Newbie questions

Spif

New Member
So Samuel L (Sammy) seems to be doing well in his new home. I spritz him with water anywhere from 1-3 times a day and just updated his lighting to a UVB bulb and a heat lamp. When I'm home he has free rein about the living room and he's still quite comfortable with people being around him.

One thing I've noticed is when I first got him, he was a very aggressive cricket eater. Now he pays little attention to them and prefers meal worms. Is that normal?

Second thing I noticed is he doesn't seem to eat as often as when I first got him. He seems healthy, just not as interested in eating. Do they tend to go through phases where they don't eat as often?

Thanks!
 

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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. You really should keep Sammy in his cage so he gets his uvb light. People who free range their chams have a specific free range spot in their home with a tree or bush that they have hung uvb lights over and that’s ok. As for the meal worms, they’re not good because their high in fat and chitin. Crickets are better or you can try Dubia roaches. I hope you got the T5ho long linear fixture with a reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb uvb rather than the compact uvb because they don’t work.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
So Samuel L (Sammy) seems to be doing well in his new home. I spritz him with water anywhere from 1-3 times a day and just updated his lighting to a UVB bulb and a heat lamp. When I'm home he has free rein about the living room and he's still quite comfortable with people being around him.
IDT once a day is enough; better to either set a schedule (and stick to it) or get an automated mister.

One thing I've noticed is when I first got him, he was a very aggressive cricket eater. Now he pays little attention to them and prefers meal worms. Is that normal?
I wouldn't call it abnormal. Chameleons are individuals and may prefer one type of feeder over another. IMO, mealworms (especially giant mealworms) are much maligned. When compared with other feeder insects, chiten & fat are not out of line.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/the-evils-of-mealworms.180182/#post-1629972

That said, variety is still best. My cham was into crickets most of the time I've had him, but he recently changed his preference to dubia roaches (partly because I just didn't buy anymore crickets). However, if given more than one type of feeder in the same cup, he'll inevitably eat the worms first, then go back for whatever's left later...

Second thing I noticed is he doesn't seem to eat as often as when I first got him. He seems healthy, just not as interested in eating. Do they tend to go through phases where they don't eat as often?
That's one possibility, especially if he's looking for 💕.
IDK his history/provence; has he ever had a fecal test for parasites?
 

Spif

New Member
He only has free rein when I'm home, which is after work on weekdays and here and there throughout the weekend. And even during his free rein time, I simply leave his door open and he chooses to spend most of his time inside the cage, so he's good for UVB time in his cage. But when he is free to roam, I encourage him sit on the window sill with the windows open (the screen keeps him safe inside but he is still getting sunlight). But that is coming to an end quickly as fall is moving in.

Speaking of UVB, yeahhh, I did buy one of the compact fluorescent types. I checked local stores for the strip light option, but I'll have to order one. Are the compact fluorescents really that awful?

Feeding wise, I offer him crickets and worms every day. His first few days he ate like a pig, but last 4-5 days he has slowed way down. Dunno if he is looking for love (haven't seen him put out his online profile on any sites yet), but I also noticed around the same time his appetite dropped the night time temps where I live have also dropped from the 70's to the 50's and 60's so it is time for me to get him a night time heat source and that might perk up his appetite.

The good news is I do have a good local vet that specializes in reptiles, so I should get him in for a full checkup, poo poo and all.
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome. You really should keep Sammy in his cage so he gets his uvb light. People who free range their chams have a specific free range spot in their home with a tree or bush that they have hung uvb lights over and that’s ok. As for the meal worms, they’re not good because their high in fat and chitin. Crickets are better or you can try Dubia roaches. I hope you got the T5ho long linear fixture with a reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb uvb rather than the compact uvb because they don’t work.
Meal worms being is kinda a myth there pretty normal compared to other feeders I feed around 5 a week with other feeders and he loves them
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jackson’s need that night time drop in temp. You don’t need any night heat source at all. Where they come from in the wild it regularly drops to the 60s, 50s and even lower. The compact uvb light only emits to about 2-3 inches from the bulb so unless Sammy is 2-3 inches from his uvb light, he isn’t getting any uvb. I highly recommend that you get a T5ho fixture with a long linear reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% bulb. That will penetrate his cage.
 
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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
How old is Sammy? When they get to about a year old you can move from feeding him every day to every other day. I would suggest a variety of insects to keep him interested. They like variety. You wouldn’t want to eat the same thing everyday and neither does he. I feed my guy Dubia, crickets, bsfl, moths from wax worms, and silk worms. He like them all!
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Everything I have read and heard is they’re high in fat and chitin. Chitin makes them harder to digest and being high in fat just isn’t good for our chams
Dubia just nails the competition and looks to be the best but variety is wayyy better imo but mealworms aren’t that bad compared to anything other than dubia
 

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DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dubia just nails the competition and looks to be the best but variety is wayyy better imo but mealworms aren’t that bad compared to anything other than dubia
I don’t think mealworms are bad for them either and can be used to increase variety in a Chams diet.
Here’s an article showing they’re relatively nutritious when given a good diet
https://www.researchgate.net/profil...s-During-Growth.pdf?origin=publication_detail

Here’s an article showing their chitin content is not significantly higher than most of the bugs we feed
http://fr.khepri.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/10/Estimate-of-Chitin-in-Raw-Whole-Insects.pdf
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t think mealworms are bad for them either and can be used to increase variety in a Chams diet.
Here’s an article showing they’re relatively nutritious when given a good diet
https://www.researchgate.net/profil...s-During-Growth.pdf?origin=publication_detail

Here’s an article showing their chitin content is not significantly higher than most of the bugs we feed
http://fr.khepri.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/10/Estimate-of-Chitin-in-Raw-Whole-Insects.pdf
Great articles! I agree
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Speaking of UVB, yeahhh, I did buy one of the compact fluorescent types. I checked local stores for the strip light option, but I'll have to order one. Are the compact fluorescents really that awful?
Yes, they're that awful. Not a strip light—a T5 HO linear fluorescent.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/search/1442978/?q=compact+fluorescent&c[title_only]=1&o=relevance

Feeding wise, I offer him crickets and worms every day. His first few days he ate like a pig, but last 4-5 days he has slowed way down. Dunno if he is looking for love (haven't seen him put out his online profile on any sites yet), but I also noticed around the same time his appetite dropped the night time temps where I live have also dropped from the 70's to the 50's and 60's so it is time for me to get him a night time heat source and that might perk up his appetite.
He should be fine down to 50 at night.
https://chameleonacademy.com/jacksons-chameleon-care/

Appetite & digestion have more to do with basking temps than nighttime temps. What are his basking temps?

The good news is I do have a good local vet that specializes in reptiles, so I should get him in for a full checkup, poo poo and all.
(y)
 
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