New chameleon owner

KazzyC

New Member
Hi everybody,
I've just got my first chameleon, she's a yemen chameleon and is about 3 inches long, (about 7.5 cm, not including her tail). She ate about 6 crickets the first day I had her, but now she doesn't seem to want them. She will take 2 mealworms off my hand about 3 times a day, is this enough for her or should she really be eating more? I got her on Saturday so she's not had very long to settle in really. Any help wouold be more than appreciated :)
 

pohchunyee

Avid Member
Welcome!!! i would say, patience and time..... she needs to settle into her cage. just mix and match the feeder. Don't just focus on mealworms and dont feed too much since it had higher fat content compare to cricket. Cricket are easily gut loaded than mealworms therefore more nutritious!
 

Julirs

New Member
Hi KazzyC-in order to help in the best way possible-please answer the following questions found under the Health forum sticky topic:

Cage Info:
Cage Type - What kind of cage are you using? What is the size?
Lighting - What kind of lighting are you using? How long do you keep the lights on during the day?
Temperature - What temperature range have you created? Basking spot temp? What is the temperature at night?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels?
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Location - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas?

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon.
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What kind of schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Supplements - What are you dusting your feeders with and what kind of schedule do you use?
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings.
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Current Problem - The current problem that you are concerned about.

Pictures can really help as well.
 

alan23

New Member
hi kaz i just got my first ccham on thrsday he is cool he is coming up 5 week old am thinking of getting some meal worm meself like to c ur cham send pics
 

KazzyC

New Member
Oo'er!

Wow Julirs, that's a lot of questions to think about and work out :)
She was a surprise present off a friend and she bought me the cage and all the equipment that goes with it. I think I've still got all the packaging that came with it, so I'll dig it all out and get the info about it. I've wanted a chameleon for the past 40 years or so and I don't want to make any mistakes and do her any harm. I haven't a clue what the cage humidity is at all, what do I need to get to check it? I do spray the cage several times a day to keep it moist and there's a shallow tray with a little water in the bottom of the cage. (It's a mesh cage but I don't know the dimensions, I'll check it to find out, my friend was told that this is what they go in at first until they're old enough to go into a vivarium, is this right?)

Thanks to everybody for replying so promptly, it's really appreciated. This is my first reptile and I don't want to mess up. I've called her Karma :)
 

Julirs

New Member
The more information-the better! Research is key-these are not the easiest creatures to keep! Mesh cages are the only way to go for Veileds, but no dish of water is needed-they won't use it. Mist 3X a day for 5-10 minutes and you are good to go. Live plants-lots of them- will help with the humidity. The other very necessary items would be UVb lighting, a basking lamp and bulb, Calcium dusted gutloaded feeders, and a good thermometer.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here are some sites with good information that you could read...
http://adcham.com/
http://www.chameleonnews.com/
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/skintests.htm#discussion
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html

Exposure to UVB allows the chameleon to produce vitamin D3 which allows it to use its calcium. Many of the feeder insects that we use have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous...so its important to dust the insects with a phosphorous-free calcium powder before feeding them to the chameleon. If your chameleon gets no or little direct sunlight and only gets its UVB from UVB tube lights, then you may want to dust the insects before feeding them to the chameleon twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder. Be aware that D3 from SUPPLEMENTS can build up in the system so don't overdo it. The UVB light from either the sun or artificial lights must not pass through glass or plastic.

I dust with a vitamin powder twice a month that contains a beta carotene source of vitamin A. Beta carotene sources of vitamin A won't build up in the system, but preformed sources of vitamin A can. There is controversy over whether any chameleons can convert beta carotene to vitamin A so some people give their chameleons a bit of preformed once in a while. Excess vitamin A can prevent the D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD...so caution is advised not to overdo it.

Gutloading and feeding your insects a nutritious diet is important.
The ADCHAM site I listed above has a well-known gutload in it.

Calcium, phosphorous, D3 and vitamin A all play a part in bone health, etc. so its important to take into consideration any sources of these that are in the gutloading and diet of the insects as well as in the supplements.

Appropriate basking temperatures allow the chameleon to digest its food properly...thus absorb the nutrients in its diet.

Hydration is important too....misting and drippers may be used to provide water. Most chameleons don't drink from a bowl of water....but I have had some that do.

With proper care your chameleon should be with you for a number of years!
 
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KazzyC

New Member
how old is ur cham kaz?
I haven't a clue to be honest, she's about 3 inches long not including her tail.
I will post some pics of her soon. She's shedding at the moment so she looks a bit scruffy :)
 
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KazzyC

New Member
Hi KazzyC-in order to help in the best way possible-please answer the following questions found under the Health forum sticky topic:

Cage Info:
Cage Type - What kind of cage are you using? What is the size? --- It's a Flexarium 38 full screen terrarium. It's 16.5 inches wide and deep and 30 inches high

Lighting - What kind of lighting are you using? How long do you keep the lights on during the day?--- 1 Repti Glo 5.0 UVB strip light and an Exo Terra 750w infrared spot lamp

Temperature - What temperature range have you created? Basking spot temp? What is the temperature at night?---The room temperature ranges from about 23 degrees C during the day down to about 20 degrees C at night. I don't know the temperature in the cage or the basking temperature as I haven't yet got a thermometer for the cage, will be getting one very soon though.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? I don't know the humidity levels, what do I need to get to check. I spray inside the cage about 3 times during the day, I will be getting a mister very soon though.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? ---- No living plants in there yet, but will get some very soon.

Location - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? -- It's in my bedroom and not near any air vents, fans or heavy traffic areas

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. --- Veiled female, don't know how old she is but she's about 3 inches not including her tail

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What kind of schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? --- She was taking about 6 medium crickets a day, but now she only seems to want mealworms, she's only taking about 4 to 6 a day though. I gut load them with finely chopped vegetables abd fruit. I've seen the forums recommeded gut loader recipe, but I'm in the UK and can't fine most of the stuff listed. Is there any member in the UK that can help with this?

Supplements - What are you dusting your feeders with and what kind of schedule do you use? --- I'm dusting with Nutrobal twice a week, is this enough or too much seeing as she's got a UVB light? I was also advised to use zoo med reptisafe water conditioner in her water.

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? Do you see your chameleon drinking? --- Drip bottle down silk plants, I've seen her drink twice since I've had he which was on the 23rd

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Last seen dropping was white, yellow and black, it's not hard or loose.

History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. --- Only had her a few days so no info

Current Problem - The current problem that you are concerned about. --- She started off eating about 6 crickets for me, now she won't eat them, she is taking meal worms, but only 4 to 6 a day. She started moulting yesterday so could this be the reason why she's off her food?
 

Julirs

New Member
Everything sounds pretty good, and as long as she is eating something during the adjustment period, I would not worry about it. Some eat during shedding, some don't. I would get a thermometer ASAP. Your basking spot should be around 80-85 degrees F(sorry-don't know C). Fecal sounds good. I don't really know what Nutrobal is, but you should only use a vitamin supplement once or twice a month, but a phosphorous free calcium almost daily for young ones and calcium with D3 twice or so a week. Everyone has slightly different dusting schedule with the same general theme. I have used the same Flexarium for my younger chams and it works out great! Post some pics when you have a chance and enjoy your baby-they grow up fast!
 

alan23

New Member
i just bought some nutrobal today i dont know if to use it everyday or wht uk aint brill for stuff like this i dont think just gave my baby cham some lettuce c if he will eat it hope so i think i only seen him drink once bit concernd bt mayb he is when nt there seems ok though.been sleeping in diff places each night well he has slept in same place twice in row bt last night changed lol fussy i guess?:)
 

KazzyC

New Member
Nutrobal

Thank you Julirs, I feel a lot more confident about my setup etc now :)


Here's a link to the Nutrobal

http://www.aquamania.co.uk/product.asp?numRecordPosition=1&P_ID=219

On the tub it's described as a high potency calcium balancer & multivitamin supplement to help bone growth in snakes, lizards and tortoises.

Contents per gram :-
200mg calcium & 150IU D3, plus vitamins A, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12 C, Folic acid, nicotinic & pantothenic acids, biotin, niacin, and minerals Na Fe, Co I Mn Zn Se Cu


It also says "Nutrobal is a complementary feeding stuff which can be dusted onto food to help balanced diets which may be otherwise deficient in calcium. Typical calcium deficient foods which should be supplemented include crickets, mealworms and raw meat and/or vegetables.

Nutrobal should be sprinkled onto all diets at a rate of 1 normal pinch per kilo of animal being supplemented. Pinch the amount onto the palm of your hand then blow it over the food.

Chill crickets in the fridge before gently shaking them with Nutrobal in a plastic bag. Use 1 pinch to dust 20-25 crickets or mealworms. Do not exceed these levels without veterinary advise.

Insects should be fed out special foods - GRUB GRUB and BUG GRUB.

Special care should be taken with animals kept under high output UV lights, these may already be producing Vitamin D3. Do not overuse such light.

I know it's not a specific cham supplement, but it's the only one that my nearest petshop has. I live in the countryside, I don't own a car and the bus service in dreadful, so it's the only supplement I can get other than going online looking for some. Does Nutrobal sound OK to you or should I ditch it and get something else?

I also need to find some gutload food for my crickets and mealworms or at least a recipe to make some with ingredients that I can get in the UK. :(
 

KazzyC

New Member
i just bought some nutrobal today i dont know if to use it everyday or wht uk aint brill for stuff like this)
Wherabouts in the UK are you? I'm in a little rural village near Conwy in North Wales. There's no half decent petshops anywhere near that I can find that does specific cham stuff. There is a PAH in Llandudno and Bangor but they don't do Cham stuff :(
 

alan23

New Member
im in kent and im in the country side and the bus servise is rubbish 2 lol just went to pet place got some locusts and crickets u on msn kaz? :)
 

KazzyC

New Member
Post some pics when you have a chance and enjoy your baby-they grow up fast!
I will post some pics soon, she's nearly finished shedding now. I'm really enjoying having her, she's a funny little character. :)
Sometimes when I try to pick her up she shoots off and hides behind something or she stands on her hind legs and grabs onto me with her front legs :)
She had gone a bit sluggish, (something to do with her shedding?), now she can zoom off at quite a rate for a cham :D
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Lighting - What kind of lighting are you using? How long do you keep the lights on during the day?--- 1 Repti Glo 5.0 UVB strip light and an Exo Terra 750w infrared spot lamp
I presume you meant to type either 50W or 150W - 750W would have cooked your cham by now (and a leg of lamb ;)) and burnt down your house...
Either way, you shouldn't be using infrared bulbs. What you want is a normal, regular household spot bulb - the same type you'd use in conventional household lighting fixtures (you can get reptile brand spot bulbs, but they're more expensive and are mostly exactly the same bulb).
You should definitely get a digital thermometer with a probe in there to check those basking temps. If it is a 150W bulb, it may well be too hot for a young cham.
Even better would be to get one of those infrared temperature guns - that way you can measure the exact temperature on the surface of the cham's skin.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? I don't know the humidity levels, what do I need to get to check. I spray inside the cage about 3 times during the day, I will be getting a mister very soon though.
To measure humidity, you need a digital hygrometer. Don't bother with the analogue ones - they are usually very innacurrate and inconsistent.
If you look at most home depot type stores, or even on eBay, you will find units that have both a digital thermometer with external probe as well as a digital hygrometer, all in the same unit. That's the way to go.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? ---- No living plants in there yet, but will get some very soon.
Live plants are the best way to keep humidity levels up and to keep them stable.

Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. --- Veiled female, don't know how old she is but she's about 3 inches not including her tail
Do you know that female Veileds can lay develop and lay eggs even if they haven't been mated? You will need a place for her to lay those eggs, so it is recommended that you provide a tub of appropriate soil in her cage at all times. If she develops eggs, but cannot lay them, she may become egg-bound and die.
Read http://www.chameleonsdish.com/habitat/femalecare.htm and http://www.chameleonnews.com/year2003/jan2003/nesting/nesting.html.

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What kind of schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? --- She was taking about 6 medium crickets a day, but now she only seems to want mealworms, she's only taking about 4 to 6 a day though.
Be careful about feeding her mealworms exclusively. Their exoskeleton is harder on the cham's digestive system (the equivalent of a human only eating bran), and also they are high in fat, and from what I understand, a female chameleon with high stores of fat is more likely to produce eggs, and you'd preferably want to avoid that until she is much older.
Try to use as wide a variety of insects as possible.

Supplements - What are you dusting your feeders with and what kind of schedule do you use? --- I'm dusting with Nutrobal twice a week, is this enough or too much seeing as she's got a UVB light? I was also advised to use zoo med reptisafe water conditioner in her water.
Kinyonga mentioned this already. You need three types of supplements:
1. Pure calcium with nothing added: use this at most feedings.
2. Pure calcium with vitamin D3 added: use this once a week or less, depending on how much natural, unfiltered sunlight your chameleon gets (the more sunlight it gets, the less D3 supplementation it needs - and a UVB light is not substitute for natural, unfiltered sunlight in this case).
3. Multi-vitamins with a source of beta carotine (Herptivite is recommended): use this roughly twice a month
As for the water conditioner, I wouldn't think it is necessary unless you really have problems with the quality of water in your area.

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? Do you see your chameleon drinking? --- Drip bottle down silk plants, I've seen her drink twice since I've had he which was on the 23rd
You should definitely be misting her as well. Two to three long (15-20mins)misting sessions where you see her drink every day, in addition to the dripper.

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Last seen dropping was white, yellow and black, it's not hard or loose.
Yellow-ness in the droppings indicates that she may be becoming dehydrated - those mistings are vital.

She started moulting yesterday so could this be the reason why she's off her food?
Generally when they are shedding, they do eat a bit less. But this usually only lasts for a couple of days.
 

alan23

New Member
only got mine out once he didnt like lol might get him out sometime 2moro aint got a problem going near me when misting bt dont get in way of it lol
 

KazzyC

New Member
im in kent and im in the country side and the bus servise is rubbish 2 lol just went to pet place got some locusts and crickets u on msn kaz? :)
There's a good online site for crickets and locusts here :- http://mealwormsdirect.co.uk/shop/catalog/index.html
The crickets medium silent one's (pack of 125) are £3.75 incl delivey. I ordered mine on Friday and they came this morning. The "local" pet shop charged £6.99 for about the same amount! I can't comment on the locusts as I haven't given any to Karma yet. What size do you give your cham?
 
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