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RE: Advice needed-new to chams 2

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Posted by: kinyonga at Sun May 18 21:25:18 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by kinyonga ]  
   

I have kept/raised/bred/hatched veiled chameleons for many years and most of the females live to be over 6 and the males even longer. This is what I do and why...

I provide UVB with Repti-sun 5.0's. They rarely get sunlight because of the climate I live in...but sunlight is the best form of UVB. There should be no glass or plastic between the UVB and the chameleon and the UVB whether its from the sun or the tube light. Compacts have been known to cause problems, so until they are proven okay, I wouldn't use one. Exposure to UVB allows the chameleon to produce D3 which allows it to use the calcium.

Since most feeder insects we use have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous, I dust at most feedings with a phosphorous-free calcium powder.

I also dust twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene source of vitamin A. Beta carotene won't build up in the system. However, there is controversy as to whether all chameleons can convert beta carotene or not....so some people give a little preformed vitamin A once in a while. Preformed vitamin A can build up in the system...so be very careful with this. Excess preformed vitamin A can prevent the D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD.

I also dust with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder twica a month lightly to ensure that the chameleon gets enough D3. D3 from supplements can build up in the system...so don't overdo it.

Its important to have appropriate basking temperatures so that the chameleon can digest its food properly.

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

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are four of the main players in good bone health and they need to be in balance. When trying to achieve the balance you need to look at what goes into the insects, what supplements you use and what is fed to the chameleon.

Watering is also important.

Hope this helps!


   

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