What do you guys use for staples?

So I only have 2 pet stores in the area and I'm not a fan of how either of them keep their crickets. The ones crickets always eat each other all the time so I end up with half eaten crickets and then when I pick out the okay ones and put them in an enclosure, no matter how much I feed them they still eat each other. The other pet store has worse crickets they always smell awful and my cham won't eat more than 2 at a time. She really hates them.

So, I was wondering what you guys use as an alternative to crickets for a staple. I have a bunch of superworms that are kept happy and healthy but I don't think its a good idea to just give her those. Also roaches are out of the question. My wife refuses to let them in the house. I don't really mind that though cause they give me the heeby jeebys.
 
Also any advice on how to find good feeder breeders? The one pet store just has crickets superworms and roaches. The other one just has crickets and super worms.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. Attaching help sheets for you on feeders and gut loading. Chams like variety so there are several good staples that you can use besides crickets. I prefer silkworms, BSFL and yes, I do have roaches. Banded crickets are much nicer than regular...no stink or noise. All can be ordered on line and there are several site sponsors that should meet your needs.
 

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RyanBRZ

Avid Member
Avoid superworms as some chameleons will begin to refuse anything but them, they are also insanely high in phosphorus and difficult to dust so its hard to offset this which can lead to a calcium to phosphorus ratio deficiency, they are also high in fat. I am currently dealing with this issue.

I would try dubia roaches, silkworms, and BSFL as rotation staples. You can order these online; dubiaroaches.com, beastmodesilks.com, symtonbsf.com
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Silkworms, crickets, and dubia are our staple feeders. I also offer bsfl, superworms, and hornworms regularly. Other bugs as I get them but those six most often.

I raise everything myself except thr crickets (we used to). I order from Rainbowmealworms now and then for them
 
Thanks I've also noticed that most of the websites are sold out of bugs unless you buy them in large quantities. Is this a normal occurance?
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks I've also noticed that most of the websites are sold out of bugs unless you buy them in large quantities. Is this a normal occurrence?
Sometimes. Sometimes insect breeders run out for a period of time either due to demand or issues breeding.
 

RyanBRZ

Avid Member
I've ordered from dubiaroaches.com many times and the only thing almost always out of stock is crickets since they push for dubia over crickets. Everything else they usually have in stock. From what I've heard is their service is good if you happen to get dead bugs or whatever, I never had this issue though. One time the hornworms were not as lively as I wanted, but they nearly doubled my hornworm order by surprise so I didn't complain.

Have not yet ordered from beastmodesilks.com or symtonbsf.com, but they are next on my radar.
 
Is it safe for chameleons to eat isopods? Like the rolly Polly things? I've realised I need a much more diverse diet than just crickets and superworms
 

iMi

Established Member
Dubias would be the best alternative to crickets. I also can't stand crickets. They stink, die off quickly. Yuck. I have spend a lot of time taming our vailed and teaching him to eat prepared food, so he now gets mostly canned food as staple -- daily feeding of grass hoppers and soldier worms. He seems to like them a lot, but I would not expect that to work for most. Occasional treats include his absolute favorite hornworms. He shows zero interest in veggies, lettuce, etc.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Silkworms are my fav to raise and feed. Least ick factor and very nutritious.

The answer to your isopods question is yes - isopods are high in calcium. Theyre good to add in rotation or as a “side dish.”
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I personally also had issues with crickets and I didn't have good luck breeding my own. Online shops charge like $25 to ship them which still makes them cheaper than retail. I still get them, I just use way less.

I do silkworms. I have anywhere between 500-1000 eggs, that many hatchling and usually 2/3+ odd sized worms. As they mature I let some grow and pick them off for my chams. Mind you I have the full spectrum at this moment - one baby, one juvie, and 2 that are late juvie. That said, even hatching 250 at a time would serve you well. You can play with temperature and such to delay hatching or to a lesser extent growth. They don't grow as fast as hornworms for reference. I started off with a 250ct of the eggs to try and get my guys to eat them. Once they had them, they're easier to feed than anything.

You can also get silkworm cups like you do hornworms if eggs aren't for you.

Oh, and for hand feeding silkies, they tend to attach a silk strand to you so if the wiggle out of your hand they have a leash!
 
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