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Cost of Raising A Small Panther Clutch

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. 
*NOTE: Breeding any animal takes a great deal of knowledge, experience, and preparation. No breeding should be attempted before knowing what is involved. I undertook this experience because I had the funds to do so and homes lined up for my hatchlings. There is always the chance that not all hatchlings will sell to new homes or pet stores may not take them in (which is good because they are horrible at caring for chameleons), and you will be stuck with several chameleons to keep caring for until you are able to place them in new homes (and each will require a cage after the 3 month mark to prevent fighting.)

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):

CAGING

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
CAGE FURNISHINGS

Branches - free from outside
1 x small ficus - $5
3 x small pothos - $7.50
  • I find that the best place to get plants from is a local nursery. Their prices tend to be better than at a Home Depot or Lowe's and their plants are usually in better shape. I think ficus plants are benefit of growing really quickly and giving chameleons large leaves to hide behind. 
LIGHTING

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. 

FEEDING

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?

2 comments:

  1. does the total include the cost of the chameleon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maddie, not it does not. This is just the amount of money I spend raising the 9 hatchlings from the moment they were out of the egg to when they left for their new homes. If you were looking for what it costs to set up a new chameleon with everything included perhaps this other blog post will be more helpful: http://muchadoaboutchameleons.blogspot.com/2012/03/average-cost-of-owning-chameleon.html

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