Are you a new pet owner and asking yourself, how often do you feed a chameleon? Here is a guide for beginners on how much chameleons eat and the foods for them. Chameleons have a delicate diet and nutritional needs. So, it’s not always about what food you provide them but how often you feed them.
So, how often do Chameleons eat?
In this article, we’ll answer that question and more. In addition, we’ll share a brief overview of what a Chameleon is. Then we’ll go in-depth about what food you can feed your Chameleon and how often to feed a Chameleon. We’ll also discuss how much they should eat in one sitting.
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What Is A Chameleon?
Chameleons are amazing reptiles that are well-known as “Tree-Dwelling” reptiles. They are about 160 known Chameleon species today. They’re typically small lizards, with Veiled Chameleons being the largest. For example, Veiled Chameleons can grow to be about two feet long. Most other Chameleons are no more than ten inches long, though. Additionally, Chameleons have an average lifespan of about four to ten years, depending on the type.
Chameleons are also known for their color-changing appearance. In addition, they can easily camouflage with their surroundings, such as bushes and trees, to hide from predators or prey when hunting.
Also, Chameleons are climbers. They’ll climb over everything, which is one reason why they need an enclosure with screened sides. So not only will your Chameleon be able to climb everywhere, but they also need a well-ventilated habitat.
Chameleons do make an excellent pet for anyone. However, they’re shy and do prefer to be alone. In addition, they won’t want to have a tank-mate since they can become territorial.
In addition, they don’t like to be handled much. Otherwise, they could become too stressed out and even aggressive.
Otherwise, they’re calm and quiet and fun to watch.
Check out this informational video on how much to feed a Chameleon:
How Often Do You Feed A Chameleon?
So, how often does a Chameleon eat? How often you feed your Chameleon will depend on their age. For example, the younger they are, the more they’ll eat.
When a Chameleon is six months old to a year, they’re considered juvenile. Juvenile Chameleons can eat one to two times per day.
As an adult, at the age of one year and older, Chameleons won’t need to eat daily. So, for instance, you’ll only need to feed them about three times a week or every other day.
How Often Do Baby Chameleons Eat?
On the other hand, baby Chameleons will need to eat a lot. This is because they grow and develop the fastest when they’re babies.
Baby Chameleons are considered babies from the time they’re born (also known as hatchlings) until they turn six months old.
You can count on feeding them at least two to three times per day during this time. In fact, it will seem like you’re always feeding them.
What Can You Feed A Chameleon?
If you’re wondering, “what do I feed my Chameleon,” then luckily for you, Chameleons have a varied diet. There are about 160 known species of Chameleons, and most of them are omnivores.
However, some Chameleons are carnivores, also known as insectivores, in which case they only eat live food. Their main source of live food is, of course, insects. However, they’ve also been known to eat small birds, especially wild ones.
So, here’s what to feed a Chameleon.
First, insects should be a major part of their diet. You can provide them with many kinds of insects, such as the following:
- Calcium Worms
- Earth Worms
- Buffalo Worms
- Butter Worms
- Wax Worms
- Meal Worms
- Bamboo Worms
- Pachnoda Grubs
- Indian Stick Insects
- Blue Bottles
- Green Bottles
- Curly Wing Fly
- Black Soldier Fly
- Wax Month
- Fruit Flies
In addition, some Chameleons will enjoy some fruits and veggies in their diet. As omnivores, you can provide them the following:
- Sugar-Snap Peas
- Romaine Lettuce
- Butterhead Lettuce
- Loose Leaf Lettuce
- Sweet Potatoe
- Bell Peppers
Of course, dark leafy greens are one of the best things you can provide for your Chameleon. For example, these greens are typically rich in calcium.
For instance, you can give them the following leafy greens:
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Turnip Greens
As you can see, you’ll be able to provide your Chameleon will many different options. If you’re unsure what to feed them, you can always talk about it with your vet.
Luckily, Chameleons aren’t usually picky eaters, but they will have their likes and dislikes. So, when giving them new food, it might be a little trial and error to see if they like the taste or not.
How Much Do Chameleons Eat?
Now you might ask, “how much should I feed my Chameleon?”
No matter what age they are, you’ll want to feed your Chameleon as much food as they can consume within five minutes per meal.
After about ten minutes or so, if they still haven’t finished their food, then be sure to take it out of their enclosure. You won’t want fruits, veggies, or live food lying around inside their terrarium all day, or else they’ll grow stale.
Then, if your Chameleon finds it later and attempts to eat it, it won’t taste good. Not to mention that live insects might find your Chameleon before your reptile finds them. The insects could bite or harm your Chameleon.
How Many Crickets To Feed A Chameleon?
Remember, you’ll want to feed your Chameleon as much as they can consume within five minutes. So, how much food is that?
Crickets, which is one of the healthiest things you can provide for your Chameleon, should be fed accordingly.
For a baby Chameleon, you’ll want to provide them with about 12 to 18 small crickets per day. So with five minutes per feeding and feeding them about two to three times per day, you should give them about three to six small crickets per feeding.
When your Chameleon becomes a juvenile, you can give them about eight to ten medium-sized crickets per meal. Finally, adult Chameleons can have about four to six large-sized crickets per meal.
How To Feed A Chameleon
Chameleons are excellent pets. They’re calm and quiet, but they prefer to be alone. They won’t cuddle with you or beg to be let outside of their enclosure to be close to you or wander around the room.
With that said, they’ll prefer to eat alone as well. However, one way you can feed your Chameleon will allow the two of you to bond a little bit. It’s a great way to show your Chameleon that you’re safe and that you will always provide food for them and care for them.
In other words, you can hand-feed your Chameleon. Allow them to eat crickets (or other insects if you’re comfortable), fruits, or veggies right out of the palm of your hand.
This method might take some time for your Chameleon to get used to since they can be shy and prefer to be alone, but it’s a good method to do once in a while, so your Chameleon gets used to your presence.
Otherwise, you can simply put their food inside a cup. The cup should be at least eight ounces tall and should not be see-through. Otherwise, your Chameleon might lash out their tongue at the cup, trying to get to their food, and harm their tongue.
The cup should be tall enough so that the insects will not crawl or hop out. You can place the cup underneath your Chameleon’s favorite branch. Chances are, they’ll climb into the cup or eat their foot while overhead.
Finally, there is a third method to feeding your Chameleon, and it’s called free-range.
Simply place the insects inside their enclosure strategically in different spots. This will allow your Chameleon to feel like they’re hunting for their food, giving them a form of enrichment and exercise, all the while getting fed.
If you do this, you’ll want to keep an eye on your Chameleon to ensure they don’t miss any insects. Also, be sure to only add one or two insects at a time to make sure there aren’t too many insects running amok inside your reptile’s enclosure.
Can I Overfeed My Chameleon?
Unfortunately, yes. It’s easy to overfeed your Chameleon.
As already mentioned, you should only provide enough food for your Chameleon for about five-minute meals.
One of the reasons for this is because Chameleons don’t know when to stop eating. They don’t feel full. If they see something moving and eat it, they will certainly do so.
Your Chameleon can get overweight, thus giving them health issues. For example, they might end up with kidney or liver issues, resulting in premature death.
Does My Chameleon Need Supplements?
As with most reptiles, yes. Chameleons do need supplements.
They’ll need the following supplements added to their diet:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D3
These vitamins and minerals are essential for your Chameleon’s diet for them to grow and develop properly.
Calcium helps their bone structure grow, while Vitamin D3 allows your Chameleon to properly digest their food.
On the other hand, vitamin A will help maintain your Chameleon’s immune system and overall body function.
Sometimes, adding a multivitamin to their diet will be enough to add these vitamins and minerals into their food.
Alternatively, if you know what your Chameleon needs, you can simply go to the pet store and buy supplements. For example, there’s calcium powder you can get. All you need to do is sprinkle some over their meal, and they’ll eat the powder while they eat their fruits and veggies.
Another way you can provide supplements to your Chameleon’s diet is to gut-load their insects. This means that you feed your insects certain vegetables that are high in vitamin A or calcium or whatever your Chameleon needs.
Then, when your Chameleon eats the insect, it’ll get those added nutrients in addition to what the insect already provides on its own.
I hope you have found this guide answering how often should I feed my chameleon useful. Chameleons have an interesting diet. They can eat many different things, but they shouldn’t overeat in one sitting.
If you have any questions about your Chameleon’s diet and nutrition, it’s always best to consult with your vet.
Learn more about Chameleons here and our complete guide to whether chameleons are dangerous or not here. Click here to learn what Chameleons eat in the wild, here for how often veiled Chameleons eat and know the best drip system for chameleon here.