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fridge hibernation query

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#1 Guest_joanne5848_*

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 09:21 PM

hi everyone,

At the moment Toby is in starvation and will be hibernating in 3 weeks. i have just bought a 14L drinks mini fridge which is quite small inside but will be big enough for Toby. can anyone tell me if i am able to use this kind of fridge? will i still be able to maintain a consistant temperature in a fridge this size? also i was planning on hibernating Toby in an ice cream tub, would this be ok?

please could any one help me!


#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 09:55 PM

Hi Joanne,

As long as the fridge is big enough to put a container in without it touching the sides you should be ok. The main thing is that it maintains temperature. I used a (budwiser) chiller fridge last year and it was ok although the temps did flucturate they stayed within the 3 - 8 range. Although this year I couldn't get it to maintain temps so ended up going out and buying a new larder type fridge!

Mine are in plastic type toy storage boxes with ambiouse inside and a piesce of polystyrine (??) on top (see below)

I would be inclined to switch your fridge on now and put the box you are going to use along with some bedding (either hemp, shredded paper or sand/soil mix)in the fridge and if there are any 'spaces' put some bottles filled with water in there (this helps to maintain temps). Cover the box either with a lid (make sure there are holes in it) or a piece of card/wood/poly-wotsit!

Make sure you eat the ice-cream first by the way!!!! :P ;-)

#3 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 01:57 PM

Hi, I agree with Dawn. I used a beer fridge last year and it was alright although the temp did fluctuate a bit. Best to use a very accurate thermometer and to check it frequently. If you set everyhting up exactly as it will be when you tort is in there you can do a dry run and plot the temperature for a few days to see what happens. I used a digital thermometer with a probe on a wire that went round the edge of the door meaning I dion't have to open the fridge to know what the temp was.

I'm not hibernating this year due to low weight. Next year though, I will hibernate but will be using a standard larder type fridge for better temp stability.

At the time when I invested in the beer fridge the Tort Trust were saying this can be ideal but I did not find that to be the case.


#4 Guest_joanne5848_*

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 09:08 PM

thanks for your advice it has really helped me although i just have one question. the container that Toby will be in will have holes punched in the lid, but is this enough ventilation for him or will i have to get a ventilation air pump of some kind?

i just wondered what the white wires were in your fridge Dawn, are they to do with the ventilation?

thanks again Joanne

#5 Guest_lorrylou_*

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:04 PM

Hi Joanne. the oxygen requirement of a hibernating tortoise is low. If your container has holes in it then your tort should get plenty of air just from you opening the door and leaving it open for a minute or so every day.

The wires in the pic might be digital thermometer probe wires like I use. You can measure the temp right where your tort is inside the fridge. This is especially useful in a drinks fridge where you can get quite a bit of temp variation within the fridge itself.


#6 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:14 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 14-11-07 AT 03:16 PM (GMT)]Hi ya,

Yeah the wires are for thermometers - I've currently got 4 digital ones and one 'normal' frige thermometer! And not one blooming one agrees!!! I'm gonna try and put some more bottles in there to pack out the empty spaces but the temp ranges from 3 - 5 on the middle shelf, and 5-7 on the top shelf!!!!!! (I will be cutting the thermometers down to one for each tort - just that two of them are new so waiting for them to 'settle in' (The picture was taken before I got the 2 new ones!)

Ah well! I weighed them for the first time this morning - they've been in their a week! Both doing well, lost just under a gram each and looking very healthy! (Still can't help worrying bout them though! Especially Tallulah given her weight. Still hopefully if she doesn't lose too much I can keep her in there longer which I think will benifit her (fingers crossed).

I think I mentioned before that I check the temps 3 or 4 times a day and record them on a temp record sheet (that I've managed to draw up on excel!) and each time I open the door for a few seconds so over the course of the day the doors opened for a few minutes.

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