When should I feed?

maddoggie8401

New Member
I do not have a cham, but I am doing as much research as possible. I have been thinking about how I could fit feeding in my schedule. The best thing for me would be to have a 10:30-10:30 sleep schedule then feed the cham when I get home from school at around 3:00-3:30. Is that too late? I have read about people feeding a while after they wake up but is that too late?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
You
I do not have a cham, but I am doing as much research as possible. I have been thinking about how I could fit feeding in my schedule. The best thing for me would be to have a 10:30-10:30 sleep schedule then feed the cham when I get home from school at around 3:00-3:30. Is that too late? I have read about people feeding a while after they wake up but is that too late?
You want to feed in the morning so your cham will be able to bask and digest during the second half of the day. I feed one hour after their lights come on, but you can toss the food in before you leave for school
 

KingGoodman

Member
Definitely morning. So the routine is to isolate the feeders selected for the next meal and give them their gutload overnight and then dust them and put them in the feeder cup/ or free roaming the cage in the morning first thing. This should give you at least a half hour before you leave the house to see if he is interested in his meal. Chameleons need all day basking under the lights to properly digest their food.
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
Definitely morning. So the routine is to isolate the feeders selected for the next meal and give them their gutload overnight and then dust them and put them in the feeder cup/ or free roaming the cage in the morning first thing.
This really isn't enough time to properly gutload an insect for consumption. Ideally, just constantly gutload your feeders as their normal diet and then you don't have to separate or do any extra steps. They are always "ready". Some easy ways to do this is with the bedding they are in - use organic alfalfa pellets, like for rabbits. They can bury in them & eat them. Add some commercial dry gutload like Repashy, Arcadia, or Cricket Crack and make moist gutload from fresh veggies and fruits blended with kosher gelatin and freeze. That covers nutrients, bedding, and fluids. Of course for your worms like silks and horns - they have a special diet that must be followed.

Definitely feed your chameleon in the am as others have stated.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Either method works, as long your feeders are gutloaded between a few hours and no more than 24 hours before feeding. Or keep them consistently fed. Whatever works best for you
 

KingGoodman

Member
That’s interesting. The term gutload usually means the items are still in the stomach of the insect undigested. This would require you to feed them these items within 8 or at most 12 hours of feeding them to the chameleon. If you feed the chameleon in the early morning, this means an overnight gutload.

Feeding the insects a well rounded and proper diet is mandatory but that’s not “gutloading”.
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s interesting. The term gutload usually means the items are still in the stomach of the insect undigested. This would require you to feed them these items within 8 or at most 12 hours of feeding them to the chameleon. If you feed the chameleon in the early morning, this means an overnight gutload.

Feeding the insects a well rounded and proper diet is mandatory but that’s not “gutloading”.
sure it is - if what you are feeding is constant & of good nutritive value to the animal it will be fed too, then it will always be "gutloaded" since it will have a constant supply of good nutrients throughout its gut. Intermittent gutloading is a "crap shoot" as to whether the gutload is still in the gut or has been evacuated.
 

KingGoodman

Member
The isolation prevents the crap shoot. Those bugs are guaranteed to have eaten the gutload in the hours before becoming breakfast, whereas just opening the container and choosing bugs is rolling dice.

However, you are free to believe whatever you like. Perhaps I am wrong. It doesn’t really matter.
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
The isolation prevents the crap shoot. Those bugs are guaranteed to have eaten the gutload in the hours before becoming breakfast, whereas just opening the container and choosing bugs is rolling dice.

However, you are free to believe whatever you like. Perhaps I am wrong. It doesn’t really matter.
Isolation doesn't keep insects from pooping :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

KingGoodman

Member
Surely you can see that there is a few hours guaranteed between consumption and evacuation (eating and pooping) for every worm and insect. This is why gut loading is time sensitive. You don’t let enough time go by for them to poop it out.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
There's pros and cons to each, like with a constant gutload, you don't know if every single feeder is constantly gorged on a quality gutload. With time sensitive gutloading, you don't know if the feeders had enough to eat. And with both, you don't know if they've pooped out the gutload before your cham has eaten them. I personally use both so no corners are cut.
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
Surely you can see that there is a few hours guaranteed between consumption and evacuation (eating and pooping) for every worm and insect. This is why gut loading is time sensitive. You don’t let enough time go by for them to poop it out.
I'm not going to argue with you as you have your mind made up on how to do things. I'm just describing a different mindset on "gutloading". Not better or worse, just different. Something to consider.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Gutloading is all about getting nutrients into your Cham that your captive diet can not provide due to the limited variety of feeders available to your Cham. I also feed my feeders a gutload 24/7 but I don’t think that doing that means my feeders are automatically significantly more nutritious than someone who feeds their feeders a normal diet. The nutritional value of a cricket doesn’t significantly change just by feeding it a certain diet. It will change slightly, but not significantly, a cricket is still a cricket.

When we think about gutloading think of the gutload as medicine and the feeder as a pill. We use the pill to get the medicine into our chams digestive system. To maximize the benefits of gutloading the feeders should be isolated and allowed to gorge on gutload and then feed to your Cham within a few hours.
 

maddoggie8401

New Member
You

You want to feed in the morning so your cham will be able to bask and digest during the second half of the day. I feed one hour after their lights come on, but you can toss the food in before you leave for school
Can I put the crickets in the cage before it wakes up?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast

maddoggie8401

New Member
I am looking at juvenile male Veiled Chameleons. I plan on handling very day after the first week of having it. I would feed it mostly crickets every day until it is an adult, with leafy greens one to two times a week. I would gut-load the crickets before bed so they would be ready in the morning and feed then. For supplements, I would use Zoo-Med Repetitive with D3 for vitamin and Zoo-Med Repti Calcium without D3. I would dust with Calcium every day and Vitamin once a week. For watering, I would mist 2-3 times a day and have a dripper system in case I miss any mistings. For the enclosure I would start with a Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage, 18 x 18 x 36 and upgrade to 24 x 24 x 48 when it becomes an adult. The temp in the basking spot would stay at 90 during the day and near the bottom, in the low 70's. I am not sure what the humidity should be yet. I have read that is should be 50% or higher. I want to use live plants, but I don't know what kind. Any suggestions? I will also use fake plants for climbing. The cage would be placed in the basement and not placed near a vent or fan. I live in a subdivision so there is minimum traffic. It would be placed directly on the floor unless someone suggests differently. I live in MI, USA.

I don't have a current problem (except for what I stated before) but would like critiques on my planning.
 

KingGoodman

Member
I am looking at juvenile male Veiled Chameleons. I plan on handling very day after the first week of having it. I would feed it mostly crickets every day until it is an adult, with leafy greens one to two times a week. I would gut-load the crickets before bed so they would be ready in the morning and feed then. For supplements, I would use Zoo-Med Repetitive with D3 for vitamin and Zoo-Med Repti Calcium without D3. I would dust with Calcium every day and Vitamin once a week. For watering, I would mist 2-3 times a day and have a dripper system in case I miss any mistings. For the enclosure I would start with a Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage, 18 x 18 x 36 and upgrade to 24 x 24 x 48 when it becomes an adult. The temp in the basking spot would stay at 90 during the day and near the bottom, in the low 70's. I am not sure what the humidity should be yet. I have read that is should be 50% or higher. I want to use live plants, but I don't know what kind. Any suggestions? I will also use fake plants for climbing. The cage would be placed in the basement and not placed near a vent or fan. I live in a subdivision so there is minimum traffic. It would be placed directly on the floor unless someone suggests differently. I live in MI, USA.

I don't have a current problem (except for what I stated before) but would like critiques on my planning.

Hi Maddoggie,

That sounds like a good start to a plan. I suggest adding a glass drinking cup near the base of a plant at the bottom of the cage so the chameleon always has access to clean water. For plants, Pothos vine, umbrella plants, ficus, and I’ll have to look at the safe plants list, haha. Veiled chameleons are known for taking bites out of plants in their cages so everything needs to be super safe. I would suggest just starting with the larger cage rather than upgrading 6 months in. Height usually makes tree dwelling animals feel safer so putting that cage on a stand isn’t a bad thing. Not to mention that would allow you to set up drainage of excess water from spraying/misting. Be sure to introduce variety into the diet with horn worms, silk worms, super worms and perhaps dubia roaches if you can stomach it. What is your plan for lights?
 

maddoggie8401

New Member
Hi Maddoggie,

That sounds like a good start to a plan. I suggest adding a glass drinking cup near the base of a plant at the bottom of the cage so the chameleon always has access to clean water. For plants, Pothos vine, umbrella plants, ficus, and I’ll have to look at the safe plants list, haha. Veiled chameleons are known for taking bites out of plants in their cages so everything needs to be super safe. I would suggest just starting with the larger cage rather than upgrading 6 months in. Height usually makes tree dwelling animals feel safer so putting that cage on a stand isn’t a bad thing. Not to mention that would allow you to set up drainage of excess water from spraying/misting. Be sure to introduce variety into the diet with horn worms, silk worms, super worms and perhaps dubia roaches if you can stomach it. What is your plan for lights?
All of that was super helpful!! For lights, I plan on having a 75-watt basking light and 75-watt UVB light with the 12-hour schedule of 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
 
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