My free range setup

DeviousMike

New Member
I heard free ranging will calm down a nasty chameleon so I decided to have a small area for this guy to hang out in for a couple of hours a day when I'm around to watch. I have a 5 foot ficus and a pothos hanging above that. I'm using a Powersun 100w Mercury vapor UVB lamp as lighting about 2 feet away from the setup so it's not too warm. I put my amibole on the artificial vine and he sat there for a few minutes and then hid inside the ficus. He was nasty when I transported him but now he seems to be in his calm colors. I hope this works hehe.

Here's a couple of snapshots of the setup.



 

DeviousMike

New Member
I let my amibole stay in the free range for a little over 30 minutes then I went to go bring him back to his cage. He was curled up a little since it is getting dark. But the unexpected thing is that I put my glove on and put my hand under him and no biting! I slipped my hand under him and he came right on. His colors stayed bright, as if he were just calm. When I brought him to his cage, he got darker. I guess this free ranging stuff works!
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
No animal likes to be caged. Chameleons are made to climb and live in trees not live in a four foot high cage. He will be much happier free. You are off to a good start with your free range.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
My mean chameleons have never become super docile, but they did noticibly relax around me, they don't run for the hills when they see me now. I still can't hold them with my bare hands but they let me get within inches of them without fuss. So I also hold to the opinion that they might have less stress gneerally if they don't think that they're caged in.

Good luck with your guy! The free range looks good!
 

Cainschams

New Member
My mean chameleons have never become super docile, but they did noticibly relax around me, they don't run for the hills when they see me now. I still can't hold them with my bare hands but they let me get within inches of them without fuss. So I also hold to the opinion that they might have less stress gneerally if they don't think that they're caged in.

Good luck with your guy! The free range looks good!
I dont think you can "tame" all of them like you have mentioned. I think all of the "free ranging will make your chameleons love you" threads and posts have givin false hopes. If the animal doesnt like you its not going to like you. Does a free range make for a happier cham? I am sure it does especially the larger species confined to the suggested cage sizes for them.

Although, kinda funny and scary at the same time which also means they can be just as happy in a good cage. It was warm yesterday and today so I put a few lizards outside yesterday morning. Well, sometimes I only latch one of the cage latches when inside (laziness maybe). I took the animals outside, watered them and left for work. It was windy and somehow I must have unlatched one of the latches bringing the cage outside. The wind blew the door open. When I got of work hours later the one cage door was wide open!!! Im like, OH NO:eek: I look in there and the animal was still in there. Very Lucky!!!

Morals of the story. Double check everything when animals are outside. Also, providing the right sized cage and right micro environment will make for just as happy as a cham as a free range. It was proven in this instance where the animal had full roam of my yard, city, state, country, continent and world but he chose to stay in his cage regardless.

The free range looks good but dont expect it to make your cham want to be held. Bright colors do not mean relaxed either and can also mean stress just as dark colors can. Also, its AMBILOBE not amibole;)
 
Your free range area looks good and I'm sure your cham will enjoy exploring it on his own. Each chameleon is an individual and should be treated as such. With time, yours may become 'friendly' and not mind being handled, and he may not. I have had great success free ranging multiple species. Some took longer (months) to recognize me as no threat and others were very quick (days to a couple of weeks) to see me as OK. 6 out of 7 of my free rangers are very easy going with no problems being handled. The 7th is new to free ranging and is quite the little monster. These are my results and not necessarily going to be yours.

When I introduce a chameleon to a new free range, I leave their entire cage setup. Lights, plants, everything just the same. I open the cage door and use a vine leading out into a free range area. Then I leave them to explore on their own. They can easily go back to their cage that they know is safe anytime they want to.
 

DeviousMike

New Member
He didn't bite me when I tOok him away from the free range so I'm a little optimistic. But I'm also realistic and understand it won't be a complete 180
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
all my chameleons are super friendly. love to be held, even by strangers.
they almost never, ever fire up. they love their homes...you know, cages.
all of mine have cages. otherwise, I'd have lots of rapage going on. :eek:

they could not be happier, as they each have a safe and secure place to live and as a result, are calm and never agressive. they do love to use me as a taxi when I do take them out. yet they could never have such a great home outside a cage unless I dedicate a room for each chameleon I have...anyone wana donate a 10 bedroom house so I can free range? :p

if no animal likes to be in a cage, then why keep them locked up in your house and not free range them outside? keeping them in your house is just as bad as a cage...we can go there if anyone wants to. :rolleyes:

Harry
 

DeviousMike

New Member
Here is today's update. Looks like he's settled into his basking spot on the pothos plant. Though I fed him some crickets before moving him, he has an eye on his feeding jug with a few silks, butters and a hornworm in there.

 

DeviousMike

New Member
It might be a little early for a verdict but I'm going to say this is helping his attitude a lot. He goes to bite me when I moved him this morning to the free range from his cage but after 2 hours or so on the free range I went to handle him. Some resistance but no biting. It's inconclusive but promising.

Pic update!
 

DeviousMike

New Member
Took this picture. He shies away from the camera in his cage. On his free range he let me get a couple of inches away to take it. He puffed up a little but this is marked improvement.

 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I don't ever suggest that free ranging will tame all chameleons, but like I mentioned, with my two meanest chameleons there's a visible relaxation with them. They still don't like me by any means, but because they aren't cornered (and more "vulnerable" to whatever it is I have to do t them/their cage) I think they feel less horrified by me. I can easily be standing a food away from my biggest meanie, Cerberus, and he'll continue walking around or watching me like there's no problem. And this is a huge improvement from the animal that would freak out by the mear sight of me! Most importantly to me a few of mine that were on the small end for their size have grown leaps and bounds, perhaps due to the added physical activity. Whether what we observe is conclusive or correlated, at least we're happy thinking that our animals are having a good time :D

Good luck and have fun watching him walk around! I think chameleons are 100x more interesting when given enough space to really do what they do.
 

DeviousMike

New Member
It's amzaing to me how I just started this yesterday and differences in attitude are already apparent. I'm not so much trying to tame him as I am trying to calm him a bit so handling doesn't have to be so stressful on both ends. And he does seem calmer in that tree!
 
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