When it comes to feeding chameleons, crickets are the most common food to feed them. Crickets are cheap, nutritious, and plentiful in pet stores. Most chameleon owners, especially those owning one for the first time will wonder how many crickets to feed them.
So, how many crickets to feed a chameleon? It depends on the age of the chameleon. On average, an adult chameleon will consume between five and eight crickets per day. A baby chameleon could eat as much as twenty crickets per day!
Above are just an average of how much they should eat, but there are other factors that affect the number of crickets they eat as well.
In this short guide, we’ll go through how many crickets you should feed them and how to feed them.
How Many Crickets To Feed An Adult Chameleon?
When a chameleon becomes an adult, the crickets they need to be fed per day will be decreased. The reason for this is because the chameleon stops growing so they require less food.
For a typical chameleon that’s over a year old, they should be fed about four to eight crickets per day. However, if your chameleon is active, they should be fed a little more.
As for the size of the crickets, they should be fed large crickets.
How Many Crickets To Feed a Juvenile Chameleon
A juvenile chameleon will have a large appetite like baby chameleons. At this age, they are still growing and growing fast too. To keep up with their fast growth pace, they will require a lot of crickets each day.
The average crickets for a juvenile chameleon are about 10 to 15 crickets per day. For juvenile chameleons, it’s best to feed them medium-sized crickets.
When feeding them crickets, it’s best to split up their feeding into twice each day. So you can feed them 5 crickets in the morning and another 5 in the afternoon. However, at every feeding, you should give them a little bit more crickets if they still seem hungry. At this age, feeding them more will not hurt or harm their health.
How Many Crickets To Feed a Baby Chameleon
Most chameleon species mature at the age of 10 months. Therefore, baby chameleons will grow quickly. Fast growth will require a huge appetite as well.
For baby chameleons, there is no limit to the number of crickets you can feed them. They can eat as much as eighteen crickets per day or even more. However, these are the smallest crickets available.
The size of the crickets to feed them shouldn’t be any larger than the size of their mouths. Any crickets larger than that could get stuck in their throat and suffocate them.
When feeding them crickets, it’s best to divide the feeding twice per day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
How To Feed A Chameleon
There are many ways to feed your chameleons. Depending on how much time you have each day to feed them, you can choose the best way on how to feed your chameleon.
Cup Feed – This is simply a plastic cup that’s secured to the side of the enclosure with crickets inside it.
Free Range – Your crickets will roam freely in the enclosure and the chameleon will hunt for them. This is a natural way to feed them as chameleons in the wild feed this way.
Hand Feed – This is where you hold the cricket and have the chameleon can eat right out of your hand. This is a great way to bond closer with your chameleon.
Modified Cup Feed – This is actually a cool way to feed your chameleon. With this feeding, it involves using a cup and letting the crickets free range in the cup.
How Often To Feed Crickets To A Chameleon
For baby chameleons, crickets should be fed to them on a daily basis. They will require eating as many crickets as they can to help with their growth. Baby chameleons should be fed twice per day. Usually once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
For juvenile chameleons, crickets should be fed to them daily as well. Chameleons are still growing at this age and need to eat a lot of crickets to help support their growth.
For adult chameleons, you can feed crickets once per day. At this age, they won’t grow as fast as when they are a baby or juvenile. Chameleons grow throughout their life, just at this age, they will grow slowly. You won’t be able to tell the difference when they are growing and getting bigger. Shedding is usually a sign they are growing.
Gut Loading Crickets To Feed Chameleons
Gut loading means that you’re feeding the insects with highly nutritious food before feeding the chameleons. Gut loading insects is crucial to the health of your chameleons because they are in captivity.
In the wild, they get all the daily nutrition needs from the insects they eat. These insects will usually feast on fruits, vegetables, and other plants.
Chameleons in captivity don’t get enough nutrition like those in the wild just by eating insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and worms.
There are two ways to gut load the crickets. You can either buy commercial gut-loaded insects or gut load your own insects.
Buying commercial gut-loaded insects is less work for you, but they lack the number of nutritions each insect has. Since the insects are gut loaded in a large mass, some insects will have a lot of nutritions and some don’t. So buying commercial gut-loaded insects will lack nutrition.
The better option is to gut load the insects yourself. Doing this yourself, you are providing a high amount of nutrients for each insect. Each insect will have a lot of nutrition in them which is great for the chameleons.
The only downside to gut loading at home is the time. Gut loading can be very time-consuming. You’ll need to prepare the food to feed the insects and monitor how much they ate. This food includes green leafy vegetables, fruits, bee pollen, and kelp. There are other foods you can use to gut load the insects.
Another option would be to be a salad mix that’s already prepared. Just buy the salad mix and drop them into a box and put insects in it. Let them feed for a couple of days and feed the insects to the chameleons.
How To Keep Crickets To Feed Your Chameleons
Poor quality food could cause health problems for your pet chameleon.
To house the crickets so that they remain healthy, you will need to use a box that has holes for them to breathe. You can buy one that’s already made or build one yourself at home.
Crickets are hard to keep alive and most will die within a couple of days after buying them. No matter how much you feed them and care for them, some will die before you can feed them.
The optimal temperature for the crickets to stay alive should be around 70 degrees. Any temperature colder than that, the crickets are prone to sickness and could die quickly.
Crickets are great for chameleons, but try not to overfeed them, especially the adults. Overfeeding can lead to weight problems and other health issues. Give them the right amount of crickets each day and they will live and be happy for a very long time. While crickets are the staple food for chameleons, you should also add other kinds of insects into their diet as well. This will help them get all their nutritional requirements.
Dan got started with his first reptile, which was a green iguana, at the age of 10. From there, he has raised many different species of reptiles. Besides caring for reptiles, he enjoys woodworking, playing basketball, and spending free time with my 4 wonderful kids.