know are safe for him. He spends his time mostly on pothos plabts and money trees
Placement - he's on a 2 ish foot high dresser next to a window with natural light. Nothing disturbs him, he isnt in a high traffic area.
Location - i live in Michigan's lower peninsula. The summers are hot and the winters are cold
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll give you a little information on what I know from experience on this forum but I’m sure more experienced keepers will chime in.

First is don’t feed mealworms try super worms Instead as treats. You will want to add more variety like silkworms and roaches as a staple along side his crickets. These need to be properly gutloaded with veggies and fruit.

We need to know more on his lighting it’s recomended you use a T5Ho fixture with a 6% Arcadia bulb or reptisun 5.0 or 10.0.

Supplements for a Jackson you want to give calcium without d3 twice a week. And a multivitamin and calcium with d3 once a month. The multivitamin should have preformed vitamin A in it.

I’d recommend a fecal test done also just to rule out parasites or disease.
68B12AC9-C22A-405E-A3F1-B7EDB0ADBD62.jpegB33C1BFA-6DEE-4E08-923F-CF5B3816273F.jpegC99992B8-4D5E-4FEE-8214-60C11768EB72.jpeg
 

Ariangilbert

New Member
Thank you, but i'm still not sure why he wont eat. I'm just wondering if he's still stressed out or if he doesnt really need as much as I think he does. Right now I'm trying to get him to eat more than three crickets a day, but, no success
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you, but i'm still not sure why he wont eat. I'm just wondering if he's still stressed out or if he doesnt really need as much as I think he does. Right now I'm trying to get him to eat more than three crickets a day, but, no success
Just curious, are you hand feeding, cup feeding, or free range? It could be the method of feeding that’s keeping him from eating. And definitely take a look at the charts above ^^ he may be interested in a variety vs just crickets.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you, but i'm still not sure why he wont eat. I'm just wondering if he's still stressed out or if he doesnt really need as much as I think he does. Right now I'm trying to get him to eat more than three crickets a day, but, no success
One more thing is there any way you can post pics of your Cham and his enclosure? Pics are super helpful as well. Thanks!
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you, but i'm still not sure why he wont eat. I'm just wondering if he's still stressed out or if he doesnt really need as much as I think he does. Right now I'm trying to get him to eat more than three crickets a day, but, no success
It could be a combination of the things I mentioned above. Everything in the husbandry needs to be on point. Pictures of the enclosure would definitely be helpful too see what your working with.

Signs of not eating could be a parasite or disease also.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will answer in green

My chameleon is a juvinile, male, jackson chameleon. I'm not sure of the exact age but probably 2 ish months oldHe's been in my care for almost 2 weeks
I try to handle my chameleon as little as possible to not stress him. But also, I'd like him to get accustomed to handling, so i probably handle a couple times a day I would reduce that to weekly unless your cham is climbing on you of his own volition. These guys internalize their stress and it will eventually shut them down. Hand feed all you want but avoid picking up.
I feed him medium sized crickets dusted with calcium. I'm going to branch out and also start feeding him mealworms. I would like to feed him 3-5 a day but he refuses to eat more that 3 Depending on how large those medium are that could be enough and break your feedings into twice a day until older. Get superworms not mealworms (as above) just get the smallest size available and use them as hand feeding treats. Silkworms, blacks soldier fly larva and adult flies are all good additions to the diet.
Supplements - I dust the crickets with repti calcium. I try to feed him in the morning and a few more times during the day, just to give him time to digest Make sure your calcium doesn't have D3 in it if it does don't use more than once a month. There are two supplement schedules I recommend. Forum Caresheet-"Feeder insects should be lightly dusted with powdered supplement before being fed to your chameleon. As a montane species (native to higher altitudes) Jackson's have decreased supplementation requirements compared to tropical species due to metabolism differences. Use calcium (without D3 or phosphorus) twice a week, a multivitamin once a month, and calcium with D3 once a month." or The Repashy Calcium plus loD once weekly, bee pollen and plain calcium twice weekly each only on half the feeders, that I use.
Watering - i use a misting system. I mist him around 5-7 times a day. I watch him drink and make sure he's not getting dehydrated Good just make sure the first am and last pm are longer and you are not boosting your daytime humidity too high 35-50% is fine. Night should be much higher as close to 100% as you can get. An ultrasonic cool mist humidifier directed into the cage can help you reach the 80-100% range.
Fecal Description - the color of his most recent droppings has been a light yellow. He doesnt seem constipated as he goes to the bathroom at least once a day. I've not yet taken him to be tested for parasites Checking this is a good idea some parasites can affect appetite and slow their growth.
History - i just got him 2 weeks ago, I'm not sure if he was captive bred or captured in the wild becuase the website mixed up my order. He seems captive bred because of the way he acts

Cage Info:

Cage Type - he has a screen cage, I think its 2.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide. But I'm not sure
Lighting - I'm not sure of the brands of light but I turn on his lights at around 10 AM and turn them off at 9 or 10 PM I would like to see his lighting setup many commonly sold kits don't have sufficient lighting for the long run. A linear light vs a coiled compact fluorescent can give them a longer healthier happier life.
Temperature - the temperature range underneath his basking is about 80 degrees and the bottom of his cage is around 70-75 degrees. My thermometer just stopped working yesterday so I ordered a new one
Humidity - I'm not 100% sure on the exact humidity. He's getting misted quite frequently. Its definitely not dry in my house, it's more humid than dru. You should get a hygrometer to monitor this as some diseases come form improper humidity, respiratory and temporal gland infections.
Plants - I'm using both live plants and fake ones. I am a plant collector and have massed a large amount of plants in my room, so I like to let him walk around on the ones I know are safe for him. He spends his time mostly on pothos plabts and money trees Chameleons are ninjas so it's easy for them to ditch you when they know you aren't looking.
Placement - he's on a 2 ish foot high dresser next to a window with natural light. Make sure he doesn't get a draft from that window when the weather turns cold later this year. Nothing disturbs him, he isnt in a high traffic area.
Location - i live in Michigan's lower peninsula. The summers are hot and the winters are cold
If you need any help fine tuning your set up forum members know many tips and tricks. Don't hesitate to ask.

I don't know exactly why he isn't eating. My guesses are stress, too much or little vitamin D3 or possibly parasites. There are a host of other
possibilities. Try one or two small super worms and see if that gets him going just not too many as they are addictive. Several site sponsors offer variety packs of insects you can try.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Temperature - the temperature range underneath his basking is about 80 degrees and the bottom of his cage is around 70-75 degrees. My thermometer just stopped working yesterday so I ordered a new one Oops I missed this one. If he's that young then stay under 78˚F for a couple months. Either lift his bulb an inch or two off the cage or use a bulb with lower wattage, 4-5 watt maybe. His night time temperatures should dip into the 60-65˚F range easy to do in winter harder to get to in summer.
 
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