When I had my clutch of panthers, I planned on documenting exactly how much money I spent on raising them, to give people an idea of how much money it takes to raise a clutch of panthers. However, my clutch went from 23 eggs to only 9 hatchlings, so the numbers would have been more realistic had the clutch not been so little. But you can tentatively assume that if it takes a certain number to raise almost 10 hatchlings, it would take about double to raise twice as many chameleons.
|Two month-old panther chameleons on their small ficus tree.|
So even if this seems affordable, please take a moment to consider the other variables that go into raising 10-50 baby chameleons.
I will list all the expenditures below (tallied up to 3 months of age):
1 x small butterfly cage (12” x 12” x 12”) - $15
- For use with hatchlings during their fruit fly phase.
1 x large Rubbermaid storage container (60L) - $10
- An intermediate cage for basking outside before going into larger screen cages.
2 x screen cages (18” x 18” x 36”) - $140
- The final cages the remaining hatchlings went into at around their third
Branches - free from outside
1 x small ficus - $5
3 x small pothos - $7.50
2 x basking light (40w) - $6
2 x basking light fixture - $16
0 x UVB lights
- The babies received hours of natural sunshine daily for first few months.Had the weather been bad or had I not been available to move them in and out throughout the day, I would have purchased a Reptisun UVB bulb for about $15-20 on Amazon.com.
1 x fruit fly culture - $8
Roaches - from my own colony
Crickets - from my own colony
1 x extra 1,000 crickets - $20
TOTAL: About $240*
*Rounded up to allow for small miscellaneous, such as supplements, feeder gut load, etc.
I was lucky that my roach colonies were producing small enough roaches and that I was able to breed my own pinhead crickets. This is why I highly recommend that people look into breeding their own insects, otherwise the food costs would have gone way up.
I estimate that given these numbers, it would have cost me between $500-600 to raise all 23 panthers to the 3 month mark before they went to their new homes. I chose not to sell my 9 hatchlings for very much money but even so I broke even. Had I sold them for the going rate of $150-200 for a cross-locale panther, I would have made a profit (at least compared to what it cost to raise the babies, but it wouldn't put a dent into how much money I’ve invested into the parents and other chameleons I own.)
|The babies in their open Rubbermad container cage, basking outside. How many can you count?|