Sunday, September 20, 2009

MyTown Monday: Our Chameleon Cage

For today's My Town Monday post, we're visiting my house. Our veiled chameleons' cage, to be exact.

Because before I went to Oklahoma, something uberly exciting happened here.

OUR FEMALE VEILED CHAMELEON LAID 42 EGGS!!

I know, it's craaazzzy. She laid 23 eggs at the end of May. There are only 5 healthy eggs left from this first batch. The 42 eggs from this second batch look plumper and healthier. She's laying eggs about every 3 months. Holy Color-Changing Reptile!


She was a little cranky with the male for a couple of days before THE EVENT. See the blue robin-eggish spots which indicate pregnancy.

Here is her very fat tummy. Not including her tail, she's about 5 inches long. We still can't believe she had 42 eggs tucked in there.


Child #2 and Child #4 fill a five-gallon flower pot with sand from our sandbox. They stir in water for a damp mixture.


She begins to dig. It takes her 7.5 hours to dig a tunnel, disappear into it, lay 42 eggs, climb back out of the tunnel and smooth it over. (It took her 9.5 hours to lay her first batch of 23 eggs. So, she's definitely speeding up now that she knows what she's about.)


After digging down about 8 inches, Child #2 finds the first layer of eggs. Here he is setting them carefully in vermiculite in a deli dish.


Our incubator is full! With FORTY-SEVEN eggs (5 from the first batch + 42 from this second batch). Child #2 has started planning how he'll spend his riches. Each baby fetches $25 from our local reptile pet store.


Here's the proud papa. Not really. He slept through her whole ordeal.

For links to the other MTM participants, please head over to our My Town Monday blog which was set up by Clair Dickson. Thank you Clair! I'll be back to a regular kind of post next Monday, but I couldn't resist sharing the good news.

31 comments:

Shauna Roberts said...

This is wonderful. I loved the pictures. I can't wait until the eggs hatch and you post the pictures of all those babies. Will you keep any or sell them all?

Laura said...

OK - that is CRAZY!!!!

Vodka Mom said...

when will we know if you are proud parents???

Sarah Laurence said...

Congratulations! How very exciting. I had no idea that chameleons laid so many eggs in one year or went spotty. Looking forward to the hatching.

Mac and Cheese said...

I was having a hard time understanding the excitement about having over 40 lizards in your house, but now that I know you're selling them, I feel a lot better.

Teresa said...

What exciting news! I hope that soon we will see pictures of chameleon babies! And I hope your children do get rich with this! College is getting more and more expensive; this may be a way to stoke the fund :-)

Barrie said...

The eggs take 7-9 months to hatch. So, the first 5, assuming they make it, might hatch around Christmas. Which means if she lays again in another 3 months, we'll have to buy a 2nd incubator!

Clare2e said...

How Cool! I want to see Holiday Chameleon Babies, too! What could be more festive?

Lazy Writer said...

That is really cool! What a neat experience to watch the little things come to life.

kaye said...

congratulations again. How long will it be until you have small reptiles?

Charles Gramlich said...

Ah the joys of the reproductive cycle. Cool, though. I love the pics of the eggs.

Sarakastic said...

Chameleons are as cool as I always thought they'd be.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm exhausted just THINKING about that many eggs, let alone laying them!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Cool!
I hope Child#2 actually gets to make some money. Those things are going to be tiny when they hatch.

How long do they have to incubate?

Danyelle said...

Wow! Congratulations. :) I'm just glad I'll never have to have that many at a time. :D

Barbara Martin said...

Barrie, I'm glad you posted an update. This is quite exciting! More eggs, and what do the hatched ones eat?

debra said...

This is very cool, Barrie. Can't wait for more updates.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I wish our gecko was that cool. The only party trick he knows is to hang in the closet and scare the snickers out of me.

Angela said...

I do hope none escape and find new living arangements elsewhere in your home.

Sounds like a fun experience to have

Barrie said...

Shauna, at this point the plan is to sell them all. BUT I might be able to talk child #2 into keeping a couple of babies....

Barrie said...

Kaye, Solvang Sherry, Vodka Mom ( in alpha order!) : the eggs incubate for 7-9 months. So, the earliest the remaining 5 eggs from the first batch will hatch is Christmas.

Barrie said...

Barbara, the babies will eat pinhead crickets. Which is a bit of a pain in the neck because our local pet store doesn't carry such small crickets.

Barrie said...

Angela, Ack!!! I hadn't thought of that!

Barrie said...

TerryLynn: I snorted tea at your comment!

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow - great pics.. :) Can't wait to meet the babies.

Allie said...

That is really cool! Can't wait to see pics of the babies!

Anna said...

Wow so you are into breeding. My sister does that too, birds, snakes, reptiles, you name it, lol, a zoo house. Thanks for sharing your cool experience, never seen the process before. Hope all is well otherwise, Anna :)

Bina said...

Thank God you posted this! I have been DYING to know about the eggs. So, are you saying none every hatched, or are the first batch still in incubation? I can't WAIT to see the babies!!

Good Luck!

Barrie said...

Bina, the 5 remaining eggs from the first batch are still in the incubator. These guys are slow cookers! Believe me, I will put a photo of the first baby veiled that pops out. I can't wait!

Doret said...

Stopped by to say I finished "I, so don't do spooky" today. It was so much fun, I really liked it. And I still love Barrie.

Congrats on another great book.

And I will be coming back to check out the baby chameleons.

Chantal said...

I find your chameleon posts fascinating! :)