Animals

Maintenance and care of the chameleon (III) Comment (1)

Do you love chameleons and would you like to have one as a pet? Each chameleon is different, so its diet is also different.: Although common at the base, each species needs different amounts of nutrients. In this post we talk about the feeding of a majestic and spectacular chameleon, the chameleon of Yemen. Do not miss it!

Yemen chameleon feeding

Yemen's chameleon it feeds mostly on insects. Has a agile and sticky tongue, perfect for hunting these little animals. His favorites are green, but you can also feed on worms, cockroaches, lobsters ... whatever you find in your environment!

In the case of having a Yemen chameleon as a pet, you can get these insects in pet shops and veterinary centers specialized in exotic. In addition to insects, this chameleon eats vegetables to hydrate, at home you can offer fresh sprouts, lettuce, fruits and vegetables ... everything but citrus. Lettuce, melon, watermelon, tender sprouts for salad ... are delicious foods and very rich in water. They will love you and keep you hydrated.

To make the Yemen chameleon diet as complete as possible, you can give him vitamin and calcium supplements, although we recommend that you always consult a veterinarian before doing so.

Nutrition of young and pregnant chameleons

If you have a very young Yemen chameleon or a pregnant female, this modifies your needs and you should take it into account when feeding it.

They will eat more or less the same as the rest of chameleonsbut it is true that they will need to take food supplements more often, while another copy would take vitamins and extra calcium a couple of times per week, a pregnant female or a young chameleon will need approximately double.

To make sure your chameleon has no nutritional deficiency, consult your veterinarian and take it for routine check-ups periodically. Many times we do not realize that they are poorly fed until there is already a visible problem. Avoid getting to that!

And you, would you like to have a chameleon from Yemen?

Feeding problems

Unfortunately, some species of chameleons They get very demanding with food when they are in captivity. After a brief transition period, they may refuse any type of food, except their favorite foods. You should never allow things to reach this extreme. The problem can be avoided by giving the animals a diet as varied as possible. To almost all chameleons They like green insects. Even the most primitive specimens to eat, such as animals that have just been imported, yield in view of a green cockroach or a green grasshopper. The chameleons They eat daily, with one day of fasting per week. The amount of food needed depends on each species.

It is often said that chameleons in captivity suffer problems of obesity. However, when these statements are investigated, it is often the case that the animals in question, perhaps because they have drunk little water, have developed fat in the kidneys or something similar, later dying as a result. We only know a few cases of true obesity in chameleons, caused by excess vitamins. In one case the animal had become so obese that the bones had grown deformed. In general, slow-moving species are more prone to obesity than more active species. With respect to obesity, special care must be taken with females. As a general rule, chameleons They only eat what they need.

Based on our observations, the most favorable time to feed the chameleons of land is in the morning, and for chameleons true is in the afternoon when chameleons They have warmed sufficiently. The big ones chameleons they have to get used to the tongs with which they are given food or to the feeder in which they can hunt insects. Not all specimens get used to this, and with very shy animals you have to leave live insects in the terrarium so that chameleons You can hunt them to your liking. With small species and small animals, we put into the terrarium an adequate amount of Drosophila or small crickets once a day.

Unfortunately, there are times when chameleons They have to be force fed. With many species this is relatively easy. As soon as the chameleon is taken out of the terrarium, it opens its mouth, and food or medicine can be placed at the bottom of the jaws. If the animal does not open its mouth of its own accord, it is possible to irritate it by rubbing its snout, hitting its mouth or slightly squeezing its eyes to force it to open its mouth. If the chameleon insists on rejecting food, one of its congeners can be displayed. If this is also unsuccessful, the animal should be left alone.

It is often said that chameleons They eat only insects, or at least they are carnivorous. That's not true. Henkel filmed a Chamaeleo brevicornis in nature freely grazing the yellow flowers of a bush. In the terrarium, Seume was the first to observe a Chamaeleo lateralis regularly eating leaves of Zebrina pendula. Our initial suspicion that this was only an isolated event from a chameleon specimen was not confirmed. The same plant is eaten regularly by others chameleons Panther and carpet. Therefore, we can recommend to Zebrina pendula as a very suitable plant for the terrarium. In addition, it has also been observed Chamaeleo brevicomis eating fern leaves in the terrarium. The stomach contents test of chameleons Wild has also revealed the presence of plant and seed remains. This shows that you need to study the subject further.

Supplements

All - and we really mean everyone, without exception - the animals that will serve as food for the chameleons They have to be well sprinkled with a mixture of calcium and vitamins. In addition, every week is given to chameleons up to 5 drops - depending on the size - of a liquid polyvinyl compound, directly in the mouth. To the water to drink (in the chameleons small and young, to the water that is sprayed) are added more polyvinyl liquid, a teaspoon of calcium gluconate tea for every 5 liters of water, and less than a drop of iodine solution twice a week. In addition, the chameleons They have to have a saucer with a sepia shield or a calcium supplement for reptiles. Copies of chameleons by taking calcium actively and repeatedly.

Basically we meet the water needs of the chameleons With the spray. There are only two exceptions. To larger animals, from the size of a Chamaeleo lateralis adult (total length of about 15 cm), they are given water with a pipette twice a week. To the chameleons that they do not drink water voluntarily we spray water directly in their mouths. In addition, animals in quarantine terrariums must be given water by hand, because they should not be sprayed to prevent them from re-contagating themselves with pathogens. To the chameleons in quarantine you have to give them water on alternate days. You have to get used to using a separate pipette for each chameleon and clean it every time you use it. Only in this way can the spread of diseases be avoided. Do not forget to put a drinking fountain for chameleons. Many get used to drinking water in a drinking fountain or container. Moreover, some chameleons They only drink running water, apart from the drops. For this, the use of an indoor fountain (of those used for hydroculture installations) has proved very useful. Many chameleons They also drink dripping water. Use a type IV flask (available in hospitals) empty and the regulator infused properly. The bottle is filled with water and hung over the terrarium, then the infusion regulator is set and adjusted to the drip rate. It is not necessary for the water to drip throughout the day, an hour at sunset will suffice. Unfortunately, there is usually not enough space above the terrarium and, in addition, the room in which the terrarium is located ends up looking like an intensive care unit. Some chameleons They can get used to drinking water in automatic drinking fountains that are sold for small animals, but unfortunately they are very few. However, the owner may be interested in doing some tests.

A tip about plants. There are plants, like some ferns, that favor the formation of large drops in the lower part of the foliage after spraying, since the drops are hanging from the leaves for a fairly long time. These plants are especially suitable for terrariums. To almost all chameleons They like to drink in the leaves. Unfortunately, they also like to defecate there, which causes plant rot.

If you want to know more about how to take care of your chameleon, we recommend the publication Manuales del Terrario Camaleones of the Editorial Hispano Europea: