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hibernation query

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#1 Guest_joanne5848_*

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:28 PM

hi there everyone,

i am planning on hibernating toby for the first time this year in december and have decided to do the fridge method. i just have a little concern about when is the best time to put him in his hibernating box. should i do it at night whilst he is asleep and then put him into the fridge or is best to do it whilst he is awake? should i have the fridge at a high tempertaure to start with and then allow it to drop may be a week after he has been hibernating?

please can anyone help me

thank you joanne

#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 11:27 PM

Hi Joanne,

I'm sure someone more experienced will be able to advise you better, but until they do, you'll have to put up with me! :P

My two bundles of joy (ahem!) are going into the fridge on wednesday. So I bathed them today in a cool bath (you don't want it too warm or you may stimulate them to wee!) and tomorrow when I get in from uni I will put them in a box in my lean-too room which is colder than room temperature but not as cold as a fridge. Then on wednesday I shall put them in the fridge first thing as the temp in that room will be about 10 degrees.

Today I haven't had my heating on (let me tell you I'm blooming cold!) so that they haven't got any background heat. But obviously its not too cold (probably about 12 - 15 degrees??) I will do the same tomorrow.

I wouldn't turn the fridge temp up cos it could be hard to get it back to the right temp. I would make sure that a couple of weeks before hand you get the fridge up and running at the right temp (about 5 degrees) and once its stabilised I would leave it. The last thing you need is to change the fridge temp then find after him being in there a week you can't stabilise it. It's not good for him and certainly won't be good for your stress levels!!!!

As for whether to do it when he's asleep or awake, you will find it won't make a lot of difference - sods law states that if you do when he's asleep - he will wake as soon as you close the door anyway! He may well move around for a day or two before settling. If you have a glass door chiller type I would recommend putting something over the door - last year mine would'nt settle and I was starting to get distressed about seeing him moving around in there and one night I just happened to chuck a towel over the door (so I could't see his little face) and he went to sleep and didn't move around anymore! Obviously the activity outside his little window plus probably the light going on and off in the room was disturbing him! Bless!!!! LOL!

Blimey! Sorry I've rambled on a bit!! I do apologise!!!!

#3 Guest_joanne5848_*

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 10:45 PM

thanks so much that has really helped me loads. i will take your advice, although i've still got a few weeks yet. i'm a little nervous, first time and all that. to be honest i don't like the idea of starving him, but it's got to be done. i'm bothered that he may start eating his auboise if he gets ravenous, so i don't know whether to change the substrate or not.

anyway i will use all the advice i've been given thanks again


#4 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 11:06 PM

See how it goes with the substrate joanne. If you find he is eating it then change him to newspaper. its not fantastic especially as they cant bury with it but its only for a few weeks. Mine were on aubiose but now they are on their final week they are onnewspaper but only really so i can see every wee/ poo that may not have come out before.

As dawn said just move them gradually down in temps. a few days before they go down pop them in their hibernating box but dont put this in the fridge just in a colder room.

Your braver than me dawn, i would turn off my heating :P far too cold :D

#5 Guest_squirrelann_*

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 12:49 PM

if you do the pre hibernation correct then your tort should be asleep most of the last week so should hardley notice being moved if he's still wide awake then somethings wrong.

#6 Guest_joanne5848_*

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:43 PM


i've just got another enquiry about hibernation. i've been reading information on the tortoise trust website which i'm finding really useful, however there is a section about applying an air-pump inlet inside the fridge for better ventilation. is this necessary and do you use such a thing? i was just going to put Toby in a plastic ice cream tub with shredded paper and holes punched in the lid and then open the fridge door about 3-5 times a week for a few minutes to circulate the air. do you think that this will be enough? please could you give me some advice as i'm starting to worry now.

thanks joanne

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