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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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