Veiled Husbandry Review

keldaahh

New Member
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    Your Chameleon - I have a female veiled chameleon, who I believe to be about 4-6 months old? I need some opinions on this, though. My boyfriend and I bought her from Petsmart (ugh) about 2 weeks ago.
  • Handling - Before upgrading her enclosure, it seemed she wanted to be handled more. I updated her enclosure two days ago, and she doesn’t seem to be as interested in coming out. I did open the door to add some sticks and she crawled onto me today, and seemed interested in what I was doing, and repeated this a few times.
  • Feeding - I am feeding crickets right now, as she is not interested in dubias. I feed her about 5 crickets around 10am and leave about 10 in there for her to graze on. I am not gut-loading at the moment, I’m still figuring out how to store my crickets, which I’d like some feedback on!
  • Supplements - I’m giving her Repti Calcium every other day, and I plan on giving Reptivite with D3 twice a month.
  • Watering - I have a milk-jug dripper in place, dripping onto leaves below. She has taken an interest in the dripping water, but sometimes tries to drink it from afar, extending her tongue as if catching food. In the old enclosure, she mostly drank off of the glass, so I did add a small piece of plastic on the side of the enclosure if she’s more interested in something like that. I mist for 3-4 minutes about 30 minutes before lights off, and periodically through the evening as needed.
  • Fecal Description - I am unaware if she was ever tested for parasites. She has had normal (from my comparison to photos here) droppings, 1-2 per day.


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - XL Reptibreeze, I have a plastic sheet on the back always, and halfway on the left is open during the day, and at night I put it up fully (back and left side) to maintain humidity.
  • Lighting - I have the 24” Reptisun T5 HO, set up 4” above the top of the enclosure. The bulb in the heat lamp is a 60W Daytime Heat Lamp from Exo-Terra, sitting directly on the enclosure.
  • Temperature - I have a hygrometer/ thermometer at about the center of her enclosure. During the day, temps are from 70°-75°. Her basking spot from what I’ve actually measured is about 80°, and I have felt it with the back of my hand to make sure it is not too hot. I am planning on getting a heat gun in the near future for more accurate readings. At night, in her old enclosure, temps had been 55°-60°. I am having a hard time getting below 65° at night with the new enclosure, but have noticed that misting with ice water has helped lower temps, not enough, though.
  • Humidity - during the day, humidity is between 50-60%. Half hour before lights out I will mist for about 2-3 minutes, following up throughout the evening as needed. I would like to avoid buying a fogger, but I think I may need one, since the humidity drops pretty quickly. Unless I could add plastic to the front and right side at night, but then I’m worried about airflow.
  • Plants - I am using all live plants, and I’ve seen her munching on a few of them. I have multiple pothos, ZZ Plants, a philodendron brasil, creeping fig, polka dot plant, croton, philodendron lickety split, and Schleffera. I mixed up my own potting mix using coconut coir and chips, mixed with sand.
  • Placement - The enclosure is sitting on a stand in the corner of our living room, next to a south-facing window. The top of the enclosure is about 7ft off the floor.
  • Location - Agricultural zone 6B


Overall, I am confident that my enclosure is up to standard, but I am a new keeper so I am accepting of all constructive criticism! These are my main questions:

  • How old does she look?
  • How do you all store crickets? I hate having them lol, but it’s what she likes most. I can’t stand the smell in the bags, and the store always gives me WAY too many. I was thinking of using a deep cardboard box and putting a mesh lid over top.
  • Any recommendations on a drip system? I want something fairly easy to control. Same with a fogger, especially budget-friendly or even DIY recommendations!
  • She used to drink mostly off of the glass in the old enclosure….will she adapt to drinking from solely leaves now?
  • I’m having a hard time getting the enclosure to cool down at night. Even though my current method cools it off, it’s only a few degrees it seems. Any recommendations for this?
  • I have a sand pit for egg laying when that time comes, I will attach a picture. Anything I should do differently?
 

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Ill put my feedback in bold, we often talk a lot around here so this will be split into two parts!
  • Your Chameleon - I have a female veiled chameleon, who I believe to be about 4-6 months old? I need some opinions on this, though. My boyfriend and I bought her from Petsmart (ugh) about 2 weeks ago.
She is super adorable! Female veiled chameleons are great! I'm not the greatest at telling a chameleon's age but 4-6 seems relatively correct! At this age she could start producing infertile eggs. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/veiled-chameleon-laying-101.2488/

Here is an amazing blog that you should read on egg laying! Ill also make sure to add a graph on how to make a lay bin below.


  • Handling - Before upgrading her enclosure, it seemed she wanted to be handled more. I updated her enclosure two days ago, and she doesn’t seem to be as interested in coming out. I did open the door to add some sticks and she crawled onto me today, and seemed interested in what I was doing, and repeated this a few times.
So chameleons are very shy creatures and do not do well with handling, while there may be a few that actually are friendly, them wanting to come out of the cage often means there's something about it that they don't like. Even though they really shouldn't be handled, it's always a good idea to earn trust/respect with them. Here is a link to a great blog on how to earn your chameleons trust!

https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/


  • Feeding - I am feeding crickets right now, as she is not interested in dubias. I feed her about 5 crickets around 10am and leave about 10 in there for her to graze on. I am not gut-loading at the moment, I’m still figuring out how to store my crickets, which I’d like some feedback on!
That amount sounds correct for the age she is, but once she gets closer to a year old you will want to cut back on how much and often you feed. Chameleons are prone to obesity, and it can be especially dangerous with females as it can hinder their ability to lay eggs if they produce any. By the time she is a year old or sooner you will want to be feeding her 3-5 appropriately sized bugs every 2-3 days. One way you can tell if bugs are the right size for her is making sure they are not wider than the space inbetween her eyes. Alongside that I would definitely say to try more variety. Gut loading is also very important as you want the bugs you feed her to be super nutritious. I'll attach a graph on what bugs you could feed her and what you should feed the bugs below.

  • Supplements - I’m giving her Repti Calcium every other day, and I plan on giving Reptivite with D3 twice a month.
Sounds great! Does the Repti Calcium have D3?

  • Watering - I have a milk-jug dripper in place, dripping onto leaves below. She has taken an interest in the dripping water, but sometimes tries to drink it from afar, extending her tongue as if catching food. In the old enclosure, she mostly drank off of the glass, so I did add a small piece of plastic on the side of the enclosure if she’s more interested in something like that. I mist for 3-4 minutes about 30 minutes before lights off, and periodically through the evening as needed.
She should adjust to drinking off of plants, another way you can hydrate her is by feeding her hornworms. Chameleons are also shy drinkers, so if you don't see her drinking, don't freak out. The main way we tell if they are well hydrated is through their poops. If the urate of her poops are mainly white, then she is well hydrated, but if it is mainly orange then she is dehydrated. Just a little orange at the end of the urate is normal. You will want to mist right as light comes on and goes off. I also want to add that chameleons are dry sheds so when she sheds you do not have to soak her or mist her more than you usually do.

  • Fecal Description - I am unaware if she was ever tested for parasites. She has had normal (from my comparison to photos here) droppings, 1-2 per day.
It's always a good idea to get a test for parasites :)
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Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - XL Reptibreeze, I have a plastic sheet on the back always, and halfway on the left is open during the day, and at night I put it up fully (back and left side) to maintain humidity.
Awesome! From looking at your enclosure you seem to have a great number of branches. Also due to the plants still having to fill it does look a little bare, so that lack of hiding places could cause your girl to be a little stressed.

  • Lighting - I have the 24” Reptisun T5 HO, set up 4” above the top of the enclosure. The bulb in the heat lamp is a 60W Daytime Heat Lamp from Exo-Terra, sitting directly on the enclosure.
How far is the uvb lamp from her basking branch? Also with how close her branch is to the heat lamp and the enclosure being a screen one, I would suggest elevating the basking lamp just to prevent burns if she climbs the screen towards. What is your light schedule, what time do lights go on/off? We recommend a 12-hour schedule, like for example lights on at 7am then lights off at 7pm.

  • Temperature - I have a hygrometer/ thermometer at about the center of her enclosure. During the day, temps are from 70°-75°. Her basking spot from what I’ve actually measured is about 80°, and I have felt it with the back of my hand to make sure it is not too hot. I am planning on getting a heat gun in the near future for more accurate readings. At night, in her old enclosure, temps had been 55°-60°. I am having a hard time getting below 65° at night with the new enclosure, but have noticed that misting with ice water has helped lower temps, not enough, though.
Awesome! Just hitting 65 degrees at night is perfect!

  • Humidity - during the day, humidity is between 50-60%. Half hour before lights out I will mist for about 2-3 minutes, following up throughout the evening as needed. I would like to avoid buying a fogger, but I think I may need one, since the humidity drops pretty quickly. Unless I could add plastic to the front and right side at night, but then I’m worried about airflow.
So during the day you will want the humidity to be around 30-50%, if it get above that during the day then it's too high, but at night you will want humidity to be around 80-100%. With the top and front of the enclosure being screen I think you can put the plastic cup full time on the right and left, it's often recommended to do that if you have a screen enclosure and are struggling with humidity.

  • Plants - I am using all live plants, and I’ve seen her munching on a few of them. I have multiple pothos, ZZ Plants, a philodendron brasil, creeping fig, polka dot plant, croton, philodendron lickety split, and Schleffera. I mixed up my own potting mix using coconut coir and chips, mixed with sand.
Sounds pretty good! Veiled chams are known for eating plants. Many of us with them often have leaves decorated with bites from our veileds.

Unfortunately I don't know half of those plants, so I'm not sure if they are 100% safe or not. Hopefully someone with plant experience can chime and give their take on some of them.
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  • Placement - The enclosure is sitting on a stand in the corner of our living room, next to a south-facing window. The top of the enclosure is about 7ft off the floor.
Perfect height! Height=safety when it comes to chameleons. Is this an area that is highly trafficked?

  • Location - Agricultural zone 6B


Overall, I am confident that my enclosure is up to standard, but I am a new keeper so I am accepting of all constructive criticism! These are my main questions:

  • How old does she look?
I would say 4-6 months is a reasonable guess, hopefully someone else can chime in their opinions on this.

  • How do you all store crickets? I hate having them lol, but it’s what she likes most. I can’t stand the smell in the bags, and the store always gives me WAY too many. I was thinking of using a deep cardboard box and putting a mesh lid over top.
I don't feed my girl crickets anymore as I always struggled with them escaping. That deep cardboard box with the mesh lid seems like it could definitely work. IF you ever want to buy more variety of bugs Dubiaroaches.com is a great place.

  • Any recommendations on a drip system? I want something fairly easy to control. Same with a fogger, especially budget-friendly or even DIY recommendations!
So many of us use the Mistking systems, as they can be programmed to go off automatically at many different times. MISTKING v5.0 Starter Misting System - Chewy.com

Although it can be expensive, I believe it's worth it.


  • She used to drink mostly off of the glass in the old enclosure….will she adapt to drinking from solely leaves now?
So again, as stated as above, she should adapt, and you can monitor her hydration through her poops because we often don't see them drink. If you are worried about her being dehydrated you can also feed bugs that are nice and hydrating like hornworms or silkworms.

  • I’m having a hard time getting the enclosure to cool down at night. Even though my current method cools it off, it’s only a few degrees it seems. Any recommendations for this?
Sometimes when I struggle with heat, I have a fan blowing nearby, sometimes into the very bottom of the cage to help cool it down.

  • I have a sand pit for egg laying when that time comes, I will attach a picture. Anything I should do differently?
What are the dimensions of your laybin and what sand do you use? We recommend the sand depth being about 6 inches in a larger abound 10-12 inch long/wide type box. This blog also has a lot of good information on how to set up a good lay bin. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/veiled-chameleon-laying-101.2488/IMG_3337.jpeg


It's late where I am and I'm sure if I missed anything, others will chime in! If you want to look at any more information
Chameleon Academy and Neptune the Chameleon YouTube are awesome resources!
 
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There’s various distances between the branches and top of the enclosure for basking, including under the UVB bulb. Any recs on raising the heat bulb above the surface? It came with a holder up top, but I am trying to avoid putting anything into the wall to hang it off of.

Her lights are on for 12 hours from 9-9.

I don’t know the exact dimensions of the current laying bin, but I will need to upgrade because I know they do not meet the minimum requirements you listed. I’m using Reptilite sand right now, is this okay to mix with the soil?

Thank you so much for all the feedback and taking the time to reply to everything! I am so grateful for this community!! I’m excited to give my gal a good life!!

Also, at first we were going to call her Randall, because the store said she was a boy. But now I’ve been calling her Camille, which seems to suit her :)
 
I forgot to add, the area she’s in is in the corner of our living room, and I usually have a chair in front of the stand she is on, so there’s not really room for anyone to be walking around the enclosure
 
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There’s various distances between the branches and top of the enclosure for basking, including under the UVB bulb. Any recs on raising the heat bulb above the surface? It came with a holder up top, but I am trying to avoid putting anything into the wall to hang it off of.

Her lights are on for 12 hours from 9-9.

I don’t know the exact dimensions of the current laying bin, but I will need to upgrade because I know they do not meet the minimum requirements you listed. I’m using Reptilite sand right now, is this okay to mix with the soil?

Thank you so much for all the feedback and taking the time to reply to everything! I am so grateful for this community!! I’m excited to give my gal a good life!!

Also, at first we were going to call her Randall, because the store said she was a boy. But now I’ve been calling her Camille, which seems to suit her :)
sorry for the late reply. The way I elevate my lights is with these little medal mesh things.
Perfect light schedule!

I'm not too familiar with reptilite sand, but the important thing is if it can hold a deep, kind of diagonal, tunnel without collapsing.

Good that it's not a too trafficked area.

Aww Camille is such a cute name! I cant wait to see more of her! I have a female veiled myself and she is such character!

Please let us know if you have any more questions! :)
 

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