New cham owner, general questions abt feeding, behavior, etc.

gangi

New Member
hey everyone,
we just got our first cham, a veiled...about 3-4 months old. we have been feeding him small sized crickets...probably not the right size because they disappear and we can't tell if he has been eating them or not--he is very shy and doesn't really do too much if we are by the cage. we put out a small dish of mealworms, which he has yet to eat from (its been about a day)...the dish is right below where a bunch of vines meet, about 6 inches off the floor. should we try to hand feed the crickets to make sure he's eating, and/or keep putting worms in a dish for him? we also think he probably just needs some time to adjust; he's only been in this new cage for abt 3 days, so could he just need some more time to check things out and get comfortable in his new environment?

also, how many crickets and how often should we be feeding him? how many times a week should we dust the crickets? we are feeding them gutload..should we also be feeding the crix veggies, etc.? and what's the best way to actually feed the crickets...in a dish or just on the floor of their little cage? and i read somewhere that we can feed our cham collard greens...is that true? if so, what's the best way to feed them to him...chopped up, by hand, in a dish, etc...?

any veiled owners with any insight or answers to these questions...or any other general info abt owning veiled cham's, your input is greatly appreciated :)
thanks everyone,
ian & niko
venice beach, ca
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Ian and Niko,

How are you providing water for him?
Collards can just be twist tied to a vine or branch (pieces...not the whole leaf).
Don't offer too many meal worms, they can cause impaction and/or anal prolapse if fed in too great a quantity.
Do a search for feeders to see what other options you have for food.
Silkworms are one of my favorites for these guys!
Tell us about the enclosure and it's furnishings.
Pet stores give lots of bad info (don't know where you got him) but it's a good idea to give all the details on the forum and many will be happy to chime in and help out!

-Brad
 

gangi

New Member
brad,
here's some info about the enclosure:
18x18x12 (12" is the width)--only the back wall is glass, everything else is netted. there are lots of logs and vines for him to climb around on, and we also put in a lot of fake leaves...
we currently have the fountain with the misting system inside of it...but after reading different posts and many threads with users advising AGAINST the fountain, we decided to take it out (hopefully we can return it/use it for another pet). we want to put a live plant in the fountains place, so that there is more green leafy areas for him to hide in.--are there any plants you would recommend? to replace the fountain we bought the habba mist...which i also read can sometimes be a POS...but for now we think this is the best option because we aren't at home most of the day...so an automatic misting system seems best (we also have a manual drip system we set up). quick question about that though--when the cage is heavily misted, are the crickets/worms in the cage able to survive?
gangi doesn't really seem to be going for the mealworms--he has yet to eat any of them we put in the dish. next we will try silkworms, and i also read they like hornworms.
we were told to dust crickets only 1-2 times a week....are there any other multi vitamins/nutrition our cham should be getting regularly?

quick behavior question--have you ever seen a veiled cover their own eyes? today he was sitting there in his basking spot, and then after a little while he moved his left paw up to cover his left eye...and it almost seems like he is trying to cover his right eye with a leaf. any suggestions or anything you think this could mean?

again, thanks for all your help :) we love this forum!!
--ian & niko
 

gangi

New Member
one more general question---when we hand mist him, with a spray bottle on "mist", we do mist him directly? i've gotten mixed information on getting water in a cham's face...is it bad for them, or does it help them drink the water? it seems like every time i mist him directly (not up close, just a light mist on him), he moves from the spot he's at like he doesn't like it...! but we want him to be healthy and hydrated..we've never actually SEEN him drink or eat. any advice on how to know if he is? he's a healthy green color, just turns brown sometimes when he's on the vines. we will get a picture of him posted on here soon...we just want to give him a couple more days to adjust to his new home :)
 
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Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
At 3 to 4 months old there is no danger in misting him directly....they like it better if the water is warm (almost as hot as it comes out of the tap...it will cool in the air when misted) The danger here is when they are really small and could aspirate.
The best way to know if he is staying hydrated and fed is by checking his daily excrement... nice white moist urates with little to no yellow and nice solid, moist brown poo.
Check the safe plant list on this forum and remember to really wash whichever plant you get.
If you are cup feeding punch little holes in the bottom of the cup for drainage.
Most of the insects we feed will drown in a drop of water.
Did he cover his eye for a while or brush/scratch it? When they start to rub and scratch get ready for a shed. At this time as much extra hydration and hand misting you can manage will be beneficial.
With all water going into the enclosure, make sure things are timed so that there are dry out periods...you don't ever want it to stay wet.
Glad you researched the fountain and removed it.
My dusting schedule:
calcium without phos. or D3 : 3 or 4 times a week
Calcium with D3 : once a week to once every 10 days
Herptivite : twice a month
Vitamin A (preformed from gelcap) 1 tiny drop smeared on a silkworm twice a month (alternate w/ herptivite)
The Vit. A is a bit controversial and you may want to do a bit of your own research before starting it.
Also provide him with collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion (one, any or all of these)

-Brad
 
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Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy Ian and Niko,

A welcome to a fellow local keeper! I tossed you a note in the "Private Message" section so don't miss it :).
 
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