Outdoor housing question....

We live in Monterey County in California. Temperatures are mild and we get a lot of fog. I was reading and happened to see an article indicating that Jackson Chameleons can live outdoors most of the year here, if not year round with proper heat.

Does anyone keep their chameleons outside? One side of me thinks it would be cool because they could have a huge cage, etc., but the other side of me would miss having them inside because I enjoy them so much. Right now I have a pair of Jackson Chameleons.
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
Outside is best for them, hands down. Provided the climate is appropriate, or easily made appropriate.

They will be completely different animals.
 
if your ambient temps aren't above 85 or 90 a jackson would do great. also, don't want it too cold... prolly not much cooler than 55 at night.

be sure to give a LOT of coverage so he/she can hide in shade and in foliage to take shelter from wind. Also don't place the cage in an area that gets more than 6-8 hours of direct sunlight... prolly best to get sun in the morning/ate morning and later afternoon sun. You can do this by providing a shade cloth/tarp/canopy from directly above, but sunlight can hit the cage early and late in the day.
 

Action Jackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree that keeping Jackson's outside is ideal. Jackson's love to bask and thrive with low night time temperatures. I keep some of my Jackson's outside year round. I would say you would be fine with temps in the low to mid 40's to 85 degrees. Mine actually see temps from 35 to 100 degrees but you have to really know what you doing. High temps are a much bigger concern for me and I provide shade and heavy misting on very hot days. If you search previous threads started by me you will see how I keep mine outside.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
Id just like to mention, that while they can handle fairly low temps, you dont want to just "spring" it on them all of a sudden. Lower temp at night does do them well, but if they are used to a 65F night temp, and you throw them out in 40F weather "all of a sudden" then...


Same thing with high temps really. Just try and pick good initial days to start them outside.

As Summoner said, a lot of foliage is really important.
The animal needs to feel safe, in such a large environment as is the outdoors.
It also needs to be able to get itself into cool darker recesses if the temps get too high.
Id say a lot more water will be needed, especially on hot days. Watering outside is easy though, as you dont have to worry too much about runoff. You can give them really long rainstorms. If it rains in youre area, you have the added benefit of nature doing your watering for you sometimes.

Protecting them from pests and predators can be a bit harder.

Overall, I much prefer to keep them outdoors. It just seems like the way to do it. Working with animals, plants, and insects, you might as well have it all outside anyhow. Much less mess and hassle imo. The animals really do better as well. Very much worth it if you can swing it.
 
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