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airholes in hibernating box

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#1 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 08:02 PM

A query on hibernating box,on some searches they say not to put airholes in the box and others say to put some in,i have decided on the box method and ordered a digital thermometer ready and i am going to put hermie in the brick shed as i dont have a spare fridge.I have got lots sorted out in my mind now so i will not be so worried but when realizing about the airholes i wondered what everyone on this site is doing?please let me know your view!
Jay and Hermie;-)

#2 Guest_tortgal_*

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 10:38 PM

Hi Jay

I found some advice on hibernation on the tortoiseshop.com after someone brought up what a good organisation they were. I have tried my hardest to find holes in everything but apart from the prices, it all seems accurate and up to scratch. Here is what they say about breathing holes etc.

Which ever place that you decide will suit the needs best you must ensure that it is safe from any possible predation and opportunistic theft. Then place the tortoise in a tightly fitting box (preferably plastic to prevent escape from clawing through the sides) containing soft loose soil or compost, of which it should be surrounded. Then place this box in another larger box containing polystyrene chips, as these make an excellent insulation buffer. (Although tortoises need very little air when hibernating they do need some, so ensure that your boxes are not air-tight)
The boxes complete with tortoise can then be placed in it's designated hibernating quarters.

hope this helps :)

#3 Guest_squirrelann_*

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:05 AM

if your tort is the right state for hibernating then why would it try to get out, mine were all in a state of semi sleep/stupor when they were boxed up and they never really moved,if they are scratching etc then I don,t think that either they were ready or have woken up in which case they have to be brought out of hibernation, they will be using up the reserves of water etc that they need to hibernate, all the body functions have to slow right down during hibernation so anything other than that is a cause for concern, I used 2 cardboard boxes with shredded paper between them and air holes in both, I checked on them everyday and they were all fine, my babies had a shoe box each and bigger ones for the adults.

#4 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:55 PM

thanks for the advise on the airholes,i'M using shoe boxes with shredded paper and polystrene between the inner and outer box,hermie is already slowing right down,going to start cutting feed down ready for the two-three week starvation in october,the only thing is i dont know if he as ever hibernated before as i have only had him since may and he is four years of age so i was thinking about 10-12 weeks according to how he is when checking during hibernation
jay and hermie:D

#5 Guest_squirrelann_*

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:10 PM

the only thing I'd say is that if you hibernate him that early he,s going to wake up in the coldest month, January, or possibly even christmas if we have a warm spell, most do december and january at least, I try to aim for the november at the earliest hopefully the end to take them through the coldest months, I,d wait and see what the weather does if he's never hibernated before or even if he has with heat, light and food you should be able to control when he goes down, october is sometimes nice if I remember right last year was very mild and you'd have a job to get him cold enough, its easier to keep him alert now than try to wake him up if its cold and snowing.

#6 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 12:41 PM

The oxygen need of a hibernating tort is very low. If using a plastic box you must have air holes though. If using a cardboard box its easy to puncture some small holes in the sides.

There are advantages to using the fridge method because you can control the temp totally and this means that you can decide when to start and end the hibernation period. In my own view the weather in the UK is now not cold enough in winter to ensure that a tort will stay 'asleep' and you are going to have to constantly monitor the temp in the box becuase if it goes near 10C for even a short periuod your tort may start to wake up. If this happens, energy reserves will be used. If that occurs you might have to waken your tort from hibernation even if he hasn't been down all that long. Of course the weather varies a lot and if you live in the countryside maybe you will get an extended period of low temp.

You might want to set up your box without your tort and get your thermoneter etc and everything in place where it is going to be and follow the temp carefully over a period of time to see what happens with it. Very few people would want their house at a temp that is suitable for a hibernating tort. wooden sheds can heat up rapidly in winter sunshine. The temp in a solid outhouse may be more stable.

Hope this helps.

#7 Guest_squirrelann_*

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:07 PM

we are lucky in that we have a big brick garden shed it has to rooms one with a low heater so we can move the boxes in there if it gets to cold and the heater will stop the frost and can move them into the metal filing cabinet if it gets to warm but I did have to check a couple of times a day but I'm lucky I don't work so had the time, if I wasn't here then I think the fridge would have been used as the temps did go up and down but stayed within the limits, maybe it won't be so warm this winter.

#8 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 07:35 PM

thanks for the advise,i was thinking end of october to cut feeds and lights down then starvation period would be beginning off november then if everything okay he would go down end off november does that seem okay then he would be covered for the coldest months dec,jan and feb ,what month are you are hibernating yours?still trying to work out the jacksons ratio?
Jay and Hermie:P

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