temp and food? is there a conection?

Chameleon Punk

New Member
it there a conection between the two my cham was eatting a lot more this week and i noticed that she is eating only about 6 now and the only thing i can think of is the temp have been crapy outside this week mid 70s and last week was about mid 80s in the cage but dose anyone know if there is a conection??
 

sdheli420

Established Member
i have noticed my chams get more active during heat, but slow down if its really hot..the also eat less when its cold or too hot..so im sure they are just noticing slight differences that chang how comfortable they are...just a thought
 

Chameleon Punk

New Member
shes has been nice and calm with me thw whole time i have had her so far she like coming out and just sitting around she dosnt feak out when i put my hand in the cage to clean or grab a loss cricket she will eat outa hand somtimes but i think she might just be digesting slower do to this stormy weather we have been getting. is their a temp they need to digest properly?
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Temperature is very much a a very important factor for digestion! As ectotherms, reptiles get their body heat from external sources since they cannot generate it themselves like mammals. When they are cold their metabolism slows, and when they are warm it is faster. Metabolism refers to body functions such as blood flow, digestion, reproductive status, generating energy for movement, etc. So if they are cold they digest much slower, or potentially not at all.

Food that is eaten but not digested appropriately just sits in the gut and can lead to bad health problems if it sits there too long. Reptiles that are cold recognize this risk and eat less when they are colder. They also move around less to conserve energy, which is another factor to eating less. This is why a basking spot at warmer temperatures than the rest of their cage is so important. What kind and wattage of lights do you use?

They need a thermal gradient - several ranges of temperature within their cage so they can move to warmer or cooler spots as necessary to thermoregulate their body since they can't make heat or dissipate easily (no sweating or panting). There should be at least a ten degree difference between the top of the cage and the bottom imo. As long as you can maintain a sufficient basking zone there can be an even bigger discrepancy in range. This is also why you should not feed in the evening, because temps drop at night and they need the heat of the day for digestion. Appropriate temperatures are extremely important to the health of a reptile and it usually one of the first things pinpointed as needing improvement when a reptile is doing poorly.
 

Chameleon Punk

New Member
Temperature is very much a a very important factor for digestion! As ectotherms, reptiles get their body heat from external sources since they cannot generate it themselves like mammals. When they are cold their metabolism slows, and when they are warm it is faster. Metabolism refers to body functions such as blood flow, digestion, reproductive status, generating energy for movement, etc. So if they are cold they digest much slower, or potentially not at all.

Food that is eaten but not digested appropriately just sits in the gut and can lead to bad health problems if it sits there too long. Reptiles that are cold recognize this risk and eat less when they are colder. They also move around less to conserve energy, which is another factor to eating less. This is why a basking spot at warmer temperatures than the rest of their cage is so important. What kind and wattage of lights do you use?

They need a thermal gradient - several ranges of temperature within their cage so they can move to warmer or cooler spots as necessary to thermoregulate their body since they can't make heat or dissipate easily (no sweating or panting). There should be at least a ten degree difference between the top of the cage and the bottom imo. As long as you can maintain a sufficient basking zone there can be an even bigger discrepancy in range. This is also why you should not feed in the evening, because temps drop at night and they need the heat of the day for digestion. Appropriate temperatures are extremely important to the health of a reptile and it usually one of the first things pinpointed as needing improvement when a reptile is doing poorly.
i am useing a zoomed day blue 60 but i upgraded to a 75 because of this cool wather. ill up grade again or could i use two lights?
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
i am useing a zoomed day blue 60 but i upgraded to a 75 because of this cool wather. ill up grade again or could i use two lights?
You can use two lights because one really high wattage bulb can burn your cham. Any bulb can burn them but the risk goes up the hotter the bulb is. Is that the only light you're using or do you also have a UVB light?
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
The reason I ask is because UVB light is absolutely essential to the health of your chameleon. If you do not currently have a UVB light on your cage you absolutely must get one asap. Without one they cannot absorb any calcium from their diet so they mobilize whatever is stored in the bone. This essentially turns the bones soft and they can even break under the chameleon's own weight as it progresses. This condition is called metabolic bone disease. UVB does not pass through glass or plastic well so having the cage near a window is not helpful.

One of the most knowledgeable members of the forum has some great info for further research and getting started:

Here is some information that I hope will help....I realize that it includes a bit more than just the supplement schedule...but the other things all tie in with it...

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. Temperatures needed can vary with the species and age. For hatchling panthers I keep the temperature in the warmest area in the low 80's. For older panthers I keep it in the mid to high 80's for the most part.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite which has beta carotene.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
If you can't access the sites above that have the word "archive" in you can do it through the WayBackMachine.
 

Chameleon Punk

New Member
dont worry im not that cham retarded i have the uvb tube i just didnt know about anatomy and temp relations and now i know and knowlege is powr! capten planet!



The reason I ask is because UVB light is absolutely essential to the health of your chameleon. If you do not currently have a UVB light on your cage you absolutely must get one asap. Without one they cannot absorb any calcium from their diet so they mobilize whatever is stored in the bone. This essentially turns the bones soft and they can even break under the chameleon's own weight as it progresses. This condition is called metabolic bone disease. UVB does not pass through glass or plastic well so having the cage near a window is not helpful.

One of the most knowledgeable members of the forum has some great info for further research and getting started:
 

Tyler33

New Member
I'm having the same issue with my guy right now. the heat where i live has recently bumped up 10 degrees in the passed week and i've noticed his appetite has decreased. I have had him on a variety of feeders, but he likes crix best, but he wont eat those right now either.

Do you guys know if it is common for cham's appetites to decrees when it gets hot?
 

Tyler33

New Member
So the temps cooled down and my cham is eating normal again. I can't say for all chams, but mine seems to go on a "food strike" when it gets a little too hot.
 
Top Bottom