New Baby Veiled Chameleon not eating

Thorcita

New Member
got a female baby veiled chameleon. It's my first time. I got it a reptile place and they told me "they didn't need a lot of care", but I went ahead and did my own research. I focused a lot on the humidity, giving it 3 sources, a mister twice a day, a fogger on and off at night and a dripper on and off (because it was flooding my enclosure). I have all live plants (except for a leave-less vine and I only just know introduced a fake plant only near the door for more privacy. UVB light and Basking light with thermometers in several areas.

I got her last Saturday (exactly a week ago). In this time I saw her pee and poop once. My concern is that she is not eating regularly. I have small mealworms, small crickets and waxworks in case she is really picky, but the bugs remain in the bowl. Handfeeding doesn't seem to be the way to go at all. I THINK a cricket or two might have been eaten? Or maybe they are hiding. How can I make sure she is eating or why is she not eating? Shall I worry? Do they need more time to get used to their enclosure?

I must add that yes, I picked her up 2 times, because I needed to rearrange something in the enclosure and I didn't want to risk her being hurt. The handling was minimum and then back to her enclosure. She also doesn't move much. Sometimes she does, suddenly she is near the basking light and that's cool, but the spends all day there even till the lights go out. Maybe she goes to another branch and she can be there for what seems like days. Is this normal?

Something I started noticing is that the skin is starting to crack, could it be she's not eating because she is shedding?

I would love any kind of input from your experience with baby vailed chameleons.

Thank you
 

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Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can you post a photo of he back feet? Just to be sure that it’s a female. Can she see whats in the bowl? Maybe she is not noticing the food actually. You should nit be too stressed out because she pooped and you have her only for a week so she is still scared and getting used to her new surroundings.
 

Thorcita

New Member
This is probably the most difficult part of all. There is conflicting information everywhere!

I got my VC from a reptile place, and the person recommended veiled over Jackson's and panthers because they "come from a place more similar to ours in California". Having heard that Veiled are a little bit more cranky, I wanted a Jackson, but also I knew that they all have different personalities. This same person recomended a Reptisun 10.0 UVB and a blue 40w light. I also got a mesh small for right now enclosure and I filled it up with vines and natural plants. The person at the store said they didn't need too much humidity.

Of course I did my own research and I came to the conclusion that a mister twice a day when lights are off, an intermittent fogger at night to keep humidity levels high at night (I live in souther california and it's naturally dry in here) and an on and off dripper to encourage drinking were appropriate. Another forum told me my set up was all wrong, the light will hurt her retinas, the UVB will cause sun damage and I should switch them for a 100w white and a T5, which I did. They also told me to put drinking bowls, but every single piece of info I read about them is that they do not drink from bowls, but rather from moving water. So I am confused.

For the food, I put a transparent/green half sphere bowl attached to a branch, I put small crickets, small mealworms and a waxworm so she'd have to choose. I also put some green on the bottom one time. Some bugs have disappeared and I have found 1 poop and 1 pee, so I can't say for sure that she hasn't eaten ANYTHING, but the bugs might also be in the plants, who knows. The recommended the milk jug diy feeder and I just did my own version of it, so see if it helps.

I got her exactly a week ago. She is very chill and while I try to avoid handling her, I had to do it twice to improve the enclosure. She seemed fine, looked everywhere one and the other time she was climbing on my arm. Also in this other forum they said "handling is good so she will get used to you!" but all Have read is that they get very stressed out when handled. I WISH I could get her used to me since she is little but I understand this is not the case.

Temperature levels are around 70+F during the day and the basking spot is ~82/85F. At night I wish I could say I can lower the temperature a lot more, but for now the temperature doesn't go down a lot. Hopefully winter will help me with this. Humidity during the day is around 40/50%. At night it goes up with the fogger and the misters, I'm not sure by how much, but at least 70%.

One detail that I don't know if I say is that she seems to have cracked skin, so maybe she is shedding? Her eyes are nor sunken.

So far I do think that it is the stress of the new environment, but I want to try to grab as much information as possible because some of it is confusing.

I appreciate you guys' help
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Most of us here only use a 60 watt white light basking bulb, either halogen or incandescent. The blue reptile bulbs really aren’t good for their eyes. The fogger shouldn’t be used unless you can get her night time temps below 67 because warm humid air is a recipe for a respiratory infection. You want cool humid air at night. What size crickets are you feeding? She looks like she should be taking pinhead crickets or possible one week old crickets because she’s tiny. These should be gutloaded before feeding them off with greens, veggies, and a little fruit. Mealworms and wax worms should only be fed once in awhile because they’re high in fat content. It really would be awesome if you could fill out the “how to ask for help” form. It’s located at the top of the health clinic page. Just fill it out and paste it here. It will help us help you if we can see your complete information on your sweet baby.
 

Jd3nn21

Member
Hey. Ok I actually have some information for you. I just recently got my first veiled chameleon three weeks ago, and let me tell you about my experience. So when I first got him during the first week, I was so stressed out, probably as much as the chameleon himself. So, after the first week my chameleon started to get settled, he even shed. So it just takes time, also a way to make sure she is eating is to go hide and watch the chameleon from a distance when you put the food in, I've had the luck many times watching my chameleon eat and it's really something. But you have to make sure you are at a distance
 

Jd3nn21

Member
This is probably the most difficult part of all. There is conflicting information everywhere!

I got my VC from a reptile place, and the person recommended veiled over Jackson's and panthers because they "come from a place more similar to ours in California". Having heard that Veiled are a little bit more cranky, I wanted a Jackson, but also I knew that they all have different personalities. This same person recomended a Reptisun 10.0 UVB and a blue 40w light. I also got a mesh small for right now enclosure and I filled it up with vines and natural plants. The person at the store said they didn't need too much humidity.

Of course I did my own research and I came to the conclusion that a mister twice a day when lights are off, an intermittent fogger at night to keep humidity levels high at night (I live in souther california and it's naturally dry in here) and an on and off dripper to encourage drinking were appropriate. Another forum told me my set up was all wrong, the light will hurt her retinas, the UVB will cause sun damage and I should switch them for a 100w white and a T5, which I did. They also told me to put drinking bowls, but every single piece of info I read about them is that they do not drink from bowls, but rather from moving water. So I am confused.

For the food, I put a transparent/green half sphere bowl attached to a branch, I put small crickets, small mealworms and a waxworm so she'd have to choose. I also put some green on the bottom one time. Some bugs have disappeared and I have found 1 poop and 1 pee, so I can't say for sure that she hasn't eaten ANYTHING, but the bugs might also be in the plants, who knows. The recommended the milk jug diy feeder and I just did my own version of it, so see if it helps.

I got her exactly a week ago. She is very chill and while I try to avoid handling her, I had to do it twice to improve the enclosure. She seemed fine, looked everywhere one and the other time she was climbing on my arm. Also in this other forum they said "handling is good so she will get used to you!" but all Have read is that they get very stressed out when handled. I WISH I could get her used to me since she is little but I understand this is not the case.

Temperature levels are around 70+F during the day and the basking spot is ~82/85F. At night I wish I could say I can lower the temperature a lot more, but for now the temperature doesn't go down a lot. Hopefully winter will help me with this. Humidity during the day is around 40/50%. At night it goes up with the fogger and the misters, I'm not sure by how much, but at least 70%.

One detail that I don't know if I say is that she seems to have cracked skin, so maybe she is shedding? Her eyes are nor sunken.

So far I do think that it is the stress of the new environment, but I want to try to grab as much information as possible because some of it is confusing.

I appreciate you guys' help
Also how did you get your chameleon to sit on your hand like that, was that before you put the baby in the cage for the first time
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Count how many bugs you put in your feeder run and leave her be. When you come back to check later count how may are left. Then you know how many she ate.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
I definitely wouldn't not use 100watt. Just 60,65, 70watt is all you need. With 100 watt your risking thermal burn, and many other issues
 

Thorcita

New Member
Hey. Ok I actually have some information for you. I just recently got my first veiled chameleon three weeks ago, and let me tell you about my experience. So when I first got him during the first week, I was so stressed out, probably as much as the chameleon himself. So, after the first week my chameleon started to get settled, he even shed. So it just takes time, also a way to make sure she is eating is to go hide and watch the chameleon from a distance when you put the food in, I've had the luck many times watching my chameleon eat and it's really something. But you have to make sure you are at a distance
I actually wanted to put a camera, because I haven't had luck yet. I mean, the bugs have disappeared... but I don't know if they are hiding in the plants. Crickets, especially, tend to not stay put, so I don't think so, but she seems to be hanging out on the same spot all the time, so I don't see how she would have eaten them. But maybe they went near her and she did? I think I am going to let her be without doing ANYTHING to her enclosure, more than putting food and try to see what happens. Thank you so much for your info, I know she must be stressed out, but I am probably 1000% more stressed haha
 

Thorcita

New Member
Count how many bugs you put in your feeder run and leave her be. When you come back to check later count how may are left. Then you know how many she ate.
Well, I've tried this and I even changed the place where I put the bugs. The problem is that they might crawl out and then I wouldn't know. I have a bare bottom, but I have quite a few plants. I'd say that over this past week, I put at least 10 crickets total, 2 o 3 waxwoms and 5 or 6 mealworms. The mealworms could be bury in the plants. The crickets could be hiding but I don't think they would. They could have died too, but 10 of them, I should have found some, no? So I am hoping that I am overreacting and she is eating when I am not looking and it's all good. And in general I would think that's the case, but like I said before, my suspicion is that she doesn't move around the cage, she seems to always stay in the same spot. Again, she is shedding, so, being this my first chameleon I don't know how that plays out, but it could be the reason?
 

Thorcita

New Member
I definitely wouldn't not use 100watt. Just 60,65, 70watt is all you need. With 100 watt your risking thermal burn, and many other issues
I changed it to a 75, the only reason I did 100 is because the light is a little taller than the screen and otherwise I wasn't reaching basking temps. I will try to keep on monitoring this up close
 

Jd3nn21

Member
I actually wanted to put a camera, because I haven't had luck yet. I mean, the bugs have disappeared... but I don't know if they are hiding in the plants. Crickets, especially, tend to not stay put, so I don't think so, but she seems to be hanging out on the same spot all the time, so I don't see how she would have eaten them. But maybe they went near her and she did? I think I am going to let her be without doing ANYTHING to her enclosure, more than putting food and try to see what happens. Thank you so much for your info, I know she must be stressed out, but I am probably 1000% more stressed haha
Yes I was definitely more stressed than the chameleon. I just didn't want to let it die 🤣 give it time. Remember your chameleon just got moved to a brand new environment, imagine being picked up and taken to a place you never knew where people dont speak your language, on top of being SUPER STRESSED you would have to adapt and learn the lingo, same goes for your chameleon. Hes going to be ok, just give it time, and the best life possible and you are going to be ok. Someone told me to trust that your research is right, and that quote calmed me! Trust the process you got this!! And were all here to help you!
 

Thorcita

New Member
Most of us here only use a 60 watt white light basking bulb, either halogen or incandescent. The blue reptile bulbs really aren’t good for their eyes. The fogger shouldn’t be used unless you can get her night time temps below 67 because warm humid air is a recipe for a respiratory infection. You want cool humid air at night. What size crickets are you feeding? She looks like she should be taking pinhead crickets or possible one week old crickets because she’s tiny. These should be gutloaded before feeding them off with greens, veggies, and a little fruit. Mealworms and wax worms should only be fed once in awhile because they’re high in fat content. It really would be awesome if you could fill out the “how to ask for help” form. It’s located at the top of the health clinic page. Just fill it out and paste it here. It will help us help you if we can see your complete information on your sweet baby.
I changed it, but I will keep on looking at temps and maybe go even lower. The blue is out, thanks for the explanation! I am not a big fan of the fogger in general, but I am in desperation of avoiding dehydration. She has every single way of getting water, but I don't see her move much now. Also the dripping was making a mess, so I stopped it for a little bit right now. She doesn't look dehydrated to me and the only rate I saw was decently white. But since I don't know if she is drinking, I thought getting a good humidity at night would help with this. The ambient temp at my house is around 70, maybe a little less. I don't know how to lower her temp at night. I had that fans are no good, is there any other way?

The crickets are the smallest I could get at the pet store (baby crickets?) I do gutload them. The worms are my second resource, and I used them because I have them available for my other reptiles, to see if she would eat anything other than crickets. I will find the form you told me and fill it out asap.

Thank you for your help!!
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
What size crickets are you feeding her? She’s so small. I would think she’d need pinhead crickets or 1 week old crickets at the largest.
 

Thorcita

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Female Veiled Chameleon. I don't know the exact age, it was sold as "baby" at the reptile place. Could I estimate based on her length? I got her on September 4, 2021 (a week and a day on my care as of today)
  • Handling - I know they shouldn't be handled. Since I made adjustments to the enclosure, I handled her 3 times and placed it in a sunny spot, supervised, while I was working on the enclosure. I made her walk to my hand, very gentling poking her from behind and while I still don't know chameleons body language and she is a baby, she seemed pretty ok.
  • Feeding - I am trying different things. The smallest crickets I could find at the pet store, the smallest mealworms I am breeding, and a few waxwoms in case she is picky. I put some greens also but they were untouched. I sprinkled calcium with no D3 on top. I put the food every day, some days I took them out at night uneaten. Some of them dissapeared, I don't know is they were eaten or not, I can't find them in the enclosure but she seems to be standing in the same spot. I gut load all my feeders (I have more reptiles). The amount varies because I am trying to see if she eats. around 2 crickets and 2 mealworms per feed.
  • Supplements - Feeding is new, because she is new. But I have Flukers Calcium without D3 for everyday and Exo Terra multi for once a week.
  • Watering - I have never seen her drink. I have misters that go off twice a day, when lights are off and a fogger on and off at night. I have bowls with water (another forum recommended this, but I know they usually don't drink from static water) so I have a dripper that I turn on and off otherwise it floods my enclosure (it's bare at the bottom with some plants hanging). Humidity levels seem pretty fine (<50 during the day, >60 at night, but my concern it that temps don't go down as they should at night and they are rarely under 70F)
  • Fecal Description - Not tested for parasite. I only saw one fecal and it seemed normal. Urate was mostly white.
  • History - I am new to chameleons so I will have a lot of questions. She is a baby and the only info I can give is that she seems to be shedding. I'd love to show more pictures of this, but I don't want to go and disturb her with my camera. Eventually when I feed, I will try doing so.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Mesh Cage. It's small for now, because she is a baby. 18 18 24.
  • Lighting - Zilla Slimline Desert 50 UVB T8. 75 incandescent white light. 12hs schedule, from 7am to 7pm.
  • Temperature - Cage floor is ~ 71F. Basking spot is around 82F. The lowest overnight I've seen was 71 (but it was early after the light were off so I am not sure) I have 3 temps and one that goes to my phone.
  • Humidity - ~50% during the day, ~70/80% at night. I have a digital one, an analog one and one that sends info to my phone. Create humidity with twice a day mister, fogger and maintain with all live plants (most of them in water)
  • Plants - Yes. Pothos, Strings of bananas, And a few more I can't remember the name. Most of them have their roots in water, the tree and another one are in organic soil covered with rocks.
  • Placement - The cage is in the living room. It's not a very trafficked area. It's not near fans or air vents. It is 2-3 ft from floor.
  • Location - Souther California

Current Problem - New Chameleon. I am not sure she is eating.
 
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