Question for those who free-range

camimom

New Member
For those of you here who free range your chams, How young do you start doing this?
Mine is only 4 weeks old, so I dont want to do this anytime soon, as he's so small I would freak out when I can't find him in like 5 minutes.
Once he's older I think I might try free rangins, but I was wondering when you all start to do it?
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I started it with my last few almost as soon as I got them. My youngest was 3 months old.

Jann has been free ranging her tiny little baby veiled for weeks now. There's always a way to do it (like putting a plant in a plastic storage bin where he can't climb up over it or reach the sides from the plant) but it is safer when they're bigger. I say probably 3 months is good to get them started on a small free range. Again, the issue isn't age so much as how safe and escape-proof the setup is so you don't lose them.
 

camimom

New Member
I think I am going to wait until he is at least longer than my middle finger (his body not including his tail). Even in his small mesh cage it sometimes can take me 10 minutes to find him, especially when he's turned brown from basking and he blends into the sticks that are in his cage. He worries me so much.
I've only had him for a little over a week and I think I've come close to a heart attack because of him like 6 times! I'm so worried of doing something wrong, and after seeing pics of things that can happen, it's even worse!

I know, Im a worrywort, but I'm a mom, what do you expect? lol
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
No, no, I completely understand! :D It's wise to wait until they're bigger, but if it's a question of when is it possible, I think that can be as soon as you have a proper setup that's escape proof. Let him settle in for a bit anyway and learn his habbits. Free ranging has it's tricky things so it helps if you're familiar with your little guy so you can customize to what works best for both of you.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
They aren't in a cage? I'm talking about the shallower ones, not the ones that breeders raise babies in. Something small enough that the baby can't get on the floor and climb out from or reach the edges from the plant and climb out. Like what JannB did but with the plant pot. You can stand a plant or two in the center with a couple thin vines/dowels and it seems like a pretty nice option to me. You wouldn't want to lose a baby that small because finding them would be near impossible. But you can still give them an open environment if you want to.
 
I think free ranging is only a good idea if you have an adult sized cham or a large species of chameleon. Veileds and panthers do fine in 2x2x4 cages... some don't... there are minor exceptions. The thing with free ranging is that you need to make your house or room cham proof. It is a very bad idea to free range if you have any cats or dogs. Doesn't matter if you keep the door closed, stuff happens.... :eek: Even fish tanks are a danger, be sure they are covered well.

I free range my melleri and they almost never leave. You know you have a good and well provided free range when the cham never leaves. They are simple creatures and will stay where their needs are med. Proper lighting, heat, water, coverage and climbing areas are key.

I would let your cham grow up to full size before free ranging, it'll make finding him a lot easier.
 

camimom

New Member
I think I'm definitely going to wait to try free-ranging him until hes close to full grown, cuz liek you said, I'll be able to find him easier, especially once hes not brown and green all the time!
 
I've had my nosy be panther since he was 3.5months. I am not free ranging him yet because he is still so small. In about another month or two I will start offering him vines connecting to his cage so that I can start free ranging him slowly. I am waiting for him to be about seven inches or so from snout to vent.
 

Samcham1

New Member
I was talking to my wife about free ranging, not doing it, but how some do and I showed her pics of some of the set ups. A couple questions popped up during this discussion, lol.

1. How do you raise humidity in a free range set up? Do you use a humidifier and raise the humidity in the whole room?

2. How do you feed in this type set up?

3. How do you mist without wetting everything else around the area of the set up?

I hope i dont sound stupid, but at least i"ll sound smart when I reply back to my wife, lol.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was talking to my wife about free ranging, not doing it, but how some do and I showed her pics of some of the set ups. A couple questions popped up during this discussion, lol.

1. How do you raise humidity in a free range set up? Do you use a humidifier and raise the humidity in the whole room?

2. How do you feed in this type set up?

3. How do you mist without wetting everything else around the area of the set up?

I hope i dont sound stupid, but at least i"ll sound smart when I reply back to my wife, lol.
I live in FL and do not need a humidifier but others that FR do sometimes use a hunidifier.

I cup, bowl and hand feed.

I mist in the cham condo, the tub, on my back porch or outside.
 
The thing with free ranging is that you need to make your house or room cham proof. It is a very bad idea to free range if you have any cats or dogs. Doesn't matter if you keep the door closed, stuff happens.... :eek: Even fish tanks are a danger, be sure they are covered well.

Proper lighting, heat, water, coverage and climbing areas are key.
Good advice.

Whatever you decide to do, whether free ranging at this point, or waiting until he's older, a safe environment must be created. He will need the same things in a free range that he would need in a cage. It certainly can be accomplished at this age, but if you are concerned, it's best to wait.
 

camimom

New Member
Good advice.

Whatever you decide to do, whether free ranging at this point, or waiting until he's older, a safe environment must be created. He will need the same things in a free range that he would need in a cage. It certainly can be accomplished at this age, but if you are concerned, it's best to wait.
I think I'm just gonna wait until hes bigger.
 

DeviousMike

New Member
I just started with my 8 month panther. He's about 9 inches long or so. I'm using a 5 foot ficus tree and a hanging pothos. It's not much more work then having him in a cage except now I'm back to hand misting LOL.
 

sdheli420

Established Member
I started my baby panther the day i brought him home ( he was about 1.5 months old, and tiny) , but givin the large amount of space for him to chill i think is what keeps him there..he cruises around his tree and does not leave it unless i get him to climb to me with food and sometimes without..i hand, cup feed..drip, and hand water..he seems to thrive in it..very friendly too..

p.s. thats him on the tip of my finger at 2.5 months ( my avatar pic)
 

camimom

New Member
I free range all of my pets. Baby Elly has always been cageless. You can keep your chameleon cageless as long as you have a correct and safe environment for them.

Her free ranges now at 4 months old.





Her first free range as a tiny baby.





You can see more of my free ranges here:https://www.chameleonforums.com/members/jannb-albums-free-ranges.html
Gorgeuous free range set up. I wish I had the cajones (lol) to do that, but with how tiny he is I would spend my days worrying at him falling or climbing on something he shouldn't or getting lost. Maybe when hes older and it doesn't take me 20 minutes to find him in his small cage. lol
 
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