Friday, August 12, 2022

How Often Should a Chameleon be Fed?

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A chameleon is an exciting animal to keep as a pet since many people find their color-changing abilities attractive. The Nosy Boraha Chameleon is among the most popular, and it uses its color change to camouflage, communicate and regulate body temperature. To keep your exotic pet happy, you need to keep it healthy, which means feeding it properly and having the right housing conditions.

How often you feed your chameleon depends on its age. You should feed baby chameleons multiple times daily since they have a larger appetite. The number of feeding sessions should reduce as they grow; juveniles can comfortably survive on a meal or two each day. Adult chameleons’ appetite is relatively low, so you should feed them several large insects once every two days. Spacing out the feeding sessions for adults helps reduce the possibility of overfeeding your chameleon.

This article covers everything you need to know about feeding a chameleon.

Chameleon’s Diet

Since chameleons are originally wild animals that people have tried to domesticate, you should try making their environment like the wild. Do this by using housing with branches and leaves and feeding them on a diet they would most likely find in the wild. Some of the most common chameleon foods include:

  • Flies like green bottles, curly wing flues, wax month, and fruit flies
  • Worms like calcium worms, silkworms, and earthworms
  • Crickets
  • Locusts
  • Cockroaches

As a health precaution, avoid catching the chameleon food yourself. You should buy live food from the pet store since it is disease-free. Baby chameleons should be fed exclusively on smaller insects like worms and tiny flies to prevent impaction.

Fruits and Vegetables

You can use some fruits and vegetables to complement your chameleon’s bug meal since they boost the nutritional value. Some fruit and vegetable options that the chameleon can eat include:

  • Sugar snap peas
  • Lambs lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Berries
  • Squash
  • Cucumber

Each chameleon has preferences, so some may not eat the fruits and vegetables. Do not panic; you can instead gut load all your bugs, so your pet gets the same nutritional value.

Chameleon Treats

Besides feeding chameleons healthy live foods, giving them occasional treats can help improve your pet’s mood. Chameleon treats are mainly foods with massive fatty content, so you should only feed them treats once a month. Feeding your chameleon these foods in excess amounts can cause health issues like fatty liver disease and obesity. Only feed your chameleon around two of the treats each time to avoid such problems.

Foods that qualify as chameleon treats include waxworms, Morio worms, butter worms, and pachnoda grubs.

Feeding A Chameleon

People will find their own preferred method for giving their chameleon their foods. Regardless of the feeding method you use, stick to these key points:

Buy Live Foods

Crickets and worms make up the bulk of chameleon foods you can find in a pet store specializing in reptile and lizard care. Buying live chameleon foods allows your pet to enjoy hunting and saves you the trouble of finding them yourself. You also get healthy foods free of parasites or toxins that would otherwise affect your chameleon’s health.

Consider Gut Loading the Insects

Most insects you get from the pet store should not be fed directly to your chameleon. Consider gut-loading them to improve the nutritional content of your chameleon’s meal.

Gut loading involves feeding the insects specific foods to boost their nutritional value. For example, feeding crickets and insects with leafy greens, carbs like sweet potatoes, and fruits, including apples, improves the nutrients your chameleon will receive.

Dust Your Insects with Vitamin Supplements

Aside from fruit and vegetable foods, your chameleon needs a vitamin and calcium boost to remain healthy. You can dust the insects using vitamin supplements formulated for lizards, available in your pet store.

Most insects have tiny hairs that trap the supplement dust when you sprinkle it over them. You can also spritz the crickets with water from a spray bottle, then gently sprinkle the dust over your insects before feeding.

Some nutrients your chameleon will need include:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin A

These minerals and vitamins help with proper bone development to support their structure. Vitamin A aids with color change, so your chameleon needs it constantly; otherwise, it is susceptible to deficiency.

Place the Foods in Your Chameleon’s Enclosure as Free Range

Chameleons often prefer not to feed from a bowl, so you should provide free-range food. Live crickets should be released into the chameleon’s enclosure to allow your pet some hunting time. The size of the cricket should not be larger than the width of the head to make swallowing easy.

Find the Best Food for Your Nosy Boraha Chameleon

The right food for your chameleon can help keep your pet healthy and in a good mood. You should also stick to the correct feeding patterns for your chameleon, depending on their age. Young ones should feed more frequently, but you can reduce the frequency as your chameleon grows to avoid overfeeding. If you are unsure what to feed or how often to feed, reach out to a Nosy Boraha Chameleon expert.

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