Outdoor question.

rotarhead

New Member
I saw another post about temperature which answered one of my questions but I didn't want to raid thier post with a question of my own so I figured I would make a seperate post. I was wondering if anybody had to "wean" thier chameleon into being outside and if so how did you do it? I have taken Moe out on three different occassions and each time he turns from his relaxed colors when in the house to the darkest color I've seen as soon as we hit the door to go out. He gets super dark (dark brown/black color) and flattens out getting as low as possible and to me looks paniced. How do I get him used to outside without over stressing him? I've sat out there with him for 20 minutes at one point to see if he would relax a little and it didn't work. However, withing two minutes of being inside he gets his light colors back and relaxes. Any idea's would be appreciated as I plan on letting him soak of some real rays this summer when it gets real nice.
 

Lingling

New Member
Chams use darker colors to absorb more sunlight, or heat. They often flatten out while basking (or in natural outdoor light) to do the same thing. Perhaps he's happier than you think.
 

Lancecham

New Member
Or perhaps, it is still a little too cold outside and that is why he is turning dark and flattening his body. He is most likely doing this to stay as warm as possible.
 

Bob 1000

Member
Great post this definetly great to learn with the warmer months coming around... Maybe they can sense it will be cold in a day or 2?? Since this time of year it's cold then hot then?<%#E
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
The above suggestions are all good. Also, if he has never been outside before it may be a lot of stimulation at once. Remember that suddenly he can see birds above him (potential predators), he sees trees moving in the wind, the colors are bright and intense, maybe a car driving down the road... it's a lot of stimulation for a guy that might have spent all the first months of his life in a calm livingroom corner. It's compeltely possible that he might warm up to it in a couple more times.

If you're taking him out in a cage, make sure there is a lot of plant cover, so he can feel as safe as possible if he wants to blend in. That should help a lot.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would get a large tree or plant for him to bask in but do NOT leave unattended. Not only could he disappear in a heartbeat but as Olympia said you have to be very cautious of predators, especially birds. Me personally, I like having a outdoor cage so you don't have to sit outside and guard them every minute. Here is an old thread of mine with my a pic of my https://www.chameleonforums.com/new-awesome-outdoor-cage-51546/
I am sure in time the more you bring him outside the more he will become used to it and enjoy it. For me the cage is the route to go!
 

rotarhead

New Member
Chams use darker colors to absorb more sunlight, or heat. They often flatten out while basking (or in natural outdoor light) to do the same thing. Perhaps he's happier than you think.
I guess this is a possibility. However, he wasn't relaxed at all and seemed to almost want to find a way to hide from the world. He pretty much did the low crawl looking for a place to retreat, or that's how it seemed anyway.

Or perhaps, it is still a little too cold outside and that is why he is turning dark and flattening his body. He is most likely doing this to stay as warm as possible.
The one day it was reading 70 outside with little to no breeze. It was perfect outside for me so I figured it would be fine for him to be out in that weather for a few hours. I didn't keep him out that long though due to the way he acted. I have only taken him out when it was high 60's or the day it was in the 70's since I don't want him getting cold.

The above suggestions are all good. Also, if he has never been outside before it may be a lot of stimulation at once. Remember that suddenly he can see birds above him (potential predators), he sees trees moving in the wind, the colors are bright and intense, maybe a car driving down the road... it's a lot of stimulation for a guy that might have spent all the first months of his life in a calm livingroom corner. It's compeltely possible that he might warm up to it in a couple more times.

If you're taking him out in a cage, make sure there is a lot of plant cover, so he can feel as safe as possible if he wants to blend in. That should help a lot.
I took him out on my hand and was going to put him on a plant each time. I'm working on an outdoor cage for him but have none at the time so for now will sit and "babysit" while he is outside. After all, I don't mind soaking up some rays myself. I read another thread about a bird trying it take the person's chameleon that wasn't far from them. I'll be keeping that in mind when it comes to his outings. I hope you are right and he will warm up eventually.

Thanks for all of your responses.
 

buzz

New Member
my chameleons loved being outside. I had a veiled and i currently have an abanja. The weird thing that i have noticed is when i put them on just a tree and watched them, they would lighten up and get real comfortable but you have to watch it because sometimes they like to get down. But when i put them out there in a cage they hated it and never would lighten up. same temps and amount of light maybe that helps a little bit.
 
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