Laying bin ignored?

LoneBridger

Member
249670

Above image is a flower pot with topsoil and cocoa fiber substrate. Below is paper towel I change every two days. My Panther has been ignoring the pot and going to the paper towel layer to my knowledge. Not even sure what goes on in there besides the usual basking hiding and eating. Don’t even know if she has eggs ready. I would probably feel or see them right on her belly right? Any easy way to make this cage better from experts? Gonna revamp the inside to be cleaner on water seeping through everywhere.
 

LoneBridger

Member
249710
249711

this is my girl
249712

this is her space. Filled with 3 different thickness of vines, one cherrywood stick, fake plants up top to drip water from the mist king, one pot with cocoa fiber and topsoil with live plant below. Paper towel used for easy cleanups.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Give her a larger space and more coverage so she can hide. She might be going to the very bottom to try to dig and hide more.

When mona laid she ignored the lay bin and used a potted plant instead.
 
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LoneBridger

Member
Very informative video! I’ve seen it once before when I got her and that’s when I put the pot of soil inside. Maybe a bigger pot and some rework of her environment would help. Would adding plastic leaves all around the mesh screen cage help?
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Very informative video! I’ve seen it once before when I got her and that’s when I put the pot of soil inside. Maybe a bigger pot and some rework of her environment would help. Would adding plastic leaves all around the mesh screen cage help?
I'd go with real plants.

Cover the bottom half of the cage too for privacy for her.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I personally use a 50/50 sand and soil mix. Some people add a rock or two, I personally have not. I do like to put smaller plants in the lay bin... such as bromeliads or a "bonsai" ficus, small money tree, etc. It gives them some privacy and they tend to dig by the plant [if they use the bin].

I've had them use the bin, plant pot, cage floor, or some of each. I've tried vermiculite, soil, sand, jungle mix, and combinations of those... I find the sand/soil is closest to what we have naturally occurring here in FL (and similarly in Madagascar), plus the sand/soil keeps it from holding too much water. Also, straight soil tends to be more difficult to dig, straight sand is harder to get a tunnel.

I also tend to put up a pillowcase or pieces of cardboard around her laybin so there are no direct sightlines.

This is my experiences and observations. Best of luck!
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
So changing to play sand and topsoil might help encourage her to dig in the pot?
You can try a 50/50 mix of sand and topsoil but, mine seem to prefer around 30/70 or 40/ 60 mix at most. Like @AnamCara all of my females ignored their "designated" laybins in favor of plant pots. I hid 2 gallon buckets amongst the pots but they still chose the plant pots lol. Try to find a umbrella bush, as "fluffy" and full as you can at Lowe's, theirs seem to be fuller then home depot most of the time. Make sure the root ball is solid (aka very healthy and fills the pot) then bury it so the top of the root ball is even with the top of the dirt in your pot in your pics. They love hiding the eggs right around/ in, occasionally completely under, the root ball.

Edit: @LoneBridger is she still eating normally or has she slowed/ stopped eating already?
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
Eating just the same as always, starting to slow with the cold weather outside. Eating schedule has been very consistent and no rejected feeders yet
Then she's likely not quite ready. They'll usually slow down/ stop eating right before they lay. I've had one that ate all the way to the day she laid but if they slow to a few feeders or stop eating I know mine are about to lay. Mine usually start their test holes around the first self induced slow down on feeders and typically within the week of that starting that they've laid. Is this her first clutch with you?
 

LoneBridger

Member
Then she's likely not quite ready. They'll usually slow down/ stop eating right before they lay. I've had one that ate all the way to the day she laid but if they slow to a few feeders or stop eating I know mine are about to lay. Mine usually start their test holes around the first self induced slow down on feeders and typically within the week of that starting that they've laid. Is this her first clutch with you?
It is her first clutch with me, I don’t believe she’s over a year old yet but I was hoping to postpone this stressful event for another few months at least but if it starts approaching that time I will make sure that she finds privacy
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is her first clutch with me, I don’t believe she’s over a year old yet but I was hoping to postpone this stressful event for another few months at least but if it starts approaching that time I will make sure that she finds privacy
Gotcha, first one can be stressful for sure lol. Offer her extra calcium dusted feeders and extra water opportunities for a week or so after. I usually do 3/ 5 feeders a day for a week after then shift back to regular feeding schedule.
 

LoneBridger

Member
UPDATE!!!
Her eating is slowing! It takes her 5 minutes to finish one dusted feeder! I just changed my pot to play sand and soil for her and hope it helps encourage digging! Watering extra by hand. She’s running away from and ignoring feeders today! I’m preparing for those eggs so any help other than good observation and privacy for her.
 

LoneBridger

Member
UPDATE:
Changed enclosure pot to sand and topsoil. Will hang a curtain around the enclosure to provide privacy for the next few days. Thanks for all the help
 
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