Feeding Chameleons

Here are a few suggestions for the best kind of chameleon diet! Nothing is guaranteed however, and quantities for your specific chameleon may vary. Observe your pet over a period of time and this way you will soon work out the average amount of food required by your chameleon. Remember though, if your chameleon is a little unwell or shedding skin the dietary requirements may change.
Insects
The most regularly fed insects to chameleons are crickets which can often be bought from the local pet store. If they don’t stock them you will be able to order them online.
Other insects to feed your chameleon include mealworms, fruit flies and moths. It is preferable not to feed any caught insects to the chameleon as they may have pesticides on them which wouldn’t be good for your reptile.
How much do I feed my chameleon?
This is something which may vary to a small degree. However, a chameleon which is growing can consume up to 20 large crickets every day. If your chameleon gradually wants fewer insects, it may well be that the temperature needs adjustment. Your chameleon becoming lethargic may indicate a problem, however, in the short term just monitor him carefully.
Gut-Loading
This is the common terminology for the insects which you feed to your chameleon. These insects need to be well-fed, as otherwise you will be feeding your chameleon an empty carcase. To ensure your reptile is kept in the best condition, you need to feed him with good quality insects. Good food for the insects includes potatoes, carrots, fish flakes and other vegetables. It is also possible to buy commercial food for the insects. It is also important to dust all insects with a calcium-rich supplement.
It is really important to feed your chameleon a varied diet. Remember that you want to maintain your chameleon in the best of health and in order to do that you need to feed a diet which is as close as possible to the food the chameleon would find if he were to be in his natural habitat.
Your chameleon will require feeding every single day. It isn’t possible to go away for a few days and to leave your reptile alone. You will need to provide a routine which the chameleon will gradually recognise. The same person should feed, water, and clean the cage. Encourage the reptile to wander out from his enclosure whilst you are with him. Ensure that there is a surface which is able to be gripped, rather than a smooth surface which may cause problems for your chameleon. Make sure that he isn’t placed close to the edge of a table from which he may fall and injure himself.
The better you look after your chameleon generally, and the quality of food fed to him, the greater the likelihood of keeping a pet which will be around for several years.

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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Chameleon Quick Tips

All chameleon owners want their pets to remain healthy. The greater the knowledge an owner has, the more that the chameleon will benefit. Many problems with these reptiles are caused by the ignorance of their owners. This obviously isn’t the situation in all cases, however, the more knowledge that an owner has, the more interested they become in their pet.

Quick Info –

There are many different species of chameleon and the consensus of opinion is that one of the easiest species for an inexperienced owner is the Veiled Chameleon as it more easily adapts to its new surroundings.
Chameleons change colours, but not, as many people think, to blend in with their surroundings but rather as a result of temperature changes. Although both males and females change colours, the male is the more colourful.
Chameleons have good eyesight and each eye rotates independently!
The Veiled Chameleon male grows to approximately 18-24 inches from snout to tip of tail, whilst the female is considerably smaller with an adult only measuring approximately 10-13 inches from snout to tip of tail.
Chameleons need heat and light in order to survive. The daytime temperature should be in the range of 26-32 degrees Centigrade, with an overnight temperature of 18-21 degrees Centigrade. Chameleons prefer sunlight if at all possible, so a safe and secure enclosure outside – if you reside in a country where this daytime temperature is normal – would be a bonus for the chameleon. However do make sure that there is plenty of shade available.
Lighting is also important and this can be achieved by placing a UV light over the enclosure. The light needs to be on for 10-12 hours every day.

Food

If you are feeding your chameleon with crickets you need to be aware that they sing! Loud crickets sing much louder than small crickets. It is really important to make sure that the crickets can’t escape – if they do they’ll sing all around your home and drive you round the bend! Not really what you want!
It is necessary to dust all food given to your chameleon with vitamins. The easiest way to achieve this is by putting the insect into a bag and sprinkling vitamins over, and then to shake the bag before feeding the insects and crickets to your chameleon.

Water

As your chameleon won’t drink from a bowl the easiest way to make sure that they have enough water is by using a spray mist several times each day. Spray onto the plants in the enclosure and the water will drip from the leaves and the chameleon will drink the droplets.
Handling
Don’t over-handle your chameleon. He won’t appreciate it. Some handling is necessary for when you are cleaning the enclosure. Do make sure that children are aware that they aren’t pets which can be stroked.

In Conclusion

These are just a few handy hints which may assist you towards your first purchase. Don’t buy until you have some knowledge as keeping chameleons isn’t very easy and all knowledge gained before purchase is worthwhile.

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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Chameleon Facts

The chameleon is member of the lizard family and is best known for its colour changing capabilities. When the temperature increases and decreases the chameleon changes colour. Whenever possible they increase their body temperature by the absorption of the heat from the sun as, if they are unable to do this, the temperature of the chameleon remains the same as the air temperature surrounding it. There are over 130 different species of chameleon.

Food Facts

Chameleons in the wild have a diet which includes locusts, crickets and other insects. They have a long tongue which has a sticky end so that they can make sure that any food caught can’t escape. As the chameleon doesn’t move very quickly, this also assists it to catch the food. Once caught on the tip of the tongue, it quickly retreats it back within its mouth, and the chameleon’s teeth crush the insects or other prey. Chameleons do have taste buds.

Eggs

The chameleon lays its eggs in a hole in the ground. Each species lay a different number of eggs, some lay 2-4 eggs, and others may lay up to 100 eggs! The female buries the eggs and then leaves them. The various species take different lengths of time to hatch. A few species actually give birth to live hatchlings. Eggs can take anything between 6-24 months to hatch.

Skin Shedding

A chameleon sheds its skin over a period of time. The outer layer of skin is called Keratin. While the chameleon grows the skin doesn’t which is why it needs to be shed regularly. The skin doesn’t come away whole as it is shed in several pieces. This is normal and completely different from a snake. Occasionally the chameleon may even eat the discarded skin. The chameleon puffs itself up in order to break the skin. Some skin may just come loose but still remains attached to the chameleon. If that happens, don’t try pulling at the skin – the skin underneath may not be ready to release the whole of the piece, and if pulled can render the chameleon with a sore or irritated patch.

Drinking

Chameleons don’t normally drink water from bowls. In their natural habitat, the raindrops bounce off the leaves of trees and down onto the chameleon which the reptile then takes in. Chameleons being kept as pets won’t normally be able to obtain liquid that way. There are several different ways to ensure that your lizard has enough water. One of the simplest methods is to buy an empty spray container from the supermarket or garden centre, fill it with water and mist the leaves of the plants in the enclosure. In that way the chameleon can take in water and it possibly is the closest method to that adopted by chameleons in their native environment. Do make sure that all plants are safe for chameleons and remember to mist the leaves regularly. In this way the chameleon should have sufficient water to be comfortable.

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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How to Care For Your Chameleon

Chameleons, although very pretty to look at, don’t make the best pets, as they are not over enthusiastic about being handled. However, for chameleons that are kept in a family environment, some handling of them is useful, even necessary, although it shouldn’t be done to excess.
There are many different varieties of chameleon, and some are easier than others to look after. If this is the first time you are considering purchasing a chameleon, it is worth contacting a reputable breeder, who will be only too pleased to give you advice on basic care. Also a breeder will make sure that he doesn’t sell you a chameleon which is younger than about 6 weeks.
If you are going to buy your chameleon from a pet shop, ask whether the chameleon has been bred in captivity. Most of them will have been, but it is worth checking, as they will be much easier to care for and probably, healthier! Remember to ask how old the chameleon is, as an inexperienced purchaser really shouldn’t buy one that is less than 5-6 weeks old.

What Size Enclosure Do I Need?

It is understandable that many first time owners don’t know the size of housing required, as a young chameleon has very different space requirements than a fully grown adult. To further complicate matters, the various species also need different sizes of enclosures. A youngster of 6 weeks or so can be housed adequately in a reptarium of 25 gallons plus.
An older chameleon from about four months upwards will need a larger enclosure and eventually the size required will likely be 4ft high x 3ft wide x 2ft deep. Of course, this will depend on your purchase.

Where Shall I keep the Enclosure?

It is sensible to place the enclosure above the floor so that it is approximately at eye level. It is also very important to keep the chameleon in an area which doesn’t have too much activity, with children playing, or people rushing around. Don’t let children think that it is a pet which can be stroked or played with at all.

Basic Care

Looking after a chameleon can be fairly time consuming. There will need to be some care every day, so before deciding to purchase careful consideration needs to be given to ensure that there is the time available to be able to care for it properly. The enclosure needs to be maintained within a specific temperature range, and lights must be switched on and off regularly. Most importantly, the housing must kept clean. If you do take the time to care for your chameleon, you will notice quickly if the reptile becomes at all unwell. Of course, the better it is cared for, the more likely it is to remain healthy.

And Finally…

Before you purchase a chameleon, consider whether this is an appropriate pet for you and your family. If the answer is “yes”, then make every effort to care for it properly, and if you have any queries ask a breeder or other expert for assistance.

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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Keep Your Chameleon Happy

Every chameleon is entitled to live in clean conditions. A chameleon living in the wild can move from one area to another if the surroundings aren’t to his liking. A chameleon which is kept as a pet doesn’t have that luxury. Anyone who is considering the purchase of a young chameleon needs to be aware of the amount of work necessary to keep the chameleon happy. If you can’t commit the time and effort which is required, then perhaps it isn’t the right time to make the purchase.
Basic Work
As the enclosure is kept warm, and necessarily humid, it is an ideal breeding ground for parasites and disease. Any chameleon living in these conditions will be susceptible to picking up a serious illness.
It isn’t difficult to remedy the situation and if the cleaning is undertaken regularly, this will be one thing less to worry about. Chameleons aren’t the easiest of creatures to look after and keep healthy – let’s not make it even more difficult.

 

Daily Maintenance

At the bottom of the cage or enclosure there will be faecal matter from the chameleon together with the remnants of insects which were fed to the reptile, bits of dead skin and leaves from the plants which live in the enclosure. There may also be matter on some of the leaves of the plants.
The easiest way to clean the base of the cage is to have a rubber mat there rather than substrate. The mat can be lifted out carefully, and all bits can be removed from it. A small car vacuum cleaner is brilliant for cleaning the mat, and it will only take a few seconds to do and then to replace the mat back into the enclosure. Cut away any leaves which had any matter on them.
Regular Cleaning

 
The enclosure will also require to have a thorough cleaning every week or two. The daily maintenance will only take a few minutes, however, the thorough cleaning – or spring cleaning – will take longer. Make sure that the chameleon isn’t in the enclosure whilst you are cleaning it, as you don’t want chemicals anywhere near the reptile.
Mix up your own blend of cleaning solution, using warm water, hand soap (not the liquid used for washing the dishes). A small amount of bleach should be added – 10 parts water to one part each of hand soap and bleach, is about right. Thoroughly clean the enclosure. If you decide to spray the liquid, ensure that you use a different bottle from the one used in the drinking water! Incidentally, it is a good idea to label spray bottles with the details of the mixture being used – this could be essential information if there was an accident.
Use a clean cloth, or disposable towels to work the liquid into all areas, and ensure that the enclosure is completely dried out. Make sure that all plants in the enclosure have been thorough cleaned and dried.
To Finish

Once everything is clean and dry, replace all plants etc back into the enclosure. Return your chameleon back into its living quarters and mist the plants again, which will give the reptile moisture. Ensure that the temperature is correct and that the light is working properly. Feed your chameleon and let him settle down again.

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011
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Chameleons WordPress theme

This mini site is an example of the chameleons wordpress theme in action.

 

You can download the theme HERE

Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »