My chameleon won’t eat

I got a baby veiled a little over a week ago, and he refuses to eat his crickets! I recently placed an order for worms and roaches and larvae so hopefully he eats those. But in the mean time, any help on how to force feed? He needs to eat, he’s too skinny…….
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Force feeding should be a last resort...it's too stressful IMHO to do unless there is no other option.

What is the temperature in the cage?
How big are the insects you are offering your chameleon?
 

Tonyww93

Established Member
My guy refuses to eat hawk moths but will eat about anything else, plant included.. think he thinks they are friends or something lol have two thats been chilling in his cage with him for over a week😂
 
Force feeding should be a last resort...it's too stressful IMHO to do unless there is no other option.

What is the temperature in the cage?
How big are the insects you are offering your chameleon?
the temperature during the day is around 75 and his basking area is in the high 80s/low 90s. The crickets are small as well as the other insects due to how small he is!
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
the temperature during the day is around 75 and his basking area is in the high 80s/low 90s. The crickets are small as well as the other insects due to how small he is!
Your temps are far too hot for him. Basking should be no hotter than 80...
When you say they are small how big is small? 1/4 inch?
What are you using for UVB lighting?
 

Tonyww93

Established Member
The feeders shouldnt be larger than the width of its eyes might be part of your problem you can also try pulling off the back legs and placing one on the back of your hand to introduce hand feeding. They rely on movment to cause stimulus for eating.. if your using dried food get a vibrating cup feeder.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
The feeders shouldnt be larger than the width of its eyes might be part of your problem you can also try pulling off the back legs and placing one on the back of your hand to introduce hand feeding. They rely on movment to cause stimulus for eating.. if your using dried food get a vibrating cup feeder.
We actually do not recommend dried feeders... Just for the fact that they can not be gutloaded and that they do not have any moisture content.
 

Tonyww93

Established Member
Great idea on the vibrating cup though lol but yeah just steer people away from dead feeders all together.
Personally ive never used them, but ive seen them and done some reading on them i think they are more geard for beardies and lizards along that nature anyways. I normally let my crickets or hoppers roam so they can "hunt" then use a shooting gallery for roaches, along with a cup for superworms/hornworms.. havent attempted any mantis yet mainly cuz the cost, but my guy will go for dragonflies anyday of the week when i get them
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Personally ive never used them, but ive seen them and done some reading on them i think they are more geard for beardies and lizards along that nature anyways. I normally let my crickets or hoppers roam so they can "hunt" then use a shooting gallery for roaches, along with a cup for superworms/hornworms.. havent attempted any mantis yet mainly cuz the cost, but my guy will go for dragonflies anyday of the week when i get them
We have a few people that buy the mantis ootheca's they end up putting them into the cage and letting them hatch out. I just think they are too cute to feed off lol.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
The temperature could be a big part of why your chameleon isn't eating. That basking temperature might lead to dehydration too.
Is he pooping? What color are the urates?
 
Your temps are far too hot for him. Basking should be no hotter than 80...
When you say they are small how big is small? 1/4 inch?
What are you using for UVB lighting?
oh wow! thank you so much for the info. i use the reptisun T5 HO uvb for him and then a compact basking lamp for heat. should i switch?
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
oh wow! thank you so much for the info. i use the reptisun T5 HO uvb for him and then a compact basking lamp for heat. should i switch?
No T5Ho is correct. What bulb strength are you using for UVB and what is the distance from the bottom of the fixture to the branch?

Heat should be a standard incandescent white light bulb 60 watt will easily get temps of 80.

How big are the crickets? in measured inch?
 
The temperature could be a big part of why your chameleon isn't eating. That basking temperature might lead to dehydration too.
Is he pooping? What color are the urates?
he is! they are white with a bit of a yellow tint. i also soak him a few times a week in lukewarm water to keep him hydrated. i usually don’t handle him but the vet suggested in case he wasn’t drinking to soak
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
he is! they are white with a bit of a yellow tint. i also soak him a few times a week in lukewarm water to keep him hydrated. i usually don’t handle him but the vet suggested in case he wasn’t drinking to soak
No soaking the chameleon. This is actually very stressful for them and does not help. They are not like other reptiles that need baths. Chameleons do not hydrate through the skin like that. They drink from their plants leaves and surfaces after you mist them down really well. Unfortunately many vets are not well versed in chameleon husbandry and give entirely wrong information.
 
The feeders shouldnt be larger than the width of its eyes might be part of your problem you can also try pulling off the back legs and placing one on the back of your hand to introduce hand feeding. They rely on movment to cause stimulus for eating.. if your using dried food get a vibrating cup feeder.
No T5Ho is correct. What bulb strength are you using for UVB and what is the distance from the bottom of the fixture to the branch?

Heat should be a standard incandescent white light bulb 60 watt will easily get temps of 80.

How big are the crickets? in measured inch?
10.0 UVB, 24-watt. i set the hood right on top of the roof of the cage so the distance from the bottom of the fixture to the first branch i would guess is a few inches. however, he usually hangs a little lower and basks where the sun from the window hits him. i should probably get a new heating lamp though since his is a 60 watt blue compact bulb which might be way too hot and is not the white iridescent like you suggested. hope this makes sense!
 
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