Keeps eating sand

Jakama

Member
My chameleon has been insisting on eating sand for the past week, since we put a sand tray in her enclosure. The tray is only about two or three inches deep, but we suspect that she may be gravid, so we are keeping it in there until we get a bigger sand container. She used to eat dirt from our ficus, but we put some rocks over that, so now she is eating this sand. I try and shoo her away from the sand when she tries to eat from it, but I know I am not successful, since I am finding sand grains in her fecal matter. How do I stop this?
Picture of sand tray:

Maybe the sand is too coarse?

Info sheet:
Female veiled chameleon, about five months old. Owned it for three weeks. I handle her about one time every two weeks. I feed her medium to large crickets- about ten per day on a normal day. I feed the crickets fresh carrots and broccoli. I dust them with Zoomed Repti Calcium without D3, and twice a month with Calcium with D3. Soon I will be purchasing multivitamins as another dusting supplement, which I will use twice a month. I mist her twice a day with hot water (comes out lukewarm), 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 24x24x36 inches, wire mesh. 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 gets pretty cold, so I use a space heater to keep the temperature at about 60 degrees. 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 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and I try and keep the humidity at around 60%. The temperature of her basking spot is 80 degrees. 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 provides 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. This window is always closed, but I keep the blinds open. The sun never shines directly through this window. I am located in California.
 

Elizadolots

New Member
First, keep the sand in there until someone with expertise posts. I believe it's not uncommon for them to sample the sand but I want someone with more experience to comment on that.

Second, where in California? It's a big State and enclosure requirements are very different depending on where you are. I'm in San Diego and I assure you, my concerns are different from those in Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.
 

Jakama

Member
I live in Sonoma County, which is about an hour north of San Francisco. It is fairly chilly here.
 

ivanho8

New Member
Do you feed veggies? My female veiled used to eat the eco earth in the lay bin but after I feed her some veggies (I usually feed mustard greens), she doesn't eat the eco earth anymore. I just cut the mustard greens in a very small pieces and put in in the feeding tub with the crickets. When she shoot the crickets somehow she will stick the crickets with some veggies. You can try that.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I would take the sand and put it in a deeper container. If nothing else a large bowl or pan. Just run it past the dishwasher after use.:eek: She needs something deep, at min 8" to lay in. If she isn't carrying eggs yet then get the sand out of her cage. She is eating it for a reason, what can you offer her for different feeders?
 

Jakama

Member
Ivanho, when you feed your chameleon crickets, do you release them in the cage, or put a tupperware container with crickets into the enclosure?
 
Top Bottom