Constructing a Chameleon Feeder Run

Chameleon feeder run

Constructing a Chameleon Feeder Run

Note: This tutorial is available as a .pdf. To download, click here:

How to Make a Chameleon Feeder Run Cup

To watch a video on creating your own Chameleon Feeder Run Cup click here!

Chameleon feeder run

A Brief Introduction & History of the Chameleon Feeder Run

As we come to the end of 2018 we are celebrating the 16thanniversary of the chameleon feeder run! This concept solved the standard problems of feeder insects sitting in feeder cups not providing the required movement to attract a chameleon’s attention.  By adding a back to the cup, the insects would climb and provide the movement to attract the chameleons’ eye, but still stays contained in their cup. These feeder runs were first conceived and publicized in January 2003 in an issue of the Chameleons eZine by yours truly. (Click here for a slice of past goodness January 2003 ChameleonNews Hints and Tips) And it has been a staple in chameleon husbandry ever since. It works beautifully so I’d like to take this time to go over the basics in creating your own feeder run cups.


Chameleon Feeder Run Parts List

Parts list for Chameleon Feeder Run

Parts Needed:

  1. Washed out plastic water jug, milk jug, soda bottle, etc…
  2. Shade cloth or any other climbable surface you can glue to plastic
  3. A extra large paper clip


Tools Needed:

  1. Scissors
  2. Glue Gun
  3. drill with 1/8″ bit


Directions to Build Chameleon Feeder Run:

Step 1:  Cut Out Opening

Cut an “L” shape out of the jug. Tip 1: leave enough of a wall on the bottom that the feeder insects you use will not be able to climb out. Tip 2: allow enough material on the sides of the vertical part so that the climbing insects cannot just reach over and grab the side to escape.

Cut out on chameleon feeder run


Step 2: Drill Drainage Holes

Drill drainage holes in the bottom. This is to ensure that the feeders do not drown or create an unhygienic mess if water gets in. Obviously, keep the holes too small for the feeders to escape. I use a 1/8″ drill bit.

Drainage holes in chameleon feeder run


Step 3: Add Climbing Surface

With the first ones I made I used fiberglass screening and made sure the edges were all safely glued. I now use sun shade material made of nylon as it is softer. I glue the strip of sun shade using a hot glue gun, though silicone would work as well. If you use nylon sun shade remember that it will melt with high temperatures so practice using the glue gun. I apply the glue and wait until it starts to cool before pushing down the sun shade.

sun shade in the chameleon feeder run


Step 4: Add Hanging Hook

Two small holes drilled in the top, above the climbing cloth allow me to weave in a bent out paper clip which gives me an easy and convenient way to hang this feeder run in my cages.

paper clip hook for chameleon feeder run



Now just hang inside a cage and watch your chameleon find its food!

feeder items on a chameleon feeder run



For maintenance, wash them after every usage. This is an easy and inexpensive way to make yourself some feeder runs!

Conclusion and Advice on Chameleon Feeder Runs

Now, this is a good way to make a lot of runs. But it looks pretty cheap. If you have a nice cage set-up that you put some work into, please do not put a cut-out milk jug in there! It is worth it to get a professionally made feeder run. My favorite is the one made by Nick Barta at Full Throttle Feeders. The feeder runs are attractive and are painted camouflage colors so they do not stand out. Since I do a great deal of taking pictures of my chameleons and their cages I picked up a number of the Full Throttle feeder runs and I am happy I did so. Nothing is more annoying than getting a great shot and seeing a plastic container in the background! So make them and have a blast, but for the show cage in your living room, here is a link to the page for the classy feeder runs!

If you have a nicely set-up cage or one in your living room don’t ruin it with a plastic container! Do this!

Nick Barta Chameleon Feeder Run

I know it isn’t standard for me to sending you to another company, but here is a link to Full Throttle Feeders where you can get the Chameleon Feeder Run shown above. Because, hey, I want the Dragon Strand cages to look their best! Let’s not show off a cheap feeder cup! As of this blog post they are $16. With all the effort you have spent making the cage look nice, don’t stop at the last part.


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