Bee pollen is like a natural multivitamin
Have you ever offered bee pollenQ- What about medical care?
A- What about it? If you can't afford to take a pet to the Vet then don't own one. Considering these animals and their set up cost more than most dogs I would hope a person owning one has enough forethought to look up and find a good Herp vet prior to owning one. The sad truth of keeping any chameleon is that at some point you will need some type of medical help. The difference between your chameleon living and dying can come down to whether or not your vet is experienced with chameleons, or instead just says "they see reptiles".
I was very lucky in my early years to meet a wonderful Vet who was more than happy to teach me about basic reptile medical care while I taught him about equipment and environmental factors. Whenever a customer came in with a sick reptile, I sent them to him. Whenever he had a sick reptile come in, he sent them to me for the right gear. I saw first hand how good he was with reptiles, but even he hated working on a chameleon "because you don't have a lot of room or time to work with."
If your animal is sick, you don't have a lot of time to wait around, or to wait until your next paycheck. You need to be able to take your critter in when it needs it. If you can't do that, don't buy one. Also don't give me that crap about "My animal will be fine, I've got the perfect set up blah blah blah" because all your animal has to do is fall and you end up with a vet visit like this....
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He fell. Nothing more. Busted his middle horn well into the base and despite a solid attempt by a great herp vet and having an owner more than capable of caring for his rehab, he died. Crap happens with any pet you keep, be prepared for the occasional vet visit and even if your Parson is healthy take in a fecal sample once a year and have it checked for parasites. Personally I give my animals a dose of Panacur once a year (three doses at two week intervals) as a routine.
Q- Do I have to let my animal go through brumation?
A- No. I've kept Parsons for years without letting them go into that semi hibernative state. Same with tortoises. I've kept tortoises for years that never hibernated and thrived. It's just about providing them the environment they need to stay active.
So, that synopsis:
1 - Always set up your habitat first and make sure everything is working before you buy that Parson. Seriously.
2 - Consider a long cage instead of a traditional tall one. A size of 48"L X 48" H X 24" deep is fine for a young solo animal up to about 500g, That fact right there will help a lot of you getting your first Parson. Don't go bonkers on the size of the cage.
3- I recommend a single quad fixture for that size cage. One bulb should be a plant light and another a UVB bulb. I'd go with a 6% bulb for any cage 48" or less in height. Bigger cages I use the 12% bulbs or if they are densely planted. Use your head when deciding that. Put the fixture on a timer and give the animal 10-12 hours of it daily.
4- You need a Mist King. None of this " I'll use a hand sprayer for now" crap. Make sure you know how much water your set up can handle before doing this. You should set the timer to give 2-3 long mistings at 5 mins each with additional mistings set for 1 minute throughout the day. I don't mist at night. 2-3 times a week a good long soak in the shower for 20+ minutes is really important. If you have a set up that lets you just turn the water on for however long you like, more power to you.
5- Temps. I keep my animals indoors at 75-88F using a gradient. The Quad fixture puts out a ton of heat so it is warmer up top and gets cooler down below. My Parsons just go where they feel comfortable. Providing that gradient is my job as a keeper. How you do it is up to you, you just need to have it. Night temps stay above 55F outside but indoors my animals are never below 70F. This is the reason why they will never go into brumation.
6- Humidity. I let it fluctuate. I don't stress over it. The Mist King and damp potted plants tend to give them enough Humidity from my experience. Just make sure you have some air flow going through the cage in some capacity.
7- Feeding. I offer food daily. They don't always eat daily. Sometimes they'll eat five days in a row and then not want anything for a day or two. I try to use hanging feeders but also cup feed from my hand. I do not free range any insects in their cages. I use Repashy calcium with medium D3 since my animals are mostly kept indoors and lightly dust their food items with it three days a week. Once a week I use Herptivite lightly one a few feeders. Once a week I use Brewer's yeast mixed 50/50 with bee pollen. These chams do seem to have a need for more B1 than other species. I go light on all my dusting and there are some days I don't dust the feeders. All feeders are gut loaded fresh veggies.
As for my animals, I use Orange head roaches mostly and really huge super worms. I offer a mouse fuzzy twice a month. Other feeders I obtain randomly or when available.
8- Handling. I don't. Pretty simple. In truth I only pick them up to shower them. The rest of the time I leave them alone, to quote a friend they are more like living art and art should just be looked at and appreciated for what it is.
I do hope this gives some of you young and coming Parson keepers the basic info you are looking for while cutting through the B.S. from some of the more elite keepers out there.
Some good references:
Lighting - Todd over at lightyourreptiles.com- His quad fixtures are great.
Caging - Bill over at Dragon Strand - His Atrium cage is the only one like it out there and they are well made.
Feeders - Nick Barta over at full throttle feeders. - Talk about a variety of food items.
Those three guys take care of their customers, know their stuff, and would have made keeping a Parson much easier if they would have been around back in the 80's and 90's with their products and experience. So right there as a new Parson keeper you have some advantages over me.
In conclusion, a Parson is a fairly hardy chameleon but ONLY if you provide it with what it needs from the start. Lastly, always do your best to buy from a reputable source. That will give you the best chance for getting a healthy animal to start out with. Do check on the reputation of anybody you decide to buy one of these great animals from. if you start out with a sick animal, you may not be as lucky as I was.
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"What the F*** are you staring at! Get outta my sight!" - Atlas
and you do this once a week? Which brands of calcium do you use?I use the brewers yeast for the extra B1 they need and the bee pollen is a natural multivitamin. I know they eat pollinators in the wild and the pollen would be a natural source for some of their nutrition. That and it sticks well with the brewers yeast
Have you ever offered bee pollen
and you do this once a week? Which brands of calcium do you use?
Ok bec I have herd alot of people say I should be using calcium with no D3.I use Repashy LoD and Repashy Calcium plus.My guy use to get outside alot but lately not so much bc of my schedule and he scars his face up trying to get out.I mix the bee pollen with the brewers yeast and yes I use it just once a week. That is not to say I heavily powder up all the feeders, I lightly dust them and the animals eat 1-3 items with this on it. It is a light supplementation.
I use Repashy brand calcium. Specifically I use Calcium Med. Since my animals do not get a lot of sunlight I use the medium D3 product
Ok bec I have herd alot of people say I should be using calcium with no D3.I use Repashy LoD and Repashy Calcium plus.My guy use to get outside alot but lately not so much bc of my schedule and he scars his face up trying to get out.
I am a cham-momma to 9 panther chameleons (a mix of WC and CB) and Thursday I will be welcoming my first Parson's!!! I noticed the info you had regarding supplements. For my panthers I use calcium carbonate and bee pollen dusted onto feeders every feeding and dust with Miner-all Indoor formula (vitamins) on the first and the 15th of every month. Would a parsons need additional supplements? Or a more frequent dusting of vitamins?
Is this a Pro-formed Vit A or Pre-formed vit A which they raised the content of?I’d like to update this. Since using dendrocare for years and experiencing success, they have reformulated and the amount of vitamin A is HIGHER than comparable products. For this reason, I DO NOT advise using it more than twice a month.
What about for non-montane species?From what I understand, dendrocare added PREformed A or created a more absorbable delivery system, because frogs were suffering
from not enough. According to a knowledgeable source, frogs can utliize large amounts of A, much more than chameleons. Dendrocare, when compared label to label with Repashy and Reptivite, isn’t ridiculously higher, but higher enough that caution should be used with montanes and on no account can be recommended to be used more than every other week. I still use it, I just use a scant amount and less often.
I’m not gonna lie, I never knew chameleons ate miceQ - I hear I need a huge variety of food items!
A- To start with, all chameleon species do better with the biggest variety of food items you can give them as a keeper. To say one MUST have a large variety is simply bull.
Keep this in mind, the bigger the predator, the bigger the prey items.
I have seen first hand that Parson's eat vertebrates. I've been talked down to by some people over the years insisting they don't eat them if given a choice. Well, they're wrong.
I've seen Huge Parsons stalk after day geckos, anoles, and coming running for a mouse fuzzy just as fast as they want a mantis, a choice roach, or a hawk moth. If it fits they'll eat it. I am NOT suggesting people do this, but before old Hormone lost his teeth that beast blew outta the air and ate a few hummingbirds courtesy of my father who thought it was cool despite my protests about parasites. The point is they hunt for appropriate sized prey items and they eat everything. Or so you think.
You see every Parson chameleon is different in its eating habits. Some are easy to feed. So will go on a hunger strike from hell. Some will eat from your hands, others won't eat until they see you leave the room. Just as their habits vary so do their preferences. I've had some that won't eat a roach and others that will only eat a roach. I have a female right now that will eat anything buy ONLY if I hold the cup. If I put the same food items in a hanging feeder in front of her she won't touch them. Personally I make sure my animals have two steady food sources (Orange head roaches and jumbo super worms currently) that I powder up with supplements. I do make the effort to obtain other food items. Stick insects are good, other types of roaches, large horn worms or silk worms, maybe a mantis, or a gecko, or a fuzzy. What I don't do is stress over having a constant variety so huge it is prohibitive to keep.
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