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RE: New veiled -Q's

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Posted by: kinyonga at Tue Apr 29 14:42:20 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by kinyonga ]  
   

You said..."Just picked up a beautiful cb male at the TARAS show this weekend. He's 1month old and a real cutie!"...one month old is very young to be starting off with. Its a shame that someone is selling them that young.

You asked..."Does it matter if my lamp hoods are porcelain or metal (as from hardware store)?"..I use metal hoods and they are fine. I haven't used porcelain ones...but the part that the bulb screws into is porcelain.

You asked..."The "supply" table at the show gave me Repti-glo 10.0 bulbs.... are these ok? I've read a lot of people use 5.0's -should I switch? What's the difference?"...I have used the Repti-sun 5.0's for years and they work well. Most people prefer the 5.0's.

You said..."I was also given a 50w infared bulb... should it be hotter, and is infared ok? His basking area is around 90F, so I'm hoping it will be ok"...I don't recommend using the infrared bulbs. I use a regular household incandescent bulb of a wattage that will produce the appropriate temperature in the basking area during the DAY. Its not necessary to provide heat(and definitely no light) at night unless the temperature falls into the 50'sF. For young veileds I keep the basking area in the low 80's...their small bodies dehydrate and overheat quickly. Appropriate temp. is important for good digestion.

You said..."He's in a 10gallon tank at the moment, and I purchased a larger all-screen area for him for 1month from now. Now I've read that these mesh cages don't let enough uvb through -thoughts?"...I have never used the mesh cages. The lids on mine are screen..so I can't tell you if the mesh ones let in enough light or not. (Glass and plastic definitely won't let enough UVB through.)

Here's some information that you might be interested in...
Exposure to UVB allows the chameleon to produce vitamin D3 which allows it to use the calcium in its diet. UVB from the sun is the best but they do well with the Repti-sun 5.0's inside.

Most feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous, so its important to dust the insects with a phos.-free calcium powder at most feedings.

To ensure that the chameleon gets its vitamins I dust twice a month lightly with a vitamin powder that has a beta carotene source of vitamin A. Beta carotene won't build up in the system like preformed vitamin A will. However, there is controversy as to whether all chameleons can convert beta carotene or not...so some people give a little preformed once in a while. Preformed can build up in the system and excess preformed can prevent the D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD.

If the chameleon gets no direct sun, then I dust the insects twice a month just before feeding them to the chameleon with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder. D3 from supplements can build up in the system so don't overdo it.

Its important to gutload and feed your insects a nutritious diet.
I feed the crickets an assortment of greens (dandelion, kale, collards, curly endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.).

Calcium, phos., vitamin A and D3 are the main players in bone health and need to be in balance. When trying to achieve a balance look at the supplements, what you feed to the insects and what you feed to the chameleon.

Since veileds are omnivores once they are about 5 months of age, its important that the plants be non-toxic and well-washed (both sides of the leaves). They also have been known to eat soil...so its important to either cover it or make sure its a type that will not cause impaction or contain anything toxic to the chameleon. The list of greens and veggies I feed to the crickets can also be fed to the chameleon...along with a bit of fruit (apple, pear, melon, berries, etc.)

If you have a female, you need to provide a suitable place for her to dig in the cage once she is 5 or so months old. Veileds can lay eggs without having been mated and failure to provide a suitable place can lead to eggbinding.

Background information...I have kept, bred, raised chameleons and an assortment of other reptiles over the years. My veiled females usually live to be 7 years old and the males even older.

Good luck with your first chameleon!


   

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