Should I give my new Cham non gut loaded crickets or skip a feeding for today? Help

FreeJovan

Member
So I’ve had my little dude Luka for about a week and he has been eating around 5-7 crickets a day. He is a 3 month ambilobe from kammerflage and I know it should be more at this age but that’s around all I can get him to eat before he gets to spooked by me releasing them into his enclosure by hand. He hasn’t learned to eat from the feeder cup yet. I have been feeding him small crickets from petsmart that I gulled with a bunch of the recommended stuff and tried to buy some 2 days ago to gut load cuz I was running low but they were out. Today they finally restocked but I’m out of crickets. Should I just feed him the non gut-loaded ones straight from the store or skip a feeding for today so I can gutload them?
 
So I’ve had my little dude Luka for about a week and he has been eating around 5-7 crickets a day. He is a 3 month ambilobe from kammerflage and I know it should be more at this age but that’s around all I can get him to eat before he gets to spooked by me releasing them into his enclosure by hand. He hasn’t learned to eat from the feeder cup yet. I have been feeding him small crickets from petsmart that I gulled with a bunch of the recommended stuff and tried to buy some 2 days ago to gut load cuz I was running low but they were out. Today they finally restocked but I’m out of crickets. Should I just feed him the non gut-loaded ones straight from the store or skip a feeding for today so I can gutload them?
Definitely listen to some of the more experienced chameleon owners in here, but I've learned a lot over the last year and I can prove some quick recommendations:

1) I would stop buying from petsmart. They can be dirty from there which is potentially dangerous to your chameleon. I buy my crickets from Joshs Frogs. Honestly they're cheaper pretty much even with shipping. I'm not even joking. It's REALLY close (and shipping is really fast). You'll get way healthier crickets.

2) Your chameleon NEEDS to eat at this age on a daily. I *personally (again listen to more experienced owners* say .....feed what you have for today. Non-gutloaded crickets will still provided at least SOME of what your chameleon needs vs absolutely nothing.

3) 100% get a window feeder. Force it on your chameleon. I promise you if he doesn't like it at first.... he will not let himself starve over it. Force it on him and let him eat these crickets from a window feeder. I would highly recommend you stop feeding him by releasing them into his enclosure. Crickets will poop all over the enclosure, and spread any parasites, or w/e they may have all over the enclosure. Also, they can, and will likely bite your chameleon (hurts him and can cause infection) while he is sleeping.

You definitely want a variety. With that being said it seems some chameleons are way picker than others. I have a VERY picky chameleon (he's never once eaten a dubia, superworm, or anything at all besides crickets, BSFL (and the flies), silkworms (sometimes a moth), and some hornworms (as a treat and I rarely give them to him).

I think you should try some sites (dubia.com, Joshsfrogs.com, Framschams.com(silkworms!) and start buying online. It's way more convenient, you'll find it's really not much more, if at all more expensive (for me... it's WAY cheaper buying online than in petsmart tbh). And.... you're getting higher quality bugs.
 
He has to eat daily so just give him what you have. Per not eating from the cup. Can you post pics of what you are using so we can see it and how you have it set up in the cage?

He needs to start eating much more so getting the feeder set up properly or ordering a feeder run instead which most will start eating from immediately. Teaching to free feed in a cage is not that great. Not only do you have insects free to chew on him at night when he is sleeping but down the road if you teach to free feed and he gets a parasite that has to be treated he will be in a higher risk of re contamination from eating off places that possibly have the eggs of the parasite that was passed in the fecal.
 
Definitely listen to some of the more experienced chameleon owners in here, but I've learned a lot over the last year and I can prove some quick recommendations:

1) I would stop buying from petsmart. They can be dirty from there which is potentially dangerous to your chameleon. I buy my crickets from Joshs Frogs. Honestly they're cheaper pretty much even with shipping. I'm not even joking. It's REALLY close (and shipping is really fast). You'll get way healthier crickets.

2) Your chameleon NEEDS to eat at this age on a daily. I *personally (again listen to more experienced owners* say .....feed what you have for today. Non-gutloaded crickets will still provided at least SOME of what your chameleon needs vs absolutely nothing.

3) 100% get a window feeder. Force it on your chameleon. I promise you if he doesn't like it at first.... he will not let himself starve over it. Force it on him and let him eat these crickets from a window feeder. I would highly recommend you stop feeding him by releasing them into his enclosure. Crickets will poop all over the enclosure, and spread any parasites, or w/e they may have all over the enclosure. Also, they can, and will likely bite your chameleon (hurts him and can cause infection) while he is sleeping.

You definitely want a variety. With that being said it seems some chameleons are way picker than others. I have a VERY picky chameleon (he's never once eaten a dubia, superworm, or anything at all besides crickets, BSFL (and the flies), silkworms (sometimes a moth), and some hornworms (as a treat and I rarely give them to him).

I think you should try some sites (dubia.com, Joshsfrogs.com, Framschams.com(silkworms!) and start buying online. It's way more convenient, you'll find it's really not much more, if at all more expensive (for me... it's WAY cheaper buying online than in petsmart tbh). And.... you're getting higher quality bugs.
I actually have a shipment from Dubia.com coming with a variety of bugs and stuff I plan to stop buying from petsmart as soon as the shipment arrives which should be this weekend. The only reason I have been is because when I bought him the breeder recommended sticking to what he’s used to which is crickets for the first week then introducing variety.

I am also very careful about the free range feeding only releasing one at a time until he stops eating them then all crickets are removed.

I’ll definitely take your advice on the window feeder and kind of force him into it. Thank for the advice. Do you recommend any feeders in particular?

Also if I attach a picture of my enclosure could you recommend where I place the feeder best for where he’ll want to eat from it?
 
You can order large amounts of crickets from rainbowmealworms.com. You would buy the 1/4 inch size. Most you have to slowly introduce new insects with the crickets they were raised on.
 
I actually have a shipment from Dubia.com coming with a variety of bugs and stuff I plan to stop buying from petsmart as soon as the shipment arrives which should be this weekend. The only reason I have been is because when I bought him the breeder recommended sticking to what he’s used to which is crickets for the first week then introducing variety.

I am also very careful about the free range feeding only releasing one at a time until he stops eating them then all crickets are removed.

I’ll definitely take your advice on the window feeder and kind of force him into it. Thank for the advice. Do you recommend any feeders in particular?

Also if I attach a picture of my enclosure could you recommend where I place the feeder best for where he’ll want to eat from it?
No problem! Look sometimes If I am in a pinch I have bought from petsmart too... IF it looked clean (I am lucky I have a "cleaner" petsmart). It's just I'd say you don't want to always do that.

I personally use the one from Frams chams. It simply works for me and that's where I bought my cham from so it was convenient. But just about any will work. I just personally would prefer a magnet setup to the pins. Many like those but for me that was a pain. The magnets are nice and easy.

You want it setup high so the majority of it is say "eye level" for your chameleon at the highest branches. At least, that's how I have mine setup. I will send a pic soon.
 
No problem! Look sometimes If I am in a pinch I have bought from petsmart too... IF it looked clean (I am lucky I have a "cleaner" petsmart). It's just I'd say you don't want to always do that.

I personally use the one from Frams chams. It simply works for me and that's where I bought my cham from so it was convenient. But just about any will work. I just personally would prefer a magnet setup to the pins. Many like those but for me that was a pain. The magnets are nice and easy.

You want it setup high so the majority of it is say "eye level" for your chameleon at the highest branches. At least, that's how I have mine setup. I will send a pic soon.
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So this is basically even with the top branches of Spikes enclosure. So when he's basking and climbing around up there he can easily see and tongue blast his prey 😝
 
Hi. Not sure I understand how you can be all it of food for your crickets. The best things to feed your feeders is fresh produce - greens, veggies and just a bit of fruit. Attaching graphics to help.
For feeding stations, similar to the one from Fram’s Cham’s is the Shooting Gallery https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery?variant=30018608595032 I believe Rainbow Mealworms also sells it. Then there is this style https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/ and a similar variation is https://sunsetchameleons.com/product-category/chameleons/chameleon-feeders/ You can find variations on all of these in different places and especially Etsy. Whichever you choose, make sure it is almost as high as and visible from the basking area. Your guy will find it and quickly learn that is where the food is.
You also need to make sure that you’re feeding the correct size bugs. Anything larger than the space between the eyes is too big. I prefer to give all of my animals feeders that are just a bit smaller.
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Hi. Not sure I understand how you can be all it of food for your crickets. The best things to feed your feeders is fresh produce - greens, veggies and just a bit of fruit. Attaching graphics to help.
For feeding stations, similar to the one from Fram’s Cham’s is the Shooting Gallery https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery?variant=30018608595032 I believe Rainbow Mealworms also sells it. Then there is this style https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/ and a similar variation is https://sunsetchameleons.com/product-category/chameleons/chameleon-feeders/ You can find variations on all of these in different places and especially Etsy. Whichever you choose, make sure it is almost as high as and visible from the basking area. Your guy will find it and quickly learn that is where the food is.
You also need to make sure that you’re feeding the correct size bugs. Anything larger than the space between the eyes is too big. I prefer to give all of my animals feeders that are just a bit smaller.
View attachment 355643View attachment 355644
I made some gulled cubes blending together collard greens, sweet potato bee pollen zucchini and apple that’s what I’ve been feeding the crickets. I just ordered one off of Etsy but in the meantime I will be using a diy one I made just today until it gets here. I am really stressing about him not eating so much at this age. He didn’t end up eating today tho because as soon as I put the cup with the crickets in there he got scared and went to his hiding spot. How bad is it that he skipped a feeding today
 
I made some gulled cubes blending together collard greens, sweet potato bee pollen zucchini and apple that’s what I’ve been feeding the crickets. I just ordered one off of Etsy but in the meantime I will be using a diy one I made just today until it gets here. I am really stressing about him not eating so much at this age. He didn’t end up eating today tho because as soon as I put the cup with the crickets in there he got scared and went to his hiding spot. How bad is it that he skipped a feeding today
At 3 months old he should be ok to miss one day of eating, as long as he doesn’t make a habit of it. Coming from Kammerflage, he should be very healthy. However, even the best of breeders aren’t immune to parasites or possibly your little guy could have gotten something from the pet store crickets. I suggest getting a fecal test just to rule that out as a reason for not eating so well. Can you post a pic of your enclosure just so we can see if there’s something that he might not like or would inhibit his eating?
 
At 3 months old he should be ok to miss one day of eating, as long as he doesn’t make a habit of it. Coming from Kammerflage, he should be very healthy. However, even the best of breeders aren’t immune to parasites or possibly your little guy could have gotten something from the pet store crickets. I suggest getting a fecal test just to rule that out as a reason for not eating so well. Can you post a pic of your enclosure just so we can see if there’s something that he might not like or would inhibit his eating?
His eating has been pretty consistent in the fact that every feeding he will start out excited and move to get the crickets. Then the more I put my hand in the more he starts backing off and goes to hide. So it’s not like he’s just staring at the crickets and not wanting them he just leaves to go hide behind his plants. I could definitely look into a fecal test to rule it out. But it definitely seems like I’m the problem which I’m hoping the run cup will help with that so he can eat in private. I also have a shipment of crickets from Josh’s frogs coming overnight so I can stop with the petsmart crickets.
 

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Your enclosure looks good. Maybe you’ve just got a shy little guy. With little exception, mine have never been shy when it comes to eating. However, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen them drink. Some chameleons prefer to be secretive about eating. Hopefully a permanent feeding station will do the trick. :)
 
Your enclosure looks good. Maybe you’ve just got a shy little guy. With little exception, mine have never been shy when it comes to eating. However, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen them drink. Some chameleons prefer to be secretive about eating. Hopefully a permanent feeding station will do the trick. :)
Hopefully that’ll do it:) I was wondering if when I get the window feeder I should be taking the whole thing out after every use right? The cup I was trying before turning it into a run cup was a bird feeding cup. I would place the cup after sending some crickets up the branch to him to kind of get him to associate the cup with the food but it seemed to scare him putting it in there.
 
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Definitely listen to some of the more experienced chameleon owners in here, but I've learned a lot over the last year and I can prove some quick recommendations:

1) I would stop buying from petsmart. They can be dirty from there which is potentially dangerous to your chameleon. I buy my crickets from Joshs Frogs. Honestly they're cheaper pretty much even with shipping. I'm not even joking. It's REALLY close (and shipping is really fast). You'll get way healthier crickets.

2) Your chameleon NEEDS to eat at this age on a daily. I *personally (again listen to more experienced owners* say .....feed what you have for today. Non-gutloaded crickets will still provided at least SOME of what your chameleon needs vs absolutely nothing.

3) 100% get a window feeder. Force it on your chameleon. I promise you if he doesn't like it at first.... he will not let himself starve over it. Force it on him and let him eat these crickets from a window feeder. I would highly recommend you stop feeding him by releasing them into his enclosure. Crickets will poop all over the enclosure, and spread any parasites, or w/e they may have all over the enclosure. Also, they can, and will likely bite your chameleon (hurts him and can cause infection) while he is sleeping.

You definitely want a variety. With that being said it seems some chameleons are way picker than others. I have a VERY picky chameleon (he's never once eaten a dubia, superworm, or anything at all besides crickets, BSFL (and the flies), silkworms (sometimes a moth), and some hornworms (as a treat and I rarely give them to him).

I think you should try some sites (dubia.com, Joshsfrogs.com, Framschams.com(silkworms!) and start buying online. It's way more convenient, you'll find it's really not much more, if at all more expensive (for me... it's WAY cheaper buying online than in petsmart tbh). And.... you're getting higher quality bugs.
I 1000% agree with everything said here.

Feed your boy now it’s better than nothing.

My staple feeders are all of the above plus blue bottle flies and house flies (both purchased at Josh’s frogs),wax worms (treats), and grasshoppers (feedmychameleon.com) I suggest getting a subscription to at least one of your staple feeders. If you are anything like me you will realize you have 10 crickets left and then go into panic mode and hope more arrive in the mail before you run out.

Breeding your own bugs can also be helpful. Something I’m working on myself. Many people here breed their own bugs so you could learn a lot from them if you want. 🤣
 
Your enclosure looks good. Maybe you’ve just got a shy little guy. With little exception, mine have never been shy when it comes to eating. However, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen them drink. Some chameleons prefer to be secretive about eating. Hopefully a permanent feeding station will do the trick. :)
My Jabba will drink in front of me but won’t eat in front of me.
 
No problem! Look sometimes If I am in a pinch I have bought from petsmart too... IF it looked clean (I am lucky I have a "cleaner" petsmart). It's just I'd say you don't want to always do that.

I personally use the one from Frams chams. It simply works for me and that's where I bought my cham from so it was convenient. But just about any will work. I just personally would prefer a magnet setup to the pins. Many like those but for me that was a pain. The magnets are nice and easy.

You want it setup high so the majority of it is say "eye level" for your chameleon at the highest branches. At least, that's how I have mine setup. I will send a pic soon.
View attachment 355631


So this is basically even with the top branches of Spikes enclosure. So when he's basking and climbing around up there he can easily see and tongue blast his prey 😝 and wow. I thought this posted earlier I am so sorry.
 
Hopefully that’ll do it:) I was wondering if when I get the window feeder I should be taking the whole thing out after every use right? The cup I was trying before turning it into a run cup was a bird feeding cup. I would place the cup after sending some crickets up the branch to him to kind of get him to associate the cup with the food but it seemed to scare him putting it in there.
No, the feeding station remains in place. Every now and then you’ll want to take it down and wash it as the supplements and occasional bug ick builds up.
 
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