Veiled Chameleons And Gut-Loading

Veiled Chameleon Gut Loading

What is Gut-Loading?

Gut-loading is the process of feeding your crickets a healthy diet.  It is absolutely essential in raising a healthy Veiled Chameleon. We do this for two reason:
  1. It will fill crickets up with nutritious items such as vegetables, grains and fruits. You can’t feed your veiled chameleon these items, but crickets will eat it readily.  Your veiled chameleon indirectly consumes these items by eating the crickets.
  2. It will clean out the crickets system of any impurities. Often, crickets purchased at the pet store are feeding on food that has no nutritional content. In some cases, the crickets are feeding on cardboard & bedding. To some degree, gut-loading cleans the crickets.
Gut-loading can be accomplished in two ways. The first is buying commercial gut-loads. The second is preparing them yourself.

Commercial Gut-Loads

We use several different kinds of commercial grade gut loads and we were not impressed by any of the results. We feel that a well balanced cricket diet should be offered by fresh produce. We are not saying that commercial cricket foods are bad we just arent impressed by them.

Self-Prepared Gut-Loads

Self-Prepared gut-loads is almost like a salad.  You’ll have to make sure the ingredients are cleaned before offering them to your crickets.  Do not overfeed!   Leafy greens can be rinsed off and offered in small amounts.  Other veggies such as carrots and sweet potatoes should be cut into small pieces with a cheese grater.  Below is a list of ingredients that can be used for a self-prepared gut-load:
Here are a few Bare Essentials needed to prepare what we call a cricket salad:
  1. Leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, lettuce (Not Iceberg Lettuce!)
  2. Carrots (grated) 
  3. Oranges (sliced)
  4. Grains

Other Additional Ingredients that can be used are:
  1. Spirulina
  2. Bee pollen
  3. Dried Kelp
  4. Brewers yeast
  5. Melon

When to feed your Veiled Chameleon? Timing Is Everything!

The key to gut-loading is feeding the crickets to your veiled chameleon, while the ingredients are still fresh inside the crickets.  Below is a schedule of when you should gut-load.

The general rule of thumb is try gut-loading 3-4 hours prior to offering the crickets to your veiled chameleon.

The information above should help to get you started on gut-loading. If you follow the above feeding regimine for the gutloading of your crickets you will be on your way to keeping a HAPPY and HEALTHY Veiled Chameleon.

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