Lay bin - yes I’ve read other posts. Haven’t seen this question asked 🙏🏼

Chamwitch

New Member
Greeting fellow Cham families -

Question about lay bin depth. So I’ve seen countless advice on depth having to be 12 inches deep as good condition for laying eggs. I’m wondering where this advice stems from - besides everyone does it?

Do chameleons really dig 12 inches deep to lay eggs in the wild? How can baby chams dig their way out of such deep holes? Also isn’t it counterintuitive for an egg bearing female to risk tunnel collapse and die with her eggs?

Do they only dig 12 inches because it’s when they reach a hard surface (side/corner/floor) within the lay bid and then they feel safe to lay?

In the wild I would think they’d be really vulnerable digging themselves so deep and then reversing out of the hole to then have to back back up into it to lay the eggs.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to dig a hole that’s 5-6 inches (or maybe a little bigger than even their own body length) and then lay?

Just curious what all of you experts in husbandry think? I btw am not an expert by any means, just wondering how these lady chams behave in the wild and doing to explorative thinking.

Blessings and thanks in advance for your thoughts/input!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! :) Husbandry practices are constantly evolving, and very often what works for one person doesn’t work for another. What I do and recommend is a depth of about 6” of play sand, moistened just enough to form a tunnel without collapsing. Larger bins of at least 12” long and wide are preferred by my girls and they do seem to like tall opaque sides to help hide them as well.
 

Chamwitch

New Member
Hi and welcome! :) Husbandry practices are constantly evolving, and very often what works for one person doesn’t work for another. What I do and recommend is a depth of about 6” of play sand, moistened just enough to form a tunnel without collapsing. Larger bins of at least 12” long and wide are preferred by my girls and they do seem to like tall opaque sides to help hide them as well.
Thank you! Seems these beauties are very unique in personalities and require many different options! I guess that if it was a one size fits all experience we wouldn’t need forums 😂🙏🏼
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
As with many husbandry suggestions, that is a guide. I have seen girls lay in very shallow places, but the 12 inch depth gives the her options. I find it easier for them to reach it from the higher vines in the enclosure and also make her tunnel in which to lay.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I've always made the bins deeper rather than too shallow. It gives the female more options...more sand to choose both e depth she likes and more variety of sand conditions (moisture, etc).
If shallow was best, then why do they often/almost always dig long tunnels when given the option?
 

Chamwitch

New Member
I've always made the bins deeper rather than too shallow. It gives the female more options...more sand to choose both e depth she likes and more variety of sand conditions (moisture, etc).
If shallow was best, then why do they often/almost always dig long tunnels when given the option?
I was just thinking they dig that deep because they are seeking the solid place upon which to lay eggs next to. I read in the wild they lay against root balls. Just curious what all of you more experienced keepers thought about the suggestions and if anything has evolved within your experience over the years. 🙏🏼
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
I got a bioactive setup with a “bin” planter that’s 50” deep. She laid in it 5 times and digs a hole of a body plus half tail length deep. And then covers it up completely with leaf litter and everything. The closing she takes her time for that, between 5 till 8 hours. 2-3 days before laying she always leaves her free range to explore for the best place to lay her eggs.
 

Camiezone

Established Member
Greeting fellow Cham families -

Question about lay bin depth. So I’ve seen countless advice on depth having to be 12 inches deep as good condition for laying eggs. I’m wondering where this advice stems from - besides everyone does it?

Do chameleons really dig 12 inches deep to lay eggs in the wild? How can baby chams dig their way out of such deep holes? Also isn’t it counterintuitive for an egg bearing female to risk tunnel collapse and die with her eggs?

Do they only dig 12 inches because it’s when they reach a hard surface (side/corner/floor) within the lay bid and then they feel safe to lay?

In the wild I would think they’d be really vulnerable digging themselves so deep and then reversing out of the hole to then have to back back up into it to lay the eggs.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to dig a hole that’s 5-6 inches (or maybe a little bigger than even their own body length) and then lay?

Just curious what all of you experts in husbandry think? I btw am not an expert by any means, just wondering how these lady chams behave in the wild and doing to explorative thinking.

Blessings and thanks in advance for your thoughts/input!
Hey, I follow netr necas
Greeting fellow Cham families -

Question about lay bin depth. So I’ve seen countless advice on depth having to be 12 inches deep as good condition for laying eggs. I’m wondering where this advice stems from - besides everyone does it?

Do chameleons really dig 12 inches deep to lay eggs in the wild? How can baby chams dig their way out of such deep holes? Also isn’t it counterintuitive for an egg bearing female to risk tunnel collapse and die with her eggs?

Do they only dig 12 inches because it’s when they reach a hard surface (side/corner/floor) within the lay bid and then they feel safe to lay?

In the wild I would think they’d be really vulnerable digging themselves so deep and then reversing out of the hole to then have to back back up into it to lay the eggs.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to dig a hole that’s 5-6 inches (or maybe a little bigger than even their own body length) and then lay?

Just curious what all of you experts in husbandry think? I btw am not an expert by any means, just wondering how these lady chams behave in the wild and doing to explorative thinking.

Blessings and thanks in advance for your thoughts/input!
Back before I even got my first one, after watching countless YouTube videos, reading every page I could, I stumbled upon a man who's name is Petr Necas, I immediately decided that I would care for my chameleons according to Petr's recommendations and advise. Now 4 yrs and 9 chameleons later, I have no doubt that I made a good choice, Petr has dedicated his life to the well being and proper husbandry for captive chams, primarily trying to mimic their natural surroundings and lifestyles in Madagascar. I highly recommend him and suggest perhaps check him out, (you may already have) hehe.
His approach to laybins and clutches is quite unique, but I have amazing success with his ways.
Ofcourse I also get great info from Bill Strand, beeders and many people on this site, have great knowledge. Your safe here. Lol
I recommend to apply what makes sense.
My laybins are about 4-5 inches deep, in clear container, which are 4x6. I just leave it standing inside my girls ' enclosures on the bottom, with a plant planted inside it, for comfort and they like to lay against the roots. They will dig down so when they turn around only their head and neck stick out. I tried the huge n deep container once, my result was devastating, mom couldn't regain her strength and passed a few days after. Petr suggested aiming more towards how they do it in the wild, including leaving clutch connected, if possible. The clear container makes it super easy to locate the clutch.
Anyways just thought I'd put my 2 cents in😊
 

Chamwitch

New Member
I got a bioactive setup with a “bin” planter that’s 50” deep. She laid in it 5 times and digs a hole of a body plus half tail length deep. And then covers it up completely with leaf litter and everything. The closing she takes her time for that, between 5 till 8 hours. 2-3 days before laying she always leaves her free range to explore for the best place to lay her eggs.
This makes sense to me - what tree(s) is in the planter? Soil? Or a mix? Thanks for the input!
 

Chamwitch

New Member
Hey, I follow netr necas

Back before I even got my first one, after watching countless YouTube videos, reading every page I could, I stumbled upon a man who's name is Petr Necas, I immediately decided that I would care for my chameleons according to Petr's recommendations and advise. Now 4 yrs and 9 chameleons later, I have no doubt that I made a good choice, Petr has dedicated his life to the well being and proper husbandry for captive chams, primarily trying to mimic their natural surroundings and lifestyles in Madagascar. I highly recommend him and suggest perhaps check him out, (you may already have) hehe.
His approach to laybins and clutches is quite unique, but I have amazing success with his ways.
Ofcourse I also get great info from Bill Strand, beeders and many people on this site, have great knowledge. Your safe here. Lol
I recommend to apply what makes sense.
My laybins are about 4-5 inches deep, in clear container, which are 4x6. I just leave it standing inside my girls ' enclosures on the bottom, with a plant planted inside it, for comfort and they like to lay against the roots. They will dig down so when they turn around only their head and neck stick out. I tried the huge n deep container once, my result was devastating, mom couldn't regain her strength and passed a few days after. Petr suggested aiming more towards how they do it in the wild, including leaving clutch connected, if possible. The clear container makes it super easy to locate the clutch.
Anyways just thought I'd put my 2 cents in😊
Hey thanks so much for the elaborate response and suggestions on gaining insight from some reputable and knowledgeable keepers. I had been perusing this forum for awhile and really enjoyed learning all the different aspects from everyone sharing here as well - it’s invaluable! I rescued my girl and she’s the most antisocial, secretive, always looking suspicious animal I’ve ever met…I FREAKING LOVE HER. So I went on a quest to educate myself so I could properly give her the best life in captivity possible. I will certainly follow the people you recommended and appreciate you and EVERYONE here who have answered so thoughtfully with their experiences and advice 🙏🏼 Thanks!!!
 
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