Picky eater - alternative feeders?

Myou

Member
Hi All,

Sorry if this has been asked a million times, I have scoured the forum and need a little more help.

My 6 month old male Veiled Cham has recently started turning up his nose to crickets. He used to eat 15-25 of them a day and the last few days he may be eating one or two, if that.


He has been pooping well, his activity shows he is healthy. He is at that constant need to roam around out of his cage phase and is full of energy.

I gave him a couple of butterworms today and he immediately ate them. He also ate a couple of pheonix worms given to him, so I think it is the crickets themselves that are turning him off. I have heard they can get picky or sick of them after a while.

My question is this: what other staple am I able to give him? OTHER THAN ROACHES. I am in Canada and roaches are illegal here. I have read that worms are good as a treat but not really the best for a staple so I have been going on the assumption that crickets are my only choice in Canada. I am also in Western Canada where it is sometimes hard to find a variety of feeders, especially in the winter. So far my go tos have been crickets, butter worms and pheonix worms - also BSFs as the phoenix worms grow but that is few and far between.


I am hoping this is a phase, my little guy is incredibly moody and has a personality to him so I think he will eventually eat crickets again, but in the meant time what can I use in place of them? Is it ok if I feed him a mainly phoenix worm diet with the occassional butter worm?
 

Robyn.lux

Member
My panther will not touch crickets. He hates them.
I feed locusts, calci worms and dubia (it sucks you can't get them).
Locusts are a good staple. They seem to gut load well, more so in the day than night so try to load them up as much as possible during the day.
They're easy to keep and don't stink like crickets.
They also don't tend to seek out hiding places so chams can hunt them better.

It is normal for their appetite to drop as they get older so you could try every other day feedings? Mines appetite is dropping, just as I have made a huge order for feeders. But, hey ho.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oriental Mantids are legal there, find the ones you can buy at shops and such in Canada. The native type are legal.

There is a species of stick that lives there, laws the same as the states, you can't ship them, selling them in your area is fine.

So you have to catch wilds and breed them, or buy them from someone near you.

Snails are also a consideration, they are not a staple, but there is no such thing as a staple for Chameleons, though, snails must not make up more than 10-15% of diet. Same applies as sticks, have to be the local variety, land snails only not aquatic.

I think Isopods are legal, you could get giant canyons, or Skirteds, they are big enough that a cham will eat them.

Grasshoppers (locusts/Katydids) but make sure they are not lubbers, but they are quite similar to crickets.

I think Hornworms are legal in Canada, and maybe silks too?

That's all I got lol, Canada is stricter than the US. The no roaches thing sucks bad.

You should really be feeding all of above and crickets, and large fly's if you can be bothered. Like I said Chameleons don't have Staples, that is not good for them, they have to have a varied diet, at least pick a few on that list and feed them regaularly.

This may not be a case of boredom, Crickets are not all that nutritrious, and if you are feeding them solely that, they are not getting everything they need.

A varied diet is not an option it's a requirement that must be met to properly take care of a Chameleon.
 
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Blue bottle flies and black soldier flies might trigger a feeding response. They're pretty active and get the chameleon's attention from buzzing around quickly. The black solider fly larva are also an ideal feeder insect.
 

GreenChameleons

Established Member
Like prolific farms said black soiled flies are good and these flies act as a natural antibiotic for future reference. Blue bottle flies and house flies if you can get them that are raised by a breeder.
 
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NickTide

Avid Member
How do they act as a natural antibiotic?
There are many foods that have some antibacterial properties. I don't know of any meat, but garlic can help humans. And it could be something like bacteria wont grow in the larvae but might be of such minute quantities that it doesn't do anything for the consumer.
 

NickTide

Avid Member
plus one on the calci worms (aka: black soldier fly larvae) though I read they can cause constipation if fed exclusively for days. afetr 2 days of flies or larvae, your cham should take crickets again. stick bugs are also good for an occasional feeding.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are many foods that have some antibacterial properties. I don't know of any meat, but garlic can help humans. And it could be something like bacteria wont grow in the larvae but might be of such minute quantities that it doesn't do anything for the consumer.
Learned something new today, cool....
 

NickTide

Avid Member
plus one on the calci worms (aka: black soldier fly larvae) though I read they can cause constipation if fed exclusively for days. afetr 2 days of flies or larvae, your cham should take crickets again. stick bugs are also good for an occasional feeding.


Didn't have much time to reply earlier. Having several staples is better. Chams will often get tired of anything you feed them all the time. I use maybe 40% roaches, 40% BSF, 15% super worms and 5% other. this is a guestimate as I don't get too scientific with it.

I keep Vietnamese stick insects. Chams love them but the problem is feeding the bugs over the winter. I need to sell some off but Im not shipping across international boarders and have the Mounties come get me. I can give more instructions on them if you want.

Blue Bottle Flies are good as well but have never had much luck with high hatch outs. Don't know what I do wrong.

I buy my BSF by the thousand (like $15 - $20) and keep them in a $60 wine fridge at 56 degrees. I have some that have been in there since April 1 and they are still doing well. I only feed the flies because they are easier to feed off than the larvae. Next year I am going to try to raise my own, not sure if they live in Canada or not.

Its a bad time of year to get Mantis oothes. Many are nearly past there viability date.

I know of at least one breeder that feeds mostly silk worms. Eggs are definitely cheaper but they are work.

If I moved to Canada, I think I would be the guy your read about in the paper in trouble for smuggling roaches. It is a pretty lame law. I understand why Florida doesn't allow non native species but dubias and most others cant even reproduce in my house outside of their provided environment. I have lost many roaches in my house never to be seen again and its quite a bit warmer here... like we only have 3 months of winter. :)
 

Myou

Member
Thank you all! Sorry I am on mobile so I wont be able to properly reply/quote you all. Looks like I should research for some locusts and blue bottle flies. If anyone knows a Canadian supplier I would love the help!.

I think pheonix worms are the BSF larvae. I can order those bulk my guy loves them in both forms.

I have never seen a stick bug in the wild here. I am in Alberta where nothing dares lived especially this time of year.

I would love to find a local supplier but I may have to ship everything from the East.
 

cloverthechameleon

Avid Member
Where abouts in western Canada are you? Lots of shops here have silk worms and hornworms which might help him to start eating again. I know its frowned upon on here but if you cant find anything, most petsmarts in the GVA carry Hornworms, pick out the healthy ones. I have a colony of Orange head Roaches i'm trying to grow right now (Shhhh) Pm me and when the colony is large enough i can maybe help you out with a starter colony. Im in Vancouver BTW.
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
My cham started to ignore crickets so I tried dubia and that seemed to make him like crickets again. He has recently started eating super worms which he never would touch before. I would probably ate my veggies as a kid if my mom offered roaches instead. then again there are a lot of things I would try before eating roaches.
 

Myou

Member
Where abouts in western Canada are you? Lots of shops here have silk worms and hornworms which might help him to start eating again. I know its frowned upon on here but if you cant find anything, most petsmarts in the GVA carry Hornworms, pick out the healthy ones. I have a colony of Orange head Roaches i'm trying to grow right now (Shhhh) Pm me and when the colony is large enough i can maybe help you out with a starter colony. Im in Vancouver BTW.
Darn I am near the Edmonton area. Not as many options here as Van. I think I should be able to track down someone with hornworms though
 

Myou

Member
My cham started to ignore crickets so I tried dubia and that seemed to make him like crickets again. He has recently started eating super worms which he never would touch before. I would probably ate my veggies as a kid if my mom offered roaches instead. then again there are a lot of things I would try before eating roaches.
Haha that is true! I wonder if I am feeding into his stubbornness by giving him tasty worms so he wont eat crickets. Unfortunately roaches of most/all kinds are a no go up in Canada here. Especially Alberta there are a lot of pests flat out banned just in this province.
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you have started feeding him worms there is a good chance he is on a hunger strike until he gets the worms. Lots of people here have had this problem with supers and the cham will start to eat after a couple of stubborn days after he is too hungry to fight it.
 

Myou

Member
That is kind of what I
If you have started feeding him worms there is a good chance he is on a hunger strike until he gets the worms. Lots of people here have had this problem with supers and the cham will start to eat after a couple of stubborn days after he is too hungry to fight it.
I feel like this might be the case. He started to lose interest a couple of weeks ago. He has always had pheonix worms and crickets. I introduced butter worms and he loves them.

Then I ran out of the worms and that is when he started refusing crickets. I got a few more butter worms and he will immediately eat them while leaving crickets in his viv all day.

I guess the question is if I continue to indulge him and vary his diet, which I should do anyway, or play the stubborn game with him?


There was about five days of no eating before I got more worms so I dont know if I can out stubborn him.
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
I usually main crickets and dubia. Everything else is a snack or even a treat. What I mean by treat is Hornworms. I only give him a couple of those a week since its like candy to him. This just reminded me that I need to find Silks and try them again. I also still want to try stick insects at some point.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Didn't have much time to reply earlier. Having several staples is better. Chams will often get tired of anything you feed them all the time. I use maybe 40% roaches, 40% BSF, 15% super worms and 5% other. this is a guestimate as I don't get too scientific with it.

I keep Vietnamese stick insects. Chams love them but the problem is feeding the bugs over the winter. I need to sell some off but Im not shipping across international boarders and have the Mounties come get me. I can give more instructions on them if you want.

Blue Bottle Flies are good as well but have never had much luck with high hatch outs. Don't know what I do wrong.

I buy my BSF by the thousand (like $15 - $20) and keep them in a $60 wine fridge at 56 degrees. I have some that have been in there since April 1 and they are still doing well. I only feed the flies because they are easier to feed off than the larvae. Next year I am going to try to raise my own, not sure if they live in Canada or not.

Its a bad time of year to get Mantis oothes. Many are nearly past there viability date.

I know of at least one breeder that feeds mostly silk worms. Eggs are definitely cheaper but they are work.

If I moved to Canada, I think I would be the guy your read about in the paper in trouble for smuggling roaches. It is a pretty lame law. I understand why Florida doesn't allow non native species but dubias and most others cant even reproduce in my house outside of their provided environment. I have lost many roaches in my house never to be seen again and its quite a bit warmer here... like we only have 3 months of winter. :)

Wintering sticks is easy if you have oak around. Freeze oak leaves, and use those the day before you plan to feed off, if you don't feed much use it on occansion as well.

Then for the rest of the time, they will eat, and they will survive on romaine lettuce, it's just not very nutritious, so add oak in.

Another option, is the mini rose bushes. You could peep those in your house alive year round and feed that.

Just if you do that, Switch the soil when you get them, and water them alot, and do not feed it for at least a few months. Then do a test run with 1 stick at a time. Once all the systematics are out, your golden. Roses are dangerous due to the systametics but they don't last that long.
 
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