When forcefeeding becomes necessary?

DChalo

New Member
Your Chameleon - Flap neck chameleon, in my care for 4 days, got him from reptile show, possibly around 2 months old
Handling - A few times every day to inspect him
Feeding - Small crickets and mealworms but not sure if she is eating
Supplements - Plain repti calcium on most of his crickets and Repti Cal with D3 once a week
Watering - Misting a few times a day and i've noticed him drinking
Fecal Description - White and brown poo, im havent tested for parasites
History - I got her for really cheap, so she might be wild caught
Cage Info:
Cage Type - Plastic mesh cage 24x12x12
Lighting - ReptiGlo UVB, a basking light
Temperature - Temp during the day is 75-80, at night it is from 65-75
Humidity - Humidity is 60-80 and i get it from misting, i have a petsmart humidity radar thing
Plants - Only fake plants and vines
Placement - Pretty close to the floor, in the game room
Location - In texas

Problem: I have not seen my baby eat that much. The first day i got her, she ate 7 medium small crickets, the next day she only a couple, and the next day she basically ate nothing or maybe like 1 or 2. And i dont think she's eaten anything today. Im afraid she might starve, so i was wondering how i could feed her because she is refusing to eat. Should i make her open her mouth and put something in it?
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
If she's only two months old then she would require very small crickets. I would get large pinheads to 1/4 inch crickets. How hot are you keeping her? Sometimes it too warm they will not eat. Sometimes they are shy and do not like to eat in front of you. I would recommend leaving her alone at this point and give her some time to adjust. I would not inspect her several times a day and I would not force feed her at this point.
 

DChalo

New Member
If she's only two months old then she would require very small crickets. I would get large pinheads to 1/4 inch crickets. How hot are you keeping her? Sometimes it too warm they will not eat. Sometimes they are shy and do not like to eat in front of you. I would recommend leaving her alone at this point and give her some time to adjust. I would not inspect her several times a day and I would not force feed her at this point.

Well, i just noticed her eye get like really big and balloon up and then get back to normal size. How long can she go without eating?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Force feeding is really stressful...so it should only be done as a last resort.
I would drip water on its nose and when it starts to drink, slip a cricket head first in between its teeth....this is far less stressful.

If the chameleon is not eating on its own you need to find out why.

BTW most people don't feed their chameleons mealworms....there are better choices.
 
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jojackson

New Member
Good advice Jann. Personally, I would be reluctant to force feed such a species at all,
Some species are far more hardy in this respect than others. Force feeding any lizard, even a snake, should always be a final (most desperate attempt to save life) solution, and at that point, you have to make a call and distinguish between worthwhile effort and sheer cruelty.
If a lizard is in such a state you feel the need to force feed it, to my mind, euthanasia is often more humane.
In your case, force feeding is akin to drilling holes in your skull to relieve a slight headache! :)
 

Dawniegirl

New Member
I know what your asking and am wondering myself... how long can a cham go w/o eating before it becomes serious? Should you wait & maybe they will become so hungry that they will eat or will they poss not eat & die?!?! I have a young cham too but not nearly as young as yours... mine is 8 months old. As jannb said it is poss he/she's is eating but your not seeing it. What about getting him some fruit flies. My panther cham ate them til he was 5-6 months old along w/ his crickets. He loved the fruit flies. You can get flightless ones so they won't get out & fly around your home. If you dump out some of the along the inside side of the cage they will climb up the screen. Diego would go around all day eating them like popcorn snacks.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dawniegirl has a very good idea to try fruit flies. Chameleons love flies. An older larger cham can go much longer than a baby without eating.

If your veiled has his mouth open while basking then you probably have his temps too high.
 

djfishygillz

Avid Member
I had a scare for a bit about my female ambanja not eating. Turns out she was eating, because I kept finding small little poops everywhere.

So, look for POOP! If you find poop then she is eating and you shouldn't stress her out with force feeding.
 

Cainschams

New Member
Stop handling it every day or just stop handling at all except for cage cleanings. Im sure you are stressing it out!!! Are you trying to cup feed or free range? Most WCs arent going to take to cup feeding right off the bat.
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
i have no experience with flap knecks to know how sensitive they are. my experience with w/c's in general is to act now instead of later. i personally do this with every w/c i get. first things is to hydrate as much as possible and make sure your husbandry is top notch. proper temps, lighting, cage. if the chameleon is not drinking this needs to be forced (either kinyongas way or force). plain pedialyte and bottled water is great for this. second if you dont have reptaid order some now! you can either force this with a syringe or via insect. with this said. i would take cains advice about leaving the cham alone as much as possible. only doing what needs to be done and thats it! i would suggest putting the cage as high up in the room as possible away from any doorways, windows, vents, fans or traffic.
 

DChalo

New Member
How many days is Too many days for not eating? Like, if he doesnt eat for a week, should i jump to drastic measures?
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
if he/she is a w/c. id act now with hydration and reptaid. this is just me but i would not go more than 2 days in a w/c. although they can go much longer if in good health. a normal healthy chameleon usually eats within the first few days in a new enviroment. make sure everything is optimal for the animal to eat and get the parasite load under control.
 

azula

New Member
I know its kinda rude but when i first got my young veiled chameleon and she hadn't eaten for more than two days i would gently poke her until she got mad enough to hiss at me then slip a cricket or worm in her mouth after a few time doing that she gave in and started eating on her own and a bonus now if i put worms in my hand or even crickets she will come right up to me and gobble them up. I think its cuz now she knows i only go near her with my hand when its feeding time. But anyhow good luck!
 

DChalo

New Member
Hey guys, good news and bad news. The good news is that i found a new piece of poop in the chams cage, the bad news is that its like orangish with the white dot thing. IS this bad?
 

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