Breeding Veiled chameleons care of Veiled chameleons what to do if you
have a gravid chameleon
|Yes she is gravid ! See the eggs . The lump just above her rear leg is a excellent view of an egg. This girl laid 28 eggs within 24 hours of taking this photo. The "robins egg" type spots are another sign of being gravid|
|Here she is just two days after laying her eggs . You can still see a little dirt on her side and feet . Look at her tail just down past her leg joint and above her leg joint. See the indent showing signs of dehydration .This is normal for just having laid eggs .She is eating and doing well . Some chameleons will not show any signs of dropping eggs at all. If she would have laid 18 eggs rather than 28 you would probably not been able to see any dehydration .|
|30 days after laying eggs she is back to normal again . Now she is going through a routine shed .It takes one or two days for her to shed completely.|
return to main page www.cages.net
|A look at eggs relative to the size of a dime|
|You can see the distance between each egg . No you do not have to wash the eggs . After all, they normally would be buried 12 to 16 inches beneath the ground|
|This is a rubbermaid shoe box. Perlite was used as a substrate to incubate the eggs for the 7 months it takes at 68 to 74 degrees|
|Corner view of one of the two 1/8 inch holes drilled into the lid for a little air exchange|
| Walking around on the floor
My gravid chameleon is walking around on the floor of her cage .
If this is happening you better have the egg laying area ready for her she is looking for a egg deposit site she is going to lay her eggs. In an emergency or if you are cramped for room you can use the same sized container as the above pictures. If your cage is large enough you will have room for this extra addition to your chameleons living area with out a great degree of trouble when it comes time to lay eggs ! Chameleons will not hesitate to use the flower pot that a living plant is growing in to deposit the eggs . And most people keep a living plant inside of the cage with their chameleon. A 3 gallon pot is a good egg deposit site also . Or you can use a 33 gallon trash can with 16 to 20 inches of soil for a egg site .Soil needs to be moist. Your chameleon will dig down and deposit her eggs.
People ask if keeping the eggs in a dark room like a closet is better than allowing light to hit the eggs . I can answer that question like this . We have kept veiled eggs in both areas. One year we had them close to a southern exposed window . Lots of light . The slightest bit of an increase in a minimal amount of mold in the side of the box that had the most light occurred. Nothing to worry about ! But we still keep them out of direct sunlight in a room with normal amounts of light . The lighting is off during the daytime . Wile using the "mold " word white mold showing on the eggs just after laying is usually a sign the eggs are infertile black or dark mold is usually a sign to much water used when you mixed your substrate together .
Good eggs are close to white in color dark eggs usually are also bad . Yellow shinny eggs are usually bad . Don't know or are not sure about the color of a chameleon egg ? Look at a chicken egg like the ones in your refrigerator . The color is very similar. Shrinking eggs are another sign of being infertile . But can also be a sign of low humidity levels in your egg box .
I will leave a dented egg in the egg box until I see mold and shrinking occur. It actually has to be completely collapsed before I consider it as infertile and remove it . Even if shrunken I will leave it in the box for the complete incubation cycle . More than once chameleon eggs thought to be "bad " have hatched. Much to my surprise out walks a perfectly healthy baby chameleon . Truly a treat !
Mixture of pearlite and water :
Incubation temperatures: 68 ntl (night time lows) 74
dth ( day time highs) Fahrenheit
Feeding relative to egg production
Water or hydration
Baby care for Veiled Chameleons
|Babies 0 to 4 weeks :
Caging or container. The first days up to two weeks are the most critical for babies . Although food and water is the most important part of a baby chameleon living . A proper environment is also needed .The amount of babies per container . Small branches for little feet to grip are important. The size of the branch should allow the little feet to grip the branch securely. The height of these branches is also important some breeders like to keep the branches close enough to the floor of the container to allow for hunting feeder insects from the floor as well as the branches . But caution needs to be taken when using this method of floor feeding so assure a clean floor at all times if you decide to use this type of approach cleaning nightly is necessary . Cup feeding is better you can replace the cup daily . Fresh stool deposits can fool the babies into thinking there is a drop of water ready to be consumed. Misting three time per day is recommended . You will notice most babies will drink readily from these branches . Using a wet cricket food/gut load is also an advantage for the chameleon babies to get a little more water from a properly hydrated feeder insect . Vegetables can be used or a wet gut load to feed to crickets.
Water Misting spray bottle
Feeder insects 0 to 4 week chameleon babies
D. melanogaster. life cycle is 3-5 days in optimum conditions, 80-85
Culture size can be tricky . How large a culture should you have
to feed 10 baby chameleons daily 2 to 3 times per day? How many of them
? The larger the culture is in diameter the more insects will be produced.
As long as you supply a larger number of adult FF to deposit eggs in the
medium . 10 babies you need 3 to 5 cultures (3inch base size) weekly
up and producing FF before your babies hatch! If it sounds
a little tricky it really is not to hard to do .If you are not certain
about raising from scratch you can always purchase FF from insect
Supplements are as important as a good food supply . Supplements can only become effective as the animals begin to eat larger meals . And in tiny hatchlings can cause blockage if used improperly . This does not mean you donít use them . There are ways of providing supplements to a one week old baby without any extra effort by simply using a high quality cricket gut load ! Remember we are talking about babies 0 to 5 weeks old not 4 week old animals . At 4 weeks you can begin to apply supplements if you desire.
Humidity How can you keep the humidity high in a babies cage . A better question is. What is a humidity . Itís not soaking everything to allow mold and bacteria to develop . It is allowing the air to carry moisture. The amount of moisture in the air is what most people who need to add humidity will be trying to accomplish . Ultra sonic humidifiers are a good means of adding humidity to the air in a room . A basic quick fix also is to dampen a towel or other clean cloth . Drape it over the cage and it will add humidity to the air . This is a quick fix ! Adding a 16 oz deli cup on the top of this cloth with a pin hole in the bottom allowing water to drain onto the cloth adds humidity for longer amounts of time . Using real plants and spraying them daily will increase humidity levels . Having more them one plants in the room you keep animals in need of higher humidity levels can also be of help . Closing the door to this room allows the humidity to be trapped inside the room . A water dish with river rocks filled with water will disperse some humidity . You should not be able to see the water in the bowl just the rocks ..
|Babies 5 weeks to 4 months old
OK assuming you have just purchased a baby chameleon and your supplier / breeder has taken the time to raise it to 5 weeks of age. You have a well started chameleon growing rapidly in need of some special care and feeding requirements for all intents and purposes you have a baby to care for feeding on pin head or fly sized crickets or crickets that do not exceed the width of its head . small wax worms or termite larva..
Remember that chameleons chew the insects they eat and a little larger sized cricket can be consumed without trouble . Watching your baby chameleon struggle to swallow a larger insect can look gruesome this is because it is. After saying that we should caution you from using larger sized feeder insects as a staple in the diet . Definitely it is better for a chameleon to eat small meals throughout the day on different occasions than one larger meal before you go to work . All of us needing to be away during working hours can only feed one time in the morning before we depart to our jobs . This is one good reason to use as large a cage as possible heavily planted with plants for the baby to roam on . A days supply of feeder insects loose inside of this container . This also is another good reason for using the smaller feeder insects. . Realizing you are making attempts to feed throughout the day you should see the importance of wet gut loaded crickets and a small amount of dry gut load inside the cage will be a helpful addition to the crickets diet and your babies diet. A gut loaded cricket is going to serve somewhat as a water supply as well as supply protein for the days meals.
A small amount of citrus placed in the cage to allow the crickets to get moisture. If no citrus is available then supply carrot, yellow squash, collard greens. This will also be a advantage to the chameleon as it will usually become quite aware that itís food source is lurking next to these vegetables.
Feed daily ! If you miss a day donít be to concerned. Look to see that you are not allowing a build up of feeder crickets in the cage .
Rapid growth is normal in baby chameleons. After your animal has reached a sub adult size you can usually cut back on the constant supply of feeder insects in itís cage. Most often the chameleon will by itself slow eating because of seasonal changes and light cycle . What happens if you continue to feed your animal as if it were a baby is simple. It will grow to adult size faster than it normally would have.. Reptiles use all the food you feed them to grow. They are quite efficient at this. But because we are keeping these animals is captivity and feeding certainly daily almost hourly we are all probably over feeding or supplying just one feeder insect in to large a volume. This is where all the additional supplements are so important. Vitamins supply vigor and stimulate activity in reptiles. Minerals are the building blocks for bone and muscle. A balance is required for healthy growth. Minerals are best supplied through diversity in food groups . But lets face it who really can supply all the different types of insect that can be found naturally in a chameleon natural environment Coating feeder insects with supplements can be a value during the life of your pet. If left in the cage a coated insect eaten 4 hours after you have coated it, most of the coating has been rubbed of or fallen off. But the gut loaded cricket still has a supply of both vitamins and mineral inside itís gut. Combining this with the protein that the feeder insect provides you are supplying a well balanced meal.
Chameleons only have enough digestive fluids to digest the ideal sized meal . Feeding a larger meal than they are capable of digesting is only going to cause them to pass the unused portion of the meal as waste to the bottom of your cage .
It is important to keep the temps in the lower range wile at work a short bask during mid day will benefit the growth of the baby . Timers for this are available at most every large hardware store for aprox $8.00
Placing the animal in a room where it can see natural sunlight will be a benefit also to regulate your chameleon to a day and night cycle. Remember your chameleon needs itís rest at night leaving a light on is not good for your animal . If at all possible place the cage next to a window in a room with a southern exposure this is of course if you are in the northern hemisphere
Potato as cricket food : potatoe that has been held in
a refrigeration for storage will loose quite a bit of the nutritional
value as this cooling process turns the starch in to sugar . In a round
about way you are feeding you crickets a ďvegetable TwinkieĒ. Commercial
cricket growers will use potatoes as a means of supplying water and food
to these insects wile shipping them to your home . This works well and
keeps the crickets hydrated and in good shape until. you receive them .Itís
simple economics to chose potato as a food when shipping crickets.
Itís what works best for the short ride from supplier to your home.
return to main page www.cages.net