Wont eat out of feeding bowl

CharlesXDarwin

New Member
Hi there,

Quick question, wondering if anyone has any reasons a 1.5yr male veiled chameleon may not eat out of a feeding bowl?

Rescued 3 months ago, and Ive tried different heights, bowls, and bugs, and he will eat from the bowl, but is way more enthusiastic about hand and tong feeding, and chasing bugs around his enclosure. Will easily eat double the food when hand feeding compared to if I leave his bugs in the bowl. Even when bugs are held practically in his bowl.

Being treated for a vitamin A deficiency, so wondering if its just his aim is coming back..also seems that he doesnt like his tounge getting stuck to the bowl?


Here for behavioural advice and benchmarks only. If the behaviour is of concern, I will only be making husbandry changes suggested by my local vet and breeders, who are familiar with husbandry standards for my area. I do not take husbandry advice from forums, so please be respectful.

Thanks for your behavioural advice!
 

Enddays

Member
Hi there,

Quick question, wondering if anyone has any reasons a 1.5yr male veiled chameleon may not eat out of a feeding bowl?

Rescued 3 months ago, and Ive tried different heights, bowls, and bugs, and he will eat from the bowl, but is way more enthusiastic about hand and tong feeding, and chasing bugs around his enclosure. Will easily eat double the food when hand feeding compared to if I leave his bugs in the bowl. Even when bugs are held practically in his bowl.

Being treated for a vitamin A deficiency, so wondering if its just his aim is coming back..also seems that he doesnt like his tounge getting stuck to the bowl?


Here for behavioural advice and benchmarks only. If the behaviour is of concern, I will only be making husbandry changes suggested by my local vet and breeders, who are familiar with husbandry standards for my area. I do not take husbandry advice from forums, so please be respectful.

Thanks for your behavioural advice!
I have had the same kind of problem. So I got a shooting gallary for my Cham. And he will eat out of it. Crickets mainly.
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CharlesXDarwin

New Member
I have had the same kind of problem. So I got a shooting gallary for my Cham. And he will eat out of it. Crickets mainly. View attachment 327549
Ive been looking at the shooting gallery style feeders as a next option. But have already tried 5 different bowls and feeders, so figured Id check the forums first to see if anyone else has had this issue.

Glad to hear it may be a solution though!

Do you have any ideas why yours had a preference? Were thinking mine really doesnt like his tounge sticking to the bowl and Im watching to see if it seems painful for some reason (hes had a lot of medical issues since rescue, but is recovering nicely with his husbandry changes)
 

CharlesXDarwin

New Member
I spoke with Neptune_The_Chameleon aka @Gingero about my cham not eating out of his bowl. She said you might have to wait him out, when he gets hungry enough he will eat out of the bowl. Also said that you will need to add more insects into the bowl so they move around and crawl around each other. Also I got my shooting gallery off a suggestion from @FramsChams at https://tkchameleons.com/

Amazing! Thank you so much!

My vet and local reptile community said they wouldnt be too concerned, and to just wait it out. Since he -is- still eating, and his health is steadily improving.

But I just cant get past worrying since theres -such- a difference between him begrudgingly eating out of his bowl for 30 minutes..vs enthusiastically eating them out of my hand, rapid fire, one after the other. (Ive also been nervous that hand feeding him would be stressing him out, since hes still new and settling in. so finding the balance of giving him space, but making sure he eats enough and has his meds has been a tough balancing act to say the least😅)
 

Enddays

Member
I still tonged feed Dubia roaches, by placing them near him. But I load up crickets in the shooting gallery.
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Typically when they do not like bowls switching to a feeder run is better. This is more of a hunting feel. I like the shooting gallery a lot for those that do not like bowls. I use the full throttle feeder but I would not use it for one that does not like a bowl because the bottom is basically a bowl. If the cham is used to free range feeding then converting to bowl is nearly impossible. But converting to a feeder run is almost always successful because it is very similar to free feeding.

Free feeding can be an issue when it comes to treating for parasites. If they eat where they poop then reinfection happens.

I would avoid tong feeding. Chams can injure their tongues if they hit the tong instead of the feeder. Especially if your boy is having issues targeting. This becomes particularly dangerous if you pull back and they are stuck. Can be as extreme as having to have the tongue amputated.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
My guys have all been cup fed, but for some it really takes some patience, coercion, and cup shaking. They much prefer the hunt so I have mastered the quick shot with the tongs. I release the bug on the screen and am ready with the tongs if they fall or try to make a run for it. Most of the time the chams shoot them immediately… but i keep a cup underneath just in case they fall.

The shooting galleries are great if you dont have the time or desire to do release them yourself and monitor. My guys aren’t fans of the runs so this works best for me. I’m also not fond of tong feeding unless its for my seniors who cant see well up close (but fine vision / aim further away). I’ve had a few get their tongues stuck to the tongs and freak out - or bit the tongs forcefully. I use soft tip tongs for this reason, but still dont like using them for feeding (but necessary for one of mine).
 

Enddays

Member
I don't necessarily "Tong feed" my cham. I use a pair of tong's to place an insect near him. Not hold it for him to eat the insect.
 

JacksJill

Website Manager
Staff member
I like the Shooting Gallery feeders a lot. Most bugs will run across the screen and attract the chameleon's attention. Except for the very bottom the bugs aren't on the plastic much for the tongue to get stuck.
I also use a plastic spoon to "hand" feed it only works with dubia and supers. Turn the dubia on their backs and they won't run off.
 
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