Keeping Chameleons outdoors in Florida

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
What do you do for heat?
My aviaries are under a roof, on my back patio. So they're out of the direct sun.
I've ordered a MIST KING for the summer months so I have some time to figure things out.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
The problem isn't so much the heat source... its protecting it from the wind. The only real option you have is to either get some solid surface that you can use to enclose the cage... or make a "greenhouse" type deal.

Again, Dr.O (from the Florida east coast) had a thread for all these questions. Here's the post:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/the-winterization-of-my-goc.106633/

I'd suggest reading it at least once just to get an idea what you're in for. Your cage wont be nearly the size of his... but if you plan to house yours exclusively outdoors, you're going to have the same issues, albeit on a smaller scale.

This is why many of us keepers do an indoor/outdoor deal. There are lots of things that go into the outdoor cages no matter the scale.

I personally got TONS of information from him and even made a trip to go see him and his "set up". He is/was not only a keeper, but a breeder AND a vet. In the posts he even breaks down what materials he used, including some heavy duty plastic that actually let the UV in. (Proven with a solarometer).
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mine gets natural sunlight (morning) for a couple of hrs before the sun moves then he is shaded for the rest of the day. In south Florida warm ambient temps shouldn’t be a problem. If the cage isn’t getting direct sunlight you may want to invest in a solar meter to check UVI in the shade. You may need fans during the hottest time in summer. I ended up doing that because the ambient temps were too high. Mist King is going to save you with misting for sure, it’s not water proof so you will need to waterproof it if there is a possibility it could get wet. My Cham loves it outside, he seems to be doing well Florida is a great place to be able to house them outdoors year round.

One more thing, make sure nothing can get to the chams at night.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
And I'll second ^^^ this.

All kinds of critters will come calling... between the "cham food" (crickets, roaches, even 'salad' for a veiled), the water source, and the heat you plan to provide. Snakes are notorious for getting caught trying to squeeze through mesh - even the 1/4". Raccoon, opossum, mice/rats, etc will also seek it out. I live in a busy subdivision and still have the occasional snake. That's not even to touch the frogs and other lizards/ankles that will want to hang out. [The chams will eat anoles btw].

I had a frog get into my bird cage and hide in the hibiscus. I obviously had no clue until I noticed my female being really strange. I couldn't tell what she saw until i stuck my head in the cage and looked from her angle... just in time to dodge a frog leaping towards my face. That is to say, even stuff you or i wouldn't consider a "pest" can be seen as a predator or nuisance to a cham.

I by no means am trying to dissuade you. I just want you to know what to expect is all. For the record, I will be building some sort of outdoor enclosure shortly after the new year.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have big outside cages and I take my guys out for a few hours just about everyday. In the summer they stay inside the hottest part of the day and the few cool days that we have in the winter they stay inside. Personally, I would never leave them outside at night. We have allot of wildlife here or someone could steal them.

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ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
That's a fantastic post/article. @Hashtag ChamLife
My issue would be heat. As in too much heat. Not lack of it. As he states, south and central Florida are two pretty different climates. Here it might get to 50 degrees 4 times a year. I'll bring the animals inside my heated sunroom at anything below 55. I also do this for my tortoises.
My aviaries are going to have a roof and partial protection from the wind and elements because of the location of my back patio. Sunlight will be mostly, but not entirely indirect.
The issue that I'm trying to address is too much heat. It is regularly 90 degrees and above for many months of the year and the MIST KING can I hope help with some of that. Fans can also be incorporated.
My back yard is privacy fenced and the back patio is enclosed. I'm deep in the suburbs and wildlife is few and far between.
I also have a large tortoise enclosure and 3 fish ponds. Aside from a stray rat, I've seen very few predators.
 
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ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
I have big outside cages and I take my guys out for a few hours just about everyday. In the summer they stay inside the hottest part of the day and the few cool days that we have in the winter they stay inside. Personally, I would never leave them outside at night. We have allot of wildlife here or someone could steal them.

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Aside from the predators and chance of anyone or thing stealing them, our climates are likely the same.
I'm concerned about overheated Veiled Chameleons.
I've read that they can tolerate temperature drops into the upper 40s. But dislike it hotter than the lower 80s.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Adults can take hotter temps but that’s all up to you and your comfort level. I started my Cham outside in April and he has acclimated fine to the heat. I take precautions so he doesn’t over heat and get dehydrated. He is doing fine now and has survived the summer. :)
I also have multiple temp/humidity gauges around the cage to monitor ambient temps. Get a temp gun so you can do spot checks as well for basking.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
I have a MIST KING coming tomorrow.
I have two CHE. Two florescent strip 5.0 UV lamps and other supplies. I have grape vine. Hundreds of feet of it. And I have two hanging pothos vines.
I'm going to make these INDOOR aviaries. And then build another one outside at my leisure.
But for now, I can go ahead and get started.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
I bought these two XXL cages used.
I'll have these inside the house and use the other aviaries outdoors.
I'll do the indoor/outdoor option.
Thanks for your suggestions!
 

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ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
These are almost ready.
Tomorrow I'll rig up the lights, timers and dripper.
I'll want the dripper to drip down the plant and into the Pothos pot.
The smaller, central cage will be a spare and I'll put a sight barrier up in between the 2 large cages
 

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