Outdoor heating

lhaley14

New Member
Hi all. I have a nice outdoor cage for my veiled chameleons. It is all screen (top is covered from rain), 8' tall 5'x4'. Right now there is a male and female together, which I monitor often. I live in Southern California and as the winter months are approaching, I would like to try to keep them outside. Are there any suggestions for outside heating possibilities? Right now I'm thinking of a few ceramic heaters. Two basking sites at the top and one more in the middle. I've never worked with heat sources inside of the cage. Any suggestions on how to prevent possible burns and what not? If you'd like to see pictures, let me know and I'll charge up my camera. Thanks,
Luke
 

nalbar

New Member
I also live in SoCal, and have kept veiled outside during winter. It depends on where in SoCal, coastal is a far less problem than inland valleys where frost is frequent.

The key is to avoid COLD WET. That combo is deadly. You don't want a cold, wet wind to blow on your cham.

Think 'greenhouse'.

Perhaps cover the top third of your cage (all sides and top) instead of just the roof. Or put a plastic 'tent' over the cage, with an air space between the 'tent' and the cage. This allows heat to build yet air movement to avoid excessive heat build up.

Either way, you should allow for bringing in your cham during stormy nights. More because of wet than cold.

Bearded Dragons are frequently kept outdoors all year in SoCal with no problem. I kept a breeding population of Sulcata Tortoises outside for years. While the METHOD is different than for a cham, the GOAL is the same, to avoid cold and wet.

And I have a breeding population of Standings Day Gecko's that have been loose in my back yard (and my neighbors) for 7 years. Not to mention the Jackson's that make infrequent appearances.


nalbar
 

lhaley14

New Member
Thanks for the informative reply! I live in the San Fernando Valley area (North Hollywood). Covering the top third will be very easy. Would you suggest providing some type of heat source? Or should they be fine as long as they aren't cold and wet?
 

nalbar

New Member
If it was me I would attempt to use the plastic to create a 'heated' area. Like a greenhouse. Of course it is too early in the year to attempt this now. In the SF Valley you certainly have at least some hot days left before winter starts, and you could overheat the cham.

Any electric heat source (like a ceramic lamp) has to be thought out carefully. It MUST be 'inside' in the sense of totally covered by a water-proof roof/walls so water can NEVER touch it. Plus a GFCI outlet MUST be provided, with protected 'feed' wires. To attempt it you would need a solid structure, like a REAL greenhouse. The bigger the cage, the easier it is to keep reptiles outside in SoCal.

I should remind you that your cham has to be in excellent health to even consider this. A healthy Veiled could easily be let loose in my back yard and make it through the winter, IF he could find ample food. It just does not get that cold here.


nalbar
 
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