Feeding . . .
Food is an important consideration for chameleons. Give your chameleon as extensive a variety as possible, keeping in mind that some food sources will be easier and more practical to obtain and keep, than others. Good nutrition is essential to the health and well-being of your chameleon.
Crickets . . .
Crickets are good feeder insects that can be easily obtained from many reliable sources at affordable prices. Crickets are ravenous eaters and therefore like a variety of foods. This gives them great potential as "vehicles" for good nutrition . . . depending on what you feed them. It is very important to gut-load your crickets with a healthy diet. Your chameleons will only benefit from whatever the cricket is eating, so FEED YOUR CRICKETS WELL!
Here is a list of the different kinds of foods we provide our crickets:
Apple and potato peelings
baby rice cereal
flake fish food
The cricket size you offer your chameleon will depend on your animal's size. A general rule of thumb is not to offer your chameleon a cricket that is longer than the width of it's head. If the prey is too large, he/she may choke on it. The number of crickets fed per animal will also vary according to the life stage of that particular individual. Keep in mind that different species have differing appetites.
An Important Note: Crickets need to be fed on a 24 hour basis. Keeping your cricket quarters (and any other feeder insect containers) clean is very important to avoid any potential disease factors that can be passed on to your chameleon. Remove dead crickets and waste on a daily basis. Clean their container with anti-bacterial soap and water at least once a week.
Other Feeder Insects . . .
In our care and keeping of chameleons, we regularly offer additional insects for variety and nutritional purposes. Some of these include:
King Mealworms (Superworms)
A special note: Baby chameleons in particular LOVE fruit flies and domestic house flies. We consider these a "must" when raising up little ones.
Feeding Methods . . .
You can easily make a feeding container from a 16-24 oz. plastic deli cup. Punch 2 small holes in the side of the cup and securely attach to the tree or branch inside the cage using a twist tie. If you decide to cup feed, make sure the cup is clean before adding food items. Don't trade feeding cups back and forth between your animals so you can avoid potential transmission of bacteria or disease between individuals. When cup feeding, we recommend placing a fresh piece of carrot or zucchini inside the bottom of the cup for the feeder insects to thrive on while waiting to become "chameleon food".
If you cup feed, make sure the feeding cup is placed low in the tree or on a branch toward the bottom of the cage. Chameleons like to hunt for their food and will best approach the feeding cup from an upward position down toward the prey. This helps to prevent them from striking at the top or side of the feeding dish. Most chameleons can be easily trained to feed from a cup and soon you may find them waiting next to the container looking in as if to say "Hey . . . when are those tasty treats going to appear again? I'm hungry!".
This is our preferred method of feeding. Free ranging prey items provides many benefits to your chameleon, some of which include:
1. Natural hunting opportunities
2. Stimulation and alertness response
3. Increased activity and exercise
Avoid overfeeding and leaving unconsumed insects, loose within the enclosure.