Shed taking longer than a week

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon -1 year old male, Trioceros jacksonii jacksonii (rainbow Jackson), he has been in my care for about 3-4 months. Purchased him at the "Maryland All-Reptile expo" in Havre De grace, MD.
  • Handling - I probably take him out once a week for 15-45 min and just let him sleep on my shoulder while I work on the computer.
  • Feeding - I feed him a main diet of crickets, 4 medium sized crickets per day. Sometimes he eats them all sometimes he doesnt. Prior to the pandemic limiting pet food supplies I would switch it up and do 4 Dubai roaches or 4 waxworms. All food goes into a small feeding dish and I would rip a leg off each cricket so they couldn't escape, but that did not work well do I recently zip tied a red solo cup to his cage and now the crickets cannot jump out, works much better. I never fed the waxworms anything, other than whatever was already in their substrate upon purchase. Crickets and Dubai roaches would get tangerines, lettuce, and Flukers orange cubes. These orange cubes dry out quickly so I have a medium sized cap filled with water with the crickets now. I will be getting the regular flukes cricket food next time instead of orange cubes that "hydrate" also. I have a high mortality rate for crickets though, I don't understand, I feel like half of them die.
  • Supplements - All food is thoroughly coated in "Repashy calcium plus LOD" before feeding. Maybe once a week he will have 1 or 2 crickets that were not coated, because I will offer him one with tongs just to see if he is hungry or getting enough to eat.
  • Watering - I have the "exo-terra monsoon solo misting system". I had it set to mist for 20 seconds every 4 hours, but a couple days ago I switched it to 16 seconds every 2 hours because I was worried he wasn't drinking enough. Im sure he is since his body is much smaller than what I would consider drinking enough. I have witnessed him licking droplets off leaves on several occasions.
  • Fecal Description - Small brown pellets vary in color from dark brown to light brown. Good shape and texture. Urates are white and normal. Never been tested.
  • History - None

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Zoo Med XL screen cage. 24x24x48
  • Lighting - His heat fixture was a 150watt heat bulb this winter, recently switched to 100watt as spring is here. 24inch reptile-sun LED/UVB flat terrarium hood. Upgraded the UVB from a 5.0 to a 10.0 as soon as I got it. I usually adjust the lights to his sleep schedule (spoiled). If I see him in his umbrella tree trying to sleep then I will turn off all the lights (no blue or red, just darkness). Some nights he tries to sleep at 7pm, some nights he doesn't want to sleep until 1030pm. Usually around 9pm if he is still up I will turn off all the lights except heat, so he has enough light to guide himself to his sleeping spot, then I will turn off heat lamp half hour later. If he went to bed early I will turn on his lights when I wake up at 7AM, if he went to bed late, I might let him sleep until 830-9. I just turn all the lights on and usually within half an hour he has woken himself up and is wandering around.
  • Temperature - His basking spot is always 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit and I keep a digital thermometer there. Floor of his cage is probably close to 70 degrees, same temp as my room. The heat ranges throughout his cage so can have a temperature of his choosing based on the distance to the heat lamp. I am going to put the 150watt heat bulb back in just so it keeps more of his cage warmer. I live in a basement so it is consistently 65-70 degrees down here and that is why I have such a high wattage heat bulb.
  • Humidity - I have a large sized dehumidifier on the other side of the basement to keep the mold out so it is a little drier instead of wet down here. The needle hygrometer in the room he is in, constantly reads 45-55% humidity. But the digital hygrometer in his cage reads high 30% constantly, it is located on the side of his cage in the upper corner behind the humidifier. BUT I do not feel this is an accurate reading of his humidity levels (I am not dumb, I researched what % Jacksons should have). I have a "evergreen pet supplies Digital timer 4L reptile fogger" that is 24/7 outputting humidity into his cage. I have it protruding through the side of his screen about 4 inches in, at the top back corner. I have to refill this 4L (1 gal) humidifier twice a day. I have a bowl placed at bottom of his cage underneath the hose tip, that catches all the dripping condensation, which I empty out every other day. A lot of condensation drips out. The humidifier is blowing in the back half of his cage from the side. So it reaches the majority of his plants, but not his basking spot/feeding tray. He sleeps directly in the humidity cloud every night. So although the hygrometer reads low, that is in a place where the humidity does not reach. It seems pointless to put the hygrometer in the humidity cloud, because then it will obviously reach a much higher %. He can move to where he is comfortable, directly in the high % which is in the cloud covering the back half of his cage, or go to his basking spot which is low %, or somewhere in-between. Humidity is my only concern but it has just got to be impossible for all Cham Owners with a screen cage to keep a perfect % unless there is a jungle in their house. I see Cham owners on YouTube that just mist twice a day with a spray bottle, meanwhile I have a high end full blown humidifier constantly outputting, so I just don't see it actually being an issue.
  • Plants - 1 live umbrella plant, and 1 live pothos (devils ivy). 3 vines (one has fake leaves, the others are bare), and several sticks that lead to different angles throughout his cage to the floor. Umbrella is planted in a pot at the cage bottom (cage bottom is green eco-mat). He sleeps in the top of this plant directly in the humidity flow. Pothos is planted in a small magnaturals pot on the side of the cage near the door, opposite of his basking spot and feeding tray. He rarely goes to the pothos, as it is away from humidity, and away from heat. I will be putting an "aqua-bulb" in the pothos to keep moist, because the soil is constantly dry since the magnaturals pot is much to small for its roots. The umbrella plant is constantly moist from the humidity.
  • Placement - My basement is all open "U-shaped" around the storage room, no doors for rooms, just walls and furniture. He is in the section designated as my office, in-between. my desk and about 3 feet from the basement wall/ electrical panel box room door. He is about 8 feet away from the cellar door that leads up a small cement staircase to outside. It is not a high traffic area really, but it also is because I come to my desk daily for work, this is where I spend most of my time. He doesnt seem to mind though, he still crawls all over his screen exploring every inch of cage. I have his cage on the Zoo Med table designed specifically for his XL cage, so the top of his cage is roughly 6f above the carpet.
  • Location - Eastern shore of Maryland.

Current Problem - Last week my cham had his shed (first once ive seen since purchasing 3-4 months ago) but only shed his back and top half of his body. Within 3-4 days he only had flakes left on him. Now once week later, he has started shedding his tail, face and limbs. I realize they don't always shed in one piece, but there was a period of 4 days where he was not shedding at all after his back, and now he is beginning a new shed on different areas. So that makes this whole thing a 2 week process, with a break in-between. I was misting with a hand sprayer once a day for 3 days, and slightly misting him in the process, but I recently learned that is not what I should do!! I will not be doing that again, I realize now that chams are dry shedders. So is it the humidity? Hydration? Nutrients? Should I decrease the timing on my auto-mister so it stops misting him while he tries to shed? Any insight on all things that I have posted about above are welcomed and appreciated. I tried uploading several pictures but the file size is too big and I am not able to compress them. I feel my detailed description is enough. His shed looks healthy, I'm just concerned with the timing. Also I have utilized the search bar so don't even mention it!!! ?

Thank you,
Bo
 
Last edited:

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I will read the rest of your post in a bit but for now I wanted to tell you that adults tend to only do partial sheds. Sometimes it is just one foot. Slower sheds can be because the humidity is too high or they are too wet. They are dry shedders. IMO good gut load and a variety of feeders can help their over all health and ability to shed.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Handling - I probably take him out once a week for 15-45 min and just let him sleep on my shoulder while I work on the computer. If he's sleeping it's because he is too cold, too dark or too stressed.
Flukers orange cubes. These are junk as you have discovered. These orange cubes dry out quickly so I have a medium sized cap filled with water with the crickets now. I will be getting the regular flukes cricket food next time instead of orange cubes that "hydrate" also. I have a high mortality rate for crickets though, I don't understand, I feel like half of them die. High humidity and poor ventilation are a common cause of Cricket losses in the Resources tab above there is a good gut load list in the nutrition section.
Supplements - All food is thoroughly coated in "Repashy calcium plus LOD" before feeding. Way too much even with LoD I would back off to just once weekly or every two weeks and use phosphorus free calcium 2-3 times weekly use all supplements very lightly.
Watering - I would base your schedule off of the humidity levels more than seeing him drink


Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Zoo Med XL screen cage. 24x24x48 Nice
  • Lighting - His heat fixture was a 150watt heat bulb this winter, recently switched to 100watt as spring is here. You could go as low as 40 Watt this summer depending on basking spot temp. 24inch reptile-sun LED/UVB flat terrarium hood. Upgraded the UVB from a 5.0 to a 10.0 as soon as I got it. I usually adjust the lights to his sleep schedule (spoiled). If I see him in his umbrella tree trying to sleep then I will turn off all the lights (no blue or red, just darkness). Some nights he tries to sleep at 7pm, some nights he doesn't want to sleep until 1030pm. Just like a little kid he needs lots of sleep and regular schedule near the equator he would get a regular 12 hours of light and 12 of darkness the lights are keeping him awake. This could be why he's sleeping on your shoulder he's exhausted.
  • Temperature - His basking spot is always 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit and I keep a digital thermometer there. Too warm stay under 85˚F for adults Floor of his cage is probably close to 70 degrees, same temp as my room. The heat ranges throughout his cage so can have a temperature of his choosing based on the distance to the heat lamp. I am going to put the 150watt heat bulb back in just so it keeps more of his cage warmer. I live in a basement so it is consistently 65-70 degrees down here and that is why I have such a high wattage heat bulb. They seek more heat than is good for them.
  • Humidity - I have a large sized dehumidifier on the other side of the basement to keep the mold out so it is a little drier instead of wet down here. The needle hygrometer in the room he is in, constantly reads 45-55% humidity. But the digital hygrometer in his cage reads high 30% constantly, it is located on the side of his cage in the upper corner behind the humidifier. BUT I do not feel this is an accurate reading of his humidity levels (I am not dumb, I researched what % Jacksons should have). I have a "evergreen pet supplies Digital timer 4L reptile fogger" that is 24/7 outputting humidity into his cage. I have it protruding through the side of his screen about 4 inches in, at the top back corner. I have to refill this 4L (1 gal) humidifier twice a day. I have a bowl placed at bottom of his cage underneath the hose tip, that catches all the dripping condensation, which I empty out every other day. A lot of condensation drips out. The humidifier is blowing in the back half of his cage from the side. So it reaches the majority of his plants, but not his basking spot/feeding tray. He sleeps directly in the humidity cloud every night. So although the hygrometer reads low, that is in a place where the humidity does not reach. It seems pointless to put the hygrometer in the humidity cloud, because then it will obviously reach a much higher %. He can move to where he is comfortable, directly in the high % which is in the cloud covering the back half of his cage, or go to his basking spot which is low %, or somewhere in-between. Humidity is my only concern but it has just got to be impossible for all Cham Owners with a screen cage to keep a perfect % unless there is a jungle in their house. I see Cham owners on YouTube that just mist twice a day with a spray bottle, meanwhile I have a high end full blown humidifier constantly outputting, so I just don't see it actually being an issue. Day time 40-50% is fine night should be higher 80-100%
  • Plants - all good
  • Placement - all good
  • Location - Eastern shore of Maryland.
 
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