Vertebrate predatation

I have read various articles on chameleons and pinky mice but I need an updated thread of FACTS on why it is a bad/ good idea to feed your chameleon mice.


( I do not agree with it)
 

deadhd5

Avid Member
The risk with pinkies is potential gout.

disclaimer: My information comes from reading and not direct experience as I will not feed my chams vertebrates regardless if they are good for them or not.
 
In addition to the issue with gout and kidney damage from excessive proteins of the wrong profile, pinkies are really high in both fat and P with very little Ca to speak of (bones still developing/calcifying), so theres no real advantage in feeding them pinkies
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
In addition to the issue with gout and kidney damage from excessive proteins of the wrong profile, pinkies are really high in both fat and P with very little Ca to speak of (bones still developing/calcifying), so theres no real advantage in feeding them pinkies
Bingo! ;)

And as for the "it happens in nature" argument - in a dietary analysis of "wild" Jackson chameleons on Hawaii vertebrates made up 0.25%. It was 2 lizards out of 795 prey items consumed total.
http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/publications/pdf/chamaeleo-report.pdf

In Chamaeleo africanus in Greece there were 0 vertebrates found in the dietary analysis of 43 chameleons (737 prey items). http://users.uoa.gr/~alegakis/index_en_files/PDFfiles/DimakKritiPrelimResFeedEcol.pdf

In Chamaeleo chameleon on the Iberian penninsula there were 0 vertebrates found in the dietary analysis of 34 chameleons (777 prey items). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00212210.1999.10688997

So I think you can see how much merit that argument has.
 
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For the sake of discussion:

How about other vertebrates that are not so high in fat?
argument against using them regularly still stands, even with vertebrates higher Ca level and lower fat content.
There are a number of muscle proteins that are vertebrate specific and a order of magnitude more complex than invertebrate muscle proteins. Breaking them down results in higher uric acid and potentially kidney damage/gout

Unless Im mistaken the Ca:p ratio is still pretty skewed, even in lower fat verts
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
For the sake of discussion:

How about other vertebrates that are not so high in fat?
Like small birds?

There are some that feed them to certain species, very sparingly, though I believe they consider it to be somewhat unnecessary, yet still would like to replicate a more natural diet.
 

bigeaters101

New Member
Like small birds?

There are some that feed them to certain species, very sparingly, though I believe they consider it to be somewhat unnecessary, yet still would like to replicate a more natural diet.
I was thinking more of small lizards like the report mentioned (which was awesome btw) didn't even think of small birds but I guess they aren't out of the realm of possibility?
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
There are reports (no actual studies that I can find) of some of the larger species like oustalets, mellers, or parsons preying on small birds on ocassion. I would very highly doubt they would make up a large percentage of the diet however based on the evidence of smaller species diets. I still maintain that everything your chameleon needs can be obtained through an all-insect diet with good gutloading and many very successful enthusiasts and breeders have sustained multiple generations with an all-insect diet.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are reports (no actual studies that I can find) of some of the larger species like oustalets, mellers, or parsons preying on small birds on ocassion. I would very highly doubt they would make up a large percentage of the diet however based on the evidence of smaller species diets. I still maintain that everything your chameleon needs can be obtained through an all-insect diet with good gutloading and many very successful enthusiasts and breeders have sustained multiple generations with an all-insect diet.
Just because someone observed a wild cham catching a bird or lizard does not mean they desire or select this type of prey. There are all sorts of prey selection, stomach sampling, and fecal sampling studies that find weird things in their guts. Doesn't mean the items are necessary or even good for them. Look at butchered sharks with paint cans or tires found in their stomachs.

Frankly, if I was a big, hungry, wild cham and a bird flitted right in front of me I'd probably make a grab for it too. There was some discussion years ago about about providing nestling zebra finches to giant species to provide a better source of zinc. Not scientific though.

Can a cham eat a pinky? Sure. Should they ever? Well, I wouldn't say never, but it really isn't necessary. We have much better foods for them and I don't think any hungry cham is going to reject everything else just on the chance one comes along.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Just because someone observed a wild cham catching a bird or lizard does not mean they desire or select this type of prey. There are all sorts of prey selection, stomach sampling, and fecal sampling studies that find weird things in their guts. Doesn't mean the items are necessary or even good for them.
Couldn't have said it better!
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
There was some discussion years ago about about providing nestling zebra finches to giant species to provide a better source of zinc.
Aw man, this makes me sad... My last pets were zebra finches. They were so cute :(
 
Uric acid is a byproduct of protein metabolism. Pinkies are too high in protein, specifically, animal protein.
Oh I know! Believe me I'm totally against this bs to put it nicely.
There are no pinkies in madagascar like the ones people feed them in America or other places. If you even research rodents in Madagascar you will come to find many species that I do not believe a Cham would eat. Even if it were going to the ground I believe it would find enough insects to surpress it's appetite before it came across a rodent.
On top of that last time I checked rodents GENERALLY make a nest and hide their newborns.. Why would a chameleon go hunting to a rodent nest full of newborns?

On top of that tons of people keep saying they can't find studies proving its "wrong" when they can't even take into consideration that someone with a PHD already knows that these feeders are high in proteins and that could in turn create various issues... Why would any dr deliberalty put a chams health at risk to prove to people who do not know the basic effects of high protein in take on a body..
In the same token people who feed their chams pinkies probably do not get blood work done to even check for issues. That's also another reason why there are not easily found documents on the effects of feeding pinky mice.

I also stated the lack of evidence of eating rodents let alone birds. On top of that the only ones that were said to eat a bird was a parsons, oustalets, and panther. Not a veiled or Jackson.

I actually had a girl tell me she feeds her females pinkies after they lay because they " pick her up" even though there is a million articles supporting the fact that properly loaded horn worms an silk worms are more beneficial to helping a chameleons health than anything else.

I really try to be nice to people who don't do research but I also really don't care for people who tell me I'm wrong when I can quote endless studies done by drs and yet they haven't one article to show except a website written up by some random person and it has no evidence being written by someone in the herpetological field, let alone a dr.

(Sorry if I sound arrogant as well, or rude. I surely do not mean to sound that way)
 
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