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Hibernation help for me please

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#1 Guest_Mich_*

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 05:20 PM

I wasn't going to hibernate my torts this year they are 14mths, they seemed to be acting as normal they are on a tort table uv on, temp 30 degrees. But the last week or so Food is put in for them first thing in the morning and when I come home from work 3.30 that haven't touched it and are still asleep in the hemp.
Does this mean that they may want to hibernate?
Do you think I should hibernate them?
How long for?
Should I wake them and bathe them and make them eat?
Or leave them sleep there?
Oh! thanks for taking time to read this as I feel I am in a real dilema now as time is getting on.
They are fit and healthy, by the way.
Thanks again,

#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 09:47 PM

It seems nature has answered your question for you! :P

If they are fit & healthy then why don't you hibernate them? If you're uneasy about hibernating them why don't you just do a 8 wk hibernation? Personally I would stop putting food in now, bath them everyday or as near as dam it to help empty their tummies, if you have a centeraly heated house then I would be inclined to turn your torts heat off, reduce UV lights to a couple of hours a day and then next week turn them of completely as well. Then hibernate them the week after.

Obviously it's your choice - but once they start winding themselves down it can be blooming hard to stop them. I was going to overwinter one of mine cos apart from the fact I've not long had her (september) she was slightly underweight but I couldn't stop her winding herself down so I have gone with it and am just going to give her a short (8 week) one.

You also need to work out how you're going to hibernate them. Fridge or box? Fridge is the easiest as you can control the temp and the way our weather is at the moment (lets face it so far we've had better weather in October & November than throughout the summer!) it can be difficult to do it this way. I would only say to do box method if you were experienced and confident enough to do it. If you go for fridge you need to be preparing that now as well.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. ;-)

#3 Guest_Mich_*

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 11:17 PM


Thank you so much, you really are a gem.
I appreciate your advice and am going to follow it with the fridge method. Could you just let me know would you put the torts into a box in the fridge and at what degree approx 5 maybe.


#4 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:28 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 08-11-07 AT 03:30 PM (GMT)]Hi Mich,

You're welcome... when I'm not sure about things I ask lots of questions (ahem, as 'some' people can clarify!!! You know who you are.... :P )Its the only way to learn.

I personally have put my little cherubs in boxes - actually they are in a couple of my son's toy boxes! I've attached a photo below. (Tallulah's in the red box, and Frank's in the blue box, no-one yet is in the two small boxes, but they have been reserved by some visitors in a few weeks time!!!! :7 ) The bottles of water are to help stabilise temps - not for drinking!

As for temps, I've just checked them and in Tally's box is 6.2 and Franks is 4.3. The bottom shelf is about 4. I've done a temp record sheet and I am recording the temps at least 3 times a day - partly because the fridge is in my lean-to and so I need to make sure the temps don't go to low outside cos it could affect the fridge temps. I also make a point of breifly opening the door at each check, again for two reasons, one to give them oxygen and two to check the thermometers are in place and I also have a 'normal' thermometer on the bottom shelf so check temp on that as well!!! I think the 'ideal' temp is between 3 being min & 7 being maximun, with 5 being the optimon(??) temp, so 4 - 6 would be really good! LOL!!!

Blimey! I do waffle!!! Sorry... :P

#5 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:30 PM

Hi Mich

there is a really good article on the fridge method on the Tortoise Trust Website and you might want to look at that. I found it really useful. I used a plastic lunchbox with holes made in it and a soil/sand mixture in case they want to burrow.

#6 Guest_Mich_*

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 10:48 PM

Thank you both so much for taking the time to help me and my little ones. I appreciate it.

I seem quite clearer now about what to do.


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