New Chameleon Owner, Need some advice! What should I do to start taming?

GardenChameleon

New Member
I am a new Chameleon owner. But I've owned various reptiles for years. From turtles, bearded dragons, geckos and Iguanas to now my new Chameleon. I have had my Juvinile Veiled Chameleon Randal for about 3 Weeks now. The first 2 weeks I had a largescale Vivarium change so I let him get reajusted. I didnt attempt to hold him. So this week I started trying because know I have to start handling him soon. I was able to yesterday, with a little luck by sliding under him and gently pulling away. To which he wasnt extatic, but it worked. Today he full scale ran. Should I take break days, Wait a while till he fully registers im the food truck or should I keep trying. I dont want to chase him around his vivarium or pull him cause thatll just cause him stress. Though he hasn't hissed at me, I still am unsure How I should approach this. Any advice would help!


Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?)
What are the dimensions? L36 x W36 x H48 all screen enclosure

Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0 T5 uvb Fluorescent Lamp with a 12 hour light schedule, Red heat lamp at night (9AM-9PM).

Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Overall room temp is 70 degrees. Basking spot is 85-90 degrees, mid cage 80-75 degrees, and bottom of cage 65-70 degrees. Lowest overnight temp 50-60 degrees. I use a digital thermometer and a picture thermometer.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? 50-70% humidity levels at all times, mist his cage regularly 2-3 times a day. I use a humidity monitor (non digital)

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I do use real plants, I have a dwarf Hawaiian umbrella plant and fake vines/ branches.

Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? It is in the corner of the living room, plenty of traffic and air. Mostly drafts. It is not very quiet. Fairly lose to the floor the cage is only 4 feet tall.

Location - Where are you geographically located? Northern CA.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Juvenile (unspecified by pet store) male Veiled Chameleon. In my care for about three weeks.

Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I put him in his cage the first day I purchased him. I had to change cages once, needed to give him more space. Handled him once then. Yesterday I held him for 15 minutes. Today no such luck.

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Mealworms at first but he didn’t eat them, Then Crickets (medium sized) gutloaded with Flukers high-calcium cricket diet. I feed him bout 6-10 a day in the morning after misting his vivarium, so about 10:30am id say. I usually hand feed with the bowl.

Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Repticalcium 2x a week and Reptivite Multivitamin 1x a week.

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I mist 2-3 times a day for 2 mins. He also drinks from the leaves and the dripper daily.

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Poops every day Black with white/yellow, sometimes dark brown. No he has not been tested.

History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you? There was nothing notified from the pet store besides that he had been there for quite some time. He was juvenile and that they couldn’t even identify his gender. I was able to but only from books. They said he had one previous checkup before I had bought him.

Current Problem - The current problem that you are concerned about. He is scared of me. I have not been able to handle him or get close enough to start taming him. He will eat out of my hand (through the feeder bowl) and he’s okay when I mist his cage, but when I place my hand under to coax him into it he runs the other direction. I know I have to tame him young, and I'm not scared of getting bit. I just don’t want to put too much stress. How should I begin taming him?


Theres Also Pictures of his vivarium and him attached to this thread. (sorry for the messy corner)

Any advice helps!!!

Sincerely Thankful,
GardenChameleon
IMG_2097.jpgIMG_2098.jpgIMG_2106.PNG
 

cloverthechameleon

Avid Member
They dont really enjoy being handled ever. Only time i ever handle is if im moving to outside cages or if i need to do a deep clean or something a long those lines. Dont expect to handle your chameleon very often. What you can do is hand feed to build trust. Hold the feeder insects with tongs or bare hand and hold steady about a foot away from the chameleon. Some will get used to this quickly, some will take months and some will also never tolerate you in their space, each chameleon is grumpy in its on unique way. Please read up on chameleon nutrition and supplementation. Multi vitamin should be used once every 2 weeks, plain calcium every feeding, calcium with d3 also once every 2 weeks. Id check if your calcium is with d3 or without. Cut the meal worms out of his diet. fill that enclosure with many more plants and sticks. You want your chameleon to be able to hide so they can feel secure.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey there and welcome! Definetley take a gander at Beman's blog -- I also recommend listening to the Chameleon Breeder podcast.

I would highly recommend adding more linear branches to that cage -- making sure a basking branch is about 7 inches below the basking light, and much more foliage. Chameleons love to have places to hide in their enclosures. He feels naked and seen! It will take a long time to build trust. I'll let a more experienced yemen keeper go through the fine details with your form.
 

GardenChameleon

New Member
They dont really enjoy being handled ever. Only time i ever handle is if im moving to outside cages or if i need to do a deep clean or something a long those lines. Dont expect to handle your chameleon very often. What you can do is hand feed to build trust. Hold the feeder insects with tongs or bare hand and hold steady about a foot away from the chameleon. Some will get used to this quickly, some will take months and some will also never tolerate you in their space, each chameleon is grumpy in its on unique way. Please read up on chameleon nutrition and supplementation. Multi vitamin should be used once every 2 weeks, plain calcium every feeding, calcium with d3 also once every 2 weeks. Id check if your calcium is with d3 or without. Cut the meal worms out of his diet. fill that enclosure with many more plants and sticks. You want your chameleon to be able to hide so they can feel secure.

Thank you for the advice! I have already cut the meal worms and have just crickets for now, but ill add better variety this week. I will add more plants as well as sticks and I will follow the vitamin schedule you recomended! My multivitamin does have D3 so ill be sure to follow the guidelines you've suggested. I appreciate it!
 

GardenChameleon

New Member
Hey there and welcome! Definetley take a gander at Beman's blog -- I also recommend listening to the Chameleon Breeder podcast.

I would highly recommend adding more linear branches to that cage -- making sure a basking branch is about 7 inches below the basking light, and much more foliage. Chameleons love to have places to hide in their enclosures. He feels naked and seen! It will take a long time to build trust. I'll let a more experienced yemen keeper go through the fine details with your form.

Thank you so much for the Advice!!!! I will definitely watch that and read that blog post! And I'm definitely paying close attention to everything clover said as well. I appreciate it!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@GardenChameleon Hi there and welcome. I am going to go through your help form and red bold my feedback.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?)
What are the dimensions? L36 x W36 x H48 all screen enclosure

Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0 T5 uvb Fluorescent Lamp with a 12 hour light schedule, Red heat lamp at night (9AM-9PM). Toss the red bulb... You need a white incandescent regular household bulb. THe red light is bad for them. No heat at night unless your house is below 50 degrees. and then you still can not use a light producing bulb. Make sure your basking level is 7-8 inches below the T5HO linear fixture to ensure he is getting the correct amount of UVB.

Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Overall room temp is 70 degrees. Basking spot is 85-90 degrees, mid cage 80-75 degrees, and bottom of cage 65-70 degrees. Lowest overnight temp 50-60 degrees. I use a digital thermometer and a picture thermometer. Basking is a bit warm at 90 degrees. Get a temp gun to get accurate temps at branches.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
50-70% humidity levels at all times, mist his cage regularly 2-3 times a day. I use a humidity monitor (non digital) You are wanting your humidity levels during the day to be between 30-40%. At night is when you want them higher. Adjust your misting to morning and evening when your heat lamp is not on. A mistking automated mister will make your life so much easier lol.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
I do use real plants, I have a dwarf Hawaiian umbrella plant and fake vines/ branches. You are going to want to add many more branches get rid of the hammock. They need things like branches so they can grip.

Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
It is in the corner of the living room, plenty of traffic and air. Mostly drafts. It is not very quiet. Fairly lose to the floor the cage is only 4 feet tall.

Location - Where are you geographically located? Northern CA.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Juvenile (unspecified by pet store) male Veiled Chameleon. In my care for about three weeks.

Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I put him in his cage the first day I purchased him. I had to change cages once, needed to give him more space. Handled him once then. Yesterday I held him for 15 minutes. Today no such luck. You have been given the link to my blog. Read through that. THis is something that is slow. You have to build trust. There is no taming them just being the prefered tree and the bringer of food.

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Mealworms at first but he didn’t eat them, Then Crickets (medium sized) gutloaded with Flukers high-calcium cricket diet. I feed him bout 6-10 a day in the morning after misting his vivarium, so about 10:30am id say. I usually hand feed with the bowl. Ok so toss any mealworms these are low in nutritional value. You will need to improve upon your gutload. you can buy a commercial one or use fresh vegis I will add an image for you for this and other feeders.

Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Repticalcium 2x a week and Reptivite Multivitamin 1x a week. Does the Repticalcium you are using have Calcium with D3? This is important. You need a calcium without D3 to use every feeding excepts 2 times a month when you use a multivitamin and 2 times a month when you use a calcium with D3. These two get rotated week to week. You need to make sure the multivitamin is without D3 as well. Now you can also do away with multiple supplements and just use repashy calcium plus LoD as the only supplement lightly dusted at every feeding.

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
I mist 2-3 times a day for 2 mins. He also drinks from the leaves and the dripper daily. good. I will include a link on natural hydration for you.

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Poops every day Black with white/yellow, sometimes dark brown. No he has not been tested. Please take a fecal sample to your reptile vet to be tested for parasites. This is important to ensure they are healthy.

History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you?
There was nothing notified from the pet store besides that he had been there for quite some time. He was juvenile and that they couldn’t even identify his gender. I was able to but only from books. They said he had one previous checkup before I had bought him.

Current Problem - The current problem that you are concerned about. He is scared of me. I have not been able to handle him or get close enough to start taming him. He will eat out of my hand (through the feeder bowl) and he’s okay when I mist his cage, but when I place my hand under to coax him into it he runs the other direction. I know I have to tame him young, and I'm not scared of getting bit. I just don’t want to put too much stress. How should I begin taming him? This is normal.. and will take time. Refer to the blog.

Additional info:

Podcast on naturalistic hydration and all his podcasts are fantastic: https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/

Caresheet for your Veiled: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

chameleon-food(1).jpg
chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

GardenChameleon

New Member
@GardenChameleon Hi there and welcome. I am going to go through your help form and red bold my feedback.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?)
What are the dimensions? L36 x W36 x H48 all screen enclosure

Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0 T5 uvb Fluorescent Lamp with a 12 hour light schedule, Red heat lamp at night (9AM-9PM). Toss the red bulb... You need a white incandescent regular household bulb. THe red light is bad for them. No heat at night unless your house is below 50 degrees. and then you still can not use a light producing bulb. Make sure your basking level is 7-8 inches below the T5HO linear fixture to ensure he is getting the correct amount of UVB.

Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Overall room temp is 70 degrees. Basking spot is 85-90 degrees, mid cage 80-75 degrees, and bottom of cage 65-70 degrees. Lowest overnight temp 50-60 degrees. I use a digital thermometer and a picture thermometer. Basking is a bit warm at 90 degrees. Get a temp gun to get accurate temps at branches.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
50-70% humidity levels at all times, mist his cage regularly 2-3 times a day. I use a humidity monitor (non digital) You are wanting your humidity levels during the day to be between 30-40%. At night is when you want them higher. Adjust your misting to morning and evening when your heat lamp is not on. A mistking automated mister will make your life so much easier lol.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
I do use real plants, I have a dwarf Hawaiian umbrella plant and fake vines/ branches. You are going to want to add many more branches get rid of the hammock. They need things like branches so they can grip.

Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
It is in the corner of the living room, plenty of traffic and air. Mostly drafts. It is not very quiet. Fairly lose to the floor the cage is only 4 feet tall.

Location - Where are you geographically located? Northern CA.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Juvenile (unspecified by pet store) male Veiled Chameleon. In my care for about three weeks.

Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I put him in his cage the first day I purchased him. I had to change cages once, needed to give him more space. Handled him once then. Yesterday I held him for 15 minutes. Today no such luck. You have been given the link to my blog. Read through that. THis is something that is slow. You have to build trust. There is no taming them just being the prefered tree and the bringer of food.

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Mealworms at first but he didn’t eat them, Then Crickets (medium sized) gutloaded with Flukers high-calcium cricket diet. I feed him bout 6-10 a day in the morning after misting his vivarium, so about 10:30am id say. I usually hand feed with the bowl. Ok so toss any mealworms these are low in nutritional value. You will need to improve upon your gutload. you can buy a commercial one or use fresh vegis I will add an image for you for this and other feeders.

Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Repticalcium 2x a week and Reptivite Multivitamin 1x a week. Does the Repticalcium you are using have Calcium with D3? This is important. You need a calcium without D3 to use every feeding excepts 2 times a month when you use a multivitamin and 2 times a month when you use a calcium with D3. These two get rotated week to week. You need to make sure the multivitamin is without D3 as well. Now you can also do away with multiple supplements and just use repashy calcium plus LoD as the only supplement lightly dusted at every feeding.

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
I mist 2-3 times a day for 2 mins. He also drinks from the leaves and the dripper daily. good. I will include a link on natural hydration for you.

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Poops every day Black with white/yellow, sometimes dark brown. No he has not been tested. Please take a fecal sample to your reptile vet to be tested for parasites. This is important to ensure they are healthy.

History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you?
There was nothing notified from the pet store besides that he had been there for quite some time. He was juvenile and that they couldn’t even identify his gender. I was able to but only from books. They said he had one previous checkup before I had bought him.

Current Problem - The current problem that you are concerned about. He is scared of me. I have not been able to handle him or get close enough to start taming him. He will eat out of my hand (through the feeder bowl) and he’s okay when I mist his cage, but when I place my hand under to coax him into it he runs the other direction. I know I have to tame him young, and I'm not scared of getting bit. I just don’t want to put too much stress. How should I begin taming him? This is normal.. and will take time. Refer to the blog.

Additional info:

Podcast on naturalistic hydration and all his podcasts are fantastic: https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/

Caresheet for your Veiled: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/

View attachment 244009View attachment 244010

Thank you so much! This is just what I needed!!! I truly appreciate the advice! Ill get started on all of that ASAP! :)
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Thank you for the advice! I have already cut the meal worms and have just crickets for now, but ill add better variety this week. I will add more plants as well as sticks and I will follow the vitamin schedule you recomended! My multivitamin does have D3 so ill be sure to follow the guidelines you've suggested. I appreciate it!
An alternative is Repashy Plus LoD,,,,,, Every feeder, every feeding... Replaces the new for the multiple supplements.
 
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