Veiled Chameleon staple food issue

GiovanniBelinni

New Member
My veiled chameleon (Giovanni) has not been eating crickets for roughly the last month. He is somewhere around 6 -10 months old. I’ve been hand feeding him apple pieces and banana slices dipped in multivitamin powder and calcium powder. This started when we couldn’t get crickets for a few weeks, so I used fruit as an alternative. He seems to be doing well, but I know he needs a better staple food. I don’t use a feeder, I just release a few into his enclosure. Is there a way to get him to eat crickets again? Once he does I plan to start farming crickets. Thanks!
 

Ayantis44

New Member
Hi,
I would stop feeding him fruits as soon as possible. I would cut them out completely for at least a month. They are safe, but they they can affect their health after a while (especially bananas.) You can always order feeder insects online. For the time being, I would add some veggies into his diet. I usually don't recommend already dead bugs, but that may be a good option for now. I suggest buying from dubia roaches. com.
 

Uri

Avid Member
I don’t own a veiled but a cheap bird feeder cup can do wonders with non jumping insects just add some mealworms and dubia in there if you can’t get anything shipped immediately as dubia and mealworms are readily available in most chain pet stores now and that should be good until you can get others I’ve heard of some keepers that offer fruit flies to their adult panthers of course variety is key you can offer bean Beatles and dubia ate by far my favorite staple to use for the ones that don’t free range as none of my chameleons can refuse a juicy roach
 

Uri

Avid Member
You are not supposed to feed your chameleon mealworms. The exoskeleton is hard for them to digest.
That’s only if you feed regularly in a pinch it isn’t bad and I’ve read an article I think here from dubia roaches.com saying that other insects usually have more chitin than mealworms don’t quote me on that ad my memory is vague on that one. As a staple it’s not the best idea it’s just until an online order can be made for insects I don’t see any problem offering the occasional mealworms to add variety as long as you gutload and supplement properly I’ve never had any reptile have impaction or constipation from mealworms as long as you keep them properly hydrated they should be fine with mealworms in their diet for variety
 

Uri

Avid Member
Oh I forgot to mention anything flying gets their attention like crazy if you get bottle flies or soldier flies I’ve never had a chameleon not go crazy for them. Some just don’t like crickets my Jackson’s chameleon is wishy washy with crickets they all have their individual taste for insects
 

GiovanniBelinni

New Member
Oh I forgot to mention anything flying gets their attention like crazy if you get bottle flies or soldier flies I’ve never had a chameleon not go crazy for them. Some just don’t like crickets my Jackson’s chameleon is wishy washy with crickets they all have their individual taste for insects
Will fruit flies, gnats, or house flies work?
 

Ayantis44

New Member
Will fruit flies, gnats, or house flies work?
Fruit flies are great, they usually sell them at petco. Just to be clear on somethings I mentioned earlier, you CAN feed meal worms. It just isn't recommended because they can be hard to digest. It won't hurt your cham, I just wouldn't use it ask a staple feeder. Fruits and veggies are great, just in moderation. It sounds like your cham has been eating a lot of fruits and veggies, so I would lay off for a while. Your best bet is to order online. I would suggest dubia roaches, crickets, and black solider fly larvae for your everyday feeders. I would get hornworms because they are good for hydration. Super worms and wax worms make great treats.
 

SauceGandhi

Established Member
You are not supposed to feed your chameleon mealworms. The exoskeleton is hard for them to digest.
This is a common myth, but pretty much every common feeder insect has a fine meat:shell ratio. That being said, I don't use nocturnal/burrowing insects for chameleons.
 

Uri

Avid Member
Will fruit flies, gnats, or house flies work?
I’ve never used gnats but fruit flies work great and house flies are even better but if you use wild ones just try to make sure not to use pesticides if it’s indoors j don’t think there’s one feeder that should be the main course it should always be varied in insects which I’d a little tricky but it’s for our babies
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Even though Veileds will eat fruits and vegetables this does not mean that you should be feeding them. And putting supplements directly on it means you could actually be over supplementing if your supplement has D3 or vitamin A. They actually should not be fed anything but insects because they are insectivores. They do not digest fruits and veg. And fruits are high in sugars which is not good for them.

Can you post some pics of your chameleon please.
 

GiovanniBelinni

New Member
I’ve never used gnats but fruit flies work great and house flies are even better but if you use wild ones just try to make sure not to use pesticides if it’s indoors j don’t think there’s one feeder that should be the main course it should always be varied in insects which I’d a little tricky but it’s for our babies
“For our babies” beautiful put
 

GiovanniBelinni

New Member
Even though Veileds will eat fruits and vegetables this does not mean that you should be feeding them. And putting supplements directly on it means you could actually be over supplementing if your supplement has D3 or vitamin A. They actually should not be fed anything but insects because they are insectivores. They do not digest fruits and veg. And fruits are high in sugars which is not good for them.

Can you post some pics of your chameleon please.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
It looks like Giovanni is Giovanna. You have a beautiful lady and from her colors, she may be gravid. You need to prepare a lay bin for her asap and put it in her enclosure. Get a plastic bin that is around 12” long and wide, drill a few small holes in the bottom for excess water drainage and fill to about 5-6” with washed play sand, moistened enough throughout to be able to hold a tunnel without collapsing. When she needs it, she’ll find it.
Now for a quick laying 101 course.
Once she enters her bin and starts to dig, she must have total privacy. Cover just the bottom half of the enclosure with a light sheet. You can poke a couple of small holes to peek thru if you like, but make sure she doesn’t see you or she may stop digging. She may dig a few tunnels until she likes one. She’ll dig to the bottom and then turn around and lay her eggs. When done, she’ll cover all of the holes and return to her basking branch, looking much thinner. She may sleep in her tunnel. That’s ok. Keep your usual light schedule and if you don’t have a misting system, you can use a dripper (not over the bin though). A plastic party cup with a pinhole in the bottom makes a decent dripper. No need to worry about feeding her while she’s digging/laying either.
When she has finished and is back on her favorite branch, you’ll want to hydrate and feed her well. Hornworms and silkworms are great at this time. Feed her well for a couple of days after and then start her on feeding 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week. Keep basking temp no higher than 80F. This will help reduce her egg production/laying and lengthen her life.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, she is too big for fruit flies. The rule of thumb for feeder size is to go by the space between the eyes. Anything larger than that space is too big, but you also don’t want too small either. I’m guesstimating that feeders approx 1/2” would be good for her. Provide her with a variety of live feeders and don’t forget that you need to feed the feeders well for them to be more nutritious. She doesn’t need fruits, greens or veggies…give those to your feeders instead. Do make sure she has only safe washed live plants and she’ll nibble the leaves when she feels like it. Pothos is a favorite. Adding some graphics for you. Also need to add on…try to minimize handling her as if she is gravid, she needs to be left in her enclosure to check out laying sites and get started on her thing. The whole laying process from start to finish can last 1-2 days.
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GiovanniBelinni

New Member
It looks like Giovanni is Giovanna. You have a beautiful lady and from her colors, she may be gravid. You need to prepare a lay bin for her asap and put it in her enclosure. Get a plastic bin that is around 12” long and wide, drill a few small holes in the bottom for excess water drainage and fill to about 5-6” with washed play sand, moistened enough throughout to be able to hold a tunnel without collapsing. When she needs it, she’ll find it.
Now for a quick laying 101 course.
Once she enters her bin and starts to dig, she must have total privacy. Cover just the bottom half of the enclosure with a light sheet. You can poke a couple of small holes to peek thru if you like, but make sure she doesn’t see you or she may stop digging. She may dig a few tunnels until she likes one. She’ll dig to the bottom and then turn around and lay her eggs. When done, she’ll cover all of the holes and return to her basking branch, looking much thinner. She may sleep in her tunnel. That’s ok. Keep your usual light schedule and if you don’t have a misting system, you can use a dripper (not over the bin though). A plastic party cup with a pinhole in the bottom makes a decent dripper. No need to worry about feeding her while she’s digging/laying either.
When she has finished and is back on her favorite branch, you’ll want to hydrate and feed her well. Hornworms and silkworms are great at this time. Feed her well for a couple of days after and then start her on feeding 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week. Keep basking temp no higher than 80F. This will help reduce her egg production/laying and lengthen her life.
Just to be sure, here’s ‘her’ underside. A lil bump under the opening led me to believe male, but this is a fun surprise! Thank you so much!
 

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GiovanniBelinni

New Member
Also, she is too big for fruit flies. The rule of thumb for feeder size is to go by the space between the eyes. Anything larger than that space is too big, but you also don’t want too small either. I’m guesstimating that feeders approx 1/2” would be good for her. Provide her with a variety of live feeders and don’t forget that you need to feed the feeders well for them to be more nutritious. She doesn’t need fruits, greens or veggies…give those to your feeders instead. Do make sure she has only safe washed live plants and she’ll nibble the leaves when she feels like it. Pothos is a favorite. Adding some graphics for you. Also need to add on…try to minimize handling her as if she is gravid, she needs to be left in her enclosure to check out laying sites and get started on her thing. The whole laying process from start to finish can last 1-2 days.
View attachment 321715View attachment 321716View attachment 321717
Isn’t she a little young to lay, being less than a year old?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just to be sure, here’s ‘her’ underside. A lil bump under the opening led me to believe male, but this is a fun surprise! Thank you so much!
With veileds, the easiest way to determine gender at any age is males have a prominent bump called a tarsal spur at the heels of their back feet. Usually around 4+ months old, you can also go by patterns and color. Males have vertical bars of color, while females don’t. As they get older, males have large casques, while females stay small. I’m going by your cham’s color, which is definitely a female and possibly gravid (’pregnant’ with eggs).
Veileds are (to my knowledge) the only chameleons that have tarsal spurs.
 
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