Overweight Cham?

veiledmav

Established Member
I’ve had my male chameleon for about a year and i have always been confused on how much to feed him. I give him about ten crickets each morning and i’m worried that he might be overweight. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good diet and feeding schedule for him?
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You do not have a him. You have a her. She is being overfed and likely is getting close to laying eggs. She will need a lay bin asap in the bottom of the cage.
Females should not be fed more then 3 medium feeders 3 days a week. Correctly supplemented and gutloaded. Temp at basking should be 78-80 max as well to control appetite and clutch size.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/

laybin graphic.jpg
 

veiledmav

Established Member
You do not have a him. You have a her. She is being overfed and likely is getting close to laying eggs. She will need a lay bin asap in the bottom of the cage.
Females should not be fed more then 3 medium feeders 3 days a week. Correctly supplemented and gutloaded. Temp at basking should be 78-80 max as well to control appetite and clutch size.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/

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Wow ok definitely did not expect that lol. Do you have a brand of potting soil that you recommend?
 

veiledmav

Established Member
So did your last male cham pass away? Is this a new cham?
Oh yes that was a long time ago. I gave him to a rescue and as far as i know he was doing very well there. I’m in high school now and I got this chameleon a year ago. She has everything she needs. I was just not aware she was a female lol. I will definitely get her a laying bin as soon as possible.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow ok definitely did not expect that lol. Do you have a brand of potting soil that you recommend?
See the image above and the link. You want to use playsand and it needs to be moist enough to hold a tunnel. Without the ability to lay eggs when she needs to she will become eggbound and die. So this will be a permanent part of her enclosure. Getting her on the correct feeding amounts and temps is extremely important to reduce her clutch size. The larger the clutch the more at risk of becoming egg bound while trying to get them all out. I would expect a very large clutch of eggs with the amounts you have been feeding.

Can you post more pics of her from the side? I want to see how she is holding her weight.
 

veiledmav

Established Member
See the image above and the link. You want to use playsand and it needs to be moist enough to hold a tunnel. Without the ability to lay eggs when she needs to she will become eggbound and die. So this will be a permanent part of her enclosure. Getting her on the correct feeding amounts and temps is extremely important to reduce her clutch size. The larger the clutch the more at risk of becoming egg bound while trying to get them all out. I would expect a very large clutch of eggs with the amounts you have been feeding.

Can you post more pics of her from the side? I want to see how she is holding her weight.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah she is holding eggs... So get the lay bin in asap. I would be very concerned about the fake plants. Females especially eat plants. These become an impaction risk if she gets pieces pulled off and then can not pass them.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
It would be a good idea to do a husbandry review for her since you have not. Here is the form if you would like to. And please post pics of the entire cage including lighting on top.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

veiledmav

Established Member
Yeah she is holding eggs... So get the lay bin in asap. I would be very concerned about the fake plants. Females especially eat plants. These become an impaction risk if she gets pieces pulled off and then can not pass them.
That explains why she was eating the peat moss. So far, she’s been eating fine and has looked relatively healthy. I will definitely get that form filled out and get the substrate today.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Nice looking female! Definitely carrying eggs.
Let's hope she gets through the egglaying with no trouble. If she shows any signs of going down hill, post on here and get her to a good chameleon vet ASAP. Some signs are lethargy, sitting low in the cage, sleeping during the day...possibly phantom laying. It will mean she's becoming eggbound.

Follow the information @Beman has given you for feeding and temperature in the future to keep her clutch size under control or even get rid of reproduction completely.

You don't want to cut her down completely until she lays the eggs...but almost.

Let's hope that the peat moss isn't going to cause an impaction.
 

veiledmav

Established Member
It would be a good idea to do a husbandry review for her since you have not. Here is the form if you would like to. And please post pics of the entire cage including lighting on top.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, a little over a year old; She has been in my care for a year.
  • Handling - I very rarely take her out of her cage
  • Feeding - I have been feeding her around ten large crickets every morning. I feed the crickets carrots.
  • Supplements - I put ZooMed repti calcium without D3 in the bag that the crickets come in and shake them up before i put them in the feeder cage.
  • Watering - I have an automatic mister that sprays for 60 seconds every hour during the day, and 12 seconds every hour at night. This provides plenty of water droplets on the leaves. I see her drinking often.
  • Fecal Description - Brown and slightly wet; a bit bigger than my fingertip. She has never been tested for parasites.
  • History - I was not aware she was a girl until today.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen, 16" L X 16" W X 30" H
  • Lighting - zoomed UVB 5.0 bulb, i am not sure of the wattage of the heat bulb. i think it’s 75. I turn all the lights off when the sun starts to set.
  • Temperature - I am not sure of the temperatures. There is a plant on the floor of the cage that she sometimes goes under for shade.
  • Humidity - The humidity generally remains at 80% at night and during the day. I have some peat moss set up in the direction of the mister. I use a small humidity gauge.
  • Plants - I only have plastic plants.
  • Placement - The cage is in the corner of my room, not near any fans of vents. The height from the top of the cage to the floor is about 58 inches.
  • Location - I am located in Florida.
Current Problem - She has never laid eggs and could possibly be egg bound.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll be putting my feedback in red. You do have several upgrades to make.

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, a little over a year old; She has been in my care for a year.
  • Handling - I very rarely take her out of her cage
  • Feeding - I have been feeding her around ten large crickets every morning. I feed the crickets carrots. As has already been said, this is too much. I feed my ladies 3-4 feeders 3 days a week. Crickets are a good staple feeder, but adding variety is much better. Roaches and silkworms are great additions. You also need to add more variety to what you are feeding your bugs. Keeping your feeders well fed a variety of foods will make them healthy, which is much more nutritious for your chameleon. Attaching feeder and ‘gutload’ graphics.
  • Supplements - I put ZooMed repti calcium without D3 in the bag that the crickets come in and shake them up before i put them in the feeder cage. This is good to use for every feeding. You also need to add a calcium with D3 and a multivitamin. There are several supplements and regimens. The one I prefer is the calcium without D3 at every feeding except one every other week, in which I use Reptivite with D3.
  • Watering - I have an automatic mister that sprays for 60 seconds every hour during the day, and 12 seconds every hour at night. This provides plenty of water droplets on the leaves. I see her drinking often. It would be much better to mist for longer (2 mins) and with less frequency (2-3 times daily). Besides stimulating your cham to drink with longer sessions, the decreased frequency allows your enclosure to dry out and better maintain ideal humidity range.
  • Fecal Description - Brown and slightly wet; a bit bigger than my fingertip. She has never been tested for parasites. I always think it’s a good idea for a vet wellness check with a fecal check for parasites. I especially think this is a good idea for you to do now as your girl is carrying eggs and hasn’t been getting the supplements she needs to form and lay them without issue. A really great vet in Orlando is https://myavho.com/ X rays would also be a good idea.
  • History - I was not aware she was a girl until today. It happens. ;)
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen, 16" L X 16" W X 30" H Your lady will be much happier in a larger enclosure, like a 2x2x4’ enclosure. In addition to giving her more space, it gives you more space for her lay bin.
  • Lighting - zoomed UVB 5.0 bulb, i am not sure of the wattage of the heat bulb. i think it’s 75. I turn all the lights off when the sun starts to set. From your pic it seems you have a screw in uvb. These bulbs can only provide adequate uvb levels 2” away. The standard is a T5HO with a 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then basking area needs to be 8” down from that. A timer is a great thing to put your lights on a 12 hour schedule.
  • Temperature - I am not sure of the temperatures. There is a plant on the floor of the cage that she sometimes goes under for shade. Temperatures are very important. Digital thermometers with a probe are most accurate. Basking area should be no higher than 80. I use a 60w bulb to attain this temp during the day. At night there needs to be a drop in temp. I too am in Florida, so it’s hard to get any cooler than the ac is set at (74 in my house).
  • Humidity - The humidity generally remains at 80% at night and during the day. I have some peat moss set up in the direction of the mister. I use a small humidity gauge. This is great for at night when temps are cool, but much too high for the daytime. Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. Decreasing the frequency of your mistings and removing the moss (which is an impaction risk) will greatly decrease your humidity.
  • Plants - I only have plastic plants. Veileds love to nibble their plants…especially the girls. It only takes one nibble to get impacted which can be fatal if untreated. I hang my plastic plants on the outside of my enclosures for added privacy. Pothos and philodendron and terrific plants to start with. I’m attaching a couple of safe plant graphics for you. Do keep in mind that most will require a special plant light.
  • Placement - The cage is in the corner of my room, not near any fans of vents. The height from the top of the cage to the floor is about 58 inches. Not bad. Being arboreal they feel safest when they are higher than us and the world. Getting the larger enclosure will put your girl even higher, which she will enjoy.
  • Location - I am located in Florida.
Current Problem - She has never laid eggs and could possibly be egg bound. As I’ve already said, it would be best for a vet visit to determine where in the cycle of laying she is, determine if there’s any problems and of course, get the best and most educated advice. If Orlando is too far for you, give your general location and another member can help guide you to a great and experienced chameleon vet. Just because a vet will see a chameleon doesn’t mean they are very experienced with them. As this reply is already quite long, let me go over laying a bit more in an additional reply.
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Laying really takes a great deal out of our sweet ladies and shortens their lives, so we try to reduce the number of eggs produced and the frequency of production through lower basking temps and limited diet. I have 2 veiled girls and feed them 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week and keep their basking temps no higher than 80. Both laid clutches in Feb/Mar of 2020. One got a glimpse of my male which I suspect triggered egg production, so she laid another clutch in Mar 2021. My other girl has not laid since Feb 2020. Overfeeding tends to lead to very large numbers of eggs produced, which in itself can lead to egg binding.
My ladies prefer larger bins of at least 12“ wide/long. I fill to about 6” deep with washed play sand that is kept moist enough to hold a tunnel without collapsing. One of my girls likes to dig horizontally, so this is super important. Make sure there’s at least 1-2+ stable ways to get in/out of the bin. If you desire, you can mix in a bit of organic soil and put a plant in one corner. When she needs to lay, she’ll find and go to the bin. She will need total privacy. If she sees anyone, she may abandon laying and become egg bound. I use a light sheet and cover the bottom half of the enclosure. If I suspect my girl is going to lay any day now, I’ll partially cover it in advance. The whole process takes on average 1-2 days. She may dig several holes until she likes on. She may sleep in her tunnel. You’ll know she’s done when she’s sitting on her basking branch looking much thinner and dirty. You’ll want to feed and hydrate her very well for 2-3 days and then resume her diet. I try to have hornworms and silkworms for my girls after laying for the hydration they offer. I also give a very long misting which will help remove some of the dirt on her. Give her a day or 2 before removing the lay bin and counting the eggs. I remove the bin at night when she’s asleep if I can do so without disturbing her.
Signs that laying is near…decreased appetite, darker spots and patterns and restlessness.
Signs that she is distressed…lethargy, staying at the bottom of the enclosure, no appetite, not drinking and anything that you just don’t feel right about. (Go with your ‘gut’).
I hope I’ve been of some help to you and your pretty little lady. Don’t delay in making that vet visit. She may need some liquid calcium…only your vet will know.
In terms of most important husbandry to correct ASAP…uvb and supplements.
 

veiledmav

Established Member
Laying really takes a great deal out of our sweet ladies and shortens their lives, so we try to reduce the number of eggs produced and the frequency of production through lower basking temps and limited diet. I have 2 veiled girls and feed them 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week and keep their basking temps no higher than 80. Both laid clutches in Feb/Mar of 2020. One got a glimpse of my male which I suspect triggered egg production, so she laid another clutch in Mar 2021. My other girl has not laid since Feb 2020. Overfeeding tends to lead to very large numbers of eggs produced, which in itself can lead to egg binding.
My ladies prefer larger bins of at least 12“ wide/long. I fill to about 6” deep with washed play sand that is kept moist enough to hold a tunnel without collapsing. One of my girls likes to dig horizontally, so this is super important. Make sure there’s at least 1-2+ stable ways to get in/out of the bin. If you desire, you can mix in a bit of organic soil and put a plant in one corner. When she needs to lay, she’ll find and go to the bin. She will need total privacy. If she sees anyone, she may abandon laying and become egg bound. I use a light sheet and cover the bottom half of the enclosure. If I suspect my girl is going to lay any day now, I’ll partially cover it in advance. The whole process takes on average 1-2 days. She may dig several holes until she likes on. She may sleep in her tunnel. You’ll know she’s done when she’s sitting on her basking branch looking much thinner and dirty. You’ll want to feed and hydrate her very well for 2-3 days and then resume her diet. I try to have hornworms and silkworms for my girls after laying for the hydration they offer. I also give a very long misting which will help remove some of the dirt on her. Give her a day or 2 before removing the lay bin and counting the eggs. I remove the bin at night when she’s asleep if I can do so without disturbing her.
Signs that laying is near…decreased appetite, darker spots and patterns and restlessness.
Signs that she is distressed…lethargy, staying at the bottom of the enclosure, no appetite, not drinking and anything that you just don’t feel right about. (Go with your ‘gut’).
I hope I’ve been of some help to you and your pretty little lady. Don’t delay in making that vet visit. She may need some liquid calcium…only your vet will know.
In terms of most important husbandry to correct ASAP…uvb and supplements.
The is the only big container i have at the moment. I understand that a vet visit is best, but a vet visit is too expensive for me right now. I will definitely switch up her feeding schedule and her diet. I can get a bigger laying bin. My local pet store does not sell silkworms, only hornworms on occasion. I don’t think i can get her a larger cage, However I can change the lighting and the misting schedule, and remove the peat moss.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Diet restriction, temperature, proper supplements and UVB are very important right now. Having those things right will go a long way to preventing her having reproductive issues and other health issues.

And of course having he lay bin is absolutely needed ASAP....you don't want to wait too long.
 
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