Baby Veiled Chameleon Care

Veiled Chameleon BabiesThis page is here for those of you looking to purchase a baby chameleon or you have bred your adults and have your hands full with babies.

Caging or Rubbermaid Container?  The first few days upto two weeks are the most crucial for baby Veileds.  Although food and water are the most inportant in a hatchling veileds life,  the enclosure is also important. There are quite a few key parts in keeping and raising veileds. First the amount of babies per enclosure or container. Second small thin branches for there little feet to grip. 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 easy hunting  access to feeder insects on the floor as well as the branches . Caution needs to be used when using this form of feeding. Reason being is cleaniness the cage for should be free of all fecal matter when free range feeding. Cup feeding is a much better way of feeding. Baby veileds can be fooled very easily and a fresh dropping of feces can look like a droplet of water or a small cricket and can be accidently consumed. Misting  three times per day is recommended for young chameleons . You will notice most babies will drink readily from the branches and leaves in there enclosure . Using a wet cricket food/gut load  is also an advantage for the veiled 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 the  crickets.

Water is key to keeping and raising a healthy baby veiled chameleon. A newly hatched veiled that can weigh in at less than one gram is in need of water atleast three times daily. Knowing how little the babies are and weigh misting for water consumption is super important. Purified water is recommended to use for misting but tap water is just fine. ( Do not use any chemicals to purify your tap water there’s  a  possability it may harm your baby (s).  Using a container or a screened enclosure misting  only one side of the cage is advised. You should see your veiled go and drink of the wall of cage furniture. You should not directly mist you small chameleon this will make them retreat and they will not drink. Your no doubt gonna get water on your baby (s) but they should be water in a matter that isnt harrasing to them. It is best to mist with water thats at room temperature.  In the wild the water temp is a bit cooler than the air temperature. But no where close to an ice cubes  temperature. We can debate over the type of spray to be used . But as long as water is supplied and the animal is drinking you have it correct . Spray type bottles are fairly common all over the world.  Ideally a small green house mister could be used  on a automatic  timer as long as you allow for the water to drain from the container.

A couple weeks before your veiled chameleons are about to hatch you should set up your fruit fly cultures. If you have to toss some fruit flies away then you are doing it correctly. Don’t worry when 20 baby veiled chameleons are feeding your fruit flies will disappear. Depending on how many little mouths your feeding is how many cultures you should make up. Depending on the hatch size of your baby veileds you should only be feeding them fruit flies for about 3. to 5 weeks tops. You will be able to judge how long your babies will be on fruit flies. Baby veileds grow very rapidly so in the first few weeks they can almost double in size. Usually with in the first 4 weeks a baby veiled can out grow the needs for fruit flies. Once they’re passed that stage you will need to fill that food gap with pinhead crickets. As the babies grow try and remeber as with anything a variety in diet is a good thing. Feed your chameleons pinhead crickets, dubia roach nymphs, there are a variaty of different worms to feed off.  (Note feed worms with an exoskeleton sparingly.)
  • In optimum conditions D. melanogaster. life cycle is 3-5 days at temps of 80-85 degrees F.
  • In optimum conditions D. hydei . life cycle is 30 days at temps of 80-85 degrees F.

The question always arises: How many cultures do I need to feed 10 baby veiled chameleons 2 to 3 times daily? What we have figured out here at our facility is the bigger in diameter the culture the more flies one culture will produce. As long as you can supply the adult FF with medium to eat and deposit there eggs for with have plenty of food. For 10 baby veiled chameleons you will need atleast 3 to 5 cultures with a base diameter of 3 inches. You should start producing these cultures a few weeks before babies hatch. I know all this FF raising sounds alittle tricky but it really isn’t. Start with the easiest and most prolific FF D. melangaster.

Pinhead crickets are next. Pinheads are 1 week old crickets that are produced and sold upon request by most commercial cricket breeders. Besure to be very clear on what size you need refer to them as dust, ant size, one day old however you need to get your point across. You want to raise or purchase 1 week old crickets for your baby chameleons  a few weeks out of the egg. Try not to dump to manycrickets into the container this can cause a baby veiled to become confused  unable to decide  which one to eat. Trust me  it happens. You should always start your chameleons on FF the movement of the flies attracts the babies and turns them on to feed. You can always offer a mixture of tiny crickets and FF. Remeber variety is key in a healthy chameleons life. In th beginning your gonna want to free roam your chameleons food. Meaning when feeding just allow the feeder crickets to crawl around the baby chameleons enclosure. You should always supply a small supply of cricket food for the uneaten crickets to feed on. Hungry crickets will chew on your babies if given the chance. If there are large numbers left over take them out and adjust your feeding amount next time.

The amount of time allowed for basking can vary greatly. But all babies need to bask to digest there food properly. You will recongnize your babies basking when you see them leaning towards the sun or artificial light and will darken to thermal regulate body temperature. If you have a small group of babies in a screened enclosure or container you will notice after while that they will retreat under leaves or to a cooler part of the cage. When seeing this you should move the babies to a cooler place so they can bring there body temps down to atleast room temperature.  Baby veiled chameleons can usually do this in about 10 minutes or so. Basking should be offered atleast 3 times daily for the first few weeks and water should be offered through out this basking time.

Light bulb manufactures offer bulbs that try and simulate natural sunlight. These bulbs work just fine but natural sunlight is best. Natural sunlight should be offered for brief periods about 10 to 20 minutes. Set a timer so you can keep track of how much time you have your babies in the sun, 20 minutes could be to long. If keeping your baby veiled chameleons outside wild FF are very easy to culture up. Chameleons are opportunistic feeding and will eat throughout the daytime hours, if given the constant availability of small FF. Other larger flies will be attracted and consumed.

Supplements are  as important as a good food supply. These can only become effective as the animals begin to eat larger meals.  And in tiny hatchlings this can cause blockages if used improperly. This doesn’t mean you don’t use them. There are ways of providing supplements to a one week old baby veiled chameleon  without any extra effort. This can be done   by simply using a high quality cricket gut load. Remember we are talking about babies 0 to 3 weeks old,  not 4 week old animals.  At 4 weeks you can begin to apply supplements directly to food items.

With this rapid growth special attention should be paid to care and feeding requirements. A baby veiled chameleon feeding on pin head  or fly sized crickets should not exceed the width of the baby veileds  head.

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