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Member Since 15 Sep 2012
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#69214 Harry's Awake

Posted by Graham on 15 March 2021 - 10:24 AM

I got Harry up from hibernation on Saturday as his nineteen weeks were up. 


Here he is having his post-hibernation shower:





After a couple of hours under his lamp, he decided he wanted to go walking:




 A wander around his enclosure and an inspection of his house followed:





He's not quite as active as he normally is due to the weather, but hopefully he'll take his big drink in the next day or so.


Another successful hibernation; let's hope for a good summer for all our torts!



#69213 Happy 2021

Posted by Graham on 15 March 2021 - 10:15 AM

It's still a bit chilly at the moment, Crusty, not as warm as it normally is this time of year. The weather's due to improve towards the end of this week, I'm sure you'll see Tank emerge very shortly. The only reason Harry's up is because I hibernate him in the fridge; I can see already he's not as active as he normally is in the first couple of days, it's all weather/temperature related.

#69193 Not Long Now

Posted by Graham on 06 February 2021 - 02:35 PM

The time’s getting on so I made a start today; antirrhinum, chicory and nipplewort seeds went in the trays. Weather permitting, I’ll begin giving the garden a good going-over tomorrow in readiness for Harry’s reemergence. Spring’s on its way!

#69182 New Season

Posted by Graham on 21 January 2021 - 03:25 PM

It's been a long, difficult year for everyone, and now hopefully, the end is in sight. Understandably, the forum came to almost a halt, which is a shame, for it's been a mine of help and information for everyone over the years.

Let's not let it slip into oblivion; start posting questions, experiences or even just messages to get kick started again.

With the spring on the horizon, and torts shortly emerging, there should be plenty to talk about, along with getting the enclosures ready again.

Come on, everyone, lets get chatting!


:wave:  :yay:

#69145 Harry's Up

Posted by Graham on 15 March 2020 - 06:56 PM

Hi, Everyone,

I'm glad to report that Harry has successfully completed another hibernation. 

After coming round, a warm shower, and basking for an hour, he made it clear he wanted to go in the garden. I was delighted that he made his way directly to his pool and had a big drink.

A little later, I coaxed him to nibble a couple of cucumber slices:




It's great to have him back!

#68954 Weeds

Posted by Graham on 18 August 2019 - 09:40 AM

Bindweed flowers and leaves are fine in moderation, Aud, but please check you’ve identified it correctly first; have a look on Google Images. You’re most likely right, it’s easily recognised. It’s best to pick this from an outside source; because of the long tough tendrils that run off it, there’s a chance of strangulation if it’s grown in the tortoise enclosure.

#68933 Hibernation Query

Posted by Graham on 02 August 2019 - 04:56 PM

Hi, Nicola,

I'm in a slightly different boat to you inasmuch Harry is over fifty years old, and therefore very experienced at hibernating. Nevertheless, I'll tell you of the wind-down/hibernation procedure I have for him. When I first had him, I thought that I would engineer it myself, put him into wind-down mode at a certain time etc; I soon realised that this was not going to happen; Harry obviously had is own agenda! These days, I watch him carefully around the end of September, when I know he's about to slow down. He begins to become much slower overall, spends less time outside, and sleeps more and more. When he hasn't eaten for three consecutive days, I regards this as the first three days of the four-week wind-down. Over the following weeks he slows down to an eventual halt, and for the last couple of days starts burying himself beneath the earth in his house. At this point, I dig him up, put him in his hibernation box, and in the fridge he goes. 

I'm not sure about younger tortoises as I've never owned one, but I should imagine the procedure is quite similar. Other members who keep younger tortoises will be able to advise you more fully than me.

Hope this is of some help.

#68777 Harry's Up And About

Posted by Graham on 11 March 2019 - 04:34 PM

I'm glad to report Harry's just completed another successful hibernation; I got him up on Saturday morning after his allotted 18 weeks.


Here he is in his hibernation box minutes after taking him out of the fridge:





After his warm shower, and an hour after basking under his lamp, he decided he wanted to go walking:





As it was warm and sunny at midday, I put him out in his enclosure, whereupon he had a good walkabout to see what had changed since his big sleep:




After inspecting his house, he resumed his roam around the garden:




About four o'clock he slowed down so I brought him back in. The next day he was ready to go out at nine in the morning, and on doing so, had his big drink and nibbled on some food, so it looks like he's ready for the new season.


Hoping all other keepers' torts are doing well, and looking forward to hearing of their progress this year.

#68618 Harry's Gone In

Posted by Graham on 31 October 2018 - 07:48 PM

Well, Harry went in the fridge this evening, marking the end to another tort year. It was a great one, too, what with the glorious weather we had.

Wishing everyone's tortoise a successful hibernation; and that we can all rejoice next Spring on their re-emergence.


All the best, everyone       :thumbup:  :hugs:

#68604 Hollyhock Seeds

Posted by Graham on 03 October 2018 - 10:19 AM

The hollyhocks I grew this year yielded flowers of a beautiful shade of scarlet. I harvested hundreds of seeds from them, so if anyone would like a packet to grow next spring, just PM me, and I'll be only to glad to send you some.




#68587 I Can't Fiind Namaste Who Is My 3 Years Old Hermann Baby

Posted by Graham on 16 September 2018 - 06:12 PM

Great news, Sabina, you must have been out of your mind with worry. So glad the panic’s over.

#68563 Harry's Summer

Posted by Graham on 09 September 2018 - 08:22 AM

With this year's glorious summer coming to a close, here's few pics of Harry enjoying the season.


Catching the morning sun's rays:







Taking a siesta in the jungle area of his enclosure:





A trot around the garden via the path:






Taking shade under the carex grass:




Time for dinner:




And a hollyhock flower for afters:



#68214 New Roof

Posted by Graham on 10 February 2018 - 05:00 PM

I made a new roof for Harry's house today; it was only supposed to take an hour or two, but took me about seven hours from beginning to end.

The original lasted five years, so I hope this one proves just as durable.

I'm now numb, wet and freezing  :sob:




Hope Harry likes it.

#68208 Laboratory Fridge

Posted by Graham on 09 February 2018 - 05:01 PM

Hi, Sabina,

I bought one for Harry a couple of years ago, it's excellent; keeps the temps exactly right. 

Here's a pic of it:




This is the smallest one they do, and is suitable for one tortoise only, or two babies.

The make is Lec, and they do a wide range in sizes and prices. 


Here's link to their website; click on the ones you are interested in, and it will give you all the specifications, and a list of distributors.






Hope this helps.


#68067 Happy Christmas

Posted by Graham on 23 December 2017 - 10:59 PM

Merry Christmas everyone! 😁🎄
Enjoy the festivities xxx