New baby chameleon advice

Pluto the Panther

New Member
Hi everyone!
I’m new here and wanted to post some photos of my lil guy and get some advice on what to do/to expect. I haven’t handled him yet, the photo is as I transferred him into his viv.

Advice:
• good handling foods?
• how to get him used to me
• how often to try hold him and when - in a week or so?

Background:
I have wanted a chameleon since I was 10 years old (I am now 22) and so after buying my first house I thought now was the time finally! So yesterday I got Pluto from a very reputable breeder my brother has known for years. He is a nose faly panther chameleon.

Today we have seen him eat quite a few times (locusts and crickets) which I’ve seen is a good sign, and we have also seen him drink. Once I’ve gone up to the enclosure and he has been a blue colour, however every other time he goes very dark when I am nearby. He has also gaped his mouth open at me a couple times.

I understand this is stress, however what can I do to help him settle in as I want to get it all right from the get go. Also how can I tame him whilst he’s still young as I would like him to be okay with handling. Are there any different foods (mealworms??) I could offer him by hand to make him more accustomed to me, as I’ve found it hard gripping onto locusts with tweezers for a long time.

Thank you!!
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum and the world of chameleons!

You said..."I understand this is stress, however what can I do to help him settle in as I want to get it all right from the get go

Also how can I tame him whilst he’s still young as I would like him to be okay with handling."...try not to be in his face all the time...give him time to settle in.

You said..."Are there any different foods (mealworms??) I could offer him by hand to make him more accustomed to me, as I’ve found it hard gripping onto locusts with tweezers for a long time"..small silkworms, small roaches, crickets, BSFL, etc.
Mealworms and waxworms and superworms should be used only once in a while IMHO.
 

Pluto the Panther

New Member
Welcome to the forum and the world of chameleons!

You said..."I understand this is stress, however what can I do to help him settle in as I want to get it all right from the get go

Also how can I tame him whilst he’s still young as I would like him to be okay with handling."...try not to be in his face all the time...give him time to settle in.

You said..."Are there any different foods (mealworms??) I could offer him by hand to make him more accustomed to me, as I’ve found it hard gripping onto locusts with tweezers for a long time"..small silkworms, small roaches, crickets, BSFL, etc.
Mealworms and waxworms and superworms should be used only once in a while IMHO.
Thank you kingyonga! I’ll make sure to give him space to settle in, I haven’t tried to handle him or anything. He has eaten and drunk water in front of us which seems like a big step already.

I’ll look into those foods as a once in a while food.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! Congrats on your first house and beautiful little chameleon. 🥳 I’ve always liked using silkworms for hand feeding, which is a great way to build trust and is a healthy feeder to give. You’ll want to avoid the use of tongs/tweezers for feeding. There have been too many accidental injuries to cham tongues, some of which have been serious. Using a feeding station is usually the best way to feed. There’s several different types available, or you can make your own. Here’s the one I like. https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery?variant=30018608595032 Here’s another type.https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/
Giving your little cutie plenty of time to settle in and get used to his new home and people is very important. Building up some trust with him will be important in helping make handling less stressful. Here’s a great blog on that. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/ Accepting the limits that they set is also important. Approaching slowly and from below will make a difference. For my cham who tolerates me, I gently slip my hand/fingers beneath her feet until she’s moved onto me. I keep moving slow and try to keep her at or above my eye level to help her feel safer. Of course there is always a yummy treat for positive reinforcement.
 

Pluto the Panther

New Member
Hi and welcome! Congrats on your first house and beautiful little chameleon. 🥳 I’ve always liked using silkworms for hand feeding, which is a great way to build trust and is a healthy feeder to give. You’ll want to avoid the use of tongs/tweezers for feeding. There have been too many accidental injuries to cham tongues, some of which have been serious. Using a feeding station is usually the best way to feed. There’s several different types available, or you can make your own. Here’s the one I like. https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery?variant=30018608595032 Here’s another type.https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/
Giving your little cutie plenty of time to settle in and get used to his new home and people is very important. Building up some trust with him will be important in helping make handling less stressful. Here’s a great blog on that. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/ Accepting the limits that they set is also important. Approaching slowly and from below will make a difference. For my cham who tolerates me, I gently slip my hand/fingers beneath her feet until she’s moved onto me. I keep moving slow and try to keep her at or above my eye level to help her feel safer. Of course there is always a yummy treat for positive reinforcement.
Hi, thanks so much for your response. I didn’t know that about tong feeding, I’ll make sure I avoid this from now on. I hadn’t heard of feeding stations, they look great, I’ll have a look into buying or making one of those - currently I prop the food (locusts and crickets) in the cage in a tub he can easily eat from however a lot of the crickets have been hiding at the bottom of the cage and we’ve had to transfer them back up to the top.

I just read that thread you linked at that is so helpful too!! The place near me sells wax worms so I will buy a tub when I next go, and use one a day to start to build that hand feeding trust - as I have been struggling with crickets and locusts which of course don’t sit still!

The fact Pluto has eaten many times with us watching makes me hope he will eat from my hand relatively quickly *fingers crossed*

Thanks for the advice!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do be careful not to offer too many treat feeders such as wax worms. If you can get dubia or discoid roaches, those are great alternatives to crickets. Cleaner, hold a gutload better, less able to escape, quieter and I believe a bit more nutritious than crickets. Here’s feeder and gutload graphics to help. I don’t specifically gutload. Instead I just keep my bugs well fed with a nutritious diet. Healthy bugs = healthy chameleon. :)
A feeding station can be as fancy as you want. Some/many just zip tie a plastic deli cup to a branch. Whatever works.

BA9AA851-0048-4A82-8BE9-17100758E256.jpeg
19D64B42-A2D1-46A9-A087-7EEEF8EF0D9B.jpeg
 

Pluto the Panther

New Member
Do be careful not to offer too many treat feeders such as wax worms. If you can get dubia or discoid roaches, those are great alternatives to crickets. Cleaner, hold a gutload better, less able to escape, quieter and I believe a bit more nutritious than crickets. Here’s feeder and gutload graphics to help. I don’t specifically gutload. Instead I just keep my bugs well fed with a nutritious diet. Healthy bugs = healthy chameleon. :)
A feeding station can be as fancy as you want. Some/many just zip tie a plastic deli cup to a branch. Whatever works.

View attachment 330898View attachment 330899
Yeah I will be careful to only feed treats on occasion as I saw in the thread they are quite high in fat. Thank you for that gutload information, I haven’t looked into that much yet. I also have a tub and half the lid opens up and I have been placing this on one of the levelled branches - would this be similar to a feeding station. This may be a silly question but surely a lot of the insects just jump out of the feeding stations? Thanks
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I will be careful to only feed treats on occasion as I saw in the thread they are quite high in fat. Thank you for that gutload information, I haven’t looked into that much yet. I also have a tub and half the lid opens up and I have been placing this on one of the levelled branches - would this be similar to a feeding station. This may be a silly question but surely a lot of the insects just jump out of the feeding stations? Thanks
If the tub works, that’s all you need for a feeding station. :) I use the shooting gallery and it does a pretty good job keeping the bugs contained. Rarely a cricket will figure out it can leap to freedom. On one of my cham’s stations I keep forgetting to add an extra tack at the center of the top as small roaches can slip thru. I can’t use for bsfl as they just squirm right thru the bottom no matter what I try.
 

Pluto the Panther

New Member
If the tub works, that’s all you need for a feeding station. :) I use the shooting gallery and it does a pretty good job keeping the bugs contained. Rarely a cricket will figure out it can leap to freedom. On one of my cham’s stations I keep forgetting to add an extra tack at the center of the top as small roaches can slip thru. I can’t use for bsfl as they just squirm right thru the bottom no matter what I try.
Ah I see, I’ll see how this tub goes, thanks for the advice regarding the feeding station! Didn’t realise this was what it was called :D
 

Pluto the Panther

New Member
Hi everyone!
I’m new here and wanted to post some photos of my lil guy and get some advice on what to do/to expect. I haven’t handled him yet, the photo is as I transferred him into his viv.

Advice:
• good handling foods?
• how to get him used to me
• how often to try hold him and when - in a week or so?

Background:
I have wanted a chameleon since I was 10 years old (I am now 22) and so after buying my first house I thought now was the time finally! So yesterday I got Pluto from a very reputable breeder my brother has known for years. He is a nose faly panther chameleon.

Today we have seen him eat quite a few times (locusts and crickets) which I’ve seen is a good sign, and we have also seen him drink. Once I’ve gone up to the enclosure and he has been a blue colour, however every other time he goes very dark when I am nearby. He has also gaped his mouth open at me a couple times.

I understand this is stress, however what can I do to help him settle in as I want to get it all right from the get go. Also how can I tame him whilst he’s still young as I would like him to be okay with handling. Are there any different foods (mealworms??) I could offer him by hand to make him more accustomed to me, as I’ve found it hard gripping onto locusts with tweezers for a long time.

Thank you!!
UPDATE:

Pluto has eaten about 6 crickets from our hands! He was coming right up to us, think he was a hungry boy. Hopefully will be a bit easier when I get a slower food
 

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