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Everything you need to know about Baby Chameleons

Taking care of a baby chameleon is hard. It is easier if you know what their specific needs are.  Vitamins A and D are essential for chameleon development.  You must provide these vitamins in proper amounts in the form of pre-formed vitamins.

Proper nutrition is vital for a chameleon’s health; therefore, it is crucial to follow a proper diet for baby chameleons.

Baby chameleons get stressed very quickly from environmental changes. To avoid this stressor, we must provide UV lights to regulate environmental temperature.

Unlike adult chameleons, we should not touch baby chameleons often, as it can lead to premature death.

What are Baby Chameleons Called?

There is no particular name for baby chameleons. As a general rule, babies of reptiles are called hatchlings. So, we can call baby chameleons hatchlings.

Birth of baby chameleons

Chameleons lay eggs, and the babies hatch from the eggs. Chameleons are known as oviparous because they lay multiple eggs at one time. A female chameleon can lay both fertilized and unfertilized eggs.

The female chameleon digs a tunnel to lay her eggs and covers them with dirt for protection.  Once she has completed this process, the mother has done her job and ceases to care about the eggs.

After hatching, baby chameleons crawl through the dirt to the surface.  Baby chameleons start to walk within seconds after hatching.

As soon the eggs have hatched, remove the female and male chameleons from the cage.  Put them in a separate enclosure from the babies.

The eggs of the chameleon breeds of Jackson, Mt. Meru, Werner, and Rudis hatch inside the mother’s body itself, and the babies are pushed out by the mother.

Eggs will hatch between four and nine months, depending on the type of chameleon. A female chameleon can lay 20-40 eggs, but veiled female chameleons lay up to 200 eggs at a time.

Cages for Baby Chameleons

You choose either a small cage (16 x 16 x 30 inches) or a large one.  Cages must be made of plastic. Don’t use glass enclosures because they reflect the image of the baby chameleon.  This “seeing” of another chameleon can cause them undue stress.

If you choose a small cage, you will be able to identify the baby easily.  If you choose a bigger one, get ready to play hide and seek. Tiny chameleons are adept at hiding, and it is not easy to find them in a big cage.

Fill the cage with the branches, leaves, and small plants, even large plants throughout the length of the cage.  These additions will make the baby chameleons feel safe, which subsequently reduces their stress levels. Baby chameleons are excellent climbers.

Don’t use any pesticides or chemical fertilizers for plants inside the cage because they can harm the baby chameleons.

Regardless of the type of cage you choose, it is critical to maintaining the proper temperature. The cage’s temperature should be maintained between 90-95 Fahrenheit in the morning and between 70-75 Fahrenheit at night.

Feeding Baby Chameleons

Baby Chameleons will eat the remaining yolk sac from their hatched egg. This gives them sufficient nourishment for several days. Baby chameleons will not eat properly if the temperature of their environment is not adequately controlled.

Pinhead crickets, fruit flies, bean beetles, and baby cockroaches are primary food sources for baby chameleons. Feed the babies with some fruit and greens once a week. Feed at least 10 to 12 crickets per day.

Try to avoid hand or cup feeding the baby chameleons as this will not teach them to hunt. Instead, scatter 3 to 4 insects so that the baby will learn how to hunt for food independently. 

In addition to these foods, it is important to provide calcium and vitamins. Dust the food with calcium and vitamins at least three times per week.

Balance the baby chameleon’s diet by feeding them different insects and worms along with the crickets. Make it routine to feed the baby chameleon every morning.

A UVB light source is required to provide a natural sunny environment, vitamin D, and is also necessary for digestive purposes.  Keep the light on 12 hours per day, and don’t forget to turn it off at night. Do this to teach the baby chameleon a day-night cycle.

Make sure you have a water source in the cage. Baby chameleons lick water droplets off leaves. Build a dripper or spray water on leaves and branches. Spray water at least three to four times a day. Don’t pour water directly on the baby chameleon.

Make sure the insects you are feeding are not bigger than the size of the baby chameleon’s head.

Baby Chameleon Growth

The growth of a baby chameleon is entirely dependent on its food supply. When you provide proper nourishment, growth will be visible within 48 hours of birth. Beyond the first 48 hours, baby chameleons grow at a rate of 1 -2 inches per month.

Keep track of growth once per month.  If there is no growth, it may be because of stress.

Because baby chameleons grow very fast, they shed their skin frequently, at a rate of once a month for one year. If they shed their skin more than once a month, it is because of stress. Eventually, they should overcome their stress and shed less frequently.

Baby chameleons eat their shed skin.  This is normal.  

Baby chameleons start to change color at five months.

AgeSize
48 hours2 inches
2 weeks3 inches
1 month5 inches
3 months7 inches
8 months9 to 14 inches
12 months17 to 24 inches (male)
10 to 14 inches (female)

Sleep Cycle of Baby Chameleons

When you use the 12 hour on/off UVB light cycle, your baby chameleon will learn to sleep at night. In the beginning, the baby chameleon may sleep before the light is off and won’t always wake up when you turn them on. This is completely normal, and they soon will adapt to their new environment.

Do Baby Chameleons bite?

When baby chameleons are stressed and scared, they will bite. These bites are not toxic or dangerous.

Do Baby Chameleons Hiss at night?

Veiled Chameleons are the breed most frequently associated with hissing. When you disturb a baby chameleon by holding them or repeatedly touching them, they become stressed and hiss. Hissing is a signal of stress in young chameleons.

Things to Consider When Buying a Baby Chameleon

Buy your baby chameleon from a well-known breeder or get help from a veteran chameleon owner. This is important to ensure you are receiving a healthy reptile.

For beginners, we recommend you buy a Veiled, Panther, or Jackson Chameleon as they are the easiest to care for.

The cost of owning a baby chameleon will vary based on its size. Veiled, Jackson, Sahel, and Graceful chameleons will range between $20-$80. The cost of a baby Panther chameleon is high because of their unique color collaboration. They range between $150-$400.

NameSizeGenderPrice
Veiled Chameleon4"-6"Male $61.9
Female$61.9
Sahel Chameleon2"-3"Male $29.99
Female$29.99
Mellers Chameleon4"-6"Male $169.99
Female$169.99
Cuban False2"-3"Male $174.99
Female$174.99
Graceful Chameleon4"-6"Male $34.99
Female$34.99
Panther Chameleon6"-8"Male $349.99
Female$349.99
Jacksons Chameleon2"-3"Male $69.99
Female$69.99

Do Baby Chameleons Die Early?

Baby chameleons are not easy for beginners to care for. They won’t die any earlier than mature chameleons if you take care to provide proper food and maintain their temperature. 

Baby chameleons get stressed quickly; you will notice they are stressed because their skin will become darker in color.  To avoid this, place the cage in a quiet place and keep baby chameleons away from children, other pets, and other chameleons.