Are you a new chameleon owner, trying to figure out the best way to feed your pet?
Do you worry about giving your chameleon the right amount of food?
If you are looking to bring a chameleon into your home, but aren’t sure about feeding requirements you might ask:
How many crickets should you feed a chameleon?
The number of crickets you should feed your chameleon will vary based on the age of your pet, but a chameleon will survive on between five and eighteen crickets each day.
In this article, we will discuss how many crickets you should be feeding your chameleon and more related information.
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How Many Crickets To Feed A Chameleon Per Day
Crickets are one of the most easily accessible feeders for your animal, but the number you will want to feed a chameleon will vary.
Age is the biggest factor when it comes to determining how many crickets your chameleon should be fed each day.
For baby chameleons, who are rapidly growing and expending energy, you will need to feed them between twelve and eighteen crickets per day.
Keep in mind these crickets will need to be very small micro crickets so the chameleon can catch and eat them without issue.
If the crickets are too large, there is the risk of the insect getting stuck in their throat and suffocating your pet.
This is a concern really at any age, so always watch the size of the insects you are feeding your chameleon.
Micro crickets are the smallest available and are the perfect size for your baby chameleons.
We recommend dividing the feedings up to at least twice per day, if possible.
Because they are constantly growing and using so much energy, it will be difficult to overfeed the babies.
Juvenile chameleons are not burning quite as much energy as the babies, but they are still growing.
Their appetites are still large because they have not reached their full size.
At this age, it is best to feed your chameleon medium-sized crickets in quantities of 10 to 15 per day.
Feedings can still occur twice per day, but start to scale back as the months go on, reducing it to once per day.
Adult chameleons are much simpler to feed because they do not require the same amount of food as their younger counterparts.
Feed your adult chameleons between five and eight crickets each day, but feedings can even be scaled back to every other day.
The size of the cricket can increase at this stage of your chameleon’s life.
Adult crickets are safe for your pet to start eating.
Insects should not be bigger than the space between your chameleon’s eyes.
Chameleons in captivity will have a more difficult time getting all the nutrients they need.
To help them, dust their food with supplements at each feeding.
Another way to make sure your chameleon is getting the proper nutrition is to gut load the crickets and other insects you feed them.
Gut loading is the process of feeding the insects nutrient-dense food right before you feed them to your chameleon.
In this way, chameleons will get those good vitamins and nutrients they need as they digest the crickets.
What Else Will A Chameleon Eat?
Give your pet chameleon a varied diet for the best chance to get a range of nutrients into their system.
Whether they are in the wild or captivity, the primary diet of a chameleon is made up of insects.
This can include, in addition to crickets, flies, mealworms, cockroaches, and locusts, to name a few.
You will have access to these feeder insects from local pet stores or online, but you could also be your own insect farm.
Having a supply of insects on hand will help make sure your chameleon is never hungry.
Veiled chameleons are among certain species also known to eat fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.
How To Feed Your Chameleon
There are a few options when it comes to how to feed your chameleon.
Possibly the easiest, and most natural way to feed is the free-range method.
With this method, you will simply add the insects to your chameleon’s enclosure and allow them to roam freely while your chameleon hunts them.
This most similarly mimics the way your chameleon would be getting their food in the wild.
Another option is to hand feed your chameleon.
Hold the cricket and have the chameleon eat it from your hand, encouraging bonding between you and your pet.
Hand feeding should not be forced.
Give your chameleon some time to get accustomed to you and the environment before you attempt this method.
Also, avoid coming at the chameleon from above with your hand.
They are likely to feel threatened and see you as a predator because, in the wild, their predators usually do attack from above.
With young chameleons, the cup method is very successful.
For this method, place the crickets into a cup secured to the enclosure so it cannot be tipped over.
This will allow your chameleons to learn how to hunt without the crickets moving too quickly and getting away.
Do not use a clear or see-through cup, as this could injure your chameleon if they attempt to catch a cricket but hit their tongue on the exterior of the cup.
They also won’t understand there is a barrier there between them and the cricket.
Try different methods to see what your chameleon prefers and also what will work best with your schedule.
Crickets are a great source of nutrients for chameleons, and they are easily accessible for owners.
Depending on the age of the chameleon, feed your pet between five and 18 crickets per day.
Gut load and dust the crickets for optimal nutrition and watch for overfeeding as this can lead to weight and other health problems.
We hope you now have a better understanding of how many crickets you should be feeding your chameleon.