the cage i have is a square bird cage about 12x12 inches. And the chameleon is very small. Maybe 5 inches including tail. And this would just be a temporary set up till a larger cage could be aquired. Im also wondering how i would go about attaching mesh screen to the bird cage. Any tips?
I wouldnt see why not. I keep my females in bird type cages. The ones with the metal pan/trays that the cage slides into. Its much easier to deal with the laying bins in these types of cages. I wouldnt worry about putting screen around it as long as your guy cant slide through the bars.
for a baby that small the cage is fine, but if you think he can fit between the bars i would definitely get some screen to line the outside(or inside) if the screen is really small holes you could use fishing line to tie it to the bars.
I've often used big bird cages for chameleons. I've got some nice ones designed for small parrots 2x2x3.5' and often use these for young ones. no need for screen if the coated wire bars are close enough together.
It would be a lot more expensive but I see no problem as long as they can't fit their head through the wiring. I've heard of Veiled in particular getting their head caught since they have the large casque that would be difficult to get out of a tight bird cage. They could severly injury themselves trying to get free. With screening, there would be absolutely no worries about the size of gap with the wiring.
So now the setup is going to be a birdcage covered in mesh screening, with a reptisun 3.0 bulb going over the whole length of the tank, and a heat lamp in one corner. And then inside the tank there will be sticks along with ficus plant. Am i missing anything?
Just be careful, some chams don't like that type of enclosure. They think they can get out and rub their noses raw on the bars. I had my werner's in a similiar cage (a big chinchilla cage) and one of my chams rubbed her nose on the bars trying to get out. Same with my big veiled, he had a huge 2'x2'x5' cage and he too would rub his face on the bars, so back to screen I went.
I say as long as he dosen't try getting out all the time, you'll be good. My other werner girl loved it. She has no nails so it is easy for her to grasp those bars. Anyway, good luck!
You will need a Reptisun 5.0 UVB tube style and a basking light. I just use a 40 watt household bulb but not the twist (coil) bulb. In a cage that small and with a young cham a 25 watt may work. You only want your basking spot to be in the mid 80's for a small young veiled. Did you check out the Raising Kitty blog? You can get allot of good info there. Jann
looking at the size of those gaps in the bars, I think you should go ahead and cover the cage in some kind of screen. If my math's right, those gaps are about a 1/2", a cham as young as your's would likely have no problem fitting through them. Better to play it safe.