Opinions please,


Established Member
This is a difficult thread. I'm long winded, so bare with me. I had a young Veiled female that has been a nightmare ever since we got her. I don't know what her age was when we got her, but we had her for 10 months. She started to show signs of being gravid around August of this year. I've hatched hundreds of Veileds in the past and I'm pretty accustomed to all the signs. She broke all the rules- after about 21 days, I always start to observe for signs of pacing, going off feed, etc. I've NEVER USED A LAYING CONTAINER IN THE CAGE- but with the insistence of alot of people on this forum, I started using one with this particular female on her second clutch she just produced. The reason was she had grown to the point of seeing lumps in her on her first clutch, yet she wouldn't stop feeding and she never paced the bottom of the cage as mine in the past always have. I finally had to just put her in a trash can whether she liked it or not. She never dug a tunnel- she simply dropped the eggs on the surface of the sand and just started to cover them up. So when she started to show signs this time, I added a sand bucket to her cage after she started to really look plump.
When the bucket was placed in with her this time, she used it for one thing and for one thing only- to EAT SAND. She did this the first time I placed her in the trash can. Well, to make this long story short, she expired today, and I couldn't help but be curious as to how many eggs she was carrying. She had 40 eggs, but the most dissmaying thing was that her entire last 2-3 inches of intestine was packed hard as a rock with compacted sand. It was as big around as my pinky finger. It appeared to have prevented her from comfortably passing her eggs. I felt awful. I don't blame anyone for the advice of adding a laying container in the cage, because I know alot of breeders do this. I personally will never put one in a cage again. I took some photos and they are absolutely horrible. If anyone uses this method and they see a female eating sand even once, I would suggest taking it out immediately. Use caution!!! So what are you experienced keepers opinions on this sand eatng phenom?


New Member
Adding a laying container is not the problem, using sand of any kind, is.
Possibly her body was badly depleted of essential nutrients after the first clutch (you mentioned she kept eating) and she was trying to gain something from eating it?
Sand is a potential killer no matter how many tell you otherwise imo.
Your lizard may pass sand in stools but this does not mean its passing all of it.
If you ever went to a beach you will have noticed a strong tendency for wet sand to stick.
It will tend to do inside your lizard aswell, gradually building up to the unfortunate result you describe.
Not providing a natural area for your lizard to lay is courting disaster since the lizard may retain eggs and become eggbound.
My sympathy.


Biologist & Ecologist
I'm so sorry for your loss! This is why I use dirt in my laying bins, I've always thought (correctly or incorrectly, perhaps) that dirt was probably easier to pass than sand, being a soft organic material. Although many people do use it with success dozens of times. Jojackson may be on the right track on the subject of minerals. Who knows. I hope it never happens to you again!


Retired Moderator
That is just awful. I do use a laying bin in my cages but it dirt. My chams seem to want to dig in their plants to lay so I give them dirt to lay in, I don't know why but it makes sense for me. I am so sorry you lost your girl. If it were me I would do what has always worked for me - well that is what I do, do. Some things I do are a bit different I guess.


Established Member
Thanks everyone. Kinyonga- No, I never noticed any sand in her feces. All her stools looked normal.
Olimpia and JoJackson- Yeah, I considered the possibility that she was possibly trying to compensate for a lack of minerals or something. But on another note, she was a very strange chameleon beside the fact. She had some other oddities about her behaviour.
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