Baby Chameleon Not Feeding

Q: I am a new herp owner. I have a hatchling veiled chameleon and am having trouble getting it to eat. I put crickets in the cage loose, as well as at a feeding station (a cup with a vine over the top), and I also feed it mealworms in a dish. The chameleon does not seem to eat enough. Any suggestions?

A: Owning a baby herp of any kind is probably not the best choice for someone new to reptiles, but that said, I will try to help you.

First, make sure that you are keeping the baby veiled chameleon at the correct temperature and have a drip system for water. During the day, the enclosure should feature a basking spot of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit with a temperature gradient in the habitat. Nighttime temperatures should be in the mid-70s.

Second, in addition size-appropriate gut-loaded insects, baby veileds will consume some vegetable material. I first noticed baby veileds in a pet store eating the little mushrooms that grew out of the moist moss that was on the cage bottom. Have you tried offering collard or turnip greens? Parsley is also relished. You can also provide safe, nontoxic plants in the habitat for the chameleon to nibble on. Adult veileds also will eat some plant material, as well.

Make sure that you are offering appropriately sized insects and some vegetation, keep your lizard at the right temperature range, and try not to handle it. I hope this helps.

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